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New exhibits unveiled at Aviation Museum in Gander

Displays offer a glimpse at how the old airport site looked years ago

The museum's latest exhibits were unveiled to the public, and the conversation centrepiece was a model recreation of the layout of the old airport site. 

The display, mounted on a wooden platform contains rows of small and delicately-carved structures representing the houses, hospitals and military buildings that once stood at the airport.

Dean Cull, vice president of the Gander Airport Historical Society, points to a little diode like structure that is easily missed.

“See that?” he says. “That is the beacon that was located in the old airport site that provided visibility assistance to airplanes.”

There was a good turnout at the event with quite a few residents from the former town site attending.

Morris Genge lived at the old town site from the time he was three years old through to  high school. He was impressed with the overall accuracy of the model.

“Looking at the overall model, he has done a pretty good job, and it brings back a lot of memories … yep,” Genge said.   

Genge did not take his eyes away from the model as he said, “If I had the time, I could tell you all the people that lived in these buildings.”

Included in the unveiling was a flight simulator, equipped with a flight yoke, foot pedals and throttle controls that allowed a user to take charge of a selected number of planes to fly with a birds-eye view of the former town site.

The younger crowd took a keen interest in having a turn by learning how to fly a plane to enjoy the scenery below.

Cull said many people donated their time and expertise to bring this project together. 

Grant Wilson and Al Sibley from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum did the scenery for the simulator.

Richard Sinclair created the static model with the aid of Clyde Burt who was the consultant for model and scenery contribution. Financial help came from Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) and Dr. Alastair Ingram.

Sandra Seaward, Executive Director of NAAM, said that the static display will not be available for public viewing after the event until a protective glass cover is made for it.


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