Search for "aviation"

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Montreal-Mirabel International Airport

Montreal–Mirabel International Airport is located in Mirabel (formerly Sainte-Scholastique), Quebec, about 40 kilometres northwest of Montreal. It was supposed to become the main international airport in eastern Canada. Opened in 1975, Montreal–Mirabel had the largest surface area of any airport in the world. It was supposed to accommodate nearly 40 million passengers per year by the year 2000. Many factors contributed to this airport’s decline; for one thing, it was far from downtown Montreal and hard to access. In November 2004, the airport stopped handling passenger flights. Now it is used for cargo flights and general aviation and as a centre for Quebec’s aerospace industry. (See Canadian Aerospace Industry.)

timeline event

Air Transat Shareholders Approve Sale to Air Canada

Shareholders of Canada’s third-largest airline, Montreal-based Air Transat, voted 95 per cent in favour of selling the company to Air Canada for $720 million, or $18 per share. Air Canada was forced to sweeten the deal after their initial offer of $520 million, or $13 per share, was rejected on 27 June. The deal was made pending approval by Canadian and European authorities, which was not expected to take place until 2020.

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Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are a military aerobatics team. They are officially known as "431 Air Demonstration Squadron." Since 1971, the team has performed across North America before millions of people. The Snowbirds have been recognized as among the best in the world at precision formation aerobatics and stunning solo crosses with minimum separation between the aircraft.

timeline event

BC’s Harbour Air Flies World’s First All-Electric, Zero-Emission Commerical Aircraft

Near the South Terminal of Vancouver International Airport, Greg McDougall, the CEO of BC’s Harbour Air Seaplanes, completed the first full-fledged flight of an electric DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver. The plane has a 750 horsepower propulsion system designed by Seattle-based company magniX and the battery capacity to fly 160 km. Harbour Air transports around 500,000 people a year on routes within that range. It hopes to use the planes for its commercial passenger flights within two and a half years. “Our goal is to electrify the entrie fleet,” McDougall said. (See also Bush Flying in Canada.)

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Elsie MacGill

Elizabeth (Elsie) Muriel Gregory MacGill, OC, aeronautical engineer, feminist (born 27 March 1905 in Vancouver, BC; died 4 November 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Elsie MacGill was the first woman to earn a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (1929). She was also the first practising Canadian woman engineer. In 1938, she became chief aeronautical engineer of Canadian Car & Foundry (Can Car). There, she headed the Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes during the Second World War. An active feminist, MacGill was national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (1962–64). She was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967–70).

Key Facts
Born 27 March 1905, died 4 November 1980
First woman aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer
Key Canadian feminist
Oversaw production of fighter planes during WWII  
Nicknamed “Queen of the Hurricanes”

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Canadian Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry includes the development and production of aircraft, satellites, rockets and their component parts. Aerospace is a major component of Canada’s economy, employs tens of thousands of Canadians, and accounts for a large part of Canadian trade with foreign markets. Canada boasts a diverse aerospace sector and is one of just a few countries that produce airplanes. Through close partnership with the United States space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canada has also launched satellites as well as built sophisticated components used on the International Space Station.

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Canadian Aviation Disasters

There have been many tragic events in Canada’s aviation history. Some of these have involved Canadian aircraft, commercial as well as non-commercial. In other cases, many Canadians have died in the crash of a non-Canadian aircraft. Crashes that occurred over Canadian soil, or search and rescue efforts in which Canadians have played a large part, are also part of this history.

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Max Ward

Maxwell William Ward, OC, aviator, businessman (born 22 November 1921 in Edmonton, AB; died 2 November 2020 in Edmonton). Max Ward was a bush pilot and aviation entrepreneur who founded and ran the airline Wardair.

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De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, successor to the Noorduyn Norseman, was the all-purpose bush plane of the Canadian North. (See also Bush Flying in Canada.) The Beaver was sturdy, reliable and able to take off and land on short lengths of land, water and snow. It has been called the best bush plane ever built. While de Havilland Canada produced it for only 20 years — from 1947 to 1967 — many Beaver planes still fly today. The Beaver helped connect communities in remote areas of Canada, in addition to serving across the globe.

timeline event

100th Anniversary of First Non-Stop Trans-Atlantic Flight

Commemorative events were held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to mark the 100th anniversary of the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown departed St. John’s in a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber on 14 June 1919. They arrived in Clifden, Ireland, 16 hours and 12 minutes later.

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Royal Flying Corps

During the First World War, more than 5,000 Canadian pilots served in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The RFC was formed on 13 April 1912 to satisfy Britain's need for a military presence in the expanding field of aviation. It joined with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in April 1918 to become the Royal Air Force. During the war, an RFC/RAF training program in Canada produced approximately 10,500 pilots, mechanics and aircraftmen.

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Bombardier Inc.

Bombardier Inc. is a manufacturer of private airplanes that was once among the world’s largest manufacturers of trains and commercial airplanes. Headquartered in Montreal, the company was originally incorporated as L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in 1942. Its founder, Joseph-Armand Bombardier, was a Québécois mechanical engineer who invented one of the first commercially viable snowmobiles. Bombardier Inc. grew considerably from its beginnings as a snowmobile manufacturer into an iconic Canadian company, known for its public transportation vehicles and jetliners. Facing financial troubles in the 21st century, however, it began to sell off parts of its business. In 2020, it made deals to sell the last of its assets outside its private-jet business, including its commercial plane and rail divisions.