Category Archives: Canadair North Star

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”.

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Canadair North Star Nostalgia: The Book Launch Party 1982

NorthStar Book Cover

Thanks to Canada’s great aviation artist, Peter Mossman, The Canadair North Star has stunning cover art. In two printings this classic, considered a model for producing an airliner history, went to 7500 books. Here’s your chance to get one of the 250 new copies that remain.

When I quit my day job in June 1980 to venture into the world of book publishing, my plan was to produce a series in praise of Canada’s great airplanes and the people who turned them out. I couldn’t have made a more appropriate first choice than the CF-100. Going full-out, I got the research and writing done. Then, with the support of editor/designer Robin Brass, we got the book launched in August 1981 at artist Pete Mossman’s place in Toronto, then at the CF-100 phase-out thrash in North Bay in September. Having made a success of that project (from a first printing of 3500, The Avro CF-100 went to re-print after just 9 weeks), I immediately took aim at another special Canadian topic — the  North Star.

The North Star in its day was at least as controversial from a media standpoint as was the later Avro Arrow (we have short memories, don’t we). The political turmoil swirling around it was “world class Ottawa”. The engineering challenges seemed equally insurmountable at times, but were beaten to the ground, showing Canadair and TCA for the aeronautical engineering powerhouses that they were. Then, once the plane got into service, its operational record shone. The North Star put TCA on the map as a modern airline with long-range capability; gave the RCAF the equipment needed to support the UN’s Korean War airlift; and relieved BOAC, when its fleets of Tudors and Hermes faltered in international service.

To produce the book, Robin and I worked with graphics specialist Arlene Webber (in pre-computer times, so everything down to the tiniest correction was done by hand), artists, and Toronto’s Bryant Press. Soon I was organizing for a book launch party, an event that in those days was integral to the whole book publishing mystique. It was the crowning moment for author, publisher and all others involved, much as is the roll-out of a new airplane. Well, airplanes still get rolled out to great fanfare, but what about books? Not so often, sad to say. The world of arts and culture has slipped more than a few notches, giving way to such horrid surrogates as the video game, tweeting, AM shock radio, and reality TV. We still need to fly, but not necessarily to read books, especially ones having words of more than two syllables.

The Canadair North Star appeared first on November 3, 1982 at a posh little affair down at Dorval set up by Air Canada’s great Beth Buchanan. Beth, who had been executive secretary to TCA president, G.R. McGregor, arranged to fly me and daughter Kate to Dorval for a lunch attended by TCA/Air Canada retirees. Company president Claude Taylor himself turned up, anxious to get his hands on 20 copies to have with him next morning at a business meeting in Geneva.

Not many have a clue these days about using film and cameras that needed the photographer to manually set shutter speed and lens aperture, load film, consider the shooting conditions, etc. The parameters for light, motion, etc. constituted a totally different world compared to today’s idiot-proof world of the point-and-shoot digital camera that asks nothing of the “photographer” except maybe a pulse. Indoor photography was a challenge unless one had professional equipment, high-speed film, flash equipment, etc. Here’s a typical indoors snapshot of the times, and not too bad a one at that, all things considered. Air Canada president (1976-84) Claude Taylor is autographing a North Star book for Kate Milberry at Dorval, while dad looks on. Claude, later inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame and awarded the Order of Canada, understood that Canada’s aviation heritage was a treasure. He had assigned Beth Buchanan, then custodian of the TCA/Air Canada archives and library, to make sure I had carte blanche in doing my research. Since Claude and Beth retired, Air Canada disposed of its archive and library as if those were liabilities. How times change, right. One day many years later I presented a copy of the North Star book to an Air Canada PR lady. She looked at the book, back up at me, back at the book, then stammered, “Why thank you, Mr. Milberry, but what am I supposed to do with this?”

