Although the museum’s collection of aircraft has grown significantly over the years, the Society remains focussed on its goals of honouring those who served with Bomber Command and the BCATP.
Our twin-engined Blenheim bomber is representative of the early years of Bomber Command, when crews flew twin-engined Whitleys, Hampdens, Wellingtons, and Blenheims to carry the fight to the enemy as Bomber Command’s only offensive punch.
Although the property of the City of Calgary, the Mosquito currently being restored by the Calgary Mosquito Society adds an example of this iconic aircraft to the museum.
The museum’s collection of BCATP aircraft has expanded dramatically over the past few years to provide an excellent summary of the planes in use during the Plan.
Representing the single engined primary trainers are our runnable Fleet Fawn, a 1930’s designed biplane, and a runnable Tiger Moth. Our Cornell, which is awaiting restoration, is an example of the type which replaced the biplanes during the latter stages of the Plan.
The Anson, currently under restoration, and our runnable Cessna Cranes were the most widely used twin-engined aircraft flown by pilots training to be bomber pilots. As well, they were used extensively for navigational, wireless, and other training. The museum also significant parts of a twin-engined Airspeed Oxfords that is awaiting restoration.
The classic Harvard is displayed at the museum representing the type of aircraft used for advanced single-engined training. Our Yale (currently in storage) was used in this capacity as well, before being re-assigned to wireless training and other duties.
The Society’s ample supply of Bolingboke aircraft and parts will make it possible to place an example of this aircraft on display at some future date. The Boly was used operationally with the RCAF on both coasts and as a bombing and gunnery trainer with the BCATP.
The Beech-18 “Expeditor,” was a light transport/utility type of aircraft during the war, both with the RCAF overseas and with the BCATP. The museumÕs example is complete and currently in storage.
Although a mock-up, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 on display enables our visitors to appreciate and learn of the threat of Nazi night-fighters that were responsible for 70% of the losses incurred by Bomber Command.
No. 431 Squadron, now “The Snowbirds”, was formerly a Bomber Command squadron that flew Wellington, Halifax, and Lancaster Bombers. Our Snowbird-marked Canadair Tutor honours the Canadian airmen lost with No. 431 Squadron during World War II.
Although not envisioned when the Society was created in 1986, our collection of fully restored BCATP vehicles is now a significant part of the museum. Two fire trucks, a base protection unit designed for emergencies in the hangars or other buildings, and a six-wheel drive crash truck which responded to aircraft crashes are featured as is a fuel supply unit (bowser) and a large RCAF transport truck.
On outside display, as gate-guardians, our T-33 and CF-100 jet aircraft represent the early post-war era and make it very clear to passers-by on the highway that our building is an air museum. Both have a direct connection to Nanton airmen who served during WW II and later on these types of aircraft.