Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum: Dakota Flight

A small treat I hope, as I did not spend much time on the camera but this summer I got the chance to cash in a previous birthday present which was a paid for flight on one of the CWH’s aircraft that my parents had promised me a couple years ago. The aircraft vary in price and they offered $250 as I recall towards it and my goal seeing as how the Lancaster ($3000 CAD at the time) was way out of the ball park that I would throw in some of my own cash and opt for the B-25 ($500 at the time).

To roll back the clock a bit further we know that my paternal grandfather partook in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was trained as a navigator and we know the Lancaster was part of that career. This year my dad had finally pulled out his father’s flight log book which happened to contain dozens of entries for Dakotas and lucky for us - the CWH has one. So my dad offered to put my present towards a Dakota flight, of which he also bought a seat on.

I thought I would share what little time I spent with the camera app on my phone as I spent more of the time taking in the experience and checking on my father, who brought himself to tears over it as it brought him back to memories of his dad who passed away in 2001.

Inside the aircraft, middle seats were empty as part of COVID safety protocols. Our original flight date was cancelled due to an inability to have the aircraft inspected, again due to COVID related issues. The inspection was completed a week or so later, so instead of early August we flew late August.

Rear section of the cabin.

Trying to get a view out of the tiny window - the bottom of the window was at armrest/elbow height and the top of the window was just below my shoulder height. So at 6’-1" I was hunching over in my seat to see out to a degree.

Enjoy some warm-up engine rumble (video):

Was wondering what this is venting out, condensation? (video)

Takeoff (video)

There is my father taking in the view, you can get a sense of the window size and height.

We have GPS! It was cool to look out the cockpit windows even from a distance when there was a clear line of sight up the aisleway.

The CWH’s Lancaster was also out for a flight that afternoon and joined up with up right around the time we hit Niagara falls. Way to distract from the scenery guys!

As the Lancaster passed behind our tail to the port side, I snapped this view of the falls out the starboard side.

View of the falls (video):

And of course, I jumped across when someone else wanted to see the falls because I wanted to see the Lanc! (video):

Last chance photo due to the windows being so small!

COVID safety, don’t cross the border! :crazy_face: Airplane mode to avoid potential roaming charges.

The return flight had us encounter some turbulent air so we descended to 2500ft as we hugged the shoreline back to Hamilton.

Another nice, but urban view out of the window.

Some of the skin panels had the data stamps visible. .032" between us and the outside.

Or so you think - .025" in some places.

Any idea what that vent looking port is for?

And we come in for landing

Cool to see how little runway is needed for such reasonably large aircraft.

Our exit - I am going to check what the distance to that taxiway entrance/exit is.

Looks like it was about 3700ft from the start of the runway to that exit and touchdown was pretty close to the start. Neat!

With the Lancaster coming in we didn’t get to stand around the aircraft for long. So I snapped a quick photo, catching my dad reviewing his own. As museum members we can go see the aircraft anytime, with free entry as part of the annual fee.

Tail information for those interested.

The Warplane Heritage Museum is running a contest through December 31st where any donation gets you in to a draw to win a flight on the Lancaster and both myself and my father have donated. The price for a flight on it this year was $3600 CAD. We’ll flip a coin if we’re drawn to pick who gets to go.


I’m not exactly sure what you are talking about, but in a radial engine, it’s probably either fuel or engine oil.

Likely oil.
The goal of a radial engine is to evenly distribute all of the engine oil over every part of the fuselage.


Awesome experience there, @Wes!
I have several colleagues who fly the Dakota Norway C-53, but I haven’t been able to join them for a flight, yet. It’s on my list though… :wink:

That’s really nice. When I visited Canada in 2003 I saw the B-25 low-level in action during our trip from Toronto to Niagra Falls. I think that must have been near Hamiliton.

I’m beyond jealous @wes. That’s a fantastic experience for you to have and thanks for sharing it with us. The flight alone was amazing but to form up with the bomber is the icing on the cake. Fabulous stuff