Not many have a clue these days about using film and cameras that needed the photographer to manually set shutter speed and lens aperture, load film, consider the shooting conditions, etc. The parameters for light, motion, etc. constituted a totally different world compared to today’s idiot-proof world of the point-and-shoot digital camera that asks nothing of the “photographer” except maybe a pulse. Indoor photography was a challenge unless one had professional equipment, high-speed film, flash equipment, etc. Here’s a typical indoors snapshot of the times, and not too bad a one at that, all things considered. Air Canada president (1976-84) Claude Taylor is autographing a North Star book for Kate Milberry at Dorval, while dad looks on. Claude, later inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame and awarded the Order of Canada, understood that Canada’s aviation heritage was to be treasured. He had assigned Beth Buchanan, then custodian of the TCA/Air Canada archives and library, to make sure I had carte blanche in doing my research. Since Claude and Beth retired, Air Canada disposed of its archive and library as if those were liabilities. How times change, right. One day many years later, I presented a copy of the North Star book to an Air Canada PR lady. She looked at the book, back up at me, back at the book, then stammered, “Why thank you, Mr. Milberry, but what am I supposed to do with this?”

Sitting around reminiscing at our 1982 Dorval book reception are TCA old time technical wizards James T. Bain and Al Hunt, and Air Canada archivist Beth Buchanan.

Sitting around reminiscing at our 1982 Dorval book reception are TCA old time technical wizards James T. Bain and Al Hunt, and Air Canada archivist Beth Buchanan.

To unveil The Canadair North Star to the world, I reserved a convention room at the Cambridge Motor Inn near Toronto International Airport. D-Day would be November 4. By supper time we had the place set up but, as the afternoon had progressed, the weather worsened. By book launch time a serious storm was blowing. In those conditions, who would show? I was getting worried, but  needn’t have, for the place began filling. Some vintage TCA captains and stewardesses arrived wearing their 1950s uniforms. People came from far and wide – the legendary Capt Bob Bowker from Bermuda, artist Bob Bausch from San Francisco, others from BC, a crowd from Montreal. Recently, I came across a stack of old b/w prints from this event 31 years ago. Whoever took them knew how to frame a “people” shot, but his lens pooped out on the edges, as you’ll see. Any fan will get a charge out of these pix, so here you go.

The man behind Canadair’s trip to the book launch was R.D. “Dick” Richmond, then No.2 at Canadair as President Fred Kearns’ right-hand man. That’s Dick on the right. Centre is the great Jim Bain, then your lowly author. I remember being floored when, once the room had pretty well filled up, the door swung open and the Canadair party waltzed in. All seriously dressed for the occasion, but looking a tad glum, I thought they maybe had meant to enter the room down the hall, where there was an undertakers’ convention. No, it was the Canadair contingent, but they had had a rough-weather trip from Montreal and an especially bumpy final approach to Malton (the pilot confided that next morning). Away back behind us is artist Les Waller, who produced two fine paintings for the book. In this day and age one could not attract a single senior rep from any Canadian aerospace company to any aviation book launching. Terrific, eh!

 More luminaries. On the left is the great Ron Baker of TCA. The rest are famous Canadair types, a major book for each one of whom needs to be written: Tom Harvie, Al Lilly, Dick Richmond, Bob Raven, Peter Gooch and Ray Hébert. Winnipegger Dick Richmond, whose aeronautical degree was from the University of Michigan, had spent the war with the NRC and Fairchild, working on such projects as a target tow mechanism for the Bolingbroke. Next he was a leading member of the team that designed the outstanding F.11 Husky bushplane. Later positions included vice-president at P&WC and Spar (a top man on the Canadarm project) and president of McDonnell Douglas Canada. At Canadair he was largely instrumental in saving the Challenger program, then he pushed to launch the CRJ, both of which efforts were strongly opposed by aggressive negative factions. Both projects long-since have become gigantically successful. Happily, Dick has been recognized by and inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

