While on a two and a half week trip in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland I ran into a bit of Canadian aviation history. Quite coincidentally, on my way back down through Nova Scotia towards Halifax, I stopped in a small town on this lake for the night. It looked interesting. It turns out that this town, Baddeck, Nova Scotia is the birthplace of Canadian aviation. It was here that in 1909 Douglas McCurdy flew the Silver Dart airplane designed by himself, Alexander Bell, Fredrick Baldwin, Thomas Selfridge and Glenn Curtiss. Quite a coincidence to stumble upon such a historic place completely by accident.
The Silver Dart (shown on the left) flew about 6 meters from the ground almost a kilometer at 65 km/h. It took off on the ice from Lake Bras d’Or. It was the first powered, fixed wing aircraft to fly in Canada.
The inn we stayed in that night was build in 1830 and also has significance in aviation history. It was the home own by McCurdy – the man who flew the Silver Dart for the first time – and therefore is Canada’s first pilot. I’m not a big history buff, but I found this an interesting coincidence and appreciated knowing more about the roots of aviation.