KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence

Yesterday we took three of our grandsons, thirteen, fifteen, and eighteen, on a tour of the recently opened KF Aerospace Centre of Excellence. We got our first glimpse of the almost completed project a few weeks ago when we rode our bikes to the Airport to have lunch at the Conair Cafe, located in one of the KF Aerospace hangers.

The vision for this project started with a napkin sketch by KF Aerospace’s founder Barry Lapointe. The legacy project focused on two key ideas, make it feel like a plane and use wood wherever possible, and we think they did a great job! I found these two pictures on the internet, the first is the concept drawing and the second, taken at night shows the how the building really does resemble a plane.

The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence is shaped like the fuselage and wings of an aircraft. It is a non-profit exhibition and conference centre designed to celebrate the Okanagan’s 50-year history of aviation

The 60,000 sq. ft. building includes two large hangars, built to look like airplane wings, that house a rare aircraft collection. The hangars, or wings, are on either side of the fuselage which features an interactive exhibition that tells the story of aviation in the Okanagan Valley.

Some of the historic aircraft on display include the newly-restored Hawker Tempest MKII, the Odyssey DC-3, and the de Havilland 98 Mosquito (VR796).

The Mosquito, which features a unique wooden airframe, is one of 30 Mosquitos remaining worldwide, and one of four currently airworthy. This aircraft underwent a five-year restoration project completed by Victoria Air Maintenance, and arrived at the Centre of Excellence on June 30th.

I think the three boys and grandpa had a great time playing in the DC-10 flight simulator and the Convair flight training device 😀

Grandpa with our eighteen year old grandson in the cockpit, our thirteen year old grandson was in the flight engineer seat.

While those three were trying to fly the plane, our fifteen year old grandson was playing it smart and preparing for a crash landing!

We had a great time and even had the chance to watch a Dash 8 and a 737 land at the airport.

This plane sits on the apron in front of the Centre of Excellence … I’m hoping they will add more planes in the future. The actual airport runway is behind the plane and trees.

And on a completely different topic …

My sister, daughter, and I have longed followed the Royal Family. For my sister and I it was instilled in us from our dad and of course I’m sure our daughter got it from my sister and I. I have been expecting the Queen’s passing for awhile and was really concerned when she cancelled her meeting with the Privy Council last Wednesday, so while her passing on Thursday wasn’t unexpected it was still a shock and so very sad. The Queen was Canada’s Head of State so she often visited Canada and I can remember as a child my dad coming home from work in Vancouver with a picture of the Queen and Prince Phillip that he had taken at a stop light. It’s hard to imagine in this day and age the Queen driving down the streets of Vancouver in a covertible with little to no protection … I miss the days when that was possible.

The Queen was a remarkable women and she will be missed.

I will leave you with a very touching quote from Prince William …

“My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen.”

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