Saint John stakes its claim as birthplace of Canadian aviation

New art installation at YSJ highlights firsts and other milestones

Saint John, NB (YSJ) – Saint John’s proud aviation history is now on permanent display at the Saint John Airport.

Revealed today, the new installation highlights local, national and international events of significance with historical photographs and a historical timeline. 

 “Saint John has been home to an impressive number of firsts when it comes to aviation in Canada,” said Saint John Airport President and CEO Derrick Stanford. “Showcasing our history here at YSJ will remind travellers of the role we’ve played in advancing aviation in this country. It’s a real point of pride.” 

In addition to noting well-known local innovations like Rupert Turnbull’s wind tunnel and electric variable pitch propeller in the early 1900s, the display features several lesser-known facts and events, including:

  • New Brunswick’s first flight attempt at the Saint John Exhibition in 1910;
  • Saint John’s Daphne Patterson became the first female commercial pilot in Canada in 1930;
  • Amelia Earhart landed in the airport’s previous Millidgeville location in 1932 to refuel her Lockheed Vega before beginning her famous overseas flight; and
  • Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis arrived at the current YSJ location in 1952 to refuel before heading for France to film the movie starring Jimmy Stewart.

The display was designed by Lyn Van Tassel of LVT Design and Flewwelling Press, with photographs courtesy of Harold Wright and the NB Museum.

The Saint John Aviation Time Line is courtesy of Harold E. Wright, from his manuscript "Wings in the Fog, Jimmy Wade, K.C. Irving and the Saint John flying story." 

“I’d like to thank all of the project partners for the countless hours they put into researching and collating the required images to bring Saint John’s aviation history to life,” Stanford said. 

For more information, contact:
Stephanie McCrory

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