Aviation Museum rolls out Cold War Starfighter
Published Saturday, August 17, 2013 4:12PM MDT Last Updated Saturday, August 17, 2013 6:35PM MDT
The Alberta Aviation museum unveiled its latest attraction, the Starfighter, during a ceremony Saturday morning.
The plane was one of the few surviving aircrafts involved in the Canadian program from 1961 to 1984.
Member of Parliament, Laurie Hawn, said he had flown better planes but had a soft spot for the Starfighter.
“This is one you cannot help but love. Anybody who flew it, loved it. Anybody who worked on it, loved it.
“It was a difficult airplane to fly. It was unforgiving and you had to respect it. But it was just so much fun. It was blindingly fast.”
According to the Museum website, the Starfighter was a Mach 2.3 aircraft, travelling 800 meters per second, which means it would take one second for it to travel from the Alberta Legislature to the Kinsman Field House, two seconds between the Legislature to City Hall and 33 seconds from downtown to the Edmonton International Airport.
“You have to keep your wits about you and keep on top of it because if you let it get away from you bad things are going to happen,” former pilot Rick Wall told CTV News.
The Museum website said that almost half of all Starfighters were lost in operations.
Wall added that the aircraft was also an important part of the province’s history.
“It was a really important era for aviation in Alberta. The 104 flew out of Cold Lake for almost 25 years.”
It took seven years of searching and 18 months of bureaucracy for the museum to acquire the aircraft, Alberta Aviation Museum Association executive director, Tom Hinderks, explained.
He said restoring the plane was a monstrous job.
“Each component had to be gone through – stripped, cleaned, polished, painted – and then brought back into the configuration.”
The aircraft arrived at the museum on March 29 and officials said it was one of the fastest restorations ever done by staff.
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith