Begun in earnest in May 2011, CANAV’s history of CAE Inc. finally got on press on August 5, 2015. As usual, this included a trip for me to Friesens Printers in Altona, 115 km south of Winnipeg through glorious Manitoba farmland. In spite of some evident storm damage, the wheat, soya bean and sunflower crops were looking great and already some harvesters were in the fields. As I drove through Morris en route to Altona, a big PT6-powered Air Tractor was spraying some nearby fields, racing down its lines at crop level, then pulling up like a fighter plane to align for its next run.
Also as usual, I travelled to Winnipeg by WestJet, going each way in a comfy Boeing 737-700. These flights were pretty well at capacity – no surprise, eh. People are on the move in Canada more than ever, if WestJet is any indication. Needless to say, WestJet did not disappoint. I got an affordable fare and – out of the blue — an upgrade!
At 0830 on August 5, my customer service rep, Aron Friesen, got me started with a short briefing as to how the CAE job would go. Then he introduced me to lead pressman Vern Zacharias, who was ready to show me the first of 12 ½ forms for approval. Looking over the sheet, it was clear that this job was off to a great start. By the end of Vern’s 12-hour shift, the first half of the job was done, including the dust jacket and endpapers. At supper time, the evening crew took over to print the backside of the many forms. The job was nailed down soon after Vern returned for his shift next morning.
I’ve seen a lot of change at Friesen since they produced Air Transport in Canada for me in 1997. This year, for example, I saw the company’s flashy new 8-colour press. Meanwhile, there was some spacious empty concrete in another corner of the plant. The big, still-modern press that had been there in 2014 was gone – sold overseas. Nothing sits too still in any such a plant, where having the latest technology is not an option.
It’s always a pleasure to deal with this great company: check out Friesens online for more information about them. Also, by now there are several informative CANAV Books Blog items covering various trips to Altona, including for AinC: Evolution of an Airforce, AinC: Bombing and Coastal Operations, and AinC: Noorduyn Norseman.
As the schedule now looks, Friesens will be shipping the CAE book to me on August 19 (it still needs to get into the bindery). So I’ll start mailing out books the week of August 24. Get in your order for this beauty, which looks in many ways to be about the highlight of CANAV Books’ little efforts since 1981.
Cheers and have a great summer and fall, eh … Larry