Category Archives: New release

*UPDATE* New pics added! Here we go again! CANAV Books Announces … Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman

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Norseman No.1 awaits delivery at Cartierville towards the end of 1935. CF-AYO ended badly, crashing in NW Ontario in 1953. Its remains form a slightly oddball display at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage in Sault Ste. Marie. (These fine historic pix have been beautifully tweaked up by CANAV’s good supporter, astronomer Andrew Yee — you know Andrew from his celestial reports on the Weather Network. Click on each image to see it full size.)

Norseman C-FBHZ in a fine Richard Hulina air-to-air photo taken in August 2003, while Jacob Latto was at the helm. Unfortunately, in 2008 ‘BHZ suffered serious damage in an accident. But one never knows — many a wrecked Norseman has arisen “from the ashes”.

Norseman CF-OBI in an excellent Leslie Corness Kodachrome taken in the late 1950s at Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island. Having started with the Ontario Provincial Air Service in 1945, this Norseman V moved to Arctic Wings in 1955. On January 15, 1959 it force-landed on Hudson Bay and was lost.

Norseman V CF-GSR of Austin Airways sits at Moosenee over the summer of 1964. Since delivered new to Canadian Forest Products in 1950, ‘GSR served a host of operators and remained busy into the 2000s. (Larry Milberry)

How goes your vote for “the great Canadian bushplane”? Without thinking too much about it, lots of people have a knee-jerk solution. “The Beaver”, they shout in unison. One author even calls the Beaver “The World’s Greatest Bushplane”. Well, not hardly, although we all appreciate the Beaver. No argument there – it’s a good bushplane, just not the greatest by any yardstick.

But … if we’re philosophizing nostalgically about an “iconic” Canadian bushplane, at CANAV these days we’re thinking Noorduyn Norseman. That rugged old workhorse started its career in Northern Quebec in 1935 and, 75+ years later, a few Norsemans are still hard at it. In its own way, and all things considered, the Norseman can make the competition look like it has a way to go yet. The Norseman carries almost double a Beaver’s load, almost as much as an Otter, and does it faster than either. “No too bad” for a plane designed 77-78 years ago!

Straight off the mark in 1936, the Norseman proved itself a tough, dependable bushplane and a money-maker. But sales started sluggishly. After all, the world was in economic depression, and there were plenty of older, cheaper bushplanes getting the job done. It wasn’t until the US Army began ordering, that production got rolling.

In 1943-45 the Americans purchased more than 700 Norsemans for the war effort. Designated UC-64As, these were sent to do many a tough job in combat theatres from Alaska to the UK/Europe, India-Burma and the South Pacific. This puts a point on the fact (for anyone to see) that, without the war and Uncle Sam, the Norseman might not have made it.

UC-64A Norsemans on the shop floor at Noorduyn during the war. Note the unfinished frame nearest. Once its wooden formers and stringers were added, it would be covered in fabric and moved along the line.

A typical UC-64A in the field. 43-5396 ended somewhere in the European Theatre of Operations with the 9th Air Force. Little is known about most such US Army Norsemans, this one included. It is listed as being “condemned” in January 1946, which usually meant that a plane would be scrapped. (via Norman Malayney)

This UC-64A was used for developmental programs at the US Army test center at Wright Field Ohio. Here it is fitted with a 3-blade propeller, which was found to improve general performance. The postwar Norseman V adopted this feature. (National Museum of the USAF)

As soon as the US Army UC-64As were declared surplus in 1945, companies began sweeping them up at affordable prices. These Norsemans definitely led the way, allowing bush operators around the world to establish themselves in the new, wide open, peacetime economy.

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Hudson Bay Air Transport’s CF-BFU in Northern BC in 1950. Ross Lennox, who took this photo, flew ‘BFU on this job, supporting prospectors in the field. Later, while with Gayle Air, ‘BFU flipped disastrously on landing one day in 1971/72 at Selkirk, Manitoba.

Although magazines and journals have often featured the Norseman, no major book about it has yet been published. Someone was always “doing” a Norseman book, but I never saw any results, other than a very fine 2007 magazine-format profile about the Scandinavian Norsemans. So … no Norseman book of any sort from 1935 to 2007, a mere 72 years.

However, a few researchers in Canada at least were laying a foundation. Bruce Gowans put out a list of Canadian civil Norsemans, and CAHS researchers from Paddy Gardiner to Bob Halford, M.L. “Mac” McIntyre, K.M. Molson and Fred Shortt added solid, original Norseman results. Meanwhile, Bob Grant, a longtime bush pilot, kept filling the magazine pages with articles about the Norseman.

