At the 2012 Borden Airshow, amazing aircraft weren’t only found in the skies. There were also extensive static displays of airplanes, weapons systems, firearms, and army vehicles on the ground! It was a dream come true for me to see so many military things in one place; in 2012 I was still newly enthusiastic about military things, and I could not have enjoyed the Borden Airshow any more.
A CF-18 Hornet, with its cockpit open to visitors! I sat in it for as long as I dared due to the long queue, and it was awesome!!
This is an M61 Vulcan, which is the 20 mm Gatling cannon mounted in the CF-18. It was really impressive to see the entire apparatus outside of an aircraft
As an aerobatic plane performed overhead, I browsed the static displays. There were numerous old and current RCAF aircraft on display, and this seemed particularly special since Base Borden has been an aviation hub since 1917!
The famous team of Snowbirds on display. Their CT-114 Tutor aircraft are small, nimble, and iconic to Canadians
Not far from the static displays, there was some rather sorry evidence of Base Borden’s long history. Between some modern buildings, on an otherwise-unused patch of concrete, were the pieces of a CF-100 Canuck. The disemboweled aircraft was just languishing there; and almost three years later, it still is. It’s awfully sad.
The pieces of this Canuck are apparently unneeded, so they’re just left here
The Canuck was an important aircraft in its day, and was the first all-Canadian military aircraft. This one’s flying days are sadly past
Within sight of the forgotten Canuck was a collection of modern army vehicles and equipment! Surrounded by proud military personnel and excited children, this was a much happier sight; and I enjoyed such a close-up look at today’s military vehicles.
A Leopard 1 tank, part of an acquisition from West Germany in the 1970s. The Leopard 1 is becoming obsolete and the Leopard 2 is now Canada’s frontline main battle tank
An enormous gun. I have no idea specifically what it is, but it’s impressive!
This is a Coyote, a mobile and lightly-armoured fighting vehicle
Once the summer sun became too much to handle and there was a bit of a lull in the proceedings overhead, to the hangars I went! There were lots of information booths on the Canadian Forces, as well as information about the history of Base Borden and the RCAF. Plus there was a CH-146 Griffin!
This workmanlike type of helicopter is often seen and heard around Base Borden
The hangar with the Griffin also had a bunch of aircraft engines and unmounted cannons in it- these seemed to be used for maintenance training at the base. But the next hangar was even cooler. It was full of guns! Arranged chronologically, there were guns from all eras and countries; and I gazed open-mouthed for ages at them all!
First I noticed this tripod-mounted MG-34, used by Nazi Germany during the first part of World War II
I was thrilled to see a British-made L96A1 sniper rifle- a dull green, it stood apart from all the other guns
A collection of compact automatic weapons, like an Uzi (second from top on left), and a Mac 10 (top centre)
My brother and I have long been fascinated by the PS90’s bullpup design and otherworldly appearance- it was really something to see one in person
The Steyr AUG is an unmistakeable design, in use since the late 1970s
For someone who does a lot of military reading and plays Black Ops on occasion, guns like the L96A1, AUG, and MG-34 seemed exceptionally rare, and like the stuff of legend. They certainly weren’t what I expected to see at a local airshow! But the Borden airshow is put on with the help of the Base Borden Military Museum, which is well put-together and extensive.
I think the 2012 Borden Airshow will long be something I remember; it was so exciting, and it really inspired and educated me in regards to my writing. Next up is Base Borden’s 100-year anniversary show, and even though it’s still far away I can’t wait for it. It’s sure to be even more amazing than 2012’s show!