The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada landed a new addition on Wednesday to add to its permanent collection and the model has a bit of history.
To mark its 85th anniversary, Air Canada donated a Lockheed L-10A Electra to the museum.
The plane was one of the first aircraft to be in Air Canada’s fleet and it is the same model plane that Amelia Earhart flew when she tried to fly around the world in 1937.
Rob Giguere, who is a retired captain, said his father flew this plane when it was brand new and he has been an advocate for the aircraft ever since.
“The first time I learned about airplanes when I was a little boy, was about this airplane,” he said. “In 1962, (my father) flew it across Canada on the 25th anniversary of Trans Canada Airlines. And then, of course, it returned to the fleet for the 50th anniversary in 1987 and since then it has been really an iconic sign of the history of the airline in Canada.”
He added when the plane was first released, it was considered state of the art.
Gerry Norbert, another retired Air Canada captain, said there is a lot of history connected to the plane.
“So this one was in service with the department of transport. It developed new airway routes across Canada, calibrated new navigation systems, surveyed new airport sites and it transported VIPs and dignitaries around the country,” said Norbert.
Both Norbert and Giguere have flown this plane, and Norbert said it’s a little different than planes nowadays.
“It’s a lot of hands and feet, there’s no autopilot. You feel all the wind gusts and things like that. It’s a tail dragger aircraft, so it’s a little different to handle on the ground. Flying in the air is quite easy, ground handling can be a challenge at times in a crosswind. But it was an awful lot of fun to fly,” said Norbert.
Giguere said it is a beautiful plane to be in, adding nothing beats hearing the engine roar when it starts up.
Norbert said he is only aware of one other plane, which is the same model, which still flies occasionally, adding it is in Europe.
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