One of Vancouver Island’s best aviation museums is just outside Courtenay and it’s the perfect stop on a family holiday. Despite its name, the Comox Air Force Museum is dedicated to both military and civilian aviation history. It’s composed of a thriving and well-equipped museum, a hangar devoted to ongoing restoration, and an air park. With plenty to see and do, it appeals to young and old alike.
Comox Air Force Museum
The Museum is located at 11 Pritchard Road in Comox, near the main entrance to the Canadian Forces Base Comox, which overlooks the Strait of Georgia. It’s open to the public by donation, on Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is open nearly year ‘round, with the exception of the holidays in late December and early January.
Its mission is “is to preserve Canadian West Coast aviation heritage, both civilian and military.” You’ll find intriguing displays of aircraft models, history and aeronautical-related personal items from residents of the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island. The Museum’s staff and volunteers good work to preserve the history of the Canadian Air Force recently won them a Wing Commander’s Commendation.
Are you a fan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds? Check the Museum’s website or Facebook page, as the Snowbirds occasionally practice in the area.
Y2K Spitfire Hangar
Just south of the Museum on Little River Road (also known as “Military Row”) is the Y2K Spitfire Hangar, dedicated to the restoration of a 1945-era Supermarine Mk 1X Spitfire, the celebrated World War II airplane. Since 2000 (and thus, the “Y2K” designation), a large team of volunteers has dedicated their time, skills and funds to making the plane “flight-ready,” down to the original paint colours. That’s quite a feat, considering that the aircraft arrived at the Museum disassembled, in numerous boxes.
The restoration is a joint project between Vintage Wings of Canada and the Comox Air Force Museum. The hangar is open most Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., but call first to make check: 250-339-8162.
Heritage Air Park
Slightly farther south on Little River Road (also known as “Military Row”) and just 500 meters from the Museum, you’ll find the Comox Air Force Museum’s Heritage Air Park. You can walk among a handful of vintage aircraft, getting a good look at an Avro Canuck and Canadair Argus, Silver Star, Starfighter and Tutor, along with a Douglas Dakota and Grumman (de Havilland) Tracker. You’ll even find some heritage vehicles. It’s open from May to September, on Tuesdays through Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and admission is free.Comox Air Force Museum’s Heritage Air ParkComox Air Force Museum’s Heritage Air Park
LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Comox Air Force museum has a lot to offer to vacationing families. For more information about the Comox Air Force Museum, visit
http://www.comoxairforcemuseum.ca/Home.html and follow them on Facebook.
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