Summer/Fall Newsletter 2015 and … Introducing Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story

CAE cover

Dear Reader,

I hope that all goes well with you so far through mid-2015. At CANAV things are hopping, the excitement being all about being our new CAE history. Any fan of Canada’s great aviation heritage will revel in this exclusive production, the largest so far in our 7-vol. “Aviation in Canada” series.

CAE Mailing Piece

If you have the other titles, you’ll know what to expect (in case you haven’t yet treated yourself to the series, there’s still stock). FYI, The CAE Story is not an official company history. However, neither were our world-class bestsellers Canadair: The First 50 Years, De Havilland in Canada and Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story.

Order your autographed copy of The CAE Story online today!

If you’re looking for some great summer reading, be sure to peruse the new CANAV general booklist. Check out such hot additions as Fangs of Death (439 Sqn), Lost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation, A Life in Canadian Aerospace and My Life and Times at Canadian Airlines. Other great selections? Air Transport in Canada remains in print and still at a $60 discount. This mighty publication (1040 pages) is the world’s single heftiest aviation history title. Only a handful of Hugh Halliday’s Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story remain, so if you want some truly exciting RCAF WWII reading, don’t miss out on this wonderful production — a real icon in the category of books honouring our wartime air and ground crew. Also down to the last few original copies is CANAV’s highly-touted Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story.

Another beauty that you’ll be sure to enjoy (and a bargain at $50) is Canada’s Air Forces on Exchange. Content-wise, this is one of the more far-out of Canadian aviation titles, e.g., in the “who knew” category. Here you’ll read about Canadians on exchange (or contract) from the USA and UK to such other nations as France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway on such types as the B-29, B-52, B-57, C-17, C-97, C-141, Britannia, F-4, F-5, F-102, F-106, Gladiator, Lightning, Mirage and Nimrod. With hundreds of photos this book will open your eyes to an important (if little-known) aspect of RCAF history. Some of the excitement includes Canadian pilots ejecting from the F-100 and F-105, chasing a UFO in an F-94, bombing Mau Mau in Kenya, ditching in the Mediterranean in a Hastings, ferrying a Javelin from the UK to Singapore (one Javelin is lost in the Bengali jungles), ferrying a B-57 from the USA to Pakistan and an RF-4J from the factory in St. Louis to Japan, test flying the EuroFighter in its early days, flying Tornados in Saudi Arabia and crewing on secret missions in the WB-50, WB-57 and SR-71. This may sound like “Believe It or Not” stuff, but it’s all solid history!

Besides building up your personal library, you also might consider donating a CANAV volume to your local public/school library. Needless to say, a set of “Aviation in Canada” wouldn’t likely be turned down! A positive way of spreading the word and making a difference, eh. Final reminder … be sure to check out CANAV’s free book offer on p.4 of the main booklist.

Need to get in touch?

CANAV Business Card

As always, feel free to call or email any time for further info: (416) 698-7559 or larry@canavbooks.com.

And, as usual … good reading to one and all!

~ Larry Milberry, publisher

A Few More Norseman Tidbits for the Fans

RCAF Norseman 3528Check out this lovely period photo showing RCAF Norseman 3528 at Watson Lake in the Yukon on June 15, 1944. Whatever task 3528 was about, in these few moments the crew was not too worried. Who would know there was a war on, eh, with the fellows having knocked off for some fun in the cool, fresh water under the wing of their big yellow bird.

Earlier, Norseman 3528 had been on strength at 124 (Ferry) Squadron based at Rockcliffe, but in August 1942 had be reassigned to Northwest Air Command for duty in the Yukon, mainly supporting the Northwest Staging Route and CANOL Pipeline projects. In the Yukon, 3528’s usual pilot into 1943 was a pre-WWII northern legend, F/L Carl Crossley. See Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.1 for the Crossley/Norseman story.

