CAE Family Day 2017

 

Blog CAE Family Day 0CAE photo

Blog CAE Family Day 1 cropped

Blog CAE Family Day 1A Methods Machining Parts

A real highlight of the plant tour for CAE Family Day 2017 was getting a close look (even a visit to the flight deck) of one of the world’s most advanced flight simulators. Here are a couple of scenes from this year’s Family Day, held on September 23. Nearest is a “sim” (full flight simulator — FFS) for the new CSeries jetliner – it’s almost ready for delivery. Then, a display explaining “Methods” – how parts get machined, completed, inspected, delivered down the line for assembly, etc.

Each year CAE throws its doors wide open, inviting in its huge extended family for “Family Day”. This is a truly wonderful event. This year alone, some 10,000 attended, all welcomed to tour through almost every nook and cranny in CAE’s vast facility on the edge of Dorval airport. Moms, dads, children, grandparents, retirees and friends all enjoyed every minute from early morning to late afternoon. Entering at the front door, the crowds were guided towards the shop floor, “where it all begins” – the process of manufacturing a flight simulator. The tour kicked off at the “raw materials” start line. Nothing here looks anything like a flight simulator. It’s just piles of materiel and all sorts of machines and processes going on. For Family Day actual production was shut down, but at each work station were volunteers to explain or demonstrate what goes on – milling or plating a part, cutting or assembling sheet metal, installing wiring, etc. There were line-ups all along the way and great fun for the little ones — clown acts, acrobats, etc. As the crowd moved along, people could see how an actual flight simulator takes shape.
Blog CAE Family Day 2 Hydraulics

Blog CAE Family Day 3

A display of flight simulator motion system hydraulic components. Since CAE’s first motion system-equipped flight simulators in the 1960s-70s (early DC-8, 747, etc.), “sims” were powered by heavy-duty hydraulic systems. Periodically, there was talk of using electric power, but no such system could handle the heavy installations and punishing cycles. In the 1990s, however, R&D led to lighter installations and improved electrical power systems. These have been perfected and now are universally used. However, CAE continues supporting older hydraulically-powered “sims”, many of which remain in use around the world. See Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story for the history of how technology has evolved at CAE over the last 70 years. Then, a view showing CAE family members checking out an electronics equipment display.

Blog CAE Family Day 4
All of a sudden, this “aviator” from some other planet dropped from the sky to stir things up among the families.

Blog CAE Family Day 5

This station demonstrated the key phase whereby a new flight simulator gets “wired up”. Miles of electrical wiring are needed to bring a big FFS up to operating standards.

Blog CAE Family Day 6

As I walked through CAE’s main plant, the nose of a Beech 350 King Air (formerly C-FRLD of Carson Air) caught my eye. Sitting there, it looked like scrap metal. Before long, however, C-FRLD will be re-manufactured as an “all new” flight training device. In an earlier such case, CAE converted a MiG-29 jet fighter ready for scrap into a new MiG-29 flight simulator for the Malaysian Air Force. Using a discarded airframe is a practical solution vs paying for an expensive new factory-made airframe, or building up a new facsimile structure in the CAE shops. While the typical new CAE FFS, does start with an all-new cockpit frame manufactured in the sheet metal department, for “one off” devices such as the King Air, renovating a discarded airframe makes a lot of sense, especially to the customer.

Blog CAE Family Day 7

Here’s another example of the same practical solution. On the right is a well-worn actual Airbus A320 throttle quadrant. The A320 FFS cockpit certainly needs one of these, but a new one is cost-prohibitive. On the left is how the restored component looks.

Blog CAE Family Day 8

Airbus EC135 helicopter flight simulators near completion on the shop floor at CAE.

Blog CAE Family Day 9

The cockpit structure of a new airliner FFS takes shape in CAE’s sheet metal department.

Blog CAE Family Day 10

Super-thin, super-reflective Mylar is essential to any CAE FFS visual system. Notice in this Family Day display how magnificently the ceiling is reflected in the Mylar. In early days, CAE depended on outside suppliers for FFS visual system. Through years of R&D, however, CAE attained world-class status manufacturing its own visual systems.

Finally, at the top end of the vast manufacturing facility, several complete full slight simulators were sitting ready for customer acceptance.

 

Blog CAE Family Day 11

 

Blog CAE Family Day 12 brightened

Pilots soon will be training on the CSeries FFS. Then, a CAE MD-11 FFS manufactured ages ago in 1992 for the UPS fleet. Presently, it is back for complete modernization. Just for fun, for Family Day it was programmed to “dance” to some popular tunes. Originally with a hydraulically powered motion system, this FFS has been retrofitted with electric power.

Moving from the production bays, families passed through a hall of CAE history with displays and activities to interest anyone. I was fascinated to see some early products about which I had only heard, while researching the history of CAE a few years ago. Included were priceless artifacts from CAE’s “Consumer Products” department of the early 1950s – Dumont/CAE television sets, high end sound systems of the day including a rare radios/record player combo, a portable radio, even one of CAE’s battery-powered portable scintillometers, used by prospectors searching for minerals.