More luminaries. On the left is the great Ron Baker of TCA. The rest are famous Canadair types, a major book for each one of whom needs writing: Tom Harvie, Al Lilly, Dick Richmond, Bob Raven, Peter Gooch and Ray Hébert. As a young man, Winnipegger Dick Richmond, whose aeronautical degree was from the University of Michigan, had spent the war with the NRC and Fairchild, working on such projects as a target tow mechanism for the Bolingbroke. Next he was a leading member of the team  designing the outstanding F.11 Husky bushplane. Later positions included vice-president at P&WC and Spar (a top man on the Canadarm project) and president of McDonnell Douglas Canada. At Canadair he was largely instrumental in saving the Challenger program, then he pushed to launch the CRJ, both of which efforts were strongly opposed by aggressive negative factions. Both projects long-since have become gigantically successful. Happily, Dick has been honoured with membership in  Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Speaking yet further of the room bulging with the “Kings of Canadian Aviation” … no five fellows could have been more steeped in aeronautical knowledge, successful practice and a great love for same. In 1982 Gene Schweitzer (left) was a senior technical man at Pratt & Whitney Canada, mostly immersed in the PT6 program. In later years, Gene assisted me greatly in while I was getting ready to publish Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story. Al Lilly by this time was a retired Canadair executive. Early postwar, he had been the first Canadian to “break the sound barrier”, accomplishing that in a USAF F-86 (Al was Canadair chief test pilot at the time). James T. Bain was one of Canada’s top aeronautical engineers and a brilliant mind in keeping the North Star out of too much technical trouble during the formative years. Kenneth Meredith “Ken” Molson headed Canada’s National Aeronautical Collection. He put it on a rock solid footing, establishing the magnificent bush plane collection, etc. As the museum sits 40-50 years later, that’s pretty well what Ken built, although his name there is almost unheard of by now. Go figure, eh! Ron Baker had been chief test pilot at TCA doing all the North Star proving trials in the 1940s. Gene, Al and Ron later were inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, Jim received the Order of Canada, but Ken has so far been sidelined in the awards department. One wonders how this could be – talk about your classic “crying shame”. Will someone kindly nominate Ken Molson for something! Sad to say, but all these five great gentlemen by now have left us. Over Ken’s left shoulder is Doug Anderson, another of the many North Star pilots present.

Speaking further of a room bulging with the “Kings of Canadian Aviation” … no five fellows could have been more steeped in aeronautical knowledge, successful practice and a great love for same. In 1982 Gene Schweitzer (left) was a senior technical man at Pratt & Whitney Canada, mostly immersed in the PT6 program. The PT6 was faltering on every front and Gene expected soon to be out of a job. However, he and his young cohorts at P&WC persevered and the PT6 finally found its way. Today there are some 52,000 PT6s around the world. In later years, Gene assisted me greatly in while I was getting ready to publish Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story. Al Lilly by this time was a retired Canadair executive. Early postwar, he had been the first Canadian to “break the sound barrier”, accomplishing that in a USAF F-86 (Al then was Canadair chief test pilot). James T. Bain was one of Canada’s top aeronautical engineers and a brilliant mind in keeping the North Star out of too much technical trouble during the formative years. Kenneth Meredith “Ken” Molson headed Canada’s National Aeronautical Collection. He put it on a rock solid footing, establishing the magnificent bushplane collection, etc. As the museum sits 40-50 years later, that’s pretty well what Ken and his great successor, Robert Bradford, built, although Ken’s name there is almost unheard of by now. Go figure, eh! Ron Baker had been chief test pilot at TCA doing all its North Star proving trials in the 1940s. Gene, Al and Ron later were inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, Jim received the Order of Canada, but Ken has so far been sidelined in the awards department. One wonders how this could be – talk about your classic “crying shame”. Will someone kindly nominate Ken Molson for something! Sad to say, but all these five great gentlemen by now have left us. Over Ken’s left shoulder is Doug Anderson, another of the many North Star pilots present.

The always unassuming and shy Ken Molson caught again by our candid photographer.

The always unassuming and shy Ken Molson caught again by our candid photographer.

A couple of unruly aviation artists get into it at the book launch: Pete Mossman (left) produced several remarkable North Star colour profiles for the book. Robin Brass featured these boldly as stunning fold-outs. Robert was one of several who came from afar to enjoy our evening. Beth Buchanan got him to Toronto, then back to San Francisco using an Air Canada pass (as a lowly aviation nobody, try to get one of those today). Well-respected in the USAF art program, Robert rendered a fabulous painting for me, showing the ex-TCA North Star converted for tracking ICBMs being tested over the South Pacific. The Canadair North Star was the first Canadian aviation book to feature a gallery of original art.

