Category Archives: DC 3

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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Where Are They Now? Canada’s Enduring DC-3s

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Here are a few of the beautiful DC-3s I photographed ages ago. Andrew Yee has polished these for presentation. Click on each photo to fill the screen. CF-ESO (now restored and earning a living in the aerial survey business in Texas) is seen on the tarmac at Imperial Oil’s Malton on a dull May 14, 1966. The nice thing about shooting on such a day was that there were no harsh shadows.

Beginning early in WWII, hundreds of C-47 “Dakotas” and DC-3s served the RCAF and Canadian civil operators. A few have survived as working planes, especially with Buffalo Airways in the NWT. Others are with air museums in Comox, Edmonton, Hamilton, Greenwood, etc.

Two of my first plane rides were in RCAF “Daks”, while I was with 117 Squadron (Air Cadets) in Toronto 1956-57. One flight was from RCAF Stn. Downsview, the other from RCAF Stn. Clinton during Air Cadet summer camp. Since then the great Douglas propliner has been one of my favourites. In our days hitchhiking around in those years, my pals and I would track down many DC-3s to photograph.

Decades later it’s fun going over those old pix, looking up individual planes in J. Gradidge’s incredible DC-3 The First Seventy Years, finding them on the web, etc. Lately, Warbird Information Exchange popped up with an update about N583V. Having begun in 1942 with the USAAC, it went to the Royal Air Force as KG360. In mid-1944 it was at RAF Melton Mowbray with 107 Operational Training Unit. The war over, it became one of some 300 Dakotas corralled by newly-formed Canadair Ltd. at Montreal’s Cartierville airport.

To get some cash rolling in, Canadair hustled C-47s to civil operators from Sweden to Venezuela. Trans-Canada Airlines bought a fleet of them and many ended in business aviation, KG360 included. As Canadair began cleaning it up (some such “Daks” had arrived at Cartierville with combat scars), KG360 was sold to Imperial Oil of Toronto, then reorganizing after a long period of wartime restrictions. Modified for executive use, KG360 was delivered with “CF-ESO” stenciled on its tail. It usually was based in Calgary, while a second Imperial Oil DC-3, CF-IOC, worked from Toronto alongside Convair 240 CF-IOK and Lodestar CF-TDB.

In May 1966 Imperial Oil sold “ESO” in the US, where it became N583V. A list of other US operators followed. Reportedly, N583V spent the past 30 years sunning itself at Fort Worth’s Sycamore airfield. Then, in 2012 some keen folks appeared, checked out the rusting bird, changed the engines and ferried it a few miles to a strip called Mid-way (Check out these amazing shots as well as this video).

People from Airborne Imaging organized a lot of serious restoration work to bring N583V back to its former glory. As of last November it was working on an aerial survey contract in Mississippi. Of this, someone recently commented on the web: “I remember an article in Wings/Airpower way back when. Someone made a comment like ‘The C-130 will be the DC-3 of the 21stcentury’. Someone else promptly replied ‘The DC-3 will be the DC-3 of the 21st century!’”

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On a June 23, 1960 visit to Toronto Island Airport, I was happy to find CF-KCI of the Irving Oil Co. in from Saint John, New Brunswick. In my notepad I noted that the colour scheme was “white tan and maroon”. Registered in honour of the great K.C. Irving, this DC-3 certainly made for fine subject matter. Note the panoramic windows, a desirable “mod” often seen on a corporate DC-3, Invader or Lodestar. CF-KCI had begun in the US military as 42-100970. Records show that in September 1944 it took part in Operation Market Garden, the greatest airborne operation of the war in Europe. By 1952 it was home in the US as N59U with a firm called Beldex Corp., then joined Irving Oil in 1959. Following a sojourn in the US 1968-70, it returned to Irving as CF-XPK, then in 1973 went to Pete Lazarenko’s Northland Fisheries of Winnipeg. In 1981 it moved to Barney Lamm’s Ontario Central Airlines, thence to DC-3 heaven Colombia, where it last was heard of in the early 2000s as HK-2664.