And what of 3528 in the end? It’s not a happy tale. Moments after taking off from Fort Simpson, NWT on July 10, 1945, it crashed. Crewman LAC Sidney B. Ladell freed himself from the wreck, but powerful currents in the Liard River carried 3528 away with pilot F/O Charles T. Wheeler trapped in the cockpit. He was never seen again. (DND PL25434, click to see full screen) CF-DTL  refuelling at Green's dock, Red Lake (ON)  26-7-2009 (M. Léonard)One of Canada’s best-known Norsemans in recent years has been CF-DTL, owned by Gord and Eleanor Hughes of Ignace, Ontario. Since the 1980s, it’s been a regular summer visitor across the North. Having begun as RCAF 2484 in 1941, postwar CF-DTL had served the Department of Transport and Wheeler Airlines, until wrecked at Moosonee in 1965. Rebuilt by Lauzon Aviation, it flew again for years in the Quebec bush. Gord and Eleanor eventually did their own restoration of this historic Norseman, and still care lovingly for it. While visiting Red Lake from France for the 2009 Norseman Festival, Michel Léonard photographed CF-DTL with Gord up top refuelling.

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame honours new inductees

Hall of Fame 2015

 

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) will induct four new members at its 42nd annual gala dinner and ceremony to be held Thursday, June 4, 2015, at the Skyservice Business Aviation Hangar at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The annual black-tie event is a highlight in Canadian aviation celebration and draws attendance from across Canada.

To be honoured by CAHF in 2015 are Arthur Roy Brown, DSC, James Stuart “Jim” McBride, George Edward Miller, O.M.M., CD and Owen Bartley “O.B.” Philp, C.M., DFC, CD. This  year, the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence goes to AeroVelo Inc.

For more information click here.

CAHS National Convention 2015

cahs agm 2015CANAV blog fans please take note … the Canadian Aviation Historical Society’s annual convention takes place in Hamilton this June. The theme of this year’s convention is “Celebrating Canada’s Aviation Industry” and sessions will explore the rich history of Canada’s civilian and military aerospace industry. The convention is open to everyone – university students, professionals in aviation or heritage industries, historians and aviation enthusiasts of every kind. This is Canada’s top annual aviation history event, so please try to get it onto your calendar. Just take a look at the schedule of events of events that the society has lined up for you! Download the registration form and check out the President’s Letter. For further info, including how to become of member of Canada’s premier aviation historical organization, visit cahs.ca. Hope to see you in Hamilton! … Larry

Norseman Updates: Finnish Norseman Pushed Outside

Finnish Norseman OH-NOA, which is mentioned in Norseman Vol.2 (page 121 and earlier on our blog) now is freezing outside at the Finnish aviation museum. Blog follower Henk van Capelle sent us this excellent photo and reports: “I visited Tikkakoski in Finland on 9 March 2015 and found OH-NOA dumped in the snow behind the museum. So, unfortunately she is no longer in safe storage and is likely to deteriorate further. She is in a rather sorry state.” (click on any image to see it full screen). Finnish Norseman OH-NOA, which is mentioned in Norseman Vol.2 (page 121 and here) now is freezing outside at the Finnish aviation museum. Blog follower Henk van Capelle sent us this excellent photo and reports:

“I visited Tikkakoski in Finland on 9 March 2015 and found OH-NOA dumped in the snow behind the museum. So, unfortunately she is no longer in safe storage and is likely to deteriorate further. She is in a rather sorry state.”

*Click on any image to see it full screen.

US Military Norseman

Photo 2 0U4A3887 Paul Bigelow One of the really eye-catching sights at the National Museum of the USAF at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is this Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman in its flashy Alaska Air Command colours of early postwar days. I featured Sheldon Benner’s photo of this Norseman in Vol.2. Now, here’s a fresh view of it taken this March by LtCol Paul Bigelow, USAF. In other news, the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton awaits the arrival of Norseman CF-GSR, acquired from Ernie Nicholl’s Huron Air; and CF-GLI, the salvage of which is covered in Norseman, Vol.2, now is in the Netherlands. It will be restored to flying condition. Airworthy Norsemans CF-FQI, CF-LZO and N78691  have been  on the market since 2014.

CF-MPL Accident and Memorial

A clipping from the Kapuskasing Northern Times of June 2, 1965 reporting the tragic end of CF-MPL. (Ellis Culliton Collection)

Norseman CF-MPL in RCMP service. The colour scheme was standard RCMP Air Division dark blue with yellow. (John Henderson Collection)

A clipping from the Kapuskasing Northern Times of June 2, 1965 reporting the tragic end of CF-MPL. (Ellis Culliton Collection)

A clipping from the Kapuskasing Northern Times of June 2, 1965 reporting the tragic end of CF-MPL. (Ellis Culliton Collection)

