After seven years and more than $700,000 the new centrepiece of the Hangar Flight Museum in Calgary was unveiled over the weekend. The made-in-Canada Hawker Hurricane has been in the collection for more than 50 years but it wasn’t until 2012 that the City of Calgary and the Calgary Mosquito Society pooled resources to fund the restoration of what was essentially a disassembled pile of parts. The myriad bits and pieces were taken to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin to be put back together into an airplane.
The aircraft in question was built at the Canadian Car and Foundry factory in what is now Thunder Bay. It was one of more than 1,000 Hurricanes made there, originally to help out England as war ensued in Europe. The plane was built in 1942 and ended up in the Royal Canadian Air Force, stationed on Vancouver Island to defend against a possible Japanese invasion. Gordon Hill, 95, flew the aircraft while stationed in B.C. and was at the unveiling last Wednesday.