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cool1 coolsign_thumbs Nearly all of Gander's streets are named for famous aviators, from the Wright brothers, Alcock and Brown, Lindbergh and Earhart, to more modern pioneers like Canadian astronauts Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar and Chris Hadfield.
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Gander hosted early experiments in aerial refuelling in the late 1930s. The decidedly low-tech system of the day required some brave soul to lean out of the target plane with a large hook and try to snag a fuel line dangling from a tanker flying in close formation overhead.

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In the early years of the supersonic transport Concorde, while most nations still refused to allow the futuristic craft into their airspace, Gander successfully lobbied to host cold-weather avionics testing. Two prototypes were based at Gander International two years before Concorde's first commercial flight.

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Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Gander and surrounding communities welcomed, housed and fed nearly 6,700 unexpected guests for up to five days, when all North American airspace was ordered closed. Ten years later, Gander was presented with two pieces of steel recovered from New York's World Trade Center buildings in appreciation of the Town's extraordinary compassion and generosity.

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Gander's municipal water supply is 50km long and 5km wide, its bottom extending far below sea level. Its odd topography, currents and even tidal action have consistently foiled attempts to accurately determine its maximum depth and its ability to absorb or baffle sonar signals reinforces the longstanding lore of "bottomless" Gander Lake.

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The runways at Gander International Airport routinely handle the world's largest, fastest and heaviest aircraft, up to and including the Antonov An-225.

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Due to its strategic location and runway capacity, Gander was a designated alternate landing site for NASA's Space Shuttle program.

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Former Cuban President Fidel Castro once tobogganed with local youngsters on the slopes overlooking Gander Lake.

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Gander is the site of North America's only Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.

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At the time of its completion in 1938, the then 'Newfoundland Airport' was the largest airfield on the planet, with four huge paved runways covering a combined area of one square mile.

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The first refueling vehicle at Gander's airport was a 45-gallon drum lashed to a sled and towed to waiting aircraft by an enthusiastic Newfoundland dog named Pal. Pal later became the mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada and the only Canadian dog to be awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Renamed 'Gander', our hero "engaged the enemy" on three documented occasions on Hong Kong Island in December, 1941. As stated in his citation, "Twice, Gander's attacks halted the enemy's advance and protected groups of wounded soldiers. In a final act of bravery the war dog was killed in action gathering a grenade. Without Gander's intervention many more lives would have been lost in the assault."

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Air Traffic Controllers at Gander handle all North Atlantic air traffic - an average of 1,000 return flights daily - whether those aircraft land here or not.

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Gander International boasted Newfoundland's first 24-hour liquor licence and the province's first escalator. In the photo at left, bartender Wilson Powell, then 21, serves travellers at the airport's famed Big Dipper Lounge.

cool14 coolThumb_crater A crater on the surface of Mars has been named for the Town of Gander, in recognition of the airport town's history of pioneering aviation and aerospace technologies. Located south of the red planet's equator in a region known as Hellas Planitia, the Gander crater is 38 kilometres in diameter, roughly the distance from Appleton through Gander to Benton.
cool15 coolThumb_danube Gander has found its way into the complex and detailed culture of Star Trek. In the Deep Space Nine episode "Penumbra", the USS Gander is a Danube-class runabout which, unfortunately, is destroyed by two Jem’Hadar attack ships near the Goralis system. In the original script, the craft was named USS Ganges, but the writers later discovered the Ganges had been destroyed in an earlier episode, so Gander was selected as the last-minute replacement.
cool16 coolThumb_carbera On February 21, 1951, a Royal Air Force Canberra landed at Gander to complete the first non-stop transatlantic jet crossing, covering 1800 miles from Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, in four hours 37 minutes. On August 26, 1952, another Canberra jet made the first single-day return crossing, also between Aldergrove and Gander, in seven hours 59 minutes.
cool17 coolThumb_helicopter Helicopters were first used in Newfoundland in the days following the 1946 crash of a Sabena DC-4 on the south side of Gander Lake. Two helicopters were dismantled and flown to Gander from New York as cargo, then reassembled and used to evacuate survivors to hospital.

 

Spoken Art - Thoughts on Being From Gander (pdf/video)

pdficon Download This good-natured rant about Gander's history and place in the world was presented in response to the Mayor's Poetry City Challenge, issued by Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. Click here to watch Christopher Kelly perform the piece at the April 30, 2014, public meeting of Council.

Paper Airplane Design (pdf)

pdficon Download This classic paper airplane design shows Gander's place in the world. For best results, the sheet should printed borderless, or full size with 'clipping' allowed. Careful folding should produce a paper airplane with exceptional flight characteristics.

1950 Telephone Directory (pdf)

pdficon Download This 1950 Canadian National Telegraphs Telephone Directory lists all the local three-digit phone numbers in service on Gander Airport, along with a page of classified ads and detailed instructions on how to place a telephone call. This directory was donated to the Town of Gander by longtime resident and telephone company employee Dave Miles. The original is on display at Town Hall.

Gander's First Town Plan - 1957 (pdf)

pdficon Download This 1957 report details Gander's first Municipal Plan and our founders' vision of the airport town's future as the hub of commercial North Atlantic air travel.

Knitting Patterns

Download the patterns to knit your own official Gander beanie or toque.

Beanie

Knitting Pattern pdficon Download

Toque

Knitting Pattern pdficon Download

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