One of the tragedies reported in CANAV’s 2-part Norseman history involves CF-MPL. On May 27, 1965 Percy Bradley, an ex-RCAF pilot, was on a trip to a fishing lodge in CF-MPL with passengers Palma Leclair, Elma Mulvenna, Victor Prendergast and John Wright. Severe weather suddenly engulfed them. As a precaution, Bradley decided to land on Powell Lake south of Kapuskasing, but crashed in thick bush. He, Leclair and Mulvenna lost their lives. Prendergast later reported: “Mr. Bradley … decided to try a landing, but when we were about five feet off the water, he realized the lake was too short and attempted to pull out. The pontoons hit the tree tops … and the plane stalled and went nose first into the bush.” Searchers needed two days to reach the crash. One of the RCAF’s new CH-113 Labrador SAR choppers from Trenton rescued the survivors.

Ontario Provincial Air Service pilot Ellis Culliton photographed the accident site from his Beaver. It’s clear that CF-MPL crash violently and that it was very good fortune that anyone survived.

Ontario Provincial Air Service pilot Ellis Culliton photographed the accident site from his Beaver. It’s clear that CF-MPL crash violently and that it was very good fortune that anyone survived.

In 2010 members of the Kapuskasing Flying Club visited the crash site to survey the wreckage and set up a temporary marker. These good citizens have returned since to do further work, everything being done reverentially. Here are a few of their photos.

The main wreckage of CF-MPL after the fuselage was righted and the starboard wing raised out of the muck. Note how the standard RCMP colour scheme still was in use in Percy Bradley’s time.

The main wreckage of CF-MPL after the fuselage was righted and the starboard wing raised out of the muck. Note how the standard RCMP colour scheme still was in use in Percy Bradley’s time.

Photo 8 marker DSCF1112

The temporary marker that the KFC party set up at the crash site.

Above and below: KFC team members study the main wreckage, then pose in a group for the historic record.

Above and below: KFC team members study the main wreckage, then pose in a group for the historic record. Standing are Jack Pope, Michel Jauvin, Rene Larabie, Richard Drolet, Roger Isabell and Oneill Lapointe. Bob Pellow is in front wearing the red cap. Miro Spacek was behind the lens.

Photo 10 KFC team DSCF1144

Keeping Current with Canadian Aerospace: From Baddeck to the ISS

Skies Cover We’re really swamped with information – it’s a day-by-day battle to keep current with what we need to know, especially with the subject matter that grabs us personally. This means we have a lot of stuff to filter out, right.

It seems as if most who follow aviation are leaning on the web for basic data, but many good paper sources still beckon, whether books, magazines or journals. Those on the ball are using all these assets. Here are some of my favourites.

In magazine form and free on line is Skies Magazine, Canada’s leading aviation and aerospace periodical from Mike Reyno’s MHM Publishing in Kitchener. See skiesmag.com to subscribe to the spectacular bi-monthly Skies. It’s a bargain at CDN$23. Skies Digital is free for your first two years, while daily-informative Skies News is free. No arguments with these, eh. Skies will keep you current in all areas – industry, airlines, RCAF, recreational flying, you name it and just what you need. If you’re in the rotary world, go to verticalmag.com, also from MHM.

2 Air Force Magazine OVuyd7Ylqd1WOI1xDlz0oeWqJEhejDsZyTo8hXW0J5p7xzwzQkxJv_veI0pFoJPoXKHLeDhak9Rae-8OPu3s9uWiP8qsbSG2M_B3VkHr1UjjFWTmZwpjqOsrxRSbiKOpdu9ymmxmdlvcIc65sew-fTORRmdc_6R631_8Qw6a4sHGXTVjpI3rnU4X1mG5lppdCZzzSMIf you want more RCAF info than all the other niche sources, you need a subscription to Air Force Magazine. Always packed with on-the-spot RCAF developments, plus important RCAF historical articles, Air Force is a fantastic publication. See airforce.ca for all the info and set up your subscription. Go on … just do it!

3 CAHS Journal Midst a long list of Canadian aviation publications, another especially stands out: The Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal. Fans owe it to themselves to get a membership and keep it current year after year. I’ve been a member since 1963 and have a full set of those invaluable CAHS Journals to attest to my brilliant decision to join 52 years ago. For a nominal annual membership fee you receive four outstanding journals packed with coverage of all aspects of Canada’s fantastic flying heritage. So no more excuses or procrastinating, folks … get on board with the CAHS.

