Gary Hillman and Jodi Smith of the Harvard Historical Aviation Society welcomed the arrival of a garage that will be used as a storage area and workshop. The space near Red Deer Airport in Springbrook will be used to restore a vintage Tiger Moth biplane to flying condition later this year.

Aviation historical society sets up first building as home

Springbrook’s Harvard Aviation Historical Society now has a home to call its own.

Springbrook’s Harvard Aviation Historical Society now has a home to call its own.

A used garage was carefully nudged into place at a site at the Red Deer Airport on Tuesday morning, marking a significant development for the dedicated group of aviation history buffs.

Society president Jodi Smith said having their own building will help boost the group’s profile and its fundraising efforts.

“I think when people see we are legit and have a home, that will start to raise some of the interest in what we’re doing and that visibly we are moving forward.

“It was a very long row to hoe. Many times we wanted to give up, but we had encouragement from Nanton and Edmonton to keep going,” she said, referring to Nanton’s Bomber Command Museum of Canada and Edmonton’s Alberta Aviation Museum.

“This is where they started as well. So we’re very excited to at least have a building we can call home as a starter.

“We are not losing track of our long-term vision of a much larger building but this is a great place to start.”

The society plans to house a museum in a replica of an H-Hut, easy-to-build structures that housed thousands of airmen who came to Penhold to train as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War.

Meanwhile, the used two-garage trucked up from Calgary gives the group a place to store some of its artifacts and a facility to undertake one of its key projects — the restoring to airworthiness of a historic Tiger Moth biplane.

Red Deer Airport-based Cougar NDE Ltd., an aircraft inspection company, bankrolled the move and the society will pay it back over time.

“That leaves us with money to insulate and do all the work we need to do on this building and still move forward with the project and not sink all our cash into this building and then have nothing left,” said Smith.

Other major acquisitions are planned over the coming year. A T-33 jet trainer has been donated by the Alberta Aviation Museum and will be stored next to the new building.

Pilots who passed their training on Penhold’s propeller-driven Harvards would go on to fly T-33s at other bases as preparation for flying jet fighters.

A former radar array, which once served as an early warning system as part of the Pinetree Line on a hill east of Penhold, will be returning to close to its original home.

The 43rd Radar Squadron equipment was packed off to the Reynolds Museum in Wetaskiwin when CFB Penhold closed, said Gary Hillman, society vice-president.

The Cold War relic is now being donated back and will form part of the museum collection.

For more information, go to www.penholdbase.ca.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

MOSCOW — France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia… Continue reading

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

An exhaustive federal study of Canada’s largest national park concludes almost every… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a… Continue reading

New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A crash involving a commercial passenger bus and three… Continue reading

Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander died Sunday from wounds… Continue reading

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

HELSINKI — President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top… Continue reading

Stolen firetruck stopped after wild chase in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police chased a stolen firetruck across four Northern California… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes in B.C.

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month