Christmas came early for the Nanton Bomber Command Museum.
Curator Karl Karsgaard says London's Royal Air Force Museum donated a wing to them for their Halifax rebuilding project.
He says they have about 40 per cent of the plane with the core, engine, landing gear and other parts and his job is to go around the world looking for the other pieces of the puzzle.
The Halifax, he points out, is as big as a Lancaster bomber.
"I found out that the Hastings aircraft wing is almost exactly the same as the Halifax and because they cut up all the Halifax's after the war, the only way to get a wing was to find a Hastings wing.
"I started searching the world and I found the RAF Museum in England had a Hastings outer wing panel, almost 25 feet long and the Yorkshire Air Museum also had the other wing, the opposite side wing for a Hastings, which is a Halifax wing.'
He says it took some wheeling and dealing over the last several months, but he managed to get the left wing from the Yorkshire Air Museum.
"But the big deal is the Royal Air Force Museum, which is one of the biggest, most prestigious museums in the entire world, they know about the Bomber Command Museum at Nanton, and I got a recommendation from a highly reputable museum in England, Andrew Panton and he told the CEO of the RAF Museum 'these guys in Nanton are a going concern and they should be eligible to receive the wing'.
"So after 'eleventy-seven' pounds of paperwork the RAF Museum donated the wing to us. Of course, when it rains it pours and they said 'Karl, can you get here to out museum before December 14th and we can give you the wing before Christmas and New Year's starts?'
He says the RAF doesn't give artifacts to Canadian museums, but they'd been watching the Nanton Bomber Command Museum for years.
"To get it out of deep storage from a World War II hangar way off in the boonies I had to hire a special Crane in England and I had to pay through the nose and we got the wing out and loaded on a semi-trailer truck but it cost $4,600 to get the wing out of the hangar without damaging it, so if anyone wants to donate, I'm your man."
The wing is still in Britain, but Karsgaard explained that 2024 is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force and they've scheduled a giant C17 Transport to bring it to Ontario.
A trucking company sponsor has said it'll bring it from there to Nanton.
"I'll have to go back to Holland in late January, we've found another tonne of Halifax parts that we're bringing back to Canada so it's like Johnny Cash sang, it's one piece at a time."
Karsgaard says they don't have a building big enough to house their bombers now and assemble the Halifax so they're looking for sponsors to help with a massive expansion they have planned for 2024.
"The reason we do it is when we build these aircraft, we're building the ultimate tribute to our 10,000 Canadians killed in bombers in World War II."
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