Canada Aviation and Space Museum to celebrate 75th anniversary of the Beaver bush plane

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Vintage Wings of Canada are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver this weekend. This iconic aircraft, the first all-metal bush plane designed and built in Canada, took to the skies for the first time on August 16th, 1947.  Since then, over 1600 of the robust aircraft have been manufactured for use all over the world, with many still flying today.

Weather permitting, Vintage Wings of Canada will fly in several de Havilland aircraft for museum visitors on Saturday, August 13, between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Visitors can see the vehicles up close and speak to the pilots of these wonderful aircraft!

De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver


  • First all-metal bush plane designed and built in Canada; still used in many countries around the world
  • One of several de Havilland Canada aircraft named after North American wildlife
  • Outnumbers, to date, any other Canadian aircraft: 1 692 Beavers were manufactured between 1947 and 1968
  • A short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) aircraft (requires minimal space to take off and touch down on land, water or snow), along with de Havilland Canada’s Otter, Caribou, Buffalo, Twin Otter and Dash 7
  • First flight was on August 16th, 1947


The Beaver was designed and built in response to the demands of Canadian bush operators. With its all-metal construction, high-lift wing, and flap configuration, the Beaver was a robust aircraft with excellent short take-off-and-landing capability even with heavy loads. In addition to its success in Canada, the Beaver found acceptance in as many as 60 other countries all over the world. Although not ordered by the RCAF, some 980 served with distinction in the US Army and US Air Force. About 1600 were made.

The Beaver was such a success that more were built than any other aircraft designed and manufactured in Canada. In 1951 it won both the US Air Force and US Army competitions for a utility aircraft. Many were used in Korea, where it was known as the “general’s jeep”.

Current Location:

Bush Flying Exhibition, Canada Aviation and Space Museum


Built in 1947, this aircraft is the prototype, or first, Beaver to be built. Used as a bush plane in Western Canada for thirty-two years, it was purchased by the Museum from Norcanair in 1980. Its registration number, CF-FHB, incorporates the initials of Frederick Howard Buller, one of the Beaver’s two designers. Buller was a naval architect turned aeronautical engineer and is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Remarkably, during its final flight, between Lac la Ronge and Rockcliffe airport, this aircraft crossed paths in Sault Ste. Marie with the second Beaver built, CF-OBS. Russ Bannock, who flew CF-FHB for a portion of its last flight, had also been its test pilot. The preservation of Canada’s first Beaver has been made possible by donations from the Molson Foundation and from de Havilland Canada.

Technical Information:

Wing Span14.6 m (48 ft)
Length9.2 m (30 ft 4 in)
Height2.7 m (9 ft)
Weight, Empty1,293 kg (2,850 lb)
Weight, Gross2,313 kg (5,100 lb)
Cruising Speed209 km/h (130 mph)
Max Speed258 km/h (160 mph)
Rate of Climb311 m (1,020 ft) /min
Service Ceiling5,490 m (18,000 ft)
Range756 km (470 mi)
Power Plantone Pratt & Whitney R-985 AN-14B Wasp Jr., 450 hp, radial engine
De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver plan

New exhibition explores Canada’s history of keeping its busy skies safe

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – Visitors to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum can now discover if they have what it takes to manage air traffic in our skies in a new exhibit Eyes on the Skies: Managing Air Traffic in Canada. Developed in collaboration with NAV CANADA, the exhibit delves into the rapid evolution of air traffic management, exploring the systems, people, and technologies that keep Canada’s skies safe.

Through a variety of highly interactive experiences that test visitors’ skills, and a mix of historical and contemporary content, Eyes on the Skies will expose visitors to Canada’s air navigation system and how air traffic is managed safely and efficiently – a critical role of the aviation industry.

Eyes on the Skies demystifies complex ideas – from the impacts of gender and language to how radar works. It highlights people central to managing air traffic in Canada and explores how navigation systems, procedures and technologies have evolved over the decades. Drawing links to their own experiences as passengers, visitors will learn through play, strong visual and audiovisual experiences.

In addition, an Eyes on the Skies travelling exhibit has hit the road to visit museums from coast to coast to coast to allow Canadians across the country to discover the important contributions we have made – and continue to make – to managing air traffic.

Media are invited to tour the Eyes in the Skies exhibition at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on Monday, November 1, 2021 between 12 pm and 3 pm. Canada Aviation and Space Museum curator Erin Gregory is available to answer media questions on site. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance to Philippe Tremblay at


“Eyes on the Skies highlights this complex aspect of aviation with engaging and fun interactives. It’s a snapshot into the vital contributions that Canadians have made to air navigation, including managing Canada’s 18 million square kilometres of airspace to ensure the safety of our skies.”
– Chris Kitzan, Director General of Canada Aviation and Space Museum

“While honouring the men and women who make Canada’s air navigation service among the safest in the world, Eyes on the Skies offers a window into a part of the aviation industry not seen by most Canadians. Our industry is evolving rapidly, and we hope this new exhibit inspires some to consider new career paths to help shape Canada’s future aviation story.”
-Raymond Bohn, President and CEO of NAV CANADA

About the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
One of three museums under Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is aptly located at Ottawa’s historic Rockcliffe Airport, which previously functioned as a former military air base. The museum takes visitors on a journey through Canada’s aviation and space history — from the early days of flight to the future of space exploration. Spanning 1909 to the present day, the museum focuses on aviation in Canada within an international context. As Canada’s contribution to aviation expanded to include aerospace technology, the museum’s collection and mandate grew to include space flight. The collection itself consists of more than 130 aircraft and artifacts (propellers, engines) from both civil and military service. The most extensive aviation collection in Canada, it is also considered one of the finest aviation museums in the world.

NAV CANADA is a private, not-for-profit company, established in 1996, providing air traffic control, airport advisory services, weather briefings and aeronautical information services for more than 18 million square kilometres of Canadian domestic and international airspace. The Company is internationally recognized for its safety record, and technology innovation. Air traffic management systems developed by NAV CANADA are used by air navigation service providers in countries worldwide.