A couple of unruly aviation artists get into it at the book launch: Pete Mossman (left) produced several remarkable North Star colour profiles for the book. Robin Brass featured these boldly as stunning fold-outs. Robert Bausch was one of several who came from afar to enjoy our evening. Beth Buchanan got him to Toronto, then back to San Francisco using an Air Canada pass (as a lowly aviation artist or history writer, try to get one of those today). Well-respected in the USAF art program, Robert rendered a fabulous painting for me, showing the ex-TCA North Star converted for tracking ICBMs tested over the South Pacific. The Canadair North Star was the first Canadian aviation book to feature a gallery of original art.

Ralph Clint and Ian Geddes – solid Canadian aviation history types if ever there was a pair. Having had a career with TCA/Air Canada in ground radio, Ralph became a vital member of the CANAV team, proof reading and fact-checking manuscript and galleys, and making detailed maps and accurate technical drawings. Ian at this time was a senior public relations man at Canadair. Away over Ian’s shoulder is a pair of CAHS stalwarts, Les Wilkinson and Johnny Biehler.

Ralph Clint and Ian Geddes – solid Canadian aviation history types if ever there was a pair. Having had a career with TCA/Air Canada in ground radio, Ralph became a vital member of the CANAV team, proof reading and fact-checking manuscript and galleys, and making detailed maps and accurate technical drawings. Ian at this time was a senior public relations man at Canadair. In 2013 Ron Pickler recalled: “When I first joined Canadair’s publications department 60 years ago, Ian was the one I turned to for advice or for scuttlebutt. He knew everything about everyone. He knew how to get things done. He had a good memory and knew enough about the aviation industry to make sense.” Away over Ian’s shoulder is a pair of CAHS stalwarts, Les Wilkinson and Johnny Biehler.

Des McGill (left) served TCA/Air Canada mainly as a technical illustrator. The first edition of the North Star book came with a huge fold-out in a pocket at the back of the book. This showed the North Star in detailed 5-view line drawings, done to perfection by Des. When McGraw-Hill Ryerson with permission from CANAV reprinted this book years later, they were too cheap to include Des’ drawings. So … lucky is the bibliophile who has his first edition. On the right is Joe Matiasek, my sales rep at The Bryant Press, printer/binder of the first few CANAV titles. Bryant was a typical case of the tradition-bound book manufacturer unable 30 years ago to adapt, as computerization started to change printing at the speed of heat. After almost 100 years turning out top-grade Canadian books, Bryant folded over night in the early 1990s.

Des McGill (left) served TCA/Air Canada mainly as a technical illustrator. The first edition of the North Star book came with a huge fold-out in a pocket at the back of the book. This showed the North Star in detailed line drawings, done to perfection by Des. When McGraw-Hill Ryerson with permission from CANAV reprinted this book years later, they were too cheap to include Des’ drawings. So … lucky is the bibliophile who has his first edition. On the right is Joe Matiasek, my sales rep at The Bryant Press, printer/binder of the first few CANAV titles. Bryant was a typical case of the tradition-bound book manufacturer unable 30 years ago to adapt, as computerization started to change printing at the speed of heat. After almost 100 years turning out top-grade Canadian books, Bryant folded over night in the early 1990s.

In 1982 Harry Brown was a beloved CBC Toronto radio host (“As It Happens” and “Metro Morning”). Those were the days when there were such CBC types who revelled in any chance to soak up some really solid Canadian content. Bill McNeil and Cy Strange (“Fresh Air”) and Peter Gzowski (“Morningside”) were others – they all had me on their shows in those days. Now – well, you can guess. When I launched “Pioneer Decades” to celebrate Canada’s Centennial of Flight in 2009, I sent review copies to several CBC program hosts. Not one so much as acknowledged this (not even CBC Halifax or Sydney in the very home province of the “Silver Dart”), no doubt being totally bored about aviation book possibilities (and not having a clue what “Silver Dart” meant), while contemplating which Hollywood star they could interview next. Here is the great man on the left in the company of legendary TCA aeronautical engineers Jack Dyment and James T. Bain and an unknown BOAC retiree.

