This coming weekend, June 6 and 7, 2015, is Doors Open Ottawa, an annual festival where the public gets the chance to look behind usually-closed doors—for free! There are 22 new buildings this year, including the Canadian Nurses' Association headquarters, CNA House, at 50 the Driveway in Centretown.
Outside Centretown, but also new this year, is the Canada Aviation and Space Museum's Reserve Hangar, where they store all the airplanes and stuff that doesn't fit on the museum floor. Put on your 3D glasses and turn up your screen brightness and check out these aircraft photos!
The above photo is from inside the museum itself, which isn't part of the free tour (but it's a great photo, isn't it?). All the other photos in this post are from a tour I had the fortune to attend a couple of months ago.
In the photo below, immediately behind the tour group is a wooden full-scale model of a forward fuselage for Bombardier's CSeries aircraft.
Like a few other items in the collection, the museum only took the front section of the plane due to space constraints. For many pieces, the rest of it would go to scrap so saving part of it is better than none at all.
The Doors Open component, which I presume will include tours like the one I went on, is in the Reserve Hangar, shown below. It's right next to the museum building. (Unfortunately, its gradual angles don't come across well in the 3D image.) An interesting tidbit: while the glass provides lots of natural sunlight inside, this actually threatens the non-metal parts of many of the aircraft inside (particularly the older items). They've had to wrap the rubber tires, windows, etc. with metal wrap to protect those parts of the older airplanes that are closer to the window.
Inside the building are lots of neat treasures, including aircraft at every level of preservation—from a WWII fighter jet that's literally in pieces boxed up along the wall, to an Air Canada DC-9 jetliner (in background of the tour photo above) all the way to the Canadian Science and Technology Museum Corporation Foundation's latest fundraising project: a barebones fuselage shell to be restored back into a Beaufighter.
While the aircraft in the collection aren't certified to fly (it would be very expensive to maintain and find parts for them to meet those stanards), most of them arrived at the site under their own power. Many of them came in the '60s. When the Rockcliffe Parkway was built, however, the runway was cut short to accommodate it. (You can compare different years' aerial views on GeoOttawa)
This one, the "Black Maria" is a 1960's reproduction of a first world war triplane. Behind it in the photo is this maritime seaplane.
Aside from the aircraft, there are various other things scattered about the hangar, including this cut-out display that shows the inner workings of a radial (piston) engine. Our guide told us that radial engines, especially the bigger ones, could have as many as five million moving parts, which is why turbine engines took off in popularity among manufacturers and airlines alike. (I might have written that down wrong... I wasn't able to corroborate it quickly with a Google search)
There are plenty of civilian (non-military) craft in the reserve hangar, too, but most of the 3D photos in this post just happen to be of military craft. This Trans-Canada Air Lines Vickers Viscount passenger plane is a real treasure. The windows are very large, and I think originally conceived to be large enough for each one to be an emergency exit:
If you're into old aircraft and you can get yourself out that far this weekend, I'd recommend this tour. While you're there, why not also take in a visit to the museum itself!
As for the other Doors Open Ottawa locations for 2015, check out the list, interactive map, or PDF building guide (printed copies of which are also available at Bridgehead locations. Have fun!
[Other posts on my blog with tours, including of Doors Open locations, can be found under the Tours label.]
[Tune in on Thursdays at noon for a new 3D image. View the 3D label for other posts with 3D images. 3D FAQ]