Sunday, May 1, 2011

Aviation Expo

The Aviation Expo used to be held in Oshawa, but has recently relocated to Hamilton International Airport, and specifically the Canadian Warplan Heritage museum.

Inside the hangers were a collection of the CWH planes, while the other half of the hanger was dedicated to aviation companies. The planes inside included the Spitfire and Hurricane.

One of the first thing you notice as you exit the hangers is the National Helicopter taking off and landing with lots of people paying for a flight.

At 70 bucks a pop, it ain't cheap, but I'm sure it was a great trip.

Also on hand were two other choppers, a Bell 222 with landing gear,

and a Eurocopter EC 130, which is an 8 seater chopper,

with a wicked cool paintjob.

I asked the pilot of the National Helicopter

if she had ever flown a helicopter like the Bell 222, which is one of the few choppers with landing gear. She hadn't but agreed that it must be weird to remember to lower your landing gear, since most helicopters simply have skids.

Also on hand was the CT133 Shooting Star, from the London based Jet Aircraft Museum.
The plane was beatifully painted, with a sharks mouth and eye. During the event, a pilot had a chance to win a ride in the plane, which they also got to fly!

As this was CWH, there were also lots of planes on the ramp, including the Golden Hawks Sabre, with plastic pannels to show the insides,

as well as a listing of the members of the team on the side pannel

a CF-104 Starfighter, done in up Tiger Meet colours,

a Beech D18S Expeditor which was done up as a photographic section of the RCAF from 1944, based in Winnipeg as part of 403 Squadron.

During one of the enginstarts, a small backfire led to a flash of flame.

Just in case, the airport fire truck was on hand, but mostly I think it was to watch the show!

One of the stars of the show was the Canadian Armed Forces Skyhawks team.
This is the 40th anniversary of the team, and they were eager to jump. However, there was a massive delay, as they were having a problem getting the left engine started. The jump was originally scheduled for around 11 am, but ended up being closer to 3 o'clock!
After lots of work, the plane was in the air, and the members began to jump. There were three passes,

and the most spectacular jump was the Candy Cane,

Which is a rotating parachutist streaming a line of coloured flares, which, when you looked up, resembled a candy cane in the air!

As they jumped, the PR member

described the different "tricks" that each group completed. The classic is the two and three man stacks.

and then it was over, and like any other event that ends, the line up to get out of the place stretched out a long distance!

But everyone will be streaming back to CWH on June 18-19 for the rebirth of the Hamilton Air Show. Going back into its roots, this is a Warbird airshow, with the prop being the most common form of power for the aircraft! Over 40 planes are planned to be in attendance, including two B-17, which is worth the admission right there!

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