 

Blog CAE Family Day 13

Blog CAE Family Day 14

Blog CAE Family Day 15

“Ancient history” – a beautifully-crafted 1950-vintage home entertainment system – the CAE “Sonoramic Mark II” radio-record player combination. While watching one little guy scrutinizing this equipment, I saw him look down at the turntable and happily conclude, “Oh, it’s a CD player.” Then, a close-up showing the tuning panel. Third, attached to the unit’s back is its authenticating data plate. Too bad that I didn’t have these photos for The CAE Story, but it’s fun to be able to add them now as blog images.

Blog CAE Family Day 16

Blog CAE Family Day 17

Blog CAE Family Day 18

In Montreal in the early 1950s,CAE was assembling DuMont TV sets (from that New York company’s high-end line). CAE initially sold lots of these, but in the long run could not compete with such big producers as RCA, or such entrenched retailers as Eatons. Next … a 1950s CAE “Lodestar” portable radio and one of CAE’s portable scintillometers used in the search for metals. See The CAE Story for more about CAE’s consumer products years.

Blog CAE Family Day 20

Blog CAE Family Day 21 brightened

Blog CAE Family Day 22

Family Day along the CAE “Museum” corridor with beautiful 1950s CAE/Dumont TV sets in the background. Then, Larry Milberry autographing a copy of The CAE Story. Finally, CAE retirees Richard Valiquette and Hani Macramalla (a long-serving CAE Electronics Ltd. executive), Larry again, plus Robert, an officer with 785 Air Cadet Squadron visiting from St-Eustache, Quebec. (CAE & Andrea Marcoux photos)

From the history displays came more kids activities and, downstairs, where there were outstanding displays of aerospace training equipment, and demonstrations of CAE Healthcare’s latest medical training aids. CAE Family Day 2017 was a real summer highlight for anyone lucky enough to be there.

 

Blog CAE Family Day 23 brightened

Much advanced pilot and technical training now can be done using programs loaded into laptops. CAE has been on the leading edge of this type of training.

Blog CAE Family Day 24

One of the human-like training aids marketed by CAE Healthcare.

Blog CAE Family Day 25

Blog CAE Family Day 26

Being CAE’s 70 th anniversary, there’s a big emphasis on company heritage. One important recent event was naming a street (with appropriate plaque) not far from the plant to honour CAE founder, Kenneth R. Patrick. In this photo taken at the naming are (on the left) CAE V-P Communications, Hélène Gagnon, City of St-Laurent Mayor DeSousa and CAE President Marc Parent. Far right is Ken Patrick’s grandson, Glenn. Then, a 2017 Family Day CAE volunteer shows off the Ken Patrick street sign.

Anyone with a connection to CAE will want a copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. To get you copy autographed by the author send $80.85 to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6; or send that amount by PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com

For more details about the book (and to order a copy on line) check out the rest of http://www.canavbooks.wordpress.com right here. There lots more CAE history and info if you scroll back (all the way to 2015, if you have the time).

Advertisements

Announcing … Three “Must Read” Canadian books now available from CANAV and … Important Norseman News!

 

 048

Bush Hawk Rick Found’s detailed history of Canada’s famous Found Brothers Aviation. Having written the original history of FBA (see Air Transport in Canada) I can highly recommend this fine new book. Bush Hawk covers everything from the early Found years to the late 1940s FBA-1 “Green Hornet”, then on to the FBA-2C bushplane. Production ensues in 1963, but there are steady company’s woes. Sales are difficult and there is head-butting in the marketplace with Cessna, Piper, etc. FBA is forced to close its doors, then comes a failed effort under new management with the FBA Centennial 100. FBA is revived again in the 1980s, produces the outstanding Bush Hawk, morphs into the Expedition company, then fades again in the 2000s. This is an important Canadian story, on a parallel with the Fleet 50, Fairchild Husky, Avian 180, ST-27, etc. Highly recommended for anyone seriously following Canada’s great aviation heritage. 199pp, softcover, photos. $27.50 A

Blog 1A DSC_4065 Blog 1B DSC_4421During my travels this summer in Northwestern Ontario I came across three of the original 1963-64 FBA-2s, including C-FRXJ near Nestor Falls. These rugged old work horses barely hiccup decade after decade, clear proof that the Founds designed a good one starting back in the 1940s. On the same trip I spotted 1990s Bush Hawk C-FEJM at Red Lake. Cheers … Larry

047

Exile Air: World War II’s Little Norway in Toronto and Muskoka Andrea Baston has spent years working on this epic WWII story. To begin, she provides detailed background ref. the 1940 Nazis invasion of Norway, and how Norway and the UK struggled to stave off disaster. Coverage of the air war includes RNoAF 1920s Fokkers and RAF biplane Gladiators putting up strenuous opposition.

