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Canadian aviation at OSH

The Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, and North American P–51 Mustang, three iconic World War II-era warbirds, will represent Canadian wartime aviation at EAA AirVenture this year. Vintage Wings of Canada will display these historic aircraft as part of the centennial celebration for the Royal Canadian Air Force. They will join the Snowbirds aerial demonstration team at Oshkosh.
A pair of Spitfires flying over Canada. Photography by Scott Slocum.
Zoomed image
A pair of Spitfires flying over Canada. Photography by Scott Slocum.

Spitfire Mk IX. Often considered the most beautiful aircraft design of its day, the “Spit” was legendary during the Battle of Britain in 1940. The Vintage Wings of Canada aircraft is painted in the markings of Arnold Rosemond, a Canadian who flew more than 65 missions before being shot down over Normandy in 1944. It received the World War II Reserve Grand Champion and Phoenix Gold Wrench awards at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018.

Hurricane Mk VII. A capable dogfighting airplane, the Hurricane Mk VII was also developed into numerous variations from fighter-bombers to carrier-based Sea Hurricanes. This aircraft was built by Canadian Car and Foundry in Fort William, Ontario. It carries the markings of Flight Officer William Lidstone “Willie” McKnight, who was part of the Royal Air Force’s all-Canadian No. 242 Squadron and one of Canada’s top aces of World War II.

P–51D Mustang. One of the best-known and capable fighter aircraft of World War II, more than 16,000 Mustangs were produced beginning in 1940 in response to a British need for more fighter aircraft from the United States. The aircraft is painted in the markings of 442 Squadron as they appeared toward the end of the war.

Michael Potter founded the Vintage Wings of Canada Foundation and has collected and flown vintage aircraft since the mid-1990s. The aircraft in his collection are maintained in flying condition and flown annually throughout the summer. Several aircraft of the collection are owned directly by the charitable foundation as well as by other individual operators.

According to Vintage Wings of Canada, Potter’s collection features some of the finest examples of historically significant aircraft. The collection is housed in a 24,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art hangar at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport near Ottawa, Canada (see “Briefing: Destinations,” May 2024 AOPA Pilot).

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Julie Walker
Julie Summers Walker
AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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