Where HISTORY takes flight! 

A 'banner' month for the museum 

Workers from Hi Signs prepare to unroll a banner
The Curtiss Special depicted on the banner is almost full size.

The AAM revitalization has taken a major step forward with the installation of three giant banners along the west wall of the museum. They will act as dioramas to help show the aircraft in their historic settings.

"The banners are 18 feet high, with the longest running 36 feet," says AAM Head Curator Lech Lebiedowski. "So the Katherine Stinson airplane [depicted on the banner] is almost the same size as the the actual aircraft."

Lebiedowski says the idea of the banners was born in part from the limitations of the World War II hangar the museum inhabits.

"It has to do with the historical designation of the building," says Lebiedowski. "We cannot put up anything permanent. So this was good solution." Lebiedowski also says the banners can also be moved if the displays change at a later time.

The first three banners, behind the Viking, the Curtiss Special and the Fairchild, are just the first to be installed. Another three banners, for the Cranwell, Stinson and the Norseman, should be up within a few weeks. Lebiedowski is also working on designs to hang along the east wall.

The banners were printed by Hi Signs, which did a "fantastic job" producing and hanging them, Lebiedowski says.

The giant images came from the curator's creative mind. Before this, he had never worked with image manipulation software. Despite that steep learning curve, Lebiedowski has created designs which are highly detailed and individualized to our collection of aircraft. But he says says 418 Squadron Archivist Ryan Lee deserves much credit.

"Whenever I would have a problem or didn't know something I would ask Ryan. Ryan was really the good spirit behind all this."

Be sure to drop by and see for yourself the amazing transformation taking place at the museum.

The Stinson SR-9 banner, now in production.
The banner for the Cranwell is particularly detailed.
T-Bird cockpit restoration underway

Visitors to the Alberta Aviation Museum will have another jet aircraft they can climb into later this year.

The museum has begun a full restoration on the cockpit of the Canadair T-33 Mk. 3, known as the "T-Bird". The work included a new interior, a working canopy mechanism and instruments from 1950s. The work is being done to open the cockpit the aircraft to the public. Right now, only the Sabre is open on a regular basis.

Ian Rensby is leading the project and he couldn't be happier about the assignment.

"I spent 21 years of my life working in military aviation and when I retired and moved on to life outside the military I realized I missed touching airplanes," Rensby says. "Airplanes are magical."

The present interior is a haphazard collection of instruments that was installed temporarily when the aircraft was first received from the City of Edmonton. The original interior, including the seats, was put in storage and is still in relatively good, if dirty, condition.

Rensby has worked on a variety of aircraft during his time in the Air Force including a stint with the Snowbirds and another at CFB Cold Lake working on CF-18 Hornets.

"Right now [in my post military career] I am working a week on and a week off, " Rensby says. "So I sit at home for a week. I can't imagine a nicer place to be giving my time. "

Watch our web site and Facebook as the project progresses.

Women of Aviation Week event a great success
"Paint the Hurricane" (with washable paint) was a big hit with the kids.
"Happy Face" camouflage? 

Watch a short video on the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week celebrations here.
  Coming Events

  • April 19, 7 pm - 9 pm. Family Movie Night featuring Billy Bishop Goes to War. Part of National Canadian Film Day, the world’s largest film festival...ever! Pay what you can. Details here.

  • April 20, 7 pm - 9 pm. Lecture: Birth of the RCAF. The AAM lecture series continues with Rod MacLeod, professor emeritus, University of Alberta talking about how our air force came to be. Members $8, non-members $10. More details here.

  • April 23, 2 pm. Alberta Aviation Museum Annual General Meeting. Full notice here.
  • May 18, 7 pm - 9 pm. Lecture: Roy Brown, World War I Ace. Our AAM lecture series wraps up for the season with a look at an early aviation hero with a strong Edmonton connection, as told by historian John Chalmers.Members $8, non-members $10. 

For more information please contact:
Steve Finkelman
Communications Coordinator