A dreary Saturday can only be spent one of two ways: locking yourself inside or going to your favourite museum. I chose the latter. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the Hamilton International Airport in Mount Hope, Ontario has always been a favourite of mine from the first time going when they were housed in an old hanger. Sadly in 1993, the hanger was destroyed by fire, losing five of its aircraft…but many survived that still form the core of the museum’s collection today. The star of the show, an Avro Lancaster bomber, is a personal favourite of mine. What makes the Lancaster all the more special is that it’s only one of two that can still fly in the world.
But when I visited the museum, the Lancaster was in England, flying with the others still flying Lancaster in a series of airshows for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Despite that, there was still plenty to see in the airport. The one thing I like about CWHM is that the aircraft gallery is well-lit! But working with large formats and ASA-125 film, I was shooting long exposures. But patience paid off, and there weren’t many patrons when I was there, so I didn’t have to wait too long.
Another neat part of the museum is that many of its aircraft are flight worthy! Plus, you can watch skilled volunteers work on maintaining their fleet and restoring new acquisitions to the collection! Many have been in the process of being restored for decades, so it’s fun to go back and see how far they’ve progressed since the last visit.