This year’s CAHS annual convention takes place in June in Hamilton. Naturally, a day at the astounding Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is on the program. This year’s main theme is Canada’s aircraft industry since 1909. See cahs.ca for membership and convention info.

Now you’ve got the good gen. These are really essential publications for anyone seriously interested in Canada’s aviation and aerospace scene. Be part of it, eh!

…Larry

 

Old Canadair Originals Surface (Mostly a Tale of DC-3s)

Canadair PBY rollout  _LR

(Click on the photos to see them full size.) Factory fresh RCAF Consolidated PBY-5 9806 “Princess Alice” is rolled out midst fanfare at Canadian Vickers in March 1943. After its wartime RCAF service, 9806 was sold in Brazil as PP-PCX. With the fall of Germany and Japan in 1945, this great PBY factory became home to a new company — Canadair.

Historic photographs steadily surface in the CANAV Books archives. There’ll never be enough time to use but a fraction more of these in books. Happily, our blog provides a nice outlet. Here are a few recent finds – original Kodak 4 x 5 colour transparencies plus some lovely first generation b/w prints all taken by Canadair’s photographers at Cartierville in the late 1940s. Cartierville was booming at this period. In the factories along the north airport boundary (the Bois Franc Rd. side), CanCar was turning out new Norseman Vs and developing the Burnelli CBY-3 Cargomaster, a twin-engine transport in the DC-3 category. Things were hopping at the old Curtiss Reid Flying School along St. Laurent Blvd., with lots of war surplus airplanes buzzing around — Tiger Moths and Cornells, Ansons and Cranes. But the real action was at Canadair, a new company formed at war’s end in the suddenly dormant Canadian Vickers facility, where hundreds of PBY-5s had been manufactured for the war effort. With a big push from Ottawa bulldozed through by C.D. Howe, and promoted by company founder, Benjamin Franklin, Canadair began manufacturing North Star transports for TCA, the RCAF and BOAC. A less glitzy yet very important second big enterprise was refurbishing hundreds of war-weary C-47s for the airlines and for “Corporate Canada”. Here are a few samples from my vintage Canadair photo files bolstered by other relevant b/w pix, which I took back around 1960 (serious bibliophiles will have enjoyed many other such photos in CANAV titles over the decades).

Wouldn’t you just love to slide back in time to spend a lovely summer’s day picnicking at postwar Cartierville! Here sits CF-TFC “Champlain”, a sparkling new Canadair North Star ready for hand-over to TCA in the summer of 1947. In the distance under the engines are the Curtiss Reid flying school hangars. Over by the looming billboard on St. Laurent Blvd. are some of the barrack blocks that accommodated wartime workers. This is one of the Canadair original 4x5s in my collection where the colours got compromised over 60-70 years. Getting them back in 2015 was a challenge. On the whole, however, these big Kodak transparencies have weathered the decades well.

Wouldn’t you just love to slide back in time to spend a lovely summer’s day picnicking at postwar Cartierville! Here sits CF-TFC “Champlain”, a sparkling new Canadair North Star ready for hand-over to TCA in the summer of 1947. In the distance under the engines are the Curtiss Reid flying school hangars. Over by the looming billboard on St. Laurent Blvd. are some of the barrack blocks that accommodated wartime workers. This is one of the Canadair original 4x5s in my collection where the colours got compromised over 60-70 years. Getting them back in 2015 was a challenge. On the whole, however, these big Kodak transparencies have weathered the decades well.

Canadair 2 DC-3 line

The booming DC-3 line at Cartierville circa 1946. This enterprise brought in a plane load of much-needed cash just as Canadair was trying to get a foothold in the worldwide aviation market. Benjamin Franklin played his cards very sharply in the war surplus materiel game., scooping up trainloads of DC-3 and DC-4 components at Douglas plants in the US at 10 cents a pound.

Ready for delivery, gleaming DC-3 CF-GJZ taxies in the snow at Cartierville in 1948. “GJZ” had begun off the Douglas production line in 1943 as USAAC C-47 42-92400. In 1944 it went to the RAF as Dakota FZ639, did its wartime service, then was acquired dirt cheap by Canadair at war’s end. Fully rejuvenated, it was sold to the Algoma Steel Company of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Christened “Victoria”, it operated into 1964, when it was replaced by Gulfstream CF-ASC. From then into 1977, it flew as N510Z and N766VM (mostly based in Florida). Finally, it migrated to Guatemala with military tail number “510”. In 2015 it reportedly was a museum piece somewhere in Guatemala.

