Thursday, April 28, 2011

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold

Oscar, Greg and driver from TKTL mount fuselage onto the flatbed

The beloved Taperwing WACO, perhaps my favourite of the collection, was loaded onto a flatbed yesterday to be delivered to her new owner in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.  As we bid adieu to this sleek looking bi-plane that brought us our 15 minutes of fame at one time, it was hard not to recollect on just how meaningful the WACO (for Weaver Aircraft Company) was  in the collection.

The WACO is one of the true classics of the golden age of biplane flying, air-racing and barnstorming leading up to the Second World War. The Vintage Wings’ WACO was featured in the 2009 Hollywood movie ‘Amelia’ staring Hilary Swank. Michael Potter flew the aircraft disguised as a young Amelia and taught Miss Swank to turn the starter to authenticate a scene in the movie.

Last year, Vintage Wings proudly displayed the bi-plane on the floor of the arrival terminal at the MacDonald-Cartier Ottawa International Airport drawing thousands of onlookers who passed through the airport to stop and ask questions.

Hollywood starlet or not, the reality is the WACO holds no place in the collection in terms of fulfilling our mission of commemorating Canadian warbirds of great historical significance. So it was time to take her off the books and replace her with an aircraft that does relate to a period in Canadian aviation history such as a BCATP trainer, for example.

The proud new owner, Mr. Reynolds of Reynolds-Alberta Museum will take delivery of her Saturday and, in all likelihood, should enjoy many years of pleasure with her, just as we once did.

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