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E-Beaver, vintage aircraft in mix for aviation museum open house in North Saanich

Photo opps, kids games, flight simulators and more on tap for Aug. 20 event
Harbour Air’s electric-powered de Havilland Beaver takes centre stage for the BC Aviation Museum open house Aug. 20. (Courtesy BCAM)

Greater Victoria residents can look to the skies to herald the return of the BC Aviation Museum open house this weekend.

A number of aircraft will fly past or fly in for the Aug. 20 show in North Saanich, with an electric-powered de Havilland Beaver taking centre stage.

The original DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engine, high-wing, propeller-driven aircraft designed and built by de Havilland Canada. First flown in 1948, the iconic aircraft was designed specifically for rugged operations in harsh conditions and is widely touted as one of the best bush planes ever built.

Harbour Air Seaplanes is bringing its fully electric Beaver to the open house. The company plans to become the world’s first emissions-free passenger airline and is working with Redmond, Wash.-based company MagniX to pilot the new electric aircraft technology.

READ ALSO: Electric floatplanes will change the business of flying across the strait

The BC Aviation Museum’s inventory includes 30 aircraft, models, engines, uniforms, artwork, a library and a restoration hangar. Open house organizers are gathering additional vintage aircraft and cars for the event. Members of the Victoria-Esquimalt Military Re-enactors Association will be on hand, and children’s activities, food trucks and more are also planned for the big day.

“This is our first open house since 2019 and our volunteers are ready to welcome back aviation enthusiasts and everyone who wants to have a good time,” board president Laura Lavin said.

READ ALSO: Historic Cold War warrior lands at North Saanich museum

Other aircraft on site will include an RCAF 443 Squadron Cyclone helicopter, Vancouver Island Helicopters, a Pacific Sky Turbo Beaver, the Catalina Preservation Society Canso, a Spitfire from the Canadian Museum of Flight and aircraft from the Canadian Coast Guard, with Victoria Airport Authority firetrucks also on hand.

Other special guests include Matt Sager and crew from History Channel’s Lost Car Rescue, members of the Victoria Modelers with their radio remote planes, Sidney Anglers and Panorama Recreation. Visitors can also try out a flight simulator, enjoy games and activities in the kids’ area, pose for fun pictures in the photo booth, browse a book sale, chow down on food-truck fare and ice cream, and have a chance to win one of tons of raffle and door prizes.

READ ALSO: Classic car hunting with Matt Sager of TV’s ‘Lost Car Rescue’

Admission is by donation. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1910 Norseman Rd. with added parking at nearby Saanich Rotary Park, where a shuttle will take people to and from the museum.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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