In 1982 Harry Brown was a beloved CBC Toronto radio host (“As It Happens” and “Metro Morning”). Those were the days when there were such CBC types who revelled in any chance to soak up some really solid Canadian content. Bill McNeil and Cy Strange (“Fresh Air”) and Peter Gzowski (“Morningside”) were others – they all had me on their shows in those days. Now – well, you can guess. When I launched Aviation in Canada: The Pioneer Decades to celebrate our Centennial of Flight in 2009, I sent review copies to several CBC program hosts. Not one so much as acknowledged this (not even CBC Halifax or Sydney in the very home province of the “Silver Dart”), no doubt being totally bored about aviation book possibilities (and not having a clue what “Silver Dart” meant), while contemplating which Hollywood star they could interview next. Here is the great man on the left in the company of legendary TCA aeronautical engineers Jack Dyment and James T. Bain and an unknown BOAC retiree.

Des Burge (left) was a former RCAF PR officer. Next is Stu Parmalee, a career RCAF Air Transport Command captain with a million miles on the North Star. Later, Stu captained the RCAF Yukon that delivered those scummy, yahoo terrorists to Havana, following their disgraceful shenanigans around Montreal. Next is Russ Bowdery, another old time RCAF PR officer. Russ opened some of the first doors for me, as I attempted to find a spot as an aviation writer. Lucky Russ, for he got to cozy up beside Suzanne Hughes of Wardair, as did John Waldie, another renowned RCAF transport captain, Empire Test Pilots School graduate, etc.

Des Burge (left) was a former RCAF PR officer. Next is Stu Parmalee, a career RCAF Air Transport Command captain with a million miles on the North Star. Later, Stu captained the RCAF Yukon that delivered those scummy, yahoo terrorists to Havana, following their disgraceful shenanigans around Montreal. Next is Russ Bowdery, another old time RCAF PR officer. Russ opened some of the first doors for me, as I attempted to find a spot as an aviation writer. Lucky Russ, for he got to cozy up beside Suzanne Hughes of Wardair, as did John Waldie, another renowned RCAF transport captain, Empire Test Pilots School graduate, etc.

Wee Stephanie Milberry at the launch with fans Pat Flood and John Callaghan, two of the top educators ever to grace a Toronto classroom.

Wee Stephanie Milberry at the launch with book launch fans Pat Flood and John Callaghan, two of the top educators ever to grace a Toronto classroom.

In 1949 Archie Vanhee (left) pioneered on CPA’s “C-4” North Star route-proving flights across the Pacific to Australia and on to China. Archie told me that from Shanghai airport they could hear the fighting as Mao’s forces pummelled Chiang Kai Shek’s. The CPA C-4 beat a hasty retreat to Hong Kong. It would be a very long time before another Canadian airliner visited Shanghai. Archie is chatting with Don Lamont, a veteran TCA North Star captain and one of the company’s many former Bomber Command pilots.

In 1949 Archie Vanhee (left) pioneered on CPA’s “C-4” North Star route-proving flights across the Pacific to Australia and on to China. Archie told me that from Shanghai airport they could hear the fighting as Mao’s forces pummelled Chiang Kai Shek’s.  CPA’s crew beat a hasty retreat to Hong Kong. It would be a very long time before another Canadian airliner visited Shanghai. Archie is chatting with Don Lamont, a veteran TCA North Star captain and one of the company’s many former Bomber Command pilots.

John Wegg looks back to early CANAV times. Publisher of the renowned monthly “Airways A Global Review of Commercial Flight” (http://www.airwaysmag.com) and author of such spectacular books as Caravelle, John recently wrote to CANAV:

G’day Larry … I remember Steve Piercey (of Propliner fame) telling me about how some newbie Canadian writer was going to do a great book on the North Star, and me —  the cynic — quietly wishing him well, while giving long odds on completion, let alone success. Well, the North Star book set the standard for CANAV (and everyone else for that matter) that has never faltered.

