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Rebuilding the past of Gander airport


The Gander Airport Historical Society is about to venture into producing an exhibit that will demonstrate Gander Airport as it appeared from WWII up to the relocation of the old town into the area that is known today.

Because he grew up there, as Jack Pinsent walks the old town site of Gander, he can see hangars, schools and homes that once lined the streets. And with the completion of the Gander Airport Historical Society’s project, those who’ve never laid eyes on it before will be able to see it as well. 

This exhibit is to be given to the North Atlantic Aviation Museum for its permanent display.

According to the Historical Society, the old airport town is being visited on a regular basis where one can walk some of the remaining streets but trying to visualize exactly how it looked is very difficult, especially if the individual has no connection to the area.

This exhibit will bring the old town back to life by portraying the airport as it once was. It will also encourage visits to the museum to better understand the history of the area they just visited, or about to visit. 

The Historical Society is in the process of having a tabletop model constructed that will show the layout of Gander Airport and its town as it once was during the early 1950s, the model will be constructed by a professional model architect based upon blueprints and photos from that era. It is expected the model will be no greater than 2 X 2 meters in size.

A digital model is also under construction that will enhance the table model as an additional part of the exhibit. This digital model is under construction by individuals at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, ON.  Information for the building of the model is being provided by the GAHS and will consist of two parts. 

The first part will be the incorporation of three airport era layouts into the museum’s flight simulator. The visitor will be able to select the airport as it looked; during WWII, the  ‘propeller’ years and during post war era of the ‘40s & ‘50s, or today in its present configuration.

Appropriate airplanes will be seen moving about the airport as they did in each time era. The avid pilot will be able to choose whatever layout they please. Then fly an airplane into the airport or just sightsee the airport area.

 

The second part of the digital model will be a sight seeing digitized video of Gander from a WWII perspective as it takes viewers to all sections of the airport on a tour. This will be displayed on a wall mounted video monitor shown in a continuous loop. The video will give the visitor a more detailed close up view of the airport to compliment the overall layout of the table model.

Both digital and table models will be in close proximity to each other. It is anticipated the completion and installation of the exhibit should take place during the summer/fall of 2017.

The Society says its purpose is to contribute to the North Atlantic Aviation Museum, something that will add to its value in preserving Gander airport’s aviation history.

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