If you're an aerophile (like Murray at Explore North), you'll love YXY.
Because you can walk around YXY and, for about 80% of the perimeter, get close-up views of any of the aircraft taking-off or landing. Plus, YXY doesn't get your normal run-of-the-mill aircraft. YXY gets fighter jets.
The airport was founded because of its strategic location; an essential link in a chain of runways - known as the Northwest Staging Route - that ran from Alberta to Alaska, created for the defense of North America. Alaska and the Yukon are in close proximity to Asia and, as such, shorter-haul aircraft that are flying from Europe or Asia to Western North America often make stops in Whitehorse.
An amazing array of international aircraft, commonly of a military persuasion, stop in Whitehorse. British, Canadian, and American fighter jets buzz the city before they land, but YXY also gets a variety of water bombers, search and rescue aircraft, small aircraft, and passenger jets. A couple of years ago, the world's largest helicopter made a stop while enroute from Russia to the diamond mines north of Yellowknife.
The best part is, you can get a great view of them all from the chain link fence and pathways surrounding the airport!
Last Friday, we went down to the airport to see the planes that were coming in for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. Not all of the planes had arrived, but here are a few pictures of some of last weekend's visitors to YXY...
Not all aircraft are created equal.
Who's that hiding behind the big plane?
My favourite plane of all time: the Twin Otter. Who doesn't love a plane that can carry three canoes, make short take-offs and landings on floats or skis, and make its props go in reverse?
More big planes, with military personnel for scale.
You can tell which one is an officer and a gentleman. He's dressed up for Rendezvous.
Check out the custom paint job on this puppy! The camoflauge makes it easier for the plane to hide in dark clouds...
I have no idea what this little vehicle is used for, but seriously, why aren't we using these as commuter vehicles? They're way cooler than Smart Cars...
This bobcat was at the hotel across from the airport. The poor thing isn't going anywhere fast. It took Fawn a little while to figure out what was wrong with it, though...