That is simply a plastic shell used for publicity shots. While I didn't get a chance to speak with any of the team, I did spend some time with one of the volunteers at the museum who stated that the team had run out of money again.
So what happened to the carbon fibre shell seen in this picture from their first public showing? http://www.space.com/images/h_wildfire_02.jpg<br /><br />I have been to that showing and was surprised to find out that they used wood in their flight hardware.
I'm assuming it is still in the building in the first photo (which is where your photo was taken). The model in my photos is across the road in the museum. There was no word on where they were at in regards to completion. I think it's also telling that there haven't been any updates on their website for the last few months.
Sharp eye! It is indeed. The building the interior shots were taken in was part of the old deHavilland plant in Downsview Ontario. The facility is actually made up of a large number of buildings, many surprisingly small. The Moth series of biplanes (the top wing of a TigerMoth is visible in that frame) were assembled and later, built I believe in two buildings a few hundred yards away... one of which is shown in the photo you spotted.<br /><br />The actual building I was standing in originally checked up and prepared Merlins for Mosquito bombers... over 1000 of which were built in Downsview. The engines were pushed out a sliding door in the back of the building and mated with wings that had been driven up from a Massey Fergeson plant a few hours drive away. They would then be moved to a building next door for assembly with the fuselage and further progression down the line until a completed Mosquito was ready to be rolled out the door. Later, that same floorspace was the assembly line for the DHC-1 Chipmunk. <br /><br />The buildings were assumed by the military in later years and used by the Air Reserve squadrons based at Downsview up until the mid 90's. If buildings could talk, I am sure these could keep me up for weeks on end listening to the stories. As it is, they, like those who worked there at the time, are senior citizens and I fear in the last days of their lives. They are, simply put, falling apart.<br /><br />I always hesitate to post pics lest I turn into a post-monster. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> But I'll throw a few more up of other items in the museum.<br /><br />This is one of the other deHavilland buildings, right behind the one the museum is in (the museum is the building in the background on the right side). Keen eyes will see the old 'deHavilland' letters still visible in the paint.
One of the great pleasures of the museum is that it is very much a work in progress. They are relatively cash starved and as such, don't really have enough space. So things are crammed in tight. They have some very ambitious projects, though, and are making headway slowly but surely. One of the bigger projects is the restoration of a Lancaster X built by Victory Aircraft located at the airport at Malton Ontario... which is now Toronto's Lester Pearson International. This aircraft made it overseas too late to see combat and was then converted for maritime patrol. After serving with Maritime Command in that role, it was returned to European bomber configuration and mounted on a pedestal in Toronto's waterfront. By the mid-90's, it was in very rough shape indeed. Volunteers from the museum moved the aircraft up to the hanger and are in the process of restoring it to museum display status (ie: not flying).
A view down one of the two bays. The aircraft with the white wings tilted up at the crazy angle on the right side was the first man-carrying ornithopter to fly: a pet project of one of the U of T aerospace engineering professors.<br /><br />The tail in the background is that of an RAF Nimrod that slammed into Lake Ontario during an airshow performance, sadly killing the crew. <br /><br />The wooden frame cockpit to the right of it is the original DASH 8 cockpit mock-up that was used for testing fit and function of various parts.<br /><br />A Viscount simulator sits off on the right side in 70's Air Canada colours.
Their other big project is the building of a full-scale Avro Arrow display model. The airframe is essentially complete although the inner wing surfaces and tail still require covering. This has been a labour of love for the group who started the museum. They have been working on this for probably near 10 years now. I would guess that it will be ready in another couple of years.<br /><br />The friend I was with (pictured here) was surprised by the size of the aircraft.... as long as the Lancaster beside it (out of the frame) and much, much bulkier. One very, very large and serious interceptor.
Finally, an engineering mock-up of Canada's fist satellite, Alouette. With launch services provided by the US, Canada became the third nation on earth to have a satellite in orbit. <br /><br />While Canada's contribution to space science is dwarfed by the US and Russian contribution, many here are justifiably proud of it. Here is an interesting comment on Alouette which I post in the interest of placing the accomplishment in context.<br /><br />"The rest is history; the CRPL/NASA fixed frequency satellite (S-48) suffered delays, the Canadian satellite (S-27) kept more or less on schedule; S-48 suffered more delays; S-27 was launched on 29 September 1962, to become Alouette I, the first satellite to be designed and built by a nation other than the United States or the Soviet Union. S-48 was eventually launched in August 1964, NASA later admitted publicly that they and CRPL were so convinced that it could not possibly function for more than an hour or two, if at all, that they had made no plans to use data from it. In fact Alouette I, constructed at a time when most satellites had a useful lifespan of a few months, continued to function and provided a wealth of data for ten years before it was turned off from the ground. "<br /><br />IEEE Canada has a nice little website on Alouette (from where I stole the quote).<br /><br />http://www.ieee.ca/millennium/alouette/alouette_about.html<br />
Thanks great pics.<br />In respect of wood used in the Mosquito. It was 'cos we were short of metal, skills & factories. However we had a large furniture manufacturing industry. So the factories, skills & wood were used, especially with DeHavilland's experience of wooden aircraft .<br />Wood is super in strength to aluminium except in torsion I think.
par72: You are too kind, sir. I'm glad you enjoyed. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />siarad: The use of wood in the Mosquito truly was an ingenious solution to the problems you mention. Wood truly is a wonder material. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
I didn't know that about the Vega. Cool! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Not sure exactly which you are talking about so I'll do a round robin of everything in the ornithopter shot and hopefully, it will come out there...<br /><br />Starting at the yellow Beaver, that is an RC 1/2 scale (guess) Beaver, an Orenda jet engine, nose of Avro CF-105 Arrow replica, green nose bowl and yellow spinner of an Extra 10-100, Canadair CF-5, Beech Muskateer, Nimrod tail, Orenda Iroquois movie prop, DASH 8 cockpit mockup, unidentified cockpit, Vickers Viscount simulator, Davinci X-Prize mockup/model, yellow wings of a deHavilland Tiger Moth, the Ornithopter, folded wings belong to a Grumman Tracker, and the large white plane in the foreground was a remotely piloted high altitude microwave relay aircraft. Hopefully that got it!
Oh! Okay. Got it now. That is a blown up photo (onto cloth) of the original building that deHavilland Canada first used to assemble Moths. It is a large 'barn-like' wooden structure. It was located only a few minutes walk from the building where this picture was taken but it does not survive to today.