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Norseman CF-GMM in a typical scene among some of the local kids far up the east coast of Hudson Bay. Geoff Wyborn took this classic photo in the 1950s. It’s one of the favourites among readers of my book about Austin Airways.

Few scenes capture Norseman life better than this one from the 1960s. Austin Airways Norseman CF-JIN is out in the winter boonies with some sort of engine trouble. The technical guys are all set up for repairs with their engine tent in place, Herman Nelson heater standing by, snowshoes at the ready, etc. (Mark Nieminen)

Norseman CF-IGG blazing full-tilt at Moosenee in October 1969. Embers from a burning windsock had landed on it, igniting the paint-layered fabric. A stiff breeze did the rest. CF-IGG had been built by Austin Airways in Sudbury from components purchased from Noorduyn circa 1955. Nominally, CF-IGG was serial number N29-51, but this must have taken a bit of fudging with the paperwork. (Neil O’Brien)

Meanwhile, I had been gathering Norseman material for about 50 years. The day came earlier this year when it was time to do something. I talked to Hugh Halliday, who himself had been procrastinating about doing a Norseman book. We decided to go ahead, Hugh concentrating on the RCAF side of the story and using the Ottawa research facilities that he knows so well. Overnight, we started pulling together all the essential material needed by CANAV to finally get “the book” into print.

It now is almost September and I’ve got much of the text roughed out. You can imagine the approach – the recipe is well-proven in a long series of CANAV titles that you ever- skeptical readers have voted “Yea and thank you” time and again since 1981.

In Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, we start with the historic fundamentals – some biographical coverage of Bob Noorduyn and how he came to Montreal to design the ultimate bushplane. Early pre-war trials and tribulations are covered, then comes the war and boom times turning out UC-64As. Some coverage of these 700+ planes is included, but their story is going to have to be researched and published by someone else. CANAV’s book is essentially the Canadian story, with passing mention of Norsemans abroad.

Postwar Norseman 2486 in one of the finer RCAF air-to-air Norseman photos. Aviation bibliophiles will recall this as the endpaper shot in my first book Aviation in Canada (1979). 2486 served the RCAF 1941-53, then was donated to Norway, where it was in the RNoAF (including on UN duty in the Suez). Later, it was a commercial plane in Norway, until lost in a 1971 accident.

Naturally, much attention is paid to the RCAF Norseman before, during and after the war. Search and rescue is a huge theme here. Several dramatic episodes that were front-page headlines in the 1940s-60s are brought back to life.

Commercial operators across Canada are another giant part of the book, from QCA to Central Northern/Transair, OCA, Austin Airways, Wheeler Airlines, Northern Wings, etc. Norsemans with the provincial air services and RCMP also are included.

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Richard Hulina also caught C-FBHZ just as it alighted on a lake near Sioux Lookout. If you don’t have Richard’s magnificent book Bush Flying Captured, do yourself a favour. For more info, see the CANAV book list right here on the blog.

Green Airways Norseman 5 CF-OBE finished for the day at Red lake on a fine evening in the early 1990s. Pilot Joe Sinkowski is stepping down from the cockpit after his enjoyable day’s work. (Larry Milberry)

Naturally, books galore could be written about all the potential  Norseman topics. With this one CANAV is covering specific topics based on well-researched material that you can’t find on that siren of sirens (all too often, the lazy researcher’s “quick and dirty” source), the internet (I like Homer Simpson’s term “interweb”, also his question one day, “Is that thing still around?”).

Not that there isn’t some wonderful Norseman material on the web — there is so much that a publisher might wonder, “Why bother with a book?” In a typical case, on his excellent website Geoff Goodall beautifully covers the history of the 14 Australian Norsemans.

But there still is a vast amount of Norseman material not on the web. Finding it and using it to best effect is the book publisher’s challenge. That’s what some of us love to do.

Many of the famous Norseman pilots and engineers are well written up in The Noorduyn Norseman. I call these fellows “The Kings of the Norseman”. These profiles cannot be found anywhere else. Sometimes I tracked down the great men themselves, or their families, since so many of the “Kings” are long gone. Where the trail was cold, Hugh could sometimes dredge relevant files from the public archives. In one case, in King City and Thunder Bay, I visited the sons of the great Norseman aficionado, Carl Crossley. His logbooks surfaced from this effort — they constitute a goldmine of Norseman history. Then, after some solid detective work, Hugh found Crossley’s wartime RCAF files. “Bingo”, as they say. Bit by bit, this is how CANAV has gotten the story down – the usual story, eh. Work like a dog for no pay, then put out the best book on the block.

