Behind the scenes: restoration projects update, July 2023

Let’s go behind the scenes at our restoration facility where volunteers are busy working on our F86 Sabre and other projects. Here’s a look at what’s happening right now…

F86 Sabre

Our F86 Sabre suffered some corrosion and environmental damage while in storage these past five years. It’s the newest project our restoration team is tackling and the plan is to have it display-ready by April 1st, 2024, in time for the RCAF centennial.

The Sabre was towed to our museum plaza earlier this summer where it was partially disassembled and trucked over to our restoration facility. Now the team is doing further assessments of the Sabre’s condition and completing its disassembly.

The work is challenging, but our talented restoration team will get it done.

This Sabre, #1815, was the last one ever built in Canada. It last flew for the Pakistan Air Force (PA) and was donated to our museum in 1996 by the PA’s Air Commodore, Kamran Qureshi.

Mere hours after Qureshi oversaw the departure of Sabre #1815, he died in a tragic drowning accident. When the initial restoration began, to honour the Air Commodore, his name was painted onto the aircraft below the rim of the cockpit. The restored Sabre was welcomed to the Western Canada Aviation Museum (now, RAMWC) on August 8, 1997.

We’re excited to see the Sabre on display at our museum next year.

Fire truck

Some of you may have seen this vintage airport emergency vehicle sitting in our Aviation Plaza last summer. It’s currently at our restoration facility and step one for volunteers is to get it up and running.

There’s been talk of using it in parades once it’s fixed up and rebranded with the RAMWC logo—how cute would that be?

Pedal Planes

In our last update, we mentioned the pedal planes that volunteer Shawn Romas was working on.

We’re happy to announce that these miniature Tiger Moth replicas had their first “flights” in Aviation Plaza on July 1, to the delight of our young visitors.

The start-up costs and inaugural season for these ride-on planes were generously funded by the Carolyn Sifton Foundation.

Pedal plane rides are available every day* from 11 am until 4 pm through September 4 and are suitable for most children aged four to seven.

For the younger kids, we also have ride-on push planes, designed and built by volunteer Dave Mork. These don’t require pedaling and are a bit easier to operate.

*Availability may change based on weather and operational capacity.

“Mr. T”

One of the most challenging parts of restoring this vintage wind indicator was finding new lightbulb covers to replace the broken ones. They’re essentially mason jars, but the size of the jar needed for this project is no longer made.

Thankfully, we have a very resourceful restoration team member named Pat who was able to find something similar. Another volunteer machined new fittings for the domes.

Our vintage wind tee recently got shipped off for sandblasting and painting. Now it’s back in the shop, ready to be rewired and reassembled. Hopefully, it will make an appearance at the museum later this summer.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Volunteers donate their time and expertise to these projects, but completing them is dependent on fundraising.

If you’d like to support the efforts of our restoration team please consider a donation to our Restoration Fund.  


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