• By: Keith Whittier

Airborne: Vintage Wings of Canada

Images courtesy of: Peter Handley, Vintage Wings of Canada

At Vintage Wings you will find the Michael Potter Collection—the world’s finest and most significant aircraft of the Second World War.

The collection is comprised of 16 aircraft, each telling a unique part of our rich aviation heritage. All of the aircraft are kept in flying condition and are flown on a regular basis by top Canadian pilots, including astronaut Chris Hadfield! Vintage Wings also engages in the full restoration of vintage and historic aircraft, such as the legends of the Battle of Britain—the Spitfire and Hurricane.

VWC_2014_Summit-1849The collection includes some of the finest examples of aircraft with particular significance to Canadian history—the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, North American Harvard, P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre Jet. Each of these world-class aircrafts are dedicated to one particular Canadian pilot or airman whose connection with that aircraft type helps bring to life the stories of all the aviators who flew them.

As a registered charity, Vintage Wings utilizes aircraft in the collection to animate the real-life stories of our inspiring heroes of the Second World War and Cold War, and to pass on the values of duty, honour and sacrifice. Our mission is to commemorate our veterans, educate Canadians about our aviation history and inspire the next generation of leaders with stories of courage and commitment.

Vintage Wings holds special events such as fly-in breakfasts, air demonstrations, hosting visiting historic aircraft, speaker series lectures, youth events and educational programs. Parents are encouraged to bring their children and share the excitement and history that surrounds the world of vintage aircraft operations. Group tours, school outings and veterans are always accommodated. Please call first to make arrangements with our staff.

PJH_92862Our aircraft fly at airshows and memorial fly-pasts throughout Eastern Ontario and Western Québec. We also operate programs taking our aircrafts far and wide. The F-86 Sabre, known as Hawk One, painted in the markings of the legendary Golden Hawks aerobatic team, travels from coast to coast making appearances and thrilling crowds. The rare aircraft Westland Lysander will tour Southern and Eastern Ontario in 2015, bringing to life the origins of the Canadian aerospace industry.

Vintage Wings is located in the City of Gatineau, just 20 minutes from Parliament Hill along AutoRoute 50. The state-of-the-art hangar is open to the public (for a nominal fee) from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The public is invited to come out for a guided tour of the aircraft and ongoing restoration projects. Visitors are encouraged to book their tours in advance.

The family events and educational projects at Vintage Wings are largely the work of our valued volunteers, who do everything from cleaning and moving aircraft to barbequing and hosting.

Membership with Vintage Wings of Canada has many feel-good benefits as well. You and/or your family can become a member of Vintage Wings and be eligible for unlimited access to the facility and collection, discounts, invitations to member’s only events, etc.

VWC_2014_Summit-4538The historic nature and unequalled quality of the collection make the Gatineau Airport facility a particularly dramatic backdrop for special events, like galas, weddings and meetings. The hangar itself can host groups of up to 600, seated in theatre style, 200 at dining tables or a small intimate group for a business meeting in our boardroom, overlooking the collection.

To learn more about our unique facility or to book your guided tour of Vintage Wings, call now! (819-669-9603 ext 221).

For more information about the aircraft haven, visit Vintage Wings online, or stop by at 1699 Arthur Fecteau Street in Gatineau, Québec.