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New building, more aircraft among goals as Hangar Flight Museum looks to triple its size

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The goal for the Hangar Flight Museum is to have a new building in the next five years to house more aircraft and artifacts, according to executive director Brian Desjardins.

He's been working with the City of Calgary and the Calgary Airport Authority to come up with a feasibility study for a larger, permanent structure.

"Now we're working with all levels of government to engage them to see how we can find and raise $60 million for the project," he said.

"Our immediate need is $1 million for the design, architectural work that we want to complete in the next year."

Desjardins says the historic main hangar constructed in 1941 will remain and see a few upgrades.

It was built as a drill hall for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan for #37 Service Flight Training School.

But the focus of the project is on the adjacent tent hangar.

It was put in place some 20 years ago as a temporary holding area for some of the museum's collection, to keep aircraft out of the weather.

It, too, is filled to the brim and recently had its fabric skin replaced after severe weather shredded the old tent and exposed the artifacts.

"The new facility is going to replace the tent hanger," Desjardins said.

"Essentially tripling the size of the tent, which is currently 20,000 square feet, so growing it to 60,000 square feet, so that we have more space for the return of the CF-100 Canuck and for the mosquito bomber and for more artifacts."

The CF-100 Canuck sat just off McKnight Boulevard alongside an F-101 Voodoo that remains as a lone sentinel watching over the museum.

The Canuck suffered from being out in the elements for decades and the museum raised $400,000 for its restoration.

It's being worked on in Wetaskiwin and is due to return to the Hangar Fight Museum in the fall of 2023.

"Right now, we are confirming what is going to be the original paint scheme and markings of the aircraft," Desjardins said.

"I know that there's a lot of CF-100 fans that are waiting for this information, so we'll have that by Christmas or early in the New Year."

Learn more about the museum at thehangarmuseum.ca.

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