Norway is overwhelmed, but the government, treasury and many citizens make it to the UK. By June 1940 arrangements are made to establish a Norwegian air training plan in Canada. “Little Norway” is established at Toronto Island Airport, with almost a hundred aircraft initially assigned, Curtiss P-36 fighters included. Training officially begins in November. All the details are here, including the expected growing pains and how Little Norway dovetailed with the BCATP. Besides all the training, contracts, administration, housing, sports, social life in Toronto and — sad to say — accidents all are part of this outstanding book. Little Norway adds a base in Muskoka to the north, where pilots train on the Fairchild Cornell. Eventually, the Norwegian graduates man RAF squadrons flying Spitfires, Catalinas, etc. All this also is carefully covered in detail.

Many personal profiles (based on in-depth research and interviews) are interwoven and everything is carefully covered to war’s end, the aftermath included, e.g., important events such as unveiling the commemorative monuments in Toronto and Muskoka. This nicely-produced, 240-page softcover is one of the most important Canadian aviation stories in recent years. Many photos, essential maps, notes, bibliography, index. An all-around beauty of an aviation book. $30.00 + $12.00 Canada Post + $2.10 tax = $ 44.10 (Canada). USA and overseas CDN$52.00.

Blog 3 Bagotville BookBagotville: 75 Years of Air Defence Here’s the info about Canada’s aviation blockbuster book for 2017. It’s a heavy duty effort – 512 pages, hardcover, some 1600 photos, 30 paintings and colour profiles – on and on, so no one will be disappointed in this wonderful production. Marc-André has done his usual in-depth coverage, assembling the exciting history of one of the great RCAF air stations, while blending both languages in his attractive/seamless layout. The book begins with WWII, with Bagotville training fighter pilots on the Harvard and Hurricane. Many famous aces pass through on instructing tours, many students go on to stellar careers. Next, comes the postwar era with Vampires, Sabres and CF-100s – all the historic squadrons, especially the all-weather CF-100 units – 440 and 432 form with CF-100 Mk.3s in 1953-54. Then come steady developments – 440 goes overseas, 413 forms up, the CF-100 Mk.4 and 5 arrive, there’s a steady stream of NORAD exercises, etc.
The CF-100 gives way to the CF-101 Voodoo era (410 and 425 sqns), then the tactical world arrives with the CF-5 and the renowned 433 Squadron. Finally come he CF-18 Hornet years with 425 Sqn. The evolution of Base Flight/439 Sqn is also covered – from T-33 to Griffon helio. Many other aspects of life at “YBG” are included in this huge colour production, from DEW Line helicopter times to Air Cadets and airshows. So don’t think that this overview begins to cover all the exciting content – the photo presentations alone will knock you out!

All things considered, Marc-André’s book is a bargain at the sticker price of $60.00. Add $12.00 for postage (Canada only) + tax $3.60 … Total in Canada $75.60

**************************************************************

How to order? Let me know which of these lovely books you wish. Pay the sticker price, add (Canada only) $12.00 for one book, or $16.00 for two or more (USA and overseas send me an email to get a shipping price). You can use PayPal (pay to larry@canavbooks.com), or post a cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Norseman Updates: New Pix of CF-GLI

Norseman CF-GLI Jim Campbell 2008 IMG_3544

Norseman CF-GLI Jim Campbell 2008 IMG_3545

Recently, Jim Campbell of Winnipeg submitted these two lovely photos of Norseman CF-GLI, which he took at Snow Lake, Manitoba in 2008. In 2017 “GLI” is a restoration project in the Netherlands:

Other Norseman News

This summer brought some newsworthy Norseman activity. For one thing, in July I attended the Norseman Festival in Red Lake. This year’s event was just the best fun, pretty well the whole town and lots of visitors turning out around Howey Bay to watch the usual floatplane activity, line up for flights in the Norseman, Otter and Caravan, and enjoy the practices and shows by the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, and the bushplane fly-past. There also were wonderful dinners at the Legion, a great ribs BBQ in the park, and fun and games in Centennial Park. Just a super weekend. Here are a few photos:

Blog Norseman #2 CF- DRD DSC_4429

Blog Norseman #1 CF-DRD Sept. 2017 DSC_4419

Two new “takes”on Red Lake’s famous “Town Norseman” CF-DRD.

Blog Norseman #3 Sept. 2017

Blog Norseman #4 CF-JIN Sept. 2017

Blog Norseman #5 CF-KAO Sept. 2017

Red Lake’s work-a-day Chimo Air Norsemans CF-JIN and CF-KAO at the dock at Howey Bay. Then, a closer view of JIN and one of KAO offloading passengers after a sightseeing ride.

Blog Norseman #6 Turbo Otter Sept. 2017 DSC_4480

Chimo Air has been expanding. Added to the fleet recently is turbine-powered Otter C-FODG.