Our book finishes with a close look at the Norseman in 2012. Several fine examples still are at work in the bush. Austin Airways’ famous CF-BSC has been restored. It started flying again this summer — I had a ride in it at Red Lake in July! Other legendary examples, such as Bearskin Airlines’ old CF-ZMX, also is back in the air. Other Norsemans , CF-SAP included, still are doing tough day-to-day work at remote tourist camps, and even are busy in Ontario’s “Ring of Fire”, a modern day gold rush scenario. Naturally, Gord Hughes Norseman shop is included, as is “Norseman Days” at Red Lake – several colourful pages are reserved for these topics.

So … get ready for a book that, by the standards of our ever-intelligent and demanding readers and fans, will rate that simple accolade which you have thrown at CANAV so often – “This one’s a real gem”. Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman will give you a solid level of history — enticing reading with hundreds of choice photos/illustrations to balance off the whole effort. Sure, it’ll only be the tip of the iceberg, but it makes a good, strong start at getting the Norseman so deservedly back into the limelight.

Keep an eye here for further news. I’m planning a book launch by February 2013, but the sooner the better. This will be the 5th title in CANAV’s ongoing “Aviation in Canada” series. Look on p.1 of the blog for all the details. This is a series for any serious fan of Canadian aviation history.

Meanwhile, should you have any rare old photos of Norsemans (prints or slides), let me know (larry@canavbooks.com). Original material only —  those ancient, tiny old black and white prints are especially of interest. Should you have anything to lend, as usual I’m at 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E 3B6. Anything on loan will be scanned to the specs I need for high-quality book production and immediately returned.

The Norseman line-up at Gordy and Eleanor Hughes’ base near Ignace on July 19, 2012. Nearest is the newly-restored ex-Austin Airways Norseman V CF-BSC.

Four Norsemans on the same beach as photographed by Dutch aficionado Chris Mak in September 2012.

Thanks as usual for checking in…

Larry Milberry, publisher

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Now available from CANAV — Je Te Plumerais ​ … a magnificent new history of 425 Squadron

An important new book for the avid reader! Je Te Plumerai is the first published history of one of the greatest RCAF fighting units — 425 “Alouette” Squadron. 425’s famous motto becomes the book’s title.

Many of you have been enjoying Marc-André Valiquette’s 4-volume series covering Avro Canada. Now Marc-André and Richard Girouard have turned out this new beauty. They cover 425’s beginnings flying Wellingtons in 6 Group RCAF in the UK and North Africa. The squadron converts to the Halifax, then finishes the war with the Lancaster.

Postwar, the Alouettes fly the CF-100 and CF-101 in NORAD. As for 2012, this all-encompassing book has all the details of 425 and the fabulous CF-18 Hornet at their home base in Bagotville.

This is a book you definitely need if you’re one of those keen types who truly enjoys Canada’s great aviation heritage. And if you have been collecting all the previous RCAF squadron histories over the decades, I needn’t harp at you, right!

Publication coincides with 425’s 70th anniversary mess dinner at Bagotville this spring. Specs and ordering: 248 pages, large format, hardcover, hundreds of photos and illustrations, appendix, index. $44.95 retail, CANAV price $40.00 + $12.00 postage ($20.00 outside Canada) + $2.60 tax (Canada only). Totals? Canada $54.60, US/overseas CDN$60.00.

Order by post with a cheque/MO or use PayPal. If PayPal … drop an email to larry@canavbooks.com.

CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Canada M4E 3B6. E-mail larry@canavbooks.com. Tel (416) 698-7559.

News from CANAV … Aviation in Canada: Bombing and Coastal Operations Overseas 1939-1945 Is On Its Way Coast-to-Coast

Canadian Aviation Historical Society old timers out for the book launch: Shel Benner, Larry Milberry, Bill Wheeler and David Godfrey.

On Saturday past, CANAV launched Aviation in Canada: Bombing and Coastal Operations Overseas 1939-1945. The usual fun was had at Legion Branch 527 and that’s now history. Thanks to the fine citizens who showed up for a beer and the best Legion sandwiches in town. The first 300 books are now fanning out across the land, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, and the feedback is already more than enough to make a publisher beam.

Veteran Tracker, CF-5 and CF-18 pilot, Gord Cooper, looks over the new book.

