Aero Space Museum of Calgary

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Challenge: Visit 15 museums (13 of 15)

Date: August 24, 2014.

Location: Calgary, Alberta

We had a few hours before our flight left Calgary so my partner Jackson and I walked from our hotel near the airport to the aero space museum. Part of me wanted to go because it was close to the hotel, but once I got there I really enjoyed it. There were tons of old decommissioned planes to check out.

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The volunteers at the museum were dear. An older gentleman walked around with me for a bit and explained the differences between the engines in different planes. On the below early model, the engine on the propeller spun with the propeller. At that time there were problems cooling the engine so that solved that problem, but ended up creating a lot of others. Models after that used other ways to cool the engine and the engines were built to remain stationary.
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I really appreciated the information on world war two aircrafts and missions. My uncle Glen (Hancock) was a pilot in WWII. He was someone I respected tremendously. He told me he used to do target practice on whales before going into conflict. I found that so shocking when I first heard it… then I realized what the target practice was really for. These planes were designed to really do damage. Conflict is a consistent part of human history but when I take time to think of it, I wonder if it’s a completely necessary part. At the same time, I’m so grateful for the people who have in the past and who currently offer their time and lives to what they are called to do. When I looked at the seat where the bomber sits in a war plane, I can’t help but think that would be terrifying and one would feel so alone and vulnerable. I walked in silence through the exhibit, trying to picture what it would be like to be in the war in all of the different roles I read about. Also, I found out that parachutes were sometimes used to make wedding dresses once men returned home from war.
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The Lancaster Bomber was a huge plane with an underbelly that opened to release a huge amount of bombs. Jackson asked me how many kids I thought that plane was responsible for killing. Too many – that’s for sure.
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On a lighter note, reading about Canada’s contributions to flight and space exploration was neat. Alexander Graham Bell’s work on this plane advanced small aircraft development.

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Chris Hadfield had made a name for himself as a Canadian astronaut. My former roommate Kate is one of his nieces. That was a fun thing to find out about her a few years back… when he was in space and making regular news. We definitely should’ve written to him.

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The museum is worth the visit if any of the above topics interest you. Kids would also love this place.

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