Blog Norseman #7 ZMX DSC_4463

The Green family’s own Norseman CF-ZMX was one of the first bushplanes operated by Bearskin Airways. From humble beginnings, Bearskin today is one of the major airlines operating between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, and many points north.

Blog Norseman #8 Mining DSC_4509

This important part of Northern Ontario is founded on gold mining, a story that dates to the Red Lake Gold Rush of 1925-26. It was the bushplane that opened up the area and allowed the whole Red Lake economy to develop. Here’s an aerial view in July of one of the great mines at Cochenour, a few minutes’ drive from Red Lake.

Blog Norseman #9 Sept 2017 DSC_4521

An aerial view of Red Lake taken this July of the head of Howey Bay, where the main bushplane docks are found.

 

Blog Norseman #10 Sept. 2017 Harvards DSC_4258

Blog Norseman #11 Sept.2017 Harvards

Blog Norseman #12 Sept. 2017 Harvards

Blog Norseman #13 Sept 2017 Harvards DSC_4677

The CHAT Harvards arriving at Red Lake for the 2017 Norseman Festival. Then, views of the team performing over Howey Bay.

Blog Norseman #14 Tattoos Sept. 2017DSC_4540

This year’s Norseman Festival even included a Norseman tattoo competition!

Blog Norseman #15 Sept. 2017

Norseman author Larry Milberry visits Lemar Weaver’s excellent shop “Treasure House of Red Lake”. Lemar supports CANAV’s “Aviation in Canada” series, as well as Rich Hulina’s fantastic book Bush Flying Captured.

Blog Norseman #17 CF-DRD Hail Aug.2017 Joe Sinkowski Photo

Sad to say, but just a couple of weeks after the Norseman Festival, a severe hail storm struck around Howey Bay. All four Norsemans were badly damaged. Retired Red Lake bush pilot, Joe Sinkowski, sent me this detail showing the serious damage to CF-DRD. Repairs are going to be costly and lengthy.

046

In case you still don’t yet have your 2-volume set of Norseman books, let me know at larry@canavbooks.com, and I’ll send you the info you need to place your order. This is one Canadian aviation history that you’ll happy to add to your library. It will give you decades of enjoyment.

Montreal Aviation Museum Acquires Norseman CF-GYY

Other very big Norseman news this summer comes from Robert St-Pierre, director of the absolutely amazing Montreal Aviation Museum: “Last Friday [September 1] with a little delay, our Norseman was finally delivered to us … All the parts are now stored in the 40’ trailer, the fuselage will be transferred inside in the west wing. Find in attachment a few pictures of the day and one showing it in its operational days in Ontario. Thank you to all the volunteers that were able to come in help for this very special day.”

This was a huge achievement in 2017 Norseman heritage. The plane is CF-GYY, which had been rusting away for years in Kuby’s airplane maintenance base and scrapyard in Kenora.

CF-GYY originally was a 1945 US Army UC-64. Delivered late in the war, it saw little service before being disposed of to a buyer in Michigan. In 1950 it joined Vancouver-based Queen Charlotte Airlines, then served various Northern Ontario operators from 1953. It ended in Kuby’s yard following a 1985 accident.

The MAM plans to restored CF-GYY to the specifications of the 1935 Norseman prototype CF-AYO.

Here are four photos from Robert St-Pierre showing the Norseman arriving at Ste-Anne de Bellevue, located a few miles west of Montreal. I like that great shot of the MAM volunteers doing the heavy lifting that day. The final shot (from the late Mike Ody’s collection) shows CF-GYY during its working days.
Blog Norseman #18

Blog Norseman #19

Blog Norseman #20

Blog Norseman #21

Here is your contact info for the MAM: email info@cahc-ccpa.com Tel (514) 398-7948 Location: McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21 – 111 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 64 Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air Cadet Camp at Trenton 2017

Blog Air Cadets #1On August 18, 2017 some 300+ Ontario Air Cadets paraded at RCAF Trenton at the end of their exciting and challenging 2-week summer camp. Base personnel, families and others turned out to cheer them on. 

Blog Air Cadets #2Air Cadets proudly show off their sharpness and enthusiasm at Trenton after a year of dedicated work with their home squadrons, punctuated by their intensive summer camp.

Considering all the requirements and benefits, there are few youth programs in Canada that come close to Air Cadets. This year it was fantastic having three Milberry teens as members of 330 “Danforth Tech” Air Cadet Squadron. One was lucky enough to attend summer camp at RCAF Trenton. Here the cadets were kept busy from dawn to dusk each day with classroom studies, sports, touring the RCAF museum, having a familiarization flight in a 437 Sqn A310 Polaris and much more.

Blog Air Cadets #3The Air Cadet band at the Trenton summer camp graduation parade on August 18 (a few Sea Cadets made it in and bully for them, right). Some of these young musicians will go on to lifetime careers in music, thanks to Canada’s incomparable cadet movement.