Ready for delivery, gleaming DC-3 CF-GJZ taxies in the snow at Cartierville in 1948. “GJZ” had begun off the Douglas production line in 1943 as USAAC C-47 42-92400. In 1944 it went to the RAF as Dakota FZ639, did its wartime service, then was acquired dirt cheap by Canadair at war’s end. Fully rejuvenated, it was sold to the Algoma Steel Company of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Christened “Victoria”, it operated into 1964, when it was replaced by Gulfstream CF-ASC. From then into 1977, it flew as N510Z and N766VM (mostly based in Florida). Finally, it migrated to Guatemala with military tail number “510”. In 2015 it reportedly was a museum piece somewhere in Guatemala.

“Victoria” during a 1959 visit to Toronto/Malton. Legendary pilot Allan Coggan of Algoma Steel usually was in the captain’s seat on such a visit.

“Victoria” during a 1959 visit to Toronto/Malton. Legendary pilot Allan Coggan of Algoma Steel usually was in the captain’s seat on such a visit.

In 2012 David Osborn came across Canadair DC-3 CF-GJZ/FAG510 at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City. How the mighty have fallen, one might observe! La Aurora is a fairly typical Central American airport. Take a look at the satellite view of it on Google. See if you can spot a B-25, a T-33 and at least two DC-3s, along with a wide collection of other types big and small, old and new.

In 2012 David Osborn came across Canadair DC-3 CF-GJZ/FAG510 at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City. How the mighty have fallen, one might observe! La Aurora is a fairly typical Central American airport. Take a look at the satellite view of it on Google. See if you can spot a B-25, a T-33 and at least two DC-3s, along with a wide collection of other types big and small, old and new.

Canadair’s own DC-3 CF-DXU at Malton on May 19, 1960. Originally 42-93060 delivered to the USAAF in early 1944, it soon was transferred to the RCAF as KG526 for domestic use. It was converted for TCA as CF-TED in 1945, but a few months later returned to Canadair. As “DXU” it served the company into 1968, by which time the company had a Convair 240 and a Mallard. “DXU” then worked for many Canadian operators (mainly in the north) into the early 1980s, when it went for pots and pans.

Canadair’s own DC-3 CF-DXU at Malton on May 19, 1960. Originally 42-93060 delivered to the USAAF in early 1944, it soon was transferred to the RCAF as KG526 for domestic use. It was converted for TCA as CF-TED in 1945, but a few months later returned to Canadair. As “DXU” it served the company into 1968, by which time the company had a Convair 240 and a Mallard. “DXU” then worked for many Canadian operators (mainly in the north) into the early 1980s, when it went for pots and pans.

Before there was “DXU” there very briefly was “DXT”. Formerly RAF KP216, it was dormant at Dorval when the war ended. Benjamin Franklin quickly latched on to it, getting it serviceable in 1946 and looking fine in glitzy Canadair markings. Then an Argentine buyer cropped up to whom “DXT” was just as quickly sold. As LV-ADG it seems to have endured in Argentina into the early 1970s.

Before there was “DXU” there very briefly was “DXT”. Formerly RAF KP216, it was dormant at Dorval when the war ended. Benjamin Franklin quickly latched on to it, getting it serviceable in 1946 and looking very flashy in glitzy Canadair markings. Then an Argentine buyer cropped up to whom “DXT” was just as quickly sold. As LV-ADG it seems to have endured in Argentina into the early 1970s.

One of the choice photo ops in which we fans would revel at Malton Airport in the 1950s would be a DC-3 parked in the clear. This magnificent example had been USAAC 42-9228. Delivered in October 1943, it soon was handed over to the RAF as FL596. Canadair snagged it for peanuts in the UK in 1947, had it ferried across the pond (ferry pilots were lucky to get $50 for such a trip), then fitted it luxuriously for the filthy rich Eaton family of Toronto. The Eatons flew “ETE” into 1963, when it was replaced with Canada’s first Lockheed Jetstar, CF-ETN. Thereafter, “ETE” served the Hudsons Bay Co. in Winnipeg for a dozen years, then laboured in the north for Ilford Riverton, etc., before migrating to Florida in 1979 as N62WS. Sadly, ol’ “ETE” could only get into trouble in its new environment. For starters, in 1980 it was impounded in Indiana for a drugs infraction. Slithering out of that jam, it moved to Central America to smuggle more drugs and run guns. In March 1984 it was shot down by unknown desperados along the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. At the time it was falsely flying its once proud identity – CF-ETE.