Publisher Milberry autographs a copy for photographer Rick Radell. (Photos by Tony Cassanova)

 

 

All in a Week’s Work, Version 2011: Toronto/Winnipeg Turn-Around – Bombing and Coastal Operations is off the Press

Stop the press! The first readers’ comments about Bombing and Coastal Operations are already coming in from those receiving early copies. The first review comes from one of my sterner critics, Hugh A. Halliday. Hugh is a historian and noted author retired from the Canadian War Museum and a frequent, much appreciated, CANAV collaborator.

Hugh has posted these comments about the book on the busy internet forum rafcommands. Of note he writes (to my approval) that what the book may lack by way of a consistent narrative, “it makes up in anecdotes and insights from documents, personal recollections, contemporary letters and the contents of trunks and scrapbooks.”

Commenting about my coverage of Laird Jenning’s unique wartime career, Hugh finds that certain excerpts “make amusing and provocative reading, and some pointed remarks have relevance today”, then he generalizes how “There is plenty of drama, heroism and tragedy here (the reports of ‘sole survivors’ of downed bombers are striking). Larry does not skimp on indexes, paper quality, photo captions and clarity of reproduction.” Also commenting in advance of our official book launch this Saturday (October 8), RCAF history aficionado and aviation bibliophile, Ian Macdonald, observes, “Your new format with much larger pictures really is excellent … a wonderful addition to Canadian history.”

On October 18 one of the family members e-mailed about the coverage of her uncle as given in Bombing and Coastal Operations:

“Just wanted to let you know that the book arrived and I must say it’s absolutely gorgeous.  I’ve really been enjoying reading all about the pilots, their crews, their missions.  Most engaging!  And the photographs! My goodness! The way you’ve designed the book really brings these stories to life.  You do the airmen a great honour.  If my Dad was here he’d be so pleased; he’d be pouring out the compliments to you. I know he really enjoyed the interview he shared with you and he would have really been touched by your telling of his brother’s story.  I want to thank you so very much for all your dedication to the preservation of aviation history. As you say, so many stories would otherwise be slipping away with the passing of the old guard.  For me, whenever I pick up the book and other books like it, it’s kind of like being near to my Dad again, which brings great comfort and keeps his memory alive and close to my heart. Thanks again, for documenting such a moving historical legacy.”

And now, back to “Turn-Around” … In August 2010 we posted “All in a Week’s Work” covering CANAV’s visit to Friesen’s in Manitoba for the printing of Aviation in Canada: Evolution of an Air Force. Well, we didn’t rest a minute since then, and here is my report about this year’s pilgrimage to Manitoba to print Bombing and Coastal Operations. Here we go …

Normally, CANAV does not run freebee adverts. WestJet gets the very first one. Here we are on the way in from YYZ with beautiful downtown Winnipeg below. Always a fun sight!

September 18 and off I go again to sunny and always surprising Manitoba. WestJet did the job just beautifully. I sure find their website more user friendly than Air Canada’s, but to each their own, right. WestJet gets this plug, but not that it, Air Canada, etc. ever order a  book from CANAV. Gotta really love the airlines for their support of Canada’s aviation heritage.

Norsemans LZO and BSB are long-time residents at Selkirk.

Alamo had my car ready at YWG and, better still, a very nice upgrade, so off to Selkirk on the usual country drive to see what’s new at Bob Polinuk’s float base and airstrip. Scads of airplanes as always, but not a soul anywhere, not a prop turning on a decent fall day for flying.

I wandered around snapping a couple of Norsemans, a Beaver, Beech 18, Luscombe, turbo Otter, etc. Then it was on to Lac du Bonnet. An easy drive as usual, but little on the aviation side at the end of the road– one MGAS turbo Otter guarded by a big, taciturn bald eagle.

"Taciturn" the raptor apparently scares away nesting and pooping birds.

Some of the fascinating historic vessels on display at Selkirk's marine museum.

It was a good day altogether, especially my stop at the Selkirk marine museum. Don’t miss it next time you’re in Manitoba.

Welcome to Altona, Canada's Sunflower Capital

Now it was time to get serious — go to Altona, old boy. So off I headed on a course of 1-8-0 pretty well and before long … Altona, that idyllic Southern Manitoba home of sunflowers to the horizon … and of Friesens, my printer for many a year. But there was quite the difference since 2010 — something like 65 massive windmills were churning away between Manitoba 75 and 30, the route into Altona. Last year these were just holes in the ground, but now … yikes! You have to see these monsters to believe them, then you really have to scratch your head.

Altona is traditionally the home of sunflowers and Friesens. But ... Kowabunga! Now you have to add windmills (for better or worse).

