The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) near Hamilton airport is home to over 40 aircraft used throughout the years by the Canadian armed services, from the very earliest biplanes to almost the latest jets.
Of course, the main focus is on the World War II and Cold War years when the most evocative propeller planes were giving way to the first jets -- every little and not-so-little boy's dream time.
The Museum is another destination that is as much an event as a place, though in this case it's an event that's open every day of the year (9 am to 5 pm) except Christmas and New Year and at about $10 per adult, less for children and seniors, it's good value for money.
You can also take vintage aircraft flights but you need to book that.
The most popular plane for flights is the Museum's icon, the Fairey Firefly -- see below.
The Museum is rightly proud of owning one of only two Lancaster bombers of World War 2 that still flies.
Here volunteers are maintaining the Merlin engines that gave the plane the ability to carry more, or larger, bombs than any other bomber of the time.
Almost everybody's favourite fighter, the Spitfire, is sadly a static display at the museum but it's as beautiful on the ground as in the air. In many ways the Spitfire is the archetypal warplane. The need for speed and agility without the need to provide any mundane service, such as carrying stuff, allows them to be sleek and toned -- like movie stars. And many of them did become screen stars of the Forties and Fifties.
We saw this Fairey Firefly later the same day in the air over Port Dover.
The Firefly looks as graceful as the Spitfire from the nose to the wing, and it's from the same time-period, but from the wings to the tail it looks like it was designed by a badly-led committee. Still it's an interesting survivor from those experimental days of flight when you never knew what was going to be the future and what wasn't.
The CF100 was the first jet fighter built in Canada. Designed as a two-seater, all-weather interceptor to ward off those pesky Soviet bombers that kept invading Canadian airspace during the early days of the Cold War, it was also the first straight-winged plane to break the sound barrier.
Clicking any of the pictures will take you to a Gallery to view these photos of the museum's vintage aircraft collection on a larger scale. Another CF-100, this time on a pylon, is on our Haliburton Highlands page.
For more pictures from the Museum, visit our pages -- warplane photos or Warplane Images. Or visit the Museum's own page at Warplane.com.Better still, visit both pages and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum itself. If you've any interest in planes or history, you'll be fascinated by their collection.
When you're in the neighborhood of Hamilton, call in to the Royal Botanical Gardens -- another of our Ontario attractions. And while you're in Ontario Vacation Destinations, visit our Royal Botanical Gardens page for a sampler. Both trips will be worth your while, if you like gardens at all.
And for a hotel in Ontario or anywhere else:
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