(Saguenay) Until two years ago, visit the Museum of the Bagotville Air Defence came down to watch the artifacts inside the former Protestant church airbase Saguenay or planes in the adjacent park .
The Museum of the Bagotville Air Defence is located inside the old Protestant church of the air base of the Saguenay.
Now, digital technology enables us to live a different experience. Augmented reality and multimedia came to the rescue of this museum, opened in 1997 and is located at the entrance of the base, on the side of the road 170.
First, the permanent exhibition sky Masters and the temporary are reclaimed by listening to an audio guide on iPad Mini tablets can be rented on site. Obviously, the visit can be also guided by guides on site, as Jimmy Trottier, who accompanied Le Soleil.
The first exhibition tells the story of aviation in Canada, the debut in 1909 with the first flight of the Silver Dart in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, to the present. One can contemplate various artifacts testifying to the creation of the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1924, the Second World War, the Cold War and the abortive CF-105 Avro Arrow program.
There are not only historical pieces. This is also represented by the only copy of a new pilot helmet CF-18 display in a museum, based on embedded technology in the F-35. “It is too small a copy to the head of the pilots based here. It’s worth
$ 160,000 piece, “says Jimmy Trottier. “For sure we lose if a driver having a smaller head gets here.”
The second exhibition, The final chapter explains how the Allies in November 1943, prepared a great shot, that of the opening of a major new front in the West. You can see artifacts testifying to the preparation of the Normandy landings, which is a turning point in World War II.
Where the museum of the Bagotville Air Defence gets interesting is in the park outside. Exposure warning state offers a multimedia experience with the presentation of the planes that flew the skies of the Saguenay in the last 70 years.
At least five presentations were accompanied by a QR code that starts a video on them. You can see archival images or an interview with a pilot who flew with the aircraft on the iPad tablet regular size, also rented on site. The viewing of five videos gives you the title of “ace”.
Under the tent, the same tablet can see three-dimensional planes or animations thanks to augmented reality. When mounting in the watchtower, one can see more videos when aiming the aircraft on display in the park.
In addition, the Museum is the only one in North America that has in its possession a Russian fighter plane Soviet-era MiG-23. This is a gift from Czechoslovakia before the separation into two republics, the Czech and Slovak.
Air Base Bagotville, it is possible to visit by going to the Museum, was born in 1942 in the wake of the Air Training Plan British Commonwealth (BCATP), initiated by the Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King. She was one of about 151 schools established across Canada.
In addition to training, the mission of the base was also defending the region had one of the largest, if not the largest aluminum manufacturing plant in the world, to be used to build aircraft. Hence the slogan “Defend the Saguenay.”
Tours of the base by bus
Significantly, the Museum of the Air Defence allows a guided bus tour of the military base of the Saguenay. A unique way to discover the “small town” inside the city of Saguenay.
Three fixed departures per day have been established either at 10am, at 13h and 15h. Other departures can be made when there are groups.
“This is the only place in North America where a military base one can visit,” said Patrick Langlois, guide at the museum. “The bus is going in different locations of the base and even on airplanes traffic areas.”
However, there are security prerogatives to enjoy this “largesse”, especially after the events of last autumn in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa. “No camera, phone or even portfolio can be brought with you during the visit,” says Langlois. “Visitors must leave these items in the lockers provided for this purpose, in exchange for an identity card.”
Want to go?
Where: 6513, chemin Saint-Anicet (Route 170), Saguenay (La Baie) QC G7B 3N8; 418 677-7159
When: June to September, every day from 9h to 17h
Based on Guided tours: 10h, 13h and 15h. It is best to book.
How much: adults, $ 12; student, $ 6; Seniors (65 and over), $ 8; Group of 20 or more, $ 8 per person; cruise, $ 8 per person; children under 5, free; family package for two adults and two students, $ 28 or two adults and three students, $ 33; digital tablet rental, $ 4. Groups of 20 or more must reserve them.
Off-season (September to mid-June): the Museum welcomes groups of only 20 people or more by reservation.