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With the sunset as a backdrop the CWHM’s Lancaster and Mitchell bombers make a run in for centre-stage.
For the past two years, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum has sponsored a unique kind of airshow designed to raise money for the facility while minimizing the financial risk of a full-scale airshow. Instead of the day-long Hamilton Airshow of the past, with close to a $750,000 budget, CWH designed an event that offers guests an intimate and entertaining evening airshow. Within the flightline along runway 06/24, the museum creates a rectangular tented viewing area on a paved section of the infield, where guests can either watch the show from the shade of the tent or sit in the open while they enjoy dinner and drinks. Tickets are pre-sold through the museum’s website and limited to 1,200 guests per day.
Rick Volker going vertical in his Harvard Mk.4.
This year, the airshow was held on August 15-16, which saw two perfect, sunny evenings. Headlining the show was Art Nalls and his ex-Royal Navy Sea Harrier. The aircraft was put through its paces by Nalls, who clearly demonstrated the speed and agility of the aircraft, along with its unique hovering capabilities. Many of the CWH aircraft flew in the show, including the rare Avro Lancaster and Westland Lysander. Invited warbirds included the Military Aircraft Museum’s Spitfire, Hurricane and Mosquito. The show kicked off with para jumpers who launched from the museum’s DC-3 “Canucks Unlimited.” Yak Attack Airshows flew a great four-ship airshow routine and local aerobatic pilot, Trevor Rafferty, thrilled the crowd with his homebuilt Javelin monoplane. Experienced warbird aerobatic pilot, Rick Volker, performed an extreme aerobatic performance in his 1952 Harvard Mk.4, demonstrating maneuvers not regularly seen in the Second World War-era trainer.
Hamilton’s own Trevor Rafferty performing in his homebuilt “Javelin” monoplane.
The airshow started at 5 p.m. and ran until sunset, finishing with a race down the runway between Chris Darnell, driving his Flash Fire Chevy Jet truck, and the museum’s B-25 Mitchell bomber. The event was very relaxed and featured a little something for everyone. Lots of historic aircraft, parachutists, high-speed jet action, and the one act that brought most people to the fence, the Jet Truck. During the weekend, people were invited to view the show aircraft on the museum ramp at regular museum prices.
During the day on Sunday the Lancaster lead the Yak Attack Team on a fly past over the museum.
For future museum events, please check the Canadian Warplane Heritage Website at www.warplane.com.