The Alberta Aviation Museum's revitalization plan will bring to life the stories of the men, women and flying machines that made Blatchford Field a leader in Canadian aviation.
And the latest exhibits, designed by Museum Curator Lech Lebiedowski, show in vivid detail how that will be accomplished.
"I was inspired by the stories of [aviation pioneers like] Wop May, Jimmy Bell and Katherine Stinson," says Lebiedowski. "So every exhibit will tell the stories of those individuals in the context of the aircraft in our collection."
Lebiedowski points to the display for the Cranwell biplane. It uses mannequins dressed to depict Jimmy Bell, Blatchford's first manager, Edmonton Mayor Kenneth Blatchford, an early aviation proponent, and bushpilot legend Wop May. In the background a diorama shows Hangar 1 as it looked in 1929-1930.
One of the most exciting scenes illustrates the Mosquito bomber of 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron during its World War II mission in Europe.
The museum's Mosquito represents the one flown by Edmonton's own Russ Bannock. He developed the techniques to shoot down the German V-1 flying bombs that were taking their toll on the British people.
"The exhibit will show the dynamics of war," says Lebiedowski. "The idea is to make it three-dimensional. So we will actually build the vehicle and the shattered building [shown in the design.] This will probably be the most difficult of all the exhibits."
Work on the displays has already begun and the first 'story islands' should be complete by the end of the year. The actual progress will depend on fundraising and volunteer time.
Keep an eye on this newsletter, or better yet, come by to see the progress as we build these thrilling new additions.