Aviation group gets interim quarters

Springbrook’s Harvard Aviation Historical Society will soon have a home base.

Springbrook’s Harvard Aviation Historical Society will soon have a home base.

Through a partnership with the Red Deer Airport-based Cougar NDE Ltd., an aircraft inspection company, the society has lined up a building to serve as the society’s interim restoration workshop and artifact storage space.

On Tuesday, Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission approved the development permit necessary to move the building to its airport site.

Cougar bought the used garage from its Calgary owner and will provide it to the society through a rent-to-own arrangement. The total cost of the building and its move to Springbrook is $7,500.

“It’s so exciting,” said society president Jodi Smith.

“We thought it was a good deal and we really felt we needed to have a building.”

Early next year, the building is expected to be trucked to a site at the south end of the airport, where the society plans to build a museum as funding becomes available.

Besides giving the society a more visible presence, the 576-square-foot building will provide a much-needed workspace to refurbish to flying condition a Tiger Moth biplane, donated by longtime Sundre Flying Club member Alf Bicknell, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 84.

Hundreds of Tiger Moths were built as elementary trainers to give prospective pilots their first taste of flying. Bicknell’s 70-plus-year-old Tiger Moth spent most of its career at the Elementary Flight Training School in Bowden.

Smith said if all goes well, work can begin on the Tiger Moth as early as the spring.

It will cost the society about $180 a month through its rent-to-own agreement. Those who wish to sponsor a month or make a donation should contact the society at www.penholdbase.ca.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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