One of the choice photo ops in which we school-age fans would revel at Malton Airport in the 1950s would be a DC-3 parked in the clear. This magnificent example had been USAAC 42-9228. Delivered in October 1943, it soon was handed over to the RAF as FL596. Canadair snagged it for peanuts in the UK in 1947, had it ferried across the pond (ferry pilots were lucky to get $50 for such a trip), then fitted it luxuriously for the filthy rich Eaton family of Toronto. The Eatons flew “ETE” into 1963, when it was replaced with Canada’s first Lockheed Jetstar, CF-ETN. Thereafter, “ETE” served the Hudsons Bay Co. in Winnipeg for a dozen years, then laboured in the north for Ilford Riverton, etc., before migrating to Florida in 1979 as N62WS. Sadly, ol’ “ETE” could only get into trouble in its new environment. For starters, in 1980 it was impounded in Indiana for a drugs infraction. Slithering out of that jam, it moved to Central America to smuggle more drugs and run guns. In March 1984 it was shot down by unknown desperados along the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. At the time it was falsely flying its once proud identity – CF-ETE.

Story time … CF-TDJ began as USAAC C-49J 43-1985. Acquired by Canadair in 1945, it was converted as one of TCA’s original DC-3s. However, “TDJ” soon was re-sold to Goodyear Tire and Rubber of Toronto. Canadair installed the deluxe interior, then “TDJ” faithfully served Goodyear into 1984, when it was replaced by a Learjet. In October 1982 I had a memorable flight in “TDJ”. This was connected to my pal, Steve Piercey, being in town to do an air-to-air shoot with “TDJ” for an article in his beloved Propliner magazine. Steve worked that day from an Aztec, provided gratis by the great Carl Millard (see Steve’s “TDJ” item in Propliner, Winter 1982). Some time later, I mentioned to Captain Don Murray (who had flown “TDJ” from the day it joined Goodyear) that instead of dumping its beloved DC-3 for far less than it was worth, Goodyear could try donating it to Canada’s National Aviation Museum in Ottawa in exchange for a decent tax receipt. Being a history-minded and penny-wise fellow, Don listened, then jumped on my suggestion. A deal was arranged with the NAM at Rockcliffe. On December 19, 1983 Bob Bradford (head of the NAM) and several guests, myself and Ken Molson included, boarded “TDJ” for its nostalgic last flight. In perfect weather we cruised up to Rockcliffe, made a ceremonial flypast on arrival, landed, then watched as CF-TDJ was pushed into the main hangar. There it sits to this day just as you see it here.

Story time … CF-TDJ began as USAAC C-49J 43-1985. Acquired by Canadair in 1945, it was converted as one of TCA’s original DC-3s. However, “TDJ” soon was re-sold to Goodyear Tire and Rubber of Toronto. Canadair installed the deluxe interior, then “TDJ” faithfully served Goodyear into 1984, when it was replaced by a Learjet. In October 1982 I had a memorable flight in “TDJ”. This was connected to my pal, Steve Piercey, being in town to do an air-to-air shoot with “TDJ” for an article in his beloved Propliner magazine. Steve worked that day from an Aztec, provided gratis by the great Carl Millard (see Steve’s “TDJ” item in Propliner, Winter 1982). Some time later, I mentioned to Captain Don Murray (who had flown “TDJ” from the day it joined Goodyear) that instead of dumping its beloved DC-3 for far less than it was worth, Goodyear could try donating it to Canada’s National Aviation Museum in Ottawa in exchange for a decent tax receipt. Being a history-minded and penny-wise fellow, Don listened, then jumped on my suggestion. A deal was arranged with the NAM at Rockcliffe. On December 19, 1983 Bob Bradford (head of the NAM) and several guests, myself and Ken Molson included, boarded “TDJ” for its nostalgic last flight. In perfect weather we cruised up to Rockcliffe, made a ceremonial flypast on arrival, landed, then watched as CF-TDJ was pushed into the main hangar. There it sits to this day just as you see it here.

