A new bush plane, once featured in an Academy Award-nominated short film, will arrive at the local bush plane museum tomorrow — by car.
The MacGregor MG65 single-seat bi-plane is being donated by its American owner, driving from New England to the Sault atop a two-door sedan.
“It’s a small plane on a small car, with the wings on a trailer behind it,” said Todd Fleet, curator at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.
The 28-foot-long bi-plane is expected to arrive some time tomorrow.
Built in 1960, this particular MG-65 was featured in a 1969 National Film Board short film titled Blake.
The short was filmed in documentary-style and follows the pilot as he takes to the skies on a cross-Canada adventure, ditching his desk job.
The planned exhibit that will accompany the plane will feature the 20-minute Acedemy Award-nominated short film along-side its bi-plane co star — which will have its paint job restored to match the film.
“It demonstrates the spirit of bush flying in general,” said Fleet of the film, which is well-known to many bush plane enthusiasts.
“We will put it back as it was and put it on display with the film,” he said.
Unfortunately, said Fleet, the exhibit will not be ready for the upcoming Bushplane Days on Sep. 17 and 18, but it will be in the hangar.
Fleet said the centre also hopes to restore the original CF-RCZ Canadian registration for the plane — it carried an American registration for years.
The bi-plane is not a float plane, but not all bush planes are.
“It’s anything used up in the north – floats, skis, wheels, tundra tires — basically if you don’t use an airport, it’s a bush plane,” said Fleet.
The bi-plane was built without electronics and avionics, and requires the prop to be started by hand.
This isn’t the first time a plane has been delivered to the centre by automobile.
“We have done that before with the turbo beaver prototype — we drove down the highway with it on the trailer backwards, hanging out the trailer,” said Fleet.
Chuckling, he added, “people look.”