Go beyond the dogfights and immerse yourself in the lives of nine people, from both sides of the conflict, who experienced the first air war.
Join them as they train to fly, gather intelligence, fight aerial battles and drop bombs. Their stories — told with more than 80 authentic artifacts woven into an innovative graphic novel presentation — provide insight into the history and consequences of the first air war.
A series of gallery programs and interactive presentations will further immerse you in the experience of early air combat:
Balloon Observation Mission
Climb into a balloon basket and search for enemy activity on the Western Front.
Welcome to the Aerodrome
Suit up, assemble a map and get your airplane ready for action.
Ace Academy Flight Experience
Test your First World War piloting skills in virtual combat in this interactive application developed by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Continue your First World War adventure at home! DownloadAce Academy and its sequel Ace Academy: Black Flight, for free.
An exhibition developed by the Canadian War Museum with the generous support of the J. P. Bickell Foundation.
BombingThe fascinating stories of nine individuals are divided among four thematic zones: Training, Observation, Bombing and Aerial Combat.
TrainingThe fascinating stories of nine individuals are divided among four thematic zones: Training, Observation, Bombing and Aerial Combat.
Aerial CombatThe fascinating stories of nine individuals are divided among four thematic zones: Training, Observation, Bombing and Aerial Combat.
Ace Academy Flight ExperienceIt’s your turn to fly and fight a battle in the air…
Welcome to the Aerodrome!Dress up as a First World War pilot and share your picture with us.
ObservationThe fascinating stories of nine individuals are divided among four thematic zones: Training, Observation, Bombing and Aerial Combat.
Model A1 aerial cameraEarly experiments with hand-held cameras proved the value of aerial photographs. By early 1915, cameras were mounted on observation airplanes and, by year’s end, they were the observer’s primary tool.
Model A1 aerial camera
Division, Eastman Kodak Company
Canadian War Museum 20020045-452
Manfred von Richthofen’s silver victory cupThis silver cup belonged to German pilot Manfred von Richthofen, nicknamed the Red Baron. Richthofen scored 80 aerial victories, the most of any pilot in the war. After every successful combat, he had a small silver cup made as a trophy. When silver became too scarce, it was replaced by pewter. Richthofen was shot down and killed in April 1918.
Silver victory cup
Courtesy of Sir Peter Jackson
Eric Ohman’s flight gogglesEric Ohman’s parents sent him these goggles when he was in training in southern Ontario. The lenses are made of three pieces of glass glued together to prevent shattering. When he later crashed in a training accident, Ohman reported, “The most marvellous thing was my goggles were not broken.”
Lent by Catherine Newman
Deadly Skies – Air War, 1914–1918 Trailer
Meet Ada May Smith
Meet Heinrich Mathy
Meet Eric Ohman
The Sopwith Pup
Get your souvenir catalogue now
Complete your visit by picking up the Deadly Skies souvenir catalogue, on sale online and at the Museum Gift Shop.
Official Partners, First World War Centenary
John and Pattie Cleghorn and Family
H.Col (Ret’d) John C. Eaton, O.Ont., K.St.J., D.Com. and H.Col Sally Horsfall Eaton, S.S.St.J., C.D., R.N., LL.D.