TCA received more than 20 Canadair DC-3 rebuilds. Here CF-TEG sits in its polished glory at Cartierville, ready for customer acceptance. “TEG” served TCA 1945-57, then Canada’s Dept. of Transport as CF-GXW to 1985. In 1986 it flew around the world promoting Vancouver’s Expo 86. Last heard of in the 2010s it was N173RD with Algonquin Airlines.

TCA received more than 20 Canadair DC-3 rebuilds. Here CF-TEG sits in its polished glory at Cartierville, ready for customer acceptance. “TEG” served TCA 1945-57, then Canada’s Dept. of Transport as CF-GXW to 1985. In 1986 it flew around the world promoting Vancouver’s Expo 86. Last heard of in the 2010s it was N173RD with Algonquin Airlines.

Having begun in 1944 as USAAF 43-15079, this DC-3 was acquired by Canadair for conversion and sold circa 1947 to Aeroposta Argentina. Little is known of its later career, but there is a mention that it may have been wrecked soon after migrating to the Southern Hemisphere.

Having begun in 1944 as USAAF 43-15079, this DC-3 was acquired by Canadair for conversion and sold circa 1947 to Aeroposta Argentina. Little is known of its later career, but there is a mention that it may have been wrecked soon after migrating to the Southern Hemisphere.

Having begun in 1944 as USAAF 43-15079, this DC-3 was acquired by Canadair for conversion and sold circa 1947 to Aeroposta Argentina. Little is known of its later career, but there is a mention that it may have been wrecked soon after migrating to the Southern Hemisphere.

Originally USAAC 42-93418, this C-47 mainly served the RAF as KG598. It reached Cartierville for rebuild in July 1946, then was sold as a virtually new DC-3 to Aviateka of Guatemala. There, it operated until a landing mishap some 30 years later.

Having begun in 1944 as USAAF 43-15079, this DC-3 was acquired by Canadair for conversion and sold circa 1947 to Aeroposta Argentina. Little is known of its later career, but there is a mention that it may have been wrecked soon after migrating to the Southern Hemisphere.

This Canadair DC-3 was done up for Colonial Airlines, predecessor of American Airlines. Note the pristine appearance of the airplane fresh off the Cartierville line, and how it flies the Canada Post Office emblem.

Canadair sold a number of DC-3s to Colonial. Here is NC86591, which served the US Army during the war, including in the “Market Garden” disaster over Holland in September 1944, where dozens of C-47s were shot down. Many of Canadair’s C-47s had seen combat. The old timers used to tell me how some arrived at Cartierville bearing the scars of battle. NC86591 well might have been one of these “Gooney Birds” with bullet holes and patches. Canadair handed it over to Colonial in May 1946, but it soon was sold on to Aerolineas Argentinas, becoming LV-AGE. On June 3, 1951 it crashed at Puerto Deseado, happily without casualties.

Canadair sold a number of DC-3s to Colonial. Here is NC86591, which served the US Army during the war, including in the “Market Garden” disaster over Holland in September 1944, where dozens of C-47s were shot down. Many of Canadair’s C-47s had seen combat. The old timers used to tell me how some arrived at Cartierville bearing the scars of battle. NC86591 well might have been one of these “Gooney Birds” with bullet holes and patches. Canadair handed it over to Colonial in May 1946, but it soon was sold on to Aerolineas Argentinas, becoming LV-AGE. On June 3, 1951 it crashed at Puerto Deseado, happily without casualties.

One of the “Great Silver Fleet” DC-3s which Canadair delivered to Eastern Airlines. NC15667 had begun as USAAC C-49J 43-1986. Sold by EAL in 1952, it had numerous subsequent owners and last was heard of in 1988 as N211TA at Miami.

One of the “Great Silver Fleet” DC-3s which Canadair delivered to Eastern Airlines. NC15667 had begun as USAAC C-49J 43-1986. Sold by EAL in 1952, it had numerous subsequent owners and last was heard of in 1988 as N211TA at Miami.

A tragic tale … DC-3 DT990 began as USAAC 42-93170. Its wartime years were spent on the home front, then it retired for disposal at the vast military airplane “graveyard” at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Next stop was Cartierville, where Canadair refurbished it for the Netherlands East Indies military. Later, it joined Indonesian airline Garuda as PK-GDY. While on a flight of February 3, 1964, “GDY” disappeared forever with all 26 passengers and crew. The fanatical spotter will note the shiny Burnelli CBY-3 Cargomaster sitting far across the field.

