Big wall display for museum?

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Posted (edited)

I was ruminating about the almost blank south wall of the Canadian Aerospace Museum at Rockcliffe, a suburb of Ottawa. They do have parts of an ejection seat in one corner, but the museum guide's description of the ejection seat left me under-whelmed.

What if we assembled a series of antique parachutes to display a history of parachuting in Canada since 1888? Start with a half-hull model of the hot-air balloon that Mr. Larsen jumped from back in 1888. Since the wall is 40 or more feet high, we could install an almost full-scale model of the balloon ... but it only needs to be a half-hull model to give the correct impression from the far side of the hall. Come to think of it, most of the balloons, jump-planes and parachute canopies only need to be half-hull. These models can be sewn with soft fabrics and inflated with fans to achieve realistic inflation.

Perhaps include another full-size display of barnstormers like Frank Ellis jumping from a fragile biplane before World War One.

The World War One display will be the most spectacular with a flaming observation balloon and occupants doing static-line jumps over the side.

Perhaps a few inter-war barnstormers, then on to World War 2 with the First Canadian Parachute Battalion jumping into Normandy, across the Rhine and their forced march to prevent those evil Russians from invading Denmark.

Cold War displays could include freefall cylinders, Search-and-Rescue Technicians and ejection seats. We wonder if the RCAF wants to brag about how many of their CF-104 pilots were saved by ejection seats???? 

Finally the last panel can focus on Canadian-born Domina Jalbert's greatest invention. The last panel would be dominated with Jalbert's Para-Foils bringing medals home from World Meets (Kathy Cox and Pierre Fourand). The last display could include 3 or more Skyhawks displaying their canopy formation skills.

What are your thoughts and suggestions.

The goal is to give museum visitors a quick, big-picture view of parachuting in Canada over the last 140 years, but remember that most museum visitors have short attention spans, so keep commentary to a minimum. The display will probably need a few big-screen TVs to display the more dramatic parachute descents. Can you imagine the crowd's reaction to a video of Jay Moledski pond-swooping past them at 60 mph.? Perhaps add a nozzle spraying water to complete the "experience." Hah! Hah!

Edited by riggerrob
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1 hour ago, wmw999 said:

Make sure it includes Bill Cole :halo:

Wendy P. 

I will suggest Bill Cole, but he lipped off too many CSPA Board Members to ever earn their vote.



CSPA is equally dis-pleased with my suggestion that the first parachute jump in Canadian skies was in September 1888. A Mr. Larsen jumped from a hot-air balloon over Sherbrooke, Quebec ... near my home town. CSPA are even more miffed when I quote Mr. Molson, the retired curator of the Rockcliffe Museum. The Molson Family Foundation has financed plenty of historical and archeological research about industrial revolution era Canadian history.

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