Canadian Warplane Heritage videos

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum just released the trailer for its upcoming television and DVD production, “Reunion of Giants,” documenting the CWH’s trip to Britain to stage displays with the two remaining airworthy Lancaster bombers in the summer of 2014.  Clearly this video was planned from the outset of the venture and carefully produced.  It looks to be an excellent production.

While on CWHM’s YouTube channel viewing that, I noticed their most recent previously posted video, a documentary made about CWH in the mid 1980s.  This would be of interest to anyone interested in the state of the World War II aircraft preservation movement thirty years ago, but especially for anyone like me who lived in Ontario around that time and saw all those planes.  Watching it is a bittersweet experience, for while many of the planes in the video are still going strong and looking even better now, too many have been destroyed in accidents, burned in a hangar fire suffered by CWH in 1993, or just lapsed out of flying status.  CWH itself underwent a contraction following the 1993 fire, and from the perspective of, say, the year 1996, this video would have been more bitter than sweet, as it seemed CWH had reached an apex in the 1980s that it would never see again, with the Lancaster being the bright spot in a dimming picture.  But things are very different now.  The CWHM has remade itself into, in some ways, a better organization than it was in the 1980s, with strong restoration and display programs and a great international reputation.  Thus CWH is able in its caption quite candidly to characterize the days of this video as “a high point of flyable aircraft for the museum” and not “the high point.”  Canadian vintage aircraft enthusiasts are grateful that this is so.