Air Force Officers Tour RAM

Story and Photos by John Chalmers,
CAHS Membership Secretary

On April 26, members of the Air Force Officers Association in Vancouver flew to Edmonton. From there they took the half-hour drive from the airport to Wetaskiwin to tour the facilities of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum (RAM), which is home to the office and displays of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Organized by retired air force LCol Mike Matthews, 18 of the association’s members took the tour, then flew back to Vancouver later in the day. The tour began with a visit to RAM’s hangar, which houses the display collection of aircraft and the Hall of Fame displays. Many of the visitors knew or even flew with some of the Members of the Hall who are commemorated there.

Next stop was across the Wetaskiwin airport to the shop of Historic Aviation Services Inc. (HASI) to see the Hurricane under restoration there for the City of Calgary. HASI is headed by Byron Reynolds, nephew of Stan Reynolds, whose massive collection formed the basis for RAM, and for whom the museum is named. Under Byron’s direction, the Canadian-built Hurricane is well along in its restoration. A pilot himself, the late Stan Reynolds served with the RCAF, flying Mosquitos and Beaufighters during the Second World War. He was inducted as a Member of CAHF in 2009.

The tour continued in RAM’s huge collections warehouse among all manner of transportation and machinery. Of particular interest to the visitors was the aircraft collection in the huge building, which is not open to the public. CAHS members who attended the 2011 convention in Edmonton will recall touring the facility, guided by Byron Reynolds.

Final stop on the tour was the main building of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum. The splendid facility has an impressive collection of restored automobiles, aircraft and farm machinery with the emphasis and focus of the museum on transportation. Overall, the day in Wetaskiwin before the flight back to Vancouver provided the visitors with a fine experience to acquaint themselves with many aspects of Canadian aviation history.


The Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta houses a magnificent collection of vehicles, farm machinery and aircraft.



Flying overhead in RAM’s aircraft display hangar is a replica of the Silver Dart, the first powered aircraft to fly in Canada, in 1909.



Members of the Air Force Officers Association from Vancouver study one of the displays of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame members.



Beneath a suspended Avion biplane, visitors study displays of Hall of Fame Members who were awarded the Victoria Cross.



The hangar facility at RAM houses aircraft from the collection for public viewing and all displays of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.



Following a tour of the hangar, visitors heard a lunch presentation about legendary First World War veteran and bush pilot, Wilfrid “Wop” May, given by his son, Denny, a CAHS member.



First stop after lunch was to see the Hurricane under restoration. Byron Reynolds provided details of the complex project.



Byron Reynolds took visitors on a complete tour of the 110,000 square foot collections building of RAM, which harbours a huge collection of vehicles, equipment and aircraft, ranging from bicycles to an Avro Arrow replica.



With budgeting now planned, expansion at RAM will make more aircraft available for public viewing when new facilities are built.



At the entrance to the museum’s main building, a restored 1917 Curtiss Jenny, flown by Wop May from 1919-1924, flies above a 1908 McLaughlin touring car, one of the many beautifully restored automobiles in the museum’s impressive collection.