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Another classic Canadian civil DC-3 from 50 or so years ago was CF-BZI. Having begun as 42-108960, it served the USAAC to war’s end on the home front. In November 1945 it was purchased from the US government Reconstruction Finance Corp (similar to Canada’s War Assets Disposal Corp) by Carl Burke of upstart Maritime Central Airways. There it toiled until sold in 1953 to the Interprovincial Pipe Line Co. Besides flying company executives, it likely also ferried around supplies, parts and workers needed on pipeline construction jobs across Canada. In 1965 it went to Bob Engle’s Northwest Territorial Airways of Yellowknife. Once NWT Air re-equipped with the Boeing 737, the DC-3 faded from the fleet. CF-BZI ended with Joe McBryan’s Buffalo Airways and today is with the Calgary Air and Space Museum.

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This lovely looking DC-3 served the USAAF as 42-100576. At war’s end Canadair acquired it from the RFC at Walnut Ridge, a vast aircraft disposal base in Arkansas. Rebuilt at Cartierville, it next served Maritime Central Airways as CF-DJT, until sold in 1953 to AVRO Aircraft of Canada at Malton. In this period it modified with such speed features as wheel doors. Hanging around Malton airport as we did in the 1950s-60s, we heard many tidbits, including how such DC-3s were described as being “maximized”. With Avro it criss-crossed North America on company business and for the pleasure of the company’s top dogs. In 1959, soon after AVRO folded due to the Arrow debacle, CF-DJT was sold to the Robert Simpson Co., which ran one of Canada’s leading department stores. In 1966 it moved to the US with Sears Roebuck Co., becoming N34110. Re-sold yet again, it became N181SB in 1973, then was exported in 1980 to Colombia and, seemingly, disappeared from the planet.

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In the 1950s-60s Ottawa’s Department of Transport had a flashy fleet of planes doing type check rides for pilots, airways inspection and VIP work. Such types as the Apache. Beech 18, DC-3 and Heron were in use. These were always choice subjects to see in our twin-lens viewfinders. In this case, it was fun on August 28, 1963 to snap off a frame on DC-3 CF-DOT at Toronto Island Airport. Note the Beech Super 18 and RCAF Albatross beyond. This early USAAC C-47 served in Australia as early as mid-1942. It returned to the US in the fall of 1944, then joined the DOT in 1950. In the 1980s-90s it served the Canada Coast Guard. In 1995 it was sold in the US, becoming N1XP. By 2010 it was on the fly-in and airshow circuit in a shocking orange scheme christened “Duggy – Smile in the Sky” (see duggy.com).

DC-3 No.3 CF-IKD_sm

One of Canada’s “maximized” DC-3s (with such speed mods as wheel doors, sometimes bigger engines) was CF-IKD of the Ontario Paper Co. Having served in India with the RAF during the war, it became a war surplus leftover, ending at Remmert-Werner in St. Louis. There it was converted for OPC in 1954-55 into a lavish executive plane (it’s said that two airframes were combined to make the final product). Flown from Malton by pilots Fred Hotson and Norm Irwin (who also flew OPC’s beloved Grumman Mallard), “IKD” operated on business to Chicago and New York for the Chicago Tribune, frequently went down the St. Lawrence via Dorval to the OPC mill at Baie Comeau and, for the edification of company “big wigs”, down to the Bahamas. Here CF-IKD sits at Malton on April 9, 1961. Then it’s seen in Winnipeg on August 23, 1976, knocked down a few rungs and “de-maximized” for hauling freight and fish for Pete Lazarenko’s Northland Air Manitoba. In 1993 “IKD” migrated to the US where today it is beautifully restored as N103NA. Based at Chino, California, it swans around to fly-ins and airshows in the colours of Classic Airways. Lots of photos of it can be found on “The Web”.

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