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Aviation enthusiasts celebrate Alberta milestone

Aviation enthusiasts celebrated 90 years since Edmonton's Blatchford Field was transformed from a farmer’s field to the gateway to the north.


June 26, 2017
By Edmonton Journal

Denny May, son of famed bush pilot Wop May, was the keynote speaker at the Alberta Aviation Museum’s 90th-anniversary celebration of Blatchford Field on Saturday, which included re-enactments, dress-up opportunities for children, access to aircraft cockpits normally off limits to the public and other family events.

May said his father spoke with then-mayor Ken Blatchford about converting the Hagmann farm into an airport along Portage Avenue, now known as Kingsway Avenue.

“Ken Blatchford and my dad pushed the thing through city council and it became Blatchford Field,” said May in a news release.

Two years after that, Wop May flew the diphtheria vaccine in an open-cockpit Avro Avion to Fort Vermillion on Jan. 2, 1929, which prompted further airport development.

May’s contributions to aviation will be recognized at the 90th anniversary celebration.

Additional funds were approved to improve the airport and commercial flights took off.