Wings over Water - Summer Activities

Hours and Location

Wings over Water - Summer Activities

Canada Aviation and Space Museum
DateJul 17, 2020 - Sep 30, 2020
historial image of the Bellanca CH-300 bush plane flying over water

Ready to spread your wings this summer? The Canada Aviation and Space Museum invites you and your family to join us for virtual learning and creative activities around the theme, Wings over Water.

Did you know Canada holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water? With three immense ocean coasts, it’s no wonder Canadians are considered resourceful innovators in finding ways to get to where they want to go!

From the ingenuity of the Indigenous kayak and canoe to robotics and satellites looking down from space — monitoring our vast waters, ice flows, floods, melting permafrost, and more — Canadians are world experts in their fields.

Canadian pilots are a talented and diverse group. Some of them deliver much-needed supplies or lead medevac rescues in remote regions, under harsh conditions. Others fly from aircraft carriers over foreign, international waters, taking part in military assignments. Canadians are truly awesome!

Through a series of downloadable paper models linked to our collection, we invite you to share some of Canada’s proud achievements when flying over water! Choose from the following sections:

A view from space

International Space Station

To best understand the immensity of our planet’s water, try looking through the eyes of an astronaut! View the Earth’s water masses from the International Space Station (ISS).

Canadian astronauts who have recently travelled to the ISS have shared beautiful images using social media. This has sparked a new generation of people interested in space technologies.


  • Enjoy these 10 photos of Canada (external website: Canadian Space Agency) taken by Canadian Astronaut David St-Jacques from space!


  • Colour and assemble this child-friendly, printable model of the ISS (PDF).
  • Materials required: Scissors, markers, glue or tape.
  • Tip: For a 3D effect, use small pieces of mounting tape to elevate the solar panels.


  • Initially, the lifespan of the ISS was expected to be 15 years; it was slated for decommissioning in 2016. Its lifespan has now been extended until 2024.
  • Canada's contributions to the ISS include cutting-edge robots Canadarm2 and Dextre, as well as the Mobile Base System (a transport and storage platform).
  • Six spaceships can dock to the ISS at any one time.
  • From Earth, it takes a spacecraft about six hours to get to the ISS.
David Saint-Jacques conducts his first spacewalk
2019-04-08 - Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques conducts his first spacewalk. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA)

RADARSAT Constellation Mission

Through persistent, forward-thinking innovations, the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 projects — which later evolved into the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) — were created to keep a keen eye on Earth from space.

RADARSAT-1 was launched in November 1995, and RADARSAT-2 was launched in December 2007. These two projects provided Canada and the world with an operational radar satellite system, capable of the timely delivery of large amounts of data based on scans of the surface of the Earth. No longer impeded by waves, smoke, haze, fog, or cloud cover, these systems could accurately measure day or night changes in ocean waves, ice, and winds — all necessary for shipping routes. Routine surveillance provided information to update maps, and offered much-needed information to plan or quickly locate and respond to emergencies and disasters.

While RADARSAT-2 is still operational, an alternative and a successor was needed to respond to rapidly evolving needs. Fuelled by big data analytics and the growing use of artificial intelligence, among other things, the RCM is the next step for the RADARSAT Program, ensuring continuous data availability to users.

RADARSAT Constellation Mission
This visual provides an overview of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission: In service to Canadians

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) builds on Canada’s expertise and leadership in Earth observation from space. The three-satellite configuration passes over Canada’s vast landscape, including the Arctic, up to four times per day. Launched in 2019, key applications include maritime surveillance, ecosystem monitoring, and disaster management.



On the Canadian Space Agency’s web site, you’ll find:


  • RCM data helps:
    • Canadian farmers better manage their crops, safe-guarding crop yields;
    • Authorities monitor flooding and river ice build-up, and mapping the melting of snow-covered areas; and
    • Shipping navigate through ice flows in the Arctic.
  • RCM is proudly Canadian! The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) — along with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. and Magellan — engaged 125 suppliers from seven Canadian provinces; all played a role in its production.
  • The CSA is working on a new satellite called WildFireSat, which is planned for 2024. Using infrared censors, WildFireSat will measure the energy emitted by wildfires, their rate of spread, and the amount of carbon they release in the atmosphere. Read more about how WildFireSat will enhance Canada’s ability to manage wildfires.
RADARSAT-1 Mosaic of Montréal
RADARSAT-1 Mosaic of Montréal: A 3-D mosaic of a 100-by-50 kilometre area around Montréal, Quebec. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Wings over international waters: Naval aircraft

Before Canadians visited space, they flew over oceans far from conventional airfields. Did you know Canada operated five aircraft carriers? The largest aircraft carrier was called the HMCS Bonaventure.

Landing on a moving runway out of the middle of the agitated ocean is not for the faint of heart, but it enabled Canadian missions in international waters.

In 2020, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is celebrating its one-hundred and tenth anniversary! To commemorate this milestone, the museum is featuring printable paper models of naval aircraft from our collection. Learn about each aircraft and collect them all!


Browse a photo gallery of aircraft carriers from the Canadian Navy Archives.


Print and assemble the following naval aircraft:

saluting cartoon mouse

Be creative…try staging a scene on the deck of the Bonaventure aircraft carrier! Take a photograph, share it, and tag @avspacemuseum on social media.

  • Materials required: Scissors, markers, glue or tape, and brass paper fasteners (for rotors and propellers).


  • The RCN operated HMS Puncher and HMS Nabob during the Second World War.
  • After the Second World War, the RCN operated the HMCS Warrior and HMCS Magnificent.
  • "Bonnie" was commissioned at Belfast, Northern Ireland, on January 17, 1957, and arrived at her home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 26.
  • 50 years ago — on July 3, 1970 — the HMSC Bonaventure was decommissioned at the Halifax port and sold for disposal.

Wings in remote places: Bush planes

With so much water, Canada was made for bush flying! Communities in remote locations rely on bush planes for supplies and medical emergency evacuations.

Bush pilots are very resourceful. In the absence of runways, pilots are capable of switching landing gear to suit the terrain, whether it’s on snow, water, grass, or gravel.


A famous bush pilot — who has more than 36,000 hours of flight experience — lives in Nunavik, QC. Inuk pilot Johnny May has now retired from his Christmas Day candy drops for the people in his home town of Kuujjuaq.

To cool you off during the summer heat, check out this video clip of one of the snowy drops!


Cool off this summer by learning about some of the bush planes in the museum’s collection.

mouse in a lifesaver

Print and assemble the following aircraft:

Why not try recreating a landing in your pool, or in a water basin? Or, if it gets too hot this summer, feel free to improvise with homemade skis instead (try using wooden tongue depressors as landing gear)! Create a cool background to go with your creation…then take a picture and tag the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on social media!

Why not try recreating a landing in your pool, or in a water basin? Or, if it gets too hot this summer, feel free to improvise with homemade skis instead (try using wooden tongue depressors as landing gear)! Create a cool background to go with your creation…then take a picture and tag the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on social media!


  • The Noorduyn Norseman was the first Canadian-made bush plane with a heated cabin!
  • August 16, 1947 marked the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver’s first flight
  • The Beaver was developed and built in Canada, and is equipped with a short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) technology.
  • 1,692 Beavers were manufactured in Canada between 1947 and 1968.

Want to see more "Wings over Water"?

Below is a printable colouring page featuring various aircraft, along with a special challenge: Can you identify the only aircraft in the drawing that is not in the museum’s collection?

Once you find it, colour it yellow with red accents!