The Connecticut Air & Space Center received a spectacular donation of a collection of hand-made, wooden Sikorsky Flying Boats from Mr. Louis Chagnon of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Mr. Chagnon, a life-long carpenter with a love of both aircraft and ship modelling, made the donation of his precision three-dimensional models so that present and future generations could appreciate and honor the genius of Igor Sikorsky and the manufacturing expertise of the men and women who worked in the Stratford factory that is now home to Connecticut Air & Space Center. He selected our Museum precisely because of our Mission of Honoring Connecticut’s aviation pioneers, Restoring their work, and Educating the public about their pioneering aviation heritage.
Mr. Chagnon was a World War II Sherman Tank driver, commenting with his characteristic self-effacing candor that he got the driver job since, prior to the War, he was a truck driver and the Army was specifically looking for truck drivers since only they knew how to “double-clutch” the Sherman’s transmission.
In addition to his donation of perfect scale representations of Sikorsky’s S-39, S-40 and S-43 Flying Boats, he also gave CASC beautiful models of a Chance-Vought Kingfisher and an F-4U Corsair. The collection of models are on display, in the Early Sikorsky / Vought Sikorsky case, in the main display gallery near the Whitehead display. As the display is finalized we will be adding a picture of Mr. Chagnon in his United States Army uniform to honor not only his planes but also his service to the United States.
Regrettably, Mr. Chagnon died a week after he made his generous donation to Connecticut Air & Space Center, on October 9, 2014.
The detail and execution must be seen in person to truly be appreciated. Please feel free to stop in and view the collection.
A special thanks to Eugene Madara, CASC President for arranging the donation, providing photographs, this story and for safely transporting these exquisite models to the museum.