Object Name: Airplane Model
Artist/Maker/Manufacturer/Founder: National Research Council
Material/Medium/Support: mahogany, brass, aluminum
Earliest Production Date and Latest Production Date: manufactured before 1967
Dimension: Width: 66.1 cm Length: 53.5 cm
Accession # 1967.0766.001
Institution Name: Canada Aviation Museum
Copyright: Canadian Aviation Museum
The invention of the wind tunnel was integral to the progress of aeronautical engineering. Wind tunnels provide engineers and scientists a method of testing aircraft, and other structures, at a reduced scale before moving into full-scale testing and production. The Canadian Vickers aircraft models, created in the 1920s and 1930s and held in the Canada Aviation Museum’s collection, are an excellent example of early wind tunnel models used in the country. Canadian Vickers Limited was the first Canadian company to fully utilize wind tunnel technology in the production of their aircraft. Established in 1911 as a ship manufacturer and based in Montreal, Canadian Vickers expanded into the production of airplanes in 1923, becoming the first company to produce aircraft in Canada after the First World War. Upon accepting a contract from the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1924, Canadian Vickers began testing model versions of aircraft in the University of Toronto’s wind tunnel. Each model was a precise work of art, hand-carved from wood and metal components, shaped to exactly replicate the aircraft design to be tested. Each model was placed into the wind tunnel where engineers could study and manipulate the aircraft’s shape in order to refine the design. Aeronautical engineer John Hamilton Parkin built the University of Toronto wind tunnel. The presence of the wind tunnel in Toronto significantly increased aerodynamic research at the University. Parkin also authored numerous texts on the early history of Canadian aviation and developed the first aviation museum in Canada in 1937.
CANADIAN EXPERIMENTS IN WIND TUNNEL RESEARCH
M.A. Art History, Concordia University.
Aviation helped map and develop the Canadian nation and many Canadian engineers and scientists …