Skyfest attendees took flight this past weekend in historic aircraft.
Father’s Day weekend saw large crowds attend the Canadian Warplane Heritage (CWH) Skyfest event at Mount Hope, Ont. While the event focuses on CWH member flight experiences, several aircraft also made guest appearances. From Virginia, the Military Aviation Museum’s deHavilland Canada built Mosquito was one of the star aircraft. Vintage Wings of Canada also attended the event with its National Steel Car built Westland Lysander and North American P-51D Mustang.
Over the weekend the CWH member ride program saw people take flight in aircraft like the B-25 Mitchell, Westland Lysander and trainers including a Cornell, Chipmunk and Harvard. Keeping these historic aircraft flying is always difficult and snags prevented some of the more popular aircraft like the Avro Lancaster and Douglas DC-3 from participating. Vintage Wings of Canada also operates a member ride program and the P-51 Mustang was kept busy taking people on their first flight in a WWII era fighter.
In conjunction with Skyfest was a Friday night engine run, an event for avid aviation photographers. The CWH have the Hamilton Airport fire department hosed down a section of ramp then positioned aircraft with studio lighting while they perform a run-up. The first aircraft to run was the rare Mosquito, the feeling of being within a few dozen feet of twin Merlin engines is exhilarating and a sight to see. The P-51D Mustang and B-25 Mitchell were next with the grande finale seeing both Lysanders simultaneously run their 870HP Bristol Mercury engines.
In conjunction with Skyfest, aviation photographers were treated to a night engine run.
The two Lysanders also flew together over the weekend, which presented a very unique experience. Both were available for rides, a luxury that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world.
Throughout the summer months both Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and Vintage Wings of Canada operate member flight experiences. Follow the links below for more information on the programs.