The museum was created in 1964 on the Rockcliffe military air base near downtown Ottawa. In 1988 the collection of civilian and military aircraft was moved to a new triangular hangar. Among the highlights of the museum are the the Lancaster bomber from the Second World War, the nose section of the Avro Arrow and the original Canadarm used on the Endeavour space shuttle.
Particularly impressive is the RCAF Hall of Tribute.
In 2006 an additional hangar, designed by Provencher_Roy, was opened.