Air Cadets give young Canadians nothing but opportunities. Each learns to co-exist and co-operate with his/her peers and officers. All the basics of good, solid Canadian citizenship are front and centre. Boys and girls from all ethnic groups and religions get to know and respect each other. Each finishes summer camp with a sense of accomplishment, and with renewed self-confidence and keenness to see what comes next back at their home squadrons in September.

Blog Air Cadets #4Blog Air Cadets #5The Air Cadet flights are inspected at Trenton, as hundreds of proud parents and other supporters from all around Ontario enjoy the proceedings.

Blog Air Cadets #6Trenton’s base commander, Colonel Mark Goulden, after inspecting the flights. He finished with an encouraging talk emphasizing the value to Canada and to each cadet present of the Air Cadet movement. Colonel Goulden spent his flying career as a C-130 pilot

Summer camp challenges each cadet to his/her limits, whether on the parade square, in the classroom learning such fundamentals as aerospace technology, playing team sports, etc.

Meanwhile, each already has been training with his/her home squadron, where the emphasis is on discipline, citizenship and life skills. They’ve experienced such challenges as outdoor survival weekends, learned music fundamentals in the squadron band, been on spring break cross-country field trips, had their first experiences in the air, even earned their gliding and fixed-wing pilot licences.

In my opinion (not to downplay Army and Sea Cadets) the Air Cadet movement is Canada’s best government-funded youth program. Talk about tax dollars well spent! If you have a child or grandchild aged 12-14, that’s the time to get them started in Air Cadets. Even a year or two with a squadron will be one of their best all ‘round opportunities to develop into leaders and role models. They’ll be tomorrow’s solid Canadian citizens, no doubt!

Blog Air Cadets #7Blog Air Cadets #8Air Cadets during the march past at Trenton, where Station Commander Colonel Mark Goulden took the salute. Air Cadets are a microcosm of Canada today. Each member is proud to wear the uniform, while enjoying all the benefits.

Blog Air Cadets #9Thirsty cadets swarm the water coolers after a tough slog on the parade square. Soon they boarded their buses for home, fit and ready to get back to school and cadets at summer’s end. See cadets.ca for further information. Cheers … Larry Milberry

 

 

Homebuilding Roots in Canada

The original powered airplanes were “one off” homebuilts, the “Silver Dart” (built and first flown at Glenn Curtiss’ farm in Hammondsport, NY in 1908) being first to succeed in Canada. J.A.D. McCurdy flew it in Cape Breton in February 1909. Since then, homebuilding has been part of Canada’s aeronautical fabric.

WWI brought advances in aeronautics that boosted postwar homebuilding. For a few hundred dollars in the 1920s-30s, anyone could build a tiny Corben, Heath, Pietenpol, etc., and many did. However, with recreational flying on hold through WWII, all such planes were grounded.

Homebuilding was slow to re-emerge, but it did – one project at a time, modified Taylor Cub CF-ANT-X possibly being the first. Then, in the 1950s several homebuilders started a movement. Led by pioneers Keith Hopkinson and Gus Chisholm of Goderich, the first Canadian branch of the US-founded Experimental Aircraft Association arose. Soon there were EAA chapters across Canada.

Some really enjoyable events in my early days as an aviation fan were flying club and EAA breakfast fly-ins. A few of us kids usually attended, armed with our twin-lens cameras. On a typical sunny weekend, among the 250 planes showing up at the Oshawa Flying Club on June 18, 1961 were eight little homebuilts each with an “R” registration — “R” for restricted: Corben Baby Aces CF-RAO and CF-RCB, Jodel Bébés CF-RAM and CF-RBE, White Parasol CF-RCT and modified Taylorcraft, Piper J-2 and J-3 CF-RAG, CF-RAS and CF-RCX.

Above is a shot I took on July 9, 1961 at the Waterloo-Wellington fly-in showing Keith Hopkinson taxiing his famous Stitts Playboy “Little Hokey” CF-RAD. This was Canada’s first officially registered (1954) post-WWII homebuilt. Years later I learned from Gus Chisholm that CF-RAD had cost about $1000 and took 1200 hours over 11 months to build. It weighed 685 lb empty, 960 all-up, and was 17’4” long with a 22’ wingspan. With its 100-hp Lycoming, it cruised at 125 mph, burning about five gallons of fuel per hour. To illustrate the meaning of “homebuilt”, CF-RAD had a Piper engine cowling, Cessna 170 spinner, Tiger Moth struts, Cessna 140 undercarriage and Stinson wheel pants. Today you can see this wonderful little aviation treasure at Canada’s national aeronautical collection in Ottawa.

Corben Baby Ace CF-RAC

At the same time that “Hoppy” Hopkinson was building his Playboy, his pal Gus Chisholm was building a Corben Baby Ace. Through their enthusiasm, many others in Canada were getting involved in the homebuilding movement.