Congratulations on your tremendous publishing achievement. I admire your stamina. Onward and upward, and as Freddie Laker once told me, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” All good wishes … John 

Pierre Gillard has his say … You really should take some time to browse Pierre’s great blog . He covers the full range of aviation from microlights to the A380, civil and military, you name it. Lately he posted his review of The Canadair North Star and here’s what he has to say in loose translation (if you prefer, read it in French on Pierre’s blog).

These days Quebec (rightly so) only has eyes for the exciting new Bombardier CSeries, which has just completed its first flight. But how many remember that the North Star, manufactured by Bombardier’s predecessor, Canadair, was Canada’s first successful commercial transport? I just want to let you know that there still are copies of The Canadair North Star — the magnificent book that tells this story. Don’t hesitate to complete your library if you don’t yet have your copy. As with each CANAV title, this one is a mine of information with unparalleled detail and historic accuracy. It has become a major reference, when we talk about the first transport plane designed, developed and manufactured by Canadair.

The Canadair North Star… some sample pages

Northstar page4

Ordering your copy …

Get the low-down on this famous Canadian plane in a book that’s the model for any such effort. Canada’s first airliner from conception to demise. Who wouldn’t want to know! Hundreds of photos, diagrams, artwork, foldouts, app’x with lists and specs, biblio, index. These bon mots from the Air Pictorial review really sum it up: “A magnificent book in every respect.” 252 pp, hc. All copies are autographed by the author. Canadian orders $54.60 (book, post, tax), US and Overseas $72.00 all in.

CANAV’s “Do Not Miss” Summer Booklist!

The warmer weather is coming and CANAV is urging it on with the release of our  Summer booklist and … a great special offer you won’t want to miss!

Order yourself a copy of CANAV’s globally-acclaimed The Wilf White Propliner Collection at 50% off! Total price (Canada) $20.00 + $10.00 postage + GST $1.50 = $31.50.

Add The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection and get both books for $35.00 + $15.00 postage + GST $2.50 = $52.50. USA and overseas check for a postal rate by e-mailing larry@canavbooks.com.

Here are four great Canadair photos that you’ll enjoy in The Wilf White Propliner Collection. In one of Wilf’s wonderful Prestwick views, TCA North Star CF-TFM thunders in on short final circa 1950. ‘TFM gave fine service at TCA until sold in 1961, but it ended badly thereafter, crashing while running guns in West Africa.

Then, RCAF 17510 on departure from Prestwick. The RCAF operated North Stars 1947-66, then the fleet dispersed to the tramp freighter world, ‘510 becoming CF-UXB with Air Caicos. For several years it freighted between Sarasota and the islands, carrying anything that would fit through the cargo doors. It finally was scrapped in 1971 after logging nearly 22,000 flying hours.

Next, a wonderful Wilf White propliner scene — BOAC’s stately C-4 Argonaut G-ALHG “Aurora” in the days long before nutbar terrorist losers ruined the possibility of such a happy scene occurring today. Poor ‘HG came to an ignominious ending, crashing at Manchester while in its British Midland Airways days.

Finally, the hybrid Canadair C-5 — the cream of the RCAF fleet in the  1950s — caught taxying by Wilf at London circa 1960. This beautiful VIP transport ended in a California scrapyard, instead of where it should have gone — to Canada’s National Aeronautical Collection. Unfortunately, museum people have their priorities and the power to turn thumbs down. Sad to say, but BOAC fans also know this all too well — they watched the world’s last Argonaut also go for pots and pans. Only one North Star survives anywhere — ex-RCAF 17515 at the Canada Aviation Museum. After 30+ years of rusting outside, it finally is receiving a long-overdue restoration.

If such types as the North Star and all the lore about them interest you, you’ll love both the CANAV propliner books, to say nothing of The Canadair North Star, a renowned best-selling CANAV classic. Also take a look at Air Transport in Canada at a $60.00 discount. Propliner fans will find no other book in the world with such a variety and quantity of incredible propliner photos and history. So take advantage of these great deals and heat up your aviation book collection! Like summer, these great prices won’t last…

Download our Booklist Summer 2011 or check it out below!

