A very interesting aspect of the Zurakowski Visitor’s Centre is the inclusion of several models depicting key aircraft that Zura flew during his life. Initially, he was not particularly in favour of the idea. However, he came to regard the initiative as useful to show, not only various aircraft the he personally flew, but also as showing the evolution of aircraft over more than half a century.

For the last few months of his life, Zura worked on a list of what he considered to be the aircraft that he wanted to see depicted in the display area. Ultimately, the list consisted of eight aircraft:

The “Wrona.” This was the type of glider on which Zura first took to the air in the early 1930’s.

RWD-8. A two-seater training and liaison aircraft for the Polish military. On this aircraft, Zura first soloed in
May of 1935.

PZL P11C. Upon completion of his flight training in Poland, Zura was sent to 161 Fighter Squadron. Here he flew the P11C, the front-line Polish fighter of the late 1930’s.

Supermarine Spitfire. Probably the most famous and most recognizable aircraft to come out of World War Two, and the only one to be in production prior to, during, and after that conflict. Zura flew the Spitfire Mark I in the Battle of Britain, and later versions on subsequent duty with squadrons of the Polish Air Force in England.

Martin Baker MB.5. One of the most advanced piston-engine aircraft of the Second World War, although appearing too late to challenge the newly arriving jet aircraft. Zura thought highly of the design, calling it “excellent and infinitely better…than any other similar type of aircraft…”

Gloster Meteor F.8. On April 4, 1950, Zura flew a
standard military version of the Meteor to set new international speed records between London, England
and Copenhagen, Denmark, with an average speed
over the course of 480.29 mph (772.93 kph).

Avro CF-100 Canuck. In December of 1952, Zura flew a Mark 4 CF-100 to supersonic speeds, the first time the speed of sound had been broken in this type of aircraft. The fact that the Avro Design Department had categorically stated that it could not be done in the Canuck obviously did not deter Zura!

The Avro Arrow. Certainly the most famous Canadian-built aircraft in history, the Arrow showed great potential. As an example, speeds in excess of Mach 1.5 were achieved in the late 1950’s. For a variety of reasons, however, the great project was cancelled on “Black Friday”, February 20, 1958.

The Committee then addressed the question of how to have the models built. Fortunately, an experience modeler had visited the site of Zurakowski Park in 2003, and had subsequently become involved in building one of the required aircraft. A member of the International Plastic Modelers’ Society (IPMS) Canada – Ottawa Chapter, he was able to bring three more talented modelers into the project. These four modelers have now completed the aircraft, the last being finished in early September 2005.

All of the models are built to 1/48th scale. This ensures that each model relates accurately to the others in terms of size and dimension. To speed the process, all of the models except one are available as model kits: the Wrona glider was “scratch built,” that is, constructed of basic modeling materials such as wood, sheet plastic, thread and any other useable material. The modelers employed various advanced modeling techniques, including, (for example) the use of fine air brushes to apply the finishing colours to the models.

The modelling team shows off their handiwork.
Left to right: Gary Barling, Earl Atkins, Jean Gratton, Steve Sauvé
  The collection being admired by a future flier?