The Baby Ace was designed about 1932 by West Virginian, O.G. “Ace” Corben. Having learned about it in a 1955 issue of “Mechanix Illustrated”, Gus ordered plans for $125. Just scrounging for the bits ‘n pieces was a chore – wood, steel, wheels, struts, fabric, instruments, an engine, etc. Luckily, one day Gus found an old 65-hp Continental, for which he paid $100. He slowly built his Baby Ace wings at home in his basement, while the fuselage took shape in Keith’s “Sky Harbour” hangar on the edge of Goderich. Finally, after 2 years, 8 months and 15 days of meticulous effort, the Baby Ace was done. Registered CF-RAC (Gus’ initials) and christened “Bits and Pieces”, it had cost $620. Keith did the taxi tests on August 1, 1958, made the first flight on the 3rd, then Gus took up CF-RAC the same day.

“Little Hokey” and “Bits and Pieces” became the talk of the homebuilding movement throughout Canada and south of the border. Many an enjoyable day’s flying followed. Each summer meant a few breakfast fly-ins and Gus once even ventured as far as Oshkosh. Finally, having logged about 200 hours in it, in July 1965 he sold CF-RAC to Tony Brown in nearby Stratford. Tony flew it to the 381:45-hour mark by the time he sold CF-RAC in 1977. Other owners followed until 2017 when, more than 50 years since first flight, “Bits ‘n Pieces” is still on the go, owned in Guelph in 2017 by Canada’s famous aircraft restorers – “The Tiger Boys”.

Over the decades, many pilots added “Bits ‘n Pieces” to their logbooks. Keith Hopkinson’s son, John, made his first flight in it on May 16, 1962. From Guelph, pilots have included pioneer post-WWII homebuilder, Andy McKimmon (May 1, 1993) to Fern Villeneuve, none other than leader the RCAF Golden Hawks in 1959-60 (September 18, 2005). To July 2017 the famous little Canadian beauty had logged 783.5 flying hours. Meanwhile, the Tiger Boys, always eagle-eyed about preserving aviation heritage, have acquired another of Canada’s 1950s homebuilts – Jodel D.9 Bébé CF-RAM. Above is a photo I took of Steve Gray landing CF-RAC at Guelph on November 25, 2007. Below, Gus Chisholm beside his pride and joy on the same day (Gus has since passed on).

Announcing … Two Important New Canadian Books

Exile Air: World War II’s Little Norway in Toronto and Muskoka by Andrea Baston and  Bagotville: 75 Years of Air Defence by Marc-Andre Valiquette

Andrea Baston has spent years working on this epic WWII story. To begin, she provides a detailed backgrounder ref. the 1940 Nazis invasion of Norway, and how Norway and the UK struggled to stave off disaster. Coverage of the air war includes RNoAF 1920s Fokkers and RAF biplane Gladiators putting up strenuous opposition.

Norway is overwhelmed, but the government, treasury and many citizens make it to the UK. By June 1940 arrangements are made to establish a Norwegian air training plan in Canada. “Little Norway” is established at Toronto Island Airport, with almost a hundred aircraft initially assigned, Curtiss P-36 fighters included. All the details about planning, contracts, administration, training, dovetailing everything with the BCATP, housing, sports, social life in Toronto and — sad to say —  accidents are part of this outstanding book. The Norwegians also open a base in Muskoka to the north. Here, new pilots train on the Fairchild Cornell. Eventually, the Norwegian graduates end up manning RAF squadrons flying Spitfires, Catalinas, etc. All this also is carefully covered.

Many personal profiles (based on in-depth research and interviews) are interwoven and everything is carefully covered to war’s end, the aftermath included, e.g., important events such as unveiling the commemorative monuments in Toronto and Muskoka. This beautifully-produced, large format, 240-page softcover is one of the most important Canadian aviation stories in recent years. Many photos, essential maps, notes, bibliography, index. An all-around beauty of an aviation book. $30.00 + $12.00 Canada Post + $2.10 tax = $ 44.10 (Canada). USA and overseas CDN$52.00. PayPal directly to larry@canavbooks.com, or post a cheque by snailmail to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E 3B6 Canada.

Here’s the info about Canada’s aviation blockbuster book for 2017. It’s a heavy duty effort – 512 pages, hardcover, some 1600 photos, 30 paintings and colour profiles – on and on, so no one will be disappointed in this wonderful production. Marc-André has done his usual in-depth coverage, assembling the exciting history of one of the great RCAF air stations, while blending both languages in his attractive/seamless layout. The book begins with WWII, with Bagotville training fighter pilots on the Harvard and Hurricane. Many famous aces pass through on instructing tours, many students go on to stellar careers. Next, comes the postwar era with Vampires, Sabres and CF-100s – all the historic squadrons, especially the all-weather CF-100 units – 440 and 432 — form with CF-100 Mk.3s in 1953-54. Then come steady developments – 440 goes overseas, 413 forms up, the CF-100 Mk.4 and 5 arrive, there’s a steady stream of NORAD exercises, etc.

