Thoughts on the Canadian Aviation Expo

The Canadian Aviation Expo took place this past weekend, May 2nd and 3rd at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton.

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From 2009 Canadian Aviation Expo

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Sara and I dropped by the show around noon and found the warplane museum hopping with activity. The exhibitors list included well known names in aviation such as Diamond Aircraft, Cirrus Aircraft, Cessna and Piper Aircraft. There were also some local names such as Aviation World, Brantford Flying Club, COPA and some other retailers of aviation related products. The Brampton Flying Club was offering 20 minute local flights in their Cessna 172s.

There were not very many people at the show, in fact there was barely a time when we had to wait our turn to climb into an aircraft. The airplanes on display were a mix of planes I was familiar with, having seen them up close, some that I had flown in flight simulator and others which I had read about but never really looked into. I was impressed by many of the planes on display and I found some of them to be a lot bigger than I had imagined (I did not expect the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan to be so ummm… grand).

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From 2009 Canadian Aviation Expo

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I finally had a chance to see a Diamond Aircraft in person, both a single and the dual engine DA42-L36O shown in the picture below. They are very sleek looking airplanes though I’m not sure how easy it is to fly them with a stick rather than yoke (Have any of you flown a Diamond or other airplane with a stick instead of a yoke? How does the experience compare? Does your inner Maverick try to take over?). I also enjoyed the large wingspan the DA42 has, at least relative to the length of the fuselage.

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From 2009 Canadian Aviation Expo

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You can find more pictures from the show in general in my Picasa album. Some other aircraft to look for while you’re browsing my pictures: Cessna Citation Mustang, MIG15, CF-18 Hornets, DC3, R44 Clipper Helicopter and a concept jet from Cirrus.

Overall, Sara and I enjoyed our visit to the expo though I was somewhat disappointed. The show felt thrown together at the last minute. The Warplane Heritage Museum’s aircraft which were not outside, in the sun, seemed to have been “thrown” to one side of the hangar to make room for the vendor booths and displays. Even so, the massive Lancaster Bomber and Catalina dominated the hangar.

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From 2009 Canadian Aviation Expo

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The booths and displays set up were not noticeably busy throughout my 4 hour visit. Really, the only ones that had more activity were Aviation World and the other “store” whose name escapes me at the moment. I don’t know how many people attended the show but hopefully it at least broke even. I’m looking forward to next year’s show and am going to chalk this year’s “disappointments” to the poor economy.

With all the airplanes flying in, out and around I’m sure the CYHM ATCs felt like the ones at CYYZ. To quote a friend of mine, they had “the busiest 12hrs of work ever…600+ movements each day. Organized chaos.”

I’ll leave you with a video of the show from the Hamilton Spectator’s site.