Queens of the Yukon

The original Queen of the Yukon was intended to serve a long and profitable career hauling mail and passengers throughout the Yukon. But eight months after her inaugural flight, it crashed and was damaged beyond repair. The delivery of the Queen of the Yukon II on August 17, 1929 was to bring new hope to Yukon Airways; instead it brought despair. On November 2, 1929 pilot John Patterson was taking off at Mayo when tragedy struck. The Queen went down and Patterson was killed—the Yukon’s first aviation fatality. Despite the efforts of Yukon Airways, the company could not recover and by 1930, was all but finished. The remains of the Queen of the Yukon now rest underneath the runway at the Whitehorse International Airport.

The replica Queen of the Yukon on display at the museum was commissioned by the Yukon Government for the Yukon pavilion at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. It was built by world-renowned harpsichord builder Ted Turner and his team of assistants on Pender Island, B.C. She is made almost entirely of wood with a welded steel frame and fabric covering. The replica took nine months to complete. After its debut at Expo, this Queen of the Yukon was donated to the Yukon Transportation Museum.