February 23, 2019 8:01 pm

Calgarians celebrate National Aviation Day, 110th anniversary of powered flight in Canada

Calgarians flocked to the city's Hangar Flight Museum to mark National Aviation Day.

Michael King/Global News
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Calgarians marked National Aviation Day at the Hangar Flight Museum on Saturday.

Aviation history is rich in Calgary, especially since the museum is located in the airport district on McCall Way and McKnight Boulevard — named after two flying aces from the city.

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The hangar is an artifact in itself, said executive director Brian Desjardins.

“This main hangar was built in 1941,” he said, adding that it was used for training members of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

Calgarians celebrated National Aviation Day at the Hangar Flight Museum on Saturday.

Michael King/Global News

Desjardins said the facility offers educational programs and that learning takes flight in the hangar.

“What we’re trying to do is inspire the youth and generation of today, talk to them about the past history of aviation in Calgary and also in Canada, and how important it is to the nation,” he said.

110th anniversary of powered flight

On Feb. 23, 1909, the Silver Dart was pulled by a horse-drawn sleigh in Baddeck, N.S., where the plane successfully took to the skies — becoming the first controlled, powered flight in Canada.

According to the museum, its 23-year-old pilot hit a 40-foot altitude and travelled 800 metres before landing the plane.

To commemorate the centennial of the Wright brothers’ flight in 1903, a replica of the Silver Dart was built for display in Calgary’s museum.

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