OUR HISTORIC BUILDING
The building that The Hangar Flight Museum calls home was originally built in 1941 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was a drill hall for the #37 Service Flight Training School.
The BCATP was developed to train Commonwealth airmen and women. Canada was chosen as the main location for training because of our access to resources such as fuel, our industrial capabilities and close proximity to facilities in the United States, our wide open skies, and the low likelihood of being a target of attack. Over 130,000 airmen, including 17,000 women, graduated from the program. These recruits trained long and hard at the many facilities across Canada, including Calgary.
The drill hall was one of the 7,000 buildings built in support of the BCATP. It was used for various activities, including sports. One of the airmen who likely walked the floor of the drill hall was Commander Peter Middleton, the grandfather of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. Commander Middleton was stationed in Calgary from 1942 to 1944.
Left vacant and unused for a time post war, the building eventually became home to Bullock Helicopters. Bullock Helicopters performed oil exploration, search and rescue, and transport for seismic crews and their equipment.
One of the first tasks Evan Bullock and his team undertook was to tear up the original wooden floor and pour a concrete slab in its place. Also, during their tenancy, Bullock Helicopters built the area that currently features the Museum gift shop. At the time it was used as their reception area and administrative offices.