A tragic tale … DC-3 DT990 began as USAAC 42-93170. Its wartime years were spent on the home front, then it retired for disposal at the vast military airplane “graveyard” at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Next stop was Cartierville, where Canadair refurbished it for the Netherlands East Indies military. Later, it joined Indonesian airline Garuda as PK-GDY. While on a flight of February 3, 1964, “GDY” disappeared forever with all 26 passengers and crew. The fanatical spotter will note the shiny Burnelli CBY-3 Cargomaster sitting far across the field.

Canadair also did such non-DC-3 conversions as an Anson Mk.5 for Goodyear Tire and Rubber of Toronto (this Anson soon was replaced by CF-TDJ). In another case, in April 1948 BA Oil of Toronto purchased ex-TCA Lockheed 18 Lodestar CF-TDE, which went to Canadair for executive conversion. Re-registered CF-BAO, here it is ready for delivery. “BAO” served BA Oil from Toronto’s Malton Airport into 1960. It next was sold in the US, then to a Peruvian company for aerial survey duties.

Canadair also did such non-DC-3 conversions as an Anson Mk.5 for Goodyear Tire and Rubber of Toronto (this Anson soon was replaced by CF-TDJ). In another case, in April 1948 BA Oil of Toronto purchased ex-TCA Lockheed 18 Lodestar CF-TDE, which went to Canadair for executive conversion. Re-registered CF-BAO, here it is ready for delivery. “BAO” served BA Oil from Toronto’s Malton Airport into 1960. It next was sold in the US, then to a Peruvian company for aerial survey duties.

The interior of a typical Canadair VIP DC-3 conversion. Oversized comfy seats were de rigeur. Note the other furnishings of the day -- curtains, telephone, cabinetry, lamp, etc. This view looks aft toward the door into the biffy.

The interior of a typical Canadair VIP DC-3 conversion. Oversized comfy seats were de rigeur. Note the other furnishings of the day — curtains, telephone, cabinetry, lamp, etc. This view looks aft toward the door into the biffy.

The interior of a typical Canadair VIP DC-3 conversion. Oversized comfy seats were de rigeur. Note the other furnishings of the day -- curtains, telephone, cabinetry, lamp, etc. This view looks aft toward the door into the biffy.

One of the more exotic VIP conversions done by Canadair was the C-5 for the RCAF. A DC-4/DC-6 hybrid, only one C-5 was built. It was delivered to Ottawa as the RCAF’s premier VIP airplane. Here is the aft cabin with typical 1950s-style furnishings. The curtains are RCAF tartan. Tales of the C-5 are related in CANAV’s classic title The Canadair North Star.

the C-5 are related in CANAV’s classic title The Canadair North Star. Canadair 19 A view of Cartierville looking northwest with St. Laurent Blvd going off toward to right (north). The main plant was built during the war for PBY-5 production, then was converted in 1945 to build North Stars. This view is circa 1960 -- the CL-44 and CL-66 (Convair 540) era. Across the field is the old Noorduyn Norseman factory, where Harvards and Norsemans were built, then T-33s, Sabres, CF-5s, CL-41s and F-104s in the 1950s-60s. Many more details of this historic landscape are recorded in Canadair: The First 50 Years, The Canadair North Star and Air Transport in Canada. Today, Cartierville airport is gone, replaced by residential neighbourhoods. However, the main plant, where Bombardier still manufactures aircraft structures, survives. For more about the DC-3 in Canada, scroll back and enjoy “Where are They Now? Canada’s Enduring DC-3s”.

A view of Cartierville looking northwest with St. Laurent Blvd going off toward to right (north). The main plant was built during the war for PBY-5 production, then was converted in 1945 to build North Stars. This view is circa 1960 — the CL-44 and CL-66 (Convair 540) era. Across the field is the old Noorduyn Norseman factory, where Harvards and Norsemans were built, then T-33s, Sabres, CF-5s, CL-41s and F-104s in the 1950s-60s. Many more details of this historic landscape are recorded in Canadair: The First 50 Years, The Canadair North Star and Air Transport in Canada. Today, Cartierville airport is gone, replaced by residential neighbourhoods. However, the main plant, where Bombardier still manufactures aircraft structures, survives. For more about the DC-3 in Canada, scroll back and enjoy “Where Are They Now? Canada’s Enduring DC-3s”.