Aérosalon 2024

Texts and Photography by Claude La Frenière.
On June 1-2, 2024, Montreal's skies hosted AéroSalon 2024 at the Montreal Metropolitan Airport (Saint-Hubert CYHU).
AéroSalon2024 was organized by the École Nationale d’Aéronautique, better known as ÉNA, a collegiate-level aero technical career school and one of the most prestigious in North America.
Organized by the École Nationale d’Aéronautique, better known as “ÉNA,” a college-level school dedicated to the training of aero-technical professions affiliated with Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, the event captivated attendees with spectacular aerial demonstrations and fascinating ground displays.

Centered on “Developing the Next Generation in Aero-Technics,” AéroSalon 2024 showcased cutting-edge advancements and the latest aerospace trends, providing a platform for industry leaders, innovators, and aspiring professionals to converge.
Among the ÉNA aircraft on display, the visitors were able to admire the prototype of the Bombardier CS100 which became the Airbus A220-100.
Static Ground Exhibition: ÉNA and Civil Aircraft in the Spotlight

Although the static exhibition component was more limited this year, it did not lack diversity and interest, with a particular emphasis on civil aircraft. The École Nationale d’Aéronautique allowed the public to discover the range of airships used by its students for training. Among the ÉNA flagships on display, attendees could admire the prototype of the Bombardier CS100, now the Airbus A220-100, a Dornier 328-100, and many smaller aircraft.
Bell Helicopter was also present with a brand new 429 model, equipped for emergency medical missions, seen here with Patrick Lafleur, Test Pilot Specialist at Bell Helicopter.
Historical aviation enthusiasts were able to admire the presence of the Harvard MK IV RCAF, well known in Quebec as the "Green Monster".
Chrono Aviation presented a PC-12 and a crew to answer questions from visitors.
Bell Helicopter showcased a brand new 429 model equipped for emergency medical missions. Air Inuit exhibited a De Havilland DHC-8-314, accessible to the public, while Chrono Aviation presented a Boeing 737-200 and a PC-12. Historic aviation enthusiasts had a few aircraft to visit, including a Harvard MK IV RCAF nicknamed "the Green Monster" and two PT-17 biplanes, complemented by a Bell 206B Jet Ranger III helicopter, a Pitts S-2C, and three other helicopters from Hélicoptères Canadiens and Helicraft.
The CL-415 water bomber of the Quebec Government Air Service attracted all eyes. The pilots explained its operation and allowed visitors a closer look.
The huge CH-147 Chinook twin-rotor helicopter at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa was available to the public all weekend.
Military Component: Disappointment for Visitors

Beyond the control of the organizers, four key aircraft from the US Air Force withdrew just days before the event for operational reasons. These included a Boeing E-3 Sentry radar plane and a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker tanker plane. However, visitors were still able to see the CH-147 Chinook from the Canadian Forces Base in Petawawa, an emblematic heavy transport helicopter of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Known for its reliability and robustness, it can carry up to 55 soldiers or 18,000 kg of cargo and is used for a wide range of missions.
Also on site was the CH-146 Griffon, a medium-sized multi-role helicopter used by the Royal Canadian Air Force, renowned for its versatility, reliability, and performance in harsh climatic conditions.
Michel Benoit the Official Announcer who has been recognized for years as the French-speaking voice of air shows in Quebec.
The Air Boss and the Official Announcer: A Duo for a Successful Air Show

Two professionals played crucial roles: Air Boss Erick “Hōm” O'Connor, a Major in the RCAF and a CF-18 flight instructor, and Michel Benoit, the announcer recognized as the French-speaking voice of air shows in Quebec. Their collaboration ensured a captivating and safe experience for the audience. The Air Boss orchestrated the security and coordination of aerial demonstrations, while the announcer translated the aerial feats into accessible language, creating a festive and captivating atmosphere.
Thom Richard is a highly respected aerobatic and air racing pilot, flying the legendary P-40 Warhawk. Seen here with the CYHU tower in the background.
Let the Air Show Begin

AéroSalon 2024 presented visitors with a variety of air and land attractions. Highlights included CF-18 demonstrations and aerial performances by the famous Snowbirds. The show opened with a dynamic demonstration of a Griffon CH-146 helicopter from the 438th Tactical Helicopter Squadron. Other notable performances included Martin Hivon with the Yakovlev YAK-55M, the Northern Stars Aerobatic Team with their Aviat Pitts S2Bs, and Thom Richard of Warbirds Adventures Inc. with his P-40 Warhawk.
The CL-415 water bomber of the Quebec Government Air Service provided a striking demonstration, and Bill Culberson of Fighter Jets Inc. showcased the T-33 Shooting Star.
RCAF Demonstration CF-18 Hornet 2024

The CF-18 Demo Team celebrated the RCAF's centennial with an exciting air show and a new paint scheme. Piloted by Capt. Caleb Robert aka “Tango,” the CF-18 Hornet's performance was a highlight, showcasing impressive acrobatic maneuvers.
Daniel Fortin and Mario Hamel: Unique Duo Demonstration

Daniel Fortin with his CJ6A Nanchang and Mario Hamel with his Salto H-101 glider performed a unique formation flight, the only one in North America using a glider and airplane combination.
The Snowbirds: A Breathtaking Air Show

The Snowbirds' performance was the highlight of the event. The team of the RCAF's 431st Air Demonstration Squadron showcased their precision and mastery with complex aerial figures, inspiring the audience with their skill and dedication.
Air Inuit De Havilland DHC-8-314 cockpit accessible to the public.
AéroSalon: A Crossroads of Learning and Networking

The event provided learning and networking opportunities for students and industry professionals. The ÉNA highlighted the importance of specialized training in aeronautics and demonstrated its role in the aviation ecosystem. Commander Robert Piché, known for his heroism during the emergency landing of Air Transat Flight 236 in 2001, was the official spokesperson, captivating the audience with his story.
Strategic Alliances Propel AéroSalon to New Heights

AéroSalon 2024 leveraged partnerships with industry titans such as Airbus, Bombardier, and Pratt & Whitney. These alliances provided students with internship opportunities and networking with industry professionals, bridging the gap between academic training and the professional world. The event had a significant economic impact, attracting over 17,000 visitors and boosting the local economy.
Advanced Technologies and Innovations

Interactive demonstrations and workshops showcased new technologies, providing an educational experience. The École Nationale d’Aéronautique promoted diversity and inclusion, attracting young women and underrepresented minorities to aviation careers.
Pascal Désilet, Director General of ÉNA of Quebec on the left with Commander Robert Piché, famous for his heroism during the emergency landing in 2001 of Air Transat Flight 236, the official spokesperson for the event.
Looking to the Future

AéroSalon 2024 demonstrated the dynamism and growth potential of the aeronautical industry in Montreal. With a need for a skilled workforce and continuous innovations, the future of aviation looks bright. The ÉNA plays a central role in this evolution, training the professionals of tomorrow and integrating the latest technologies and practices into its programs.

AéroSalon 2024 celebrated aviation in all its forms, offering visitors a rich experience combining spectacle, education, and inspiration. Through aerial demonstrations, technological exhibitions, and networking opportunities, AéroSalon has confirmed its importance in the aviation events calendar.
AéroSalon 2024 has leveraged partnerships with industry titans such as Airbus to provide students with internship and networking opportunities with industry professionals