Visiting Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil / Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport, Quebec: Historic Facility
Various historic associations
Although now known chiefly as a general and business aviation facility, what is now Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil / Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport (1) has many historic associations.
Opened in 1927, it soon became well known as an airship terminus, its 63-metre tower a local landmark; the R-100 (see below) was a notable visitor.
Among the early aircraft types seen at St Hubert were the Ford Tri-Motor (see below) and the Lockheed L-10 Electra; the former type was used by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) while the Electra was used by Trans-Canada Airlines (the precursor of Air Canada).
Transatlantic flight achieved one of its milestones in October 1930 in connection with the airport when aviator Errol Boyd (see below) — taking off in the Bellanca Columbia from St. Hubert and making stops in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Harbour Grace, NFL — became the first Canadian to fly from Canada to England. Accompanied by navigator Harry Connor, the pair landed at Tresco, Cornwall and flew onward to London's Croydon Airport. This Transatlantic flight was noted for the use of a Sperry artificial-horizon indicator, a device which had just been tested by Jimmy Doolittle (later distinguished by leading the famous 'Doolittle Raid' on Japan in World War Two, in April 1942). Errol Boyd is thus sometimes referred to as 'the Lindbergh of Canada'. (1)
For many years a military and training base, in World War Two the facility even welcomed exiled members of the French Resistance for training and planning purposes.
On a more macabre note, the airport dubiously hit the headlines when, during the FLQ crisis of 1970, Quebec Provincial minister Pierre Laporte was killed by terrorists, his remains being discovered at the airport at St. Hubert.
Today this mainly general aviation facility with three runways extends to 515 hectares.
Close to the airport Agence spatiale canadienne / Canadian Space Agency is situated.
At the facility itself, 438e escadron tactique d'hélicoptères / 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron — part of the Forces armées canadiennes / Canadian Armed Forces — is based.
Plane-spotters today will at St. Hubert likely see numerous examples of general aviation aircraft including Cessna, Cirrus, Piper and others.
June 5, 2018
(1) See also (in French): http://dashl.ca/ ; (in English) http://dashl.ca/en/
(2) J. Errol Boyd (1891-1960) was later naturalized an American citizen; he pursued an extensive flying career in the US and Mexico. See also: http://www.historynet.com/erroll-boyd-world-war-i-combat-pilot-and-aviation-daredevil.htm
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Longueuil itself, sights include: the Gothic Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue Co-Cathedral, built in 1884; Maison Daniel-Poirier dates from 1750; close to the Co-Cathedral are some remains of Fort Longueuil, fortified residence of New France's Governor Charles le Moyne de Longueuil (1656-1729).
The architectural and cultural attractions of Montreal are too numerous to mention here, but of special note, among many others, are the domed Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours ), dating from 1847, which was a venue used to house the Parliament of United Canada, prior to Confederation. The Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal ) was built mainly between 1824 and 1829; many Montrealers attend annual performances of Handel's 'Messiah' there. Fine views from Mount Royal (Mont Royal) may be obtained at St. Joseph's Oratory (Oratoire Saint-Joseph) and the Belvedere (Belvédère). The Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique ) in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, used for the 1976 Olympics, has the the world's tallest inclined tower, at 175 metres.
Mont-Tremblant (distance: 133 kilometres), in the Laurentian Mountains (Laurentides ) is ideal for scenic excursions, golf and skiing; its boutiques attract many shoppers.
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Montreal (Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal ) from Toronto-Pearson, and from New York-Newark and New York-La Guardia, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Montreal-Trudeau airport. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Toronto and Windsor. The Longueuil / St.Hubert area may be reached via Routes 132, 134, 112 and 15-10 from Montréal. The AMT train (Mont-Saint-Hilaire line) from Montréal stops at Longueuil-Saint-Hubert. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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