While the name is new to the public, the staff and aircraft are not. Back in 2007, the first Waterloo Warbirds aircraft was purchased from the Government of Canada, that aircraft being the Canadair CT-133 serial number 577. In 2007 there were no privately flying T-33s in Canada and it took a hard working team until 2010 to get our first aircraft flying. T-33 serial number 577 would become C-FRGA on the civil registry and would fly for one season in her original low vis grey military paint scheme.
The idea of getting this aircraft into the air was for two purposes; first to honour the men and women who served Canada, and second was to inspire a new generation of aviators with Canada's unique aviation history. While the grey paint was historically accurate, the paint scheme that C-FRGA would take in 2011 would be much more eye catching. Thus the T-33 Mako Shark was born. The Mako Shark's paint scheme was based on the commemorative "Silver Shark" T-33 flown by VU32 squadron in 1992.
It was at this time that the Mako Shark began to operate under loan to the Jet Aircraft Museum. It was at that time the staff, at what would become Waterloo Warbirds, became aware of another rare aircraft on the market. The DH-115 de Havilland Vampire was the next addition to the group. Our Vampire operated in the Swiss Air Force until the early 1990's. Our Vampire landed in Canada in 2010 and began a 4 year project to get it ready for passenger flights.
It was around this time that Viper North, who operates an Aero L-29 "Super" Delfin and Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-15 decided to bring both of their aircraft into Canada. These aircraft represent two of the most importance early jet technologies of the Soviet Union. Where most children would only read about see these aircraft as static examples in museum's, they can now see Canada's cold war adversaries up close and flying in person.
In 2014, the Jet Aircraft Museum decided to change its mandate of flying on loan aircraft. In order to ensure that these aircraft continued to fly for the public the decision was made by the aircraft sponsors to continue the financial support and focus the program on pure flying.
Thus Waterloo Warbirds was born.
We are a team of just over ten volunteers, many of who helped return these aircraft to the air many years ago. Our only goal is to fly these aircraft and introduce a new generation of Canadians to the amazing history behind them.