The CF-100 gives way to the CF-101 Voodoo era (410 and 425 sqns), then the tactical world arrives with the CF-5 with the renowned 433 Squadron. Finally come the CF-18 Hornet years with 425 Sqn. The evolution of Base Flight/439 Sqn is also covered – from T-33 to Griffon helio. Many other aspects of life at “YBG” are included in this huge colour production, from DEW Line helicopter times to Air Cadets and airshows. So don’t think that this overview begins to cover all the exciting content – the photo presentations alone will knock you out!

All things considered, Marc-André’s book is a bargain at its sticker price of $60.00 + $12.00 postage (Canada only, so USA and overseas please contact me for a shipping price) + tax $3.60 … Total in Canada $75.60. How to order? PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com, or post a cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Have a fine summer and make sure to read some good books (stay off those dopey, mind-numbing “devices” eh).

~ Larry Milberry, Publisher CANAV Books

 

 

Canada Day 2017 gets top marks from CANAV

 I just spent Canada Day (which we older types knew as Dominion Day “way back when”) on the Toronto waterfront instead of around airplanes. “Ye Olde CANAV Books Publisher” headed down early on the “501” TTC bus to start off his “CANADA 150” schedule with breakfast at the Radisson Hotel, then on to Toronto Fire Services Station 334, home to the city’s famous fire boat – William Lyon Mackenzie.

The station was open to the public and there was a talk on the program that I didn’t want to miss – Corey Keeble’s story of Toronto’s greatest marine disaster – the burning of the SS Noronic on September 17, 1949. Corey kept us all on the edge of our seats from start to finish.

Blog Canada Day No.5 P1160699

Blog Canada Day No.6 P1160671

Then it was back out to carry on with the day getting a good look at a major highlight on Toronto Bay — the giant inflatable “Rubber Ducky”. Regardless of the (usual and predictable) soreheads moaning and groaning about the Rubber Ducky having nothing to do with anything, I’d say that for the hundreds of thousands of Torontonians and out-of-towners enjoying Canada Day here this weekend, we couldn’t have had a better novelty. And there’s no doubt that Rubber Ducky more than paid for itself on Day 1, let alone over the long weekend. Good on ya, Rubber Ducky, but what’s with those yahoos who’d love to let the air out of your rubbers?

Next stop along the way was the tour boat dock, where I bought a ticket for a wonderful cruise along the harbourfront, across to the islands for a zigzag through their lagoons, then finally out into the bay again, and back to the dock. If you ever get a chance, don’t miss out on one of these superb guided tours. This year my boat was the 90-foot Miss Kim Simpson, one of the older Toronto tour boats (I recall when it first appeared back around 1970, having earlier done service in the Netherlands).

One point explained as we wound through the lagoons was the exceptionally high water this season – high enough that the islands still are off limits for the tourist season. This view of Long Pond shows the bleachers still partially awash, and the famed Toronto island ferries remain tied up at the foot of Yonge Street until Lake Ontario settles back to normal.

Once back ashore I, headed east along Queen’s Quay as far as “Sugar Beach” beside the great Redpath sugar refinery – almost the last example of functioning heavy industry on Toronto’s waterfront. Even this far east the waterfront was jammed with locals and tourists having just the finest of Canada Days. The big highlight here was HMCS Toronto, one of the Canadian Navy’s renowned destroyer escorts that have been doing stellar work over the decades on duty in such areas as the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean

By mid-afternoon I had covered the waterfront pretty well, so turned north to the St. Lawrence Market, shooting off a few frames on some of Toronto’s other historic landmarks, the market and famous Gooderham flat iron building included. A couple of beers at the Jersey Giant let me wind down a bit, then I headed back up to Queen Street to catch the “501” eastbound and home.

What a great way to spend Canada Day 2017. And what a country, right. No wonder people are willing to crawl through minefields and cross great waters like the Mediterranean, just in the vague hope of some day reaching Canada to start a new life.

All the best for the rest of the year, eh. I’ll sign off this time with my new pal looming behind … Larry

Blog Canada Day No.19 P1160697

 

 

Air Transport in Canada Hits 20 + Some CAHS & CAE News

Stop the Press! Here is some important news about this year’s annual convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. Please have a look here:

2017 is a good year for aviation anniversaries. Two big ones are the Beech 18 (turns 80) and the Boeing 737 (turns 50). There’s even a CANAV Books 20th anniversary. In 1997 CANAV launched its grandest title – Air Transport in Canada. It was an exciting evening out at the since-demolished Constellation Hotel on Airport Road near YYZ. However, at one point I’d been worrying about how the whole thing would go, for by mid-afternoon “ATC” still hadn’t arrived from the printer in Manitoba. Finally, the shipment — all 20 tons of it — pulled into the warehouse and we were in business. A solid crowd turned out for a good old aviation get together. A bonus was the presence at the front entrance of former TCA Super Constellation CF-TGE (now part of the Museum of Flight in Seattle). Several of the old timers attending knew this old classic personally.