Aviation in Canada: Evolution of an Air Force: Launched and in Orbit!

*ORDER ONLINE*

After dozens of book launches, such events sure can be predicable but, in CANAV’s experience, every one has turned out to be a blast. I sometimes am asked about book launches of yore, and those days sure race back to mind. The first was with McGraw Hill-Ryerson’s Aviation in Canada back in 1979. That one I held in the back yard at 51 Balsam, which then became the venue for several similar excellent thrashes — Sixty Years and Austin Airways are memorable.

The first all-CANAV event was held at Pete Mossman’s great uptown domicile in the summer of ’81. There we launched The Avro CF-100, for which Pete had done the fabulous artwork. November 2, 1982 came next — my first $3000 hotel splash, held at the Cambridge Inn out by what we used to call Malton Airport (today’s YYZ). The idea was to kick off The Canadair North Star, but the weather closed in — IFR all the way and I could foresee disaster. Astoundingly, things panned out beautifully. Piles of North Star fans from Canadair, TCA and RCAF times suddenly materialized. Through the efforts of Canadair exec Dick Richmond, the company Lear flew to Malton with several senior Canadair retirees, Dick included; other folks turned up wearing old time TCA stewardess and pilot outfits and, miracle of miracles, a good few North Star books were sold.

John McQuarrie and old team mate Larry Milberry have just exchanged their new books at The Brogue. John got his start in publishing after a conversation with Larry back around 1990. That day he showed out of the blue with a series of questions starting with, "I think I'd like to get into publishing. Where does a fellow start?" He began by producing some world-class Canadian military titles, branched off into a series on ranching, then got into cities, canals, etc.

A 1986 Ottawa launch for The Canadair Sabre brought out a fabulous crowd of Sabre pilots and groundcrew. Included were several who had fought in Sabres in Korea — Ernie Glover (3 MiG-15 kills), Andy Mackenzie, Omer Levesque (1st RCAF MiG-15 kill), Claude LaFrance, Eric Smith, Bruce Fleming. Talk about the cream of the crop. There also were Golden Hawks milling around and Vic Johnson screened a fine team video. It was either here or at our Ottawa launch for Sixty Years that the Soviet air attaché showed up — some former MiG-21 pilot who pretended not to speak English. A CanForces general in the crowd explained that such fellows attend any such Ottawa event just to check on who’s in town, in this way getting some “intel” to pad their reports back to Moscow! Sadly, no one seemed to be taking photos that night in Ottawa — I don’t have a one.

The De Havilland Canada Story was launched at the roll-out of the Dash 8 in 1983, Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story at Hart House at the University of Toronto, and Canadair: The First 50 Years took flight at a glitzy affair down in old Montreal. That was an amazing one with hundreds of Canadair retirees and VIPs, including three CanForces generals. At each of these affairs, books were given out by the hundreds, so what a way to spread the good word at your clients’ expense!

Another zany book launch was for Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story held at 410 Wing RCAFA at Rockcliffe (Ottawa). As Hugh Halliday and I were setting up in mid-afternoon, a blizzard descended. By the time we had been hoping to see a crowd, only a few old 410 regulars were on hand. They’d been sitting all afternoon at the bar, so weren’t much interested in books. Never mind, however, for people gradually started to filter in, storm or not. About 8 o’clock there was a clatter outside. I looked but could only see snow streaking by horizontally. Then, out of this cloud entered 438 Sqn Hon. Colonel Andy Lord, a former 438 Typhoon pilot. Andy had commandeered a 438 Kiowa helicopter to fly up weather-be-damned from St. Hubert. Naturally, he looked ready to party or take on the Hun, but not so his young pilots — they were white as sheets!

Book launch show-and-tell: John Hymers, Dennis, Rick, Kelly and Andrew look over a photo album put together by John showing WWII PR photos taken by Goodyear Rubber in Toronto. No one had seen these since the war. Happily, John had rescued the negs from the trash one day ... such amazing scenes as a Bolingbroke on show at the CNE.

