DALLAS – The final Bombardier/De Havilland Canada (DHC) plane has taken off from Downsview Airport (YZD). On June 17, C-FJJA flew from YZD to Calgary, marking the end of an era at the airport.
Downsview Airport is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s North York area. It has been a testing facility for Bombardier Aerospace since 1994, when it was an airfield and then an air force base. Bombardier sold the facility and manufacturing factory, and its future is uncertain.
The airfield served as a test location for several well-known De Havilland and Avro Canada aircraft, including the Beaver, Twin Otter, and Dash 8.
Since 1998, the facility has been managed by Parc Downsview Park, a civilian Crown organization that co-manages the airfield with Bombardier Aerospace (the successor to de Havilland Canada). The property has undergone different landscape utilization ideas in previous years, as well as some reconstruction.
In recent years, the airfield has hosted Pope John Paul II’s papal visits in 1984 and 2002, as well as the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto event, led by The Rolling Stones, to help the local economy recover after the SARS outbreak in 2003.
The Dash 8 has been produced and assembled in 12 hangars in the southwest portion of the airport. The Bombardier Global Express and Bombardier Global 5000, as well as the Learjet 45’s wings and wingboxes, are all built at the Downsview plant.
Although the Bombardier CSeries plane landed at the airport in 2015, it is still built in Montreal.
The Legacy of YZD
Last week, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (DHC) paid tribute to the tens of thousands of people who designed and built the company’s iconic aircraft in Toronto since its founding on March 5, 1928.
Guests inspected large display panels that highlighted many milestones in the company’s nine-decade history inside the former Dash 8-400 delivery hangar at Downsview Airport, in the heart of the city, while a video featuring historic photos and interviews with company pioneers looped on large screens next to the hangar walls.
“We felt it was important to acknowledge and recognize the women and men who worked at Downsview and the thousands of aircraft built there, which helped shape our country,” said Neil Sweeney, vice president of corporate affairs via skiesmag.com.
Featured image: Dash 8-400 #4001 is showing off its brand new @dehavillandAIR paint scheme at the Downsview Airport facility, Toronto, Canada. The C-FJJA in the photo is the original prototype for the Q400 program. Photo: De Havilland Canada via Twitter