Friday, January 05, 2007

Warplane Heritage Museum


One of our favourite places to take the grandkids is the Hamilton Warplane Heritage Museum. http://warplane.com

Have you ever wanted to climb into the cockpit of a fighter jet? You can sit a CF 100 and work the ailerons, pull back on the stick. . lower the canopy. . its a thrill! Sitting in a Bombardier's chair in the belly of a Lancaster bomber -- well that's equally thrilling. Talking to a veteran pilot, a bomber, fascinating! Climbing to the observation decks to look down on a gleaming sea of aircraft -- its just so large -- i feel an air of majesty here. There's really something about preserved history on display. Its interesting to feel so small, standing under some of these behemoths -- I'm 5'9" - the landing gear tires of the Lancaster bomber are about my height - and there's a whole lotta aircraft towering above that! I stoodd under the bomb bay doors. . looked inside the tailgunner's turret. . its not quite eerie, but something like it. . but in a cool way.

We started taking James here several years ago, because of his fascination with anything that moves.. and planes were probably his first vehicle phase. . and a deep phase it was and to some degree still is -- which thrilled us. Alas now, trains have him in a spell. . the train phase may even be deeper? Erica. . .she made her first visit here as a baby. . and again today. However, I don't think she's all that impresssed. She just likes to run around. If there aren't pictures of My Little Pony of the sides of these planes, she ain't interested! Though we did get her into cockpit of one of the old trainers. All this fun was preceded by a sleepover culminating in bedtime stories and songs with guitar and 3-part harmony, which Jimmy claimed was "So beautiful i feel like crying." Erica bit her brother at some point after the serenade, the initial tuck in and the 'i need water-i gotta pee-i can't sleep-one more story' routine. This was followed by intense crying, an unconvincing apology and finally golden silence. . . and a restless sleep for Opa on the downstairs couch and an equally restless one for me, upstairs - worrying about them getting out of bed, tripping, etc. gah! Morning was kind of a relief!!! The kids tried to get each of us up. . and we each told them wake up the other one. . . we finally had some breakfast and set off on the big trip to the 'surprise place', which James had already guessed, therefore was no surprise.. which didn't matter a bit because look at the shiny prop and the engine. . and Nana and Opa are suckers and will always come through with an aero-themed trinket at the gift shop!!! True, we are suckers and I'm sure that won't change. What a great day we had! Hope you enjoyed this little tour? I'd like to encourage those of you who are within distance of this place to go! Take your time. Watch the restoration crew working on the aircraft. Look at the old flight gear, the uniforms, the old G-suits. . . and more. Bring your Canadian Tire money -- they collect it to fundraise. Bring some coins to amuse your children - they can drop the coins in the donation boxes -- each of the aircraft has one. Hey, I'm already looking forward to going back !!

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6 comments:

supersimbo said...

had to show my dad the pics and the website........hes a big warplane nut........actually anything war related is his thing. He has this unreal ability for storing historical facts in his head, a source of interesting trivia and knowledge!! He wants to visit that place now!! hehe

Kathryn said...

all right! Glad your Dad liked the pics and the site!! He sounds like a smart guy! This place is 1 of 2 places in the world with a fly-able Lanc. . I THINK the R.A.F. has the other one? The Lanc here in Hamilton, you can rent it for flying tours i think one of the routes is along the Niagara escarpment? possibly The Falls? It might even be on the website. This museum is cool, they do dinners and swing dances with all the cool 40s big band music. They clear out some of the aircraft, but leave in some choice ones. . and put the party in among all the cool planes. I REALLY want to do to one of these events! Rob and I are very interested in WWII. .Rob's Mom and her entire family were interred in Japanese prison/work camps in Indonesia during the war. . (they were all split up -- imagine?) so she has a very different outlook. My grandfather fought with the Cdn forces in Holland -- again a different perspective. So, Rob and I each grew up having this 'attachment' to this war, maybe that's the wrong word? Do you know what i mean? i guess because of the way our families were affected by it.

Lindsay said...

I didn't know they had dances there! Do you have to dress up in 40's clothes as well? That would be cool. Although I don't have the faintest idea how to swing dance.

Kathryn said...

yeah, you can totally dress in 40s clothing! I have a swing dance DVD!!! They usually have those in November. . . even if a person didn't know how to swing dance, they could enjoy the meal and watch all the other dancers. . maybe even try some moves?!

Tee said...

What fun! Reminds me of our Air and Space museum in DC. I've been there too many times to count and the kids love it every time! :)

Kathryn said...

i remember a post you did about that place, Tee! Lots of cool places like these around to visit. .