Catch a behind-the-scenes look at our restoration facility

On recent tours of our restoration facility, some of our Sabre Squadron donors got a behind-the-scenes look at the projects underway.

The big attraction, of course, was our F-86 Sabre.

In the background, a man gestures to pieces of an aircraft under repair. In the foreground, tour participants watch the guide.

Built under license from North American, the Canadair Mk. 6 was the only Sabre variant made entirely in Canada.

The Mk. 6 had a two-stage, Canadian-made Orenda 14 engine with a 7,275 lb thrust rating—nearly 40% more than the original GE engine—and its wing leading slats gave it superb combat maneuvering. With this combination of engine and aerodynamics, the Mk. 6 was widely regarded as the best “dog-fighter” of its era.

Sabre aircraft were a mainstay of the RCAF and NATO forces during the early years of the Cold War. During the 50s and early 60s, these aircraft were considered the top fighter jets in the world, flown by air forces around the world.

This aircraft was put into storage when our museum on Ferry Road closed in 2018. Then, last summer, it was towed to our new museum and disassembled in anticipation of its restoration. Since then, volunteers have been hard at work repairing the damage done due to years of neglect by previous owners.

Much of the work already done has involved removing corroded sections and creating new replacement panels.

Many hours have also been spent cleaning debris and sanding in preparation for paint. The restored Sabre will be painted in the livery of 441 Squadron and unveiled in the early fall of 2024.

Another notable project underway is our 5/8 scale replica of a Hawker Hurricane.

This project was started by long-time museum volunteer Gary Boggs over 20 years ago. Before Gary passed away, he handed the project off to another of our restoration volunteers, Shawn Romas.

The Hawker Hurricane was a combat aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s, used by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Soviet Air Force. The Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire were the main combat fighters of World War II.

The Hurricane was mass-produced in the United Kingdom and Canada, with over 14,000 examples manufactured from 1937 to 1944. Hurricane production in Canada lasted from 1938 to 1943 and was overseen by Elsie MacGill, the first woman in Canada to earn a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.

There’s still a lot of work to be done on our Hurricane replica, but once completed, it will be on display in the museum. Stay tuned for details!

Support our Sabre restoration

Join the Sabre Squadron and you could be eligible for one of the upcoming tours of our restoration facility!


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