“ATC” remains one of the world’s grandest-ever aviation titles – 2 volumes, 5 kg, 1030 pages, 9×12 format, 3000+ photos, etc. It’s 53 chapters include a solid outline of the early days of commercial aviation in Canada, everything imaginable about the evolution of Canada’s airlines and air transport in the RCAF to the modern era, the first comprehensive history of the helicopter in Canada, ditto for corporate aviation and aerial surveying, on and on.

Just this weekend I heard from a new reader in the US who has received his set in the mail. His immediate reaction was pretty typical: “Larry, the books arrived today. I wrenched my back picking the box up! Just kidding. Boy, I had been prospecting up in them “Internet Hills” to find some Canadian aviation history and by golly I struck the “Mother Lode” in CANAV. Many thanks for preserving so much history.” Another fan of “ATC” is John Timmins, founder of Timmins Aviation, etc. In the afterword of his biography, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going, But I’m Making Good Time, John writes:

A special note: I want to acknowledge and thank Larry Milberry for having given all of us in Canadian aviation “Air Transport in Canada”, a history of our industry in two magnificent volumes containing over 1000 pages. Never has air transport in any country been so thoroughly and well covered. I cannot imagine anyone attempting to write on Canadian aviation without it.

If you still don’t have this spectacular 2-volume set, here’s a good chance to fill that gap on your aviation bookshelf. Normally $155, “ATC” is on special from CANAV at $95 + $16 flat rate postage + tax at $5.30 for a total (Canada only) of CDN$116.30. To put it mildly, you will not be disappointed with this impressive production. If ordering by mail, post your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E3B6.

Or … use PayPal. Just email your payment to larry@canavbooks.wordpress.com. If you are in the US or overseas and would like a set, email me at the same address, and I’ll give you a price with shipping. Thanks to “Mafia Post”, this monster set of books will cost any buyer in the US at least $40 for delivery, more for overseas. Your only consolation is that you’ll be paying in CDN dollars vs US dollars or Euros.

Only 300 of my original 4000 sets of “ATC” remain. Each comes with a special 20th Anniversary inscription from the author. Thanks as always and keep in touch via the CANAV blog.

All the best… Larry Milberry

CAE Updates

CAE retiree Arthur Grynspan adds a tidbit of valuable info about one of the group photos in The CAE Story: “I would like to identify an “unknown ” person, assuming you may re-issue the CAE Story one day. On Pg 217, in the bottom photo, the person in the last row, immediately to the right of the bearded fellow  is Ron Harmison. He and I spent an afternoon together recently during which he skimmed through your fine book and found himself. ” For the latest news about CAE — its many new contracts, etc., see http://www.cae.com as well as CAE is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017 Learn more

First CAE-built Bombardier C Series Full Flight Simulator Receives Level D Qualification

On June 22, CAE reported some big C Series news. Get the full story of CAE’s magnificent heritage in Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. See how the company began, did its first “sim” for the CF-100, build major components for the L1011 and 707, got into regional airlines, overhauled Viscounts and T-39s, built bushplanes, on and on — a fantastic legacy that culminates in today’s multi-billion dollar CAE. This is the grandest-ever aerospace company history, a book to be treasured by any serious reader. To order, see the main CANAV 2017 booklist and scroll back to read the book reviews. Cheers … Larry

CAE reports: CAE Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and CAE announced, during the International Paris Air Show, that Transport Canada, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have qualified the world’s first C Series aircraft full-flight simulator (FFS) to Level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators.

The qualification by the civil aviation authorities represents a new milestone in the pilot-training activities for the C Series aircraft program. Bombardier Photos
The qualification by the civil aviation authorities represents a new milestone in the pilot-training activities for the C Series aircraft program. Bombardier Photos


The Bombardier C Series FFS, located at the Bombardier Training Centre in Montreal, Que., is the first C Series FFS to receive Level D qualification.

“This Level D qualification represents another milestone reached in the C Series aircraft program and allows pilots to complete all their training in the simulator before they fly the real aircraft,” said Todd Young, vice-president and general manager, customer services and Q400 Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “With this qualification, our simulator reproduces to the highest level of fidelity, the characteristics of the C Series aircraft, as certified by the civil aviation authorities.”

The Bombardier C Series FFS, located at the Bombardier Training Centre in Montreal, is the first C Series FFS to receive Level D qualification.
The Bombardier C Series FFS, located at the Bombardier Training Centre in Montreal, is the first C Series FFS to receive Level D qualification.


“We are proud to highlight another key milestone with the achievement of the highest-level qualification for the first C Series full-flight simulator in the world,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s group president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “This highlights years of collaboration with our longstanding partner Bombardier in the development of the simulator. We are honoured to contribute to ensuring Bombardier customers receive the highest fidelity training for its C Series aircraft.” There are currently in operation, or on order, a total of five CAE-built C Series simulators worldwide.