Manitobans housing planes until aviation museum moves into new home
Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 1:55PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:35PM CST
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is, at the moment, without a physical home.
The museum closed its doors at the end of October, and their longtime home has now been demolished.
But shovels have yet to hit the ground to build its new location, which presents a challenge: the Museum has a treasure trove of historic planes in its collection and while some can be stored outside, many need to be kept out of the elements.
"They require a lot more love and care," said museum project manager Lorne Roder.
"Since they were fabric aircraft, or more delicate in nature, they needed more temperature controls."
Luckily for the museum, Manitoba's aviation community has swooped in to help out.
The aircrafts have been farmed out to businesses and individuals across the province.
Devin Long is one of those individuals. He agreed to store the Museums 1930s era De Havilland Fox Moth.
Long says the single engine plane mainly operated in northwest Ontario in the 1940s. It retired from service in the 1950s and later found its way to the museum.
Now it resides at his home hangar near Stonewall, Man. He says the plane would never survive outdoors.
"It would deteriorate," Long said.
"It's metal, tubes, wood and fabric. Once the moisture gets into it, it would just crumble into the ground."
Long is a pilot himself, and says he grew up working on antique engines. He says it wasn't a hard decision to help the museum.
"It feels good to hold a piece of history."
He won't have the Fox Moth in his collection for too long. The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is in its final fundraising stages, and is researching new exhibit designs. It hopes to move into its new home in 2020.