Tony (Aviation World), Rick and John looking to be in decent form.

So what happened on the book launch scene last week — August 19, 2010? It was as predicted — a super bunch of supporters, old friends, some of whom have been there for CANAV since Day 1. Renowned author Fred Hotson (age 95 or so) made it with  his chauffeur, Dave Clark, an old-time Canadair type. A few other vintage CAHS members turned up — Bill Wheeler, Shel Benner, Pete Mossman, Gord McNulty, etc. Rae Simpson, with whom I used to photograph planes in boyhood days, showed, fresh in on a King Air flight from The Soo. Photographer-publisher John McQuarrie blew in from an assignment in Kingston, showing off the glitziest book of the day — his magnificent new “Spirit of Place” title — Muskoka: Then and Now. Ace photographer Rick Radell and Aviation World stalwarts Tony Cassanova and Andy Cline showed with all their great support — lugging boxes and such. Two other fine party guys on the scene? AC 767 and CWH Canso driver John McClenaghan and geologist George Werniuk. John Timmins, of Timmins Aviation fame, was taking in his first CANAV event. Milberrys Matt and Simon/Amanda (plus wee ones) arrived as per usual.

Fred, Sheldon and Gord. Fred spent years as national president of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, was an early member of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. A former DHC employee, Sheldon became an early CAHS member. Gord followed his famous father, Jack, into the hobby aviation world and in recent years has been an indispensable member of the CAHS Toronto Chapter.

Larry makes a sale to Gord as ex-RCAF radar tech and military policemen Al Gay watches. Al and some friends have been developing a flight simulator series based on all 100+ aerodromes of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. (Tony Cassanova)

Rick wants a book but is having trouble letting go of his $50 bill. The aviation gang ... what a bunch, eh! This joke is no laughing matter to anyone publishing aviation books: "Question: Who invented the world's thinnest copper wire? Answer: Two airline pilots fighting over a penny!" Sad to say, but this seems to be true. As a group, airline pilots religiously avoid CANAV book launchings. (Tony Cassanova)

Wartime-wise? Well, due to time doing what it does so efficiently, there were few on hand from 39-45 times. John Coleman (Lancaster pilot 405 and 433) and Jack McCreight (Lancaster nav) were the sole RCAF reps, whereas in days gone by dozens of such super Canadians used to show. Fred Hotson of Ferry Command was the Methuselah of the wartime bunch on this day. Other friendly folks came and went as the afternoon passed — just A-1 all the way.

Lancaster pilot John Coleman chats with renowned aviation artist Pete Mossman at The Brogue. Pete's artwork helped CANAV's early books gain fame -- our CF-100, North Star, DHC and Austin Airways titles. In recent times Pete painted dozens of magnificent aircraft profiles for Dan Dempsey's incomparable book A Tradition of Excellence.

Rae Simpson and Jack McCreight had lots to talk over through the afternoon. Rae flew CF-104s during the RCAF's NATO heyday in the mid-1960s, then rose to be the CanForces chief test pilot. Jack's wartime training story is told in our new book.

The staff at The Brogue in Port Credit supplied the yummy food and whatever liquid refreshments we needed, so the whole effort came off as finely as a publisher could wish. Toronto’s summer nightmare traffic scenario sure tried to put the kibosh on things, but CANAV’s “solid citizens” toughed it out, battling off the worst that the QEW and 427 threw at them. Thanks to everyone for making it all another gem of a day — Book No.31, if my count is on. Cheers … Larry

CANAV fans at The Brogue: banking man Tony Hine, geologist George Werniuk, computer guy Matt Milberry and astronomer Andrew Yee.

John, Bill Wheeler and Larry shooting the breeze about RCAF history, books and publishing. Bill edited and published the CAHS Journal for more than 40 years. (Tony Cassanova)

While we were partying at The Brogue, Andy Cline was sweating it out at Aviation World, but after work he joined us anyway. If you haven't yet visited Aviation World on Carlingview Dr. near YYZ, in Richmond, BC near YVR, or in Chicago near Midway MDW, make a point of it. (Tony Cassanova)