Why is a province with a super-abundance of hydro power doing this to formerly beautiful, peaceful farmscape? Oh, well … what can one say or do about politicians and “green” hucksters? I toured around a bit, took a few pix, then settled in at the Altona Motor Inn. A fine meal was had at Bravo’s then, early next morning, it was breakfast at the Four Winds — the place for a good meal to get your wheels turning for the rest of the day. After checking in early at Friesens, I headed over to Winkler to see what was doing at Arty’s Air Service. By this time of year, the flying is fairly quiet, just a few final runs over the extensive local potato fields. Arty still had his three Air Tractor AT-402s from last year, but had added a new ‘502. His Weatherlys are long gone, but I was surprised to hear that there’s still a market for these weary old P&W-985-powered ag planes.

One of Arty's impressive AT-402s in between missions -- mainly spraying potato fields.)

Arty's Weatherly 201 C-GBWC over Winkler cornfields in July 2007. Long live the thundering, oil-dripping P&W R-985!

Arty had sold his off here and there to smaller operators from Manitoba to Mexico who could still make a go with them. Took a few photos and shot the breeze a bit with some of Arty’s excellent people. Found out that a couple of the pilots now work in Australia during Manitoba off season, so were gearing up to head down again to fly Dromaders. The pay’s less, but the flying’s always good.

Heading back to Altona for my appointment with the pressman, I spotted a potato sorting operation outside Winkler. This was too good to pass up, so I peeled off to grab a few pix. Trucks were coming in from the fields each with 15 tons of potatoes. The spuds were being fed onto a conveyor that split left into a truck for waste, and right for potatoes.

A Friesen-MacDonald truck feeds a fresh load of potatoes into the sorting system set up along Hwy 14 near Winkler.

You wouldn’t believe it but two good ladies were standing either side of the
conveyor and sorting all those tons of potatoes. Their hands flew as they spotted duds and tossed them onto the tarmac. The rest continued into a 30-ton trailer. Quick as could be, I was back on Hwy 14 for Altona for 1100.

Pressman Dennis Penner pulls a sheet off his press...

...then checks the results, ensuring that inking stays consistent, etc.

The pressman's set-up for checking the dust jacket before that press rolls.

It was a slow start with a balky press — no big surprise in printing. At noon Mike Fehr and Jody Penner of Friesens treated me to a nutritious lunch at Altona’s best burger joint. Then I took a few minutes to walk Altona’s cemetery to see if Peter Engbrecht might be lying there. Peter had been a Bomber Command gunner ace from Boissevain, Manitoba. As I was almost finished my survey, Mike Fehr called to say that Peter was actually in Boissevain. How did he know this? He had called Peter’s widow, Ramona, who was still in Altona, and we had an appointment to see her. That proved to be just a super visit. Peter had remained in the postwar RCAF, then retired in Altona. All this was a bit amazing, as Peter is written up in my very book that was on press today!

The names of two RCAF Altona boys are engraved on the town memorial. Age 21, Joseph Krause died with five of his 7 Squadron mates when their Stirling went down over France the night of August 25, 1942. In 1941 Krause and crew had been forced down in Spain. He only recently had returned to operations following a year's internment. He is buried in Secheval, France. Age 28, Herman Stephen Schellenberg was a navigator with 418 Squadron. On November 21, 1943 he and his pilot, F/O Thomas Thomson (age 25 from Vancouver), were on a night training flight when their Mosquito crashed in Sussex. They are buried in Woking, Surrey.

I finally knocked it off early in the evening and headed back over the Bravo’s, after checking half or so of the forms going on press. It all looked good to me, so back to the inn it was. The pressman never called, so his snags must have
been cleared and he got his mighty KBA Rapida 130 churning smoothly.

Up at 0500 and on the road in the blackness and a heavy rain. Up Hwy 30 and east to 75 midst the eeriness of the windmills, whose presence was announced by a line of unseemly flashing red lights. Just weird and maybe a good advertisement for not necessarily having windmills in an electricity-swamped province.

It sure was a relief to gradually get some light, Hwy 75 being “under construction” (as it seems perpetually to be) and find YWG. Back I winged on a nifty WestJet 737-700. I was on the ground again by noon at YYZ, then home to start hammering away again on the hundred and one things that CANAV Books does to make its so-called living. Books were promised for delivery on Monday, October 3, but Friesen made up some time and they arrived at TTS in Aurora the previous Friday. Good going as usual, Friesens! And the final product looks just super, so if you’re a fan of RCAF history, you’ll totally enjoy a copy!

Click here to order your autographed copy of Aviation in Canada: Bombing and Coastal Operations Overseas 1939-1945.

Friesens publishers' Hall of Fame, always a fun display to check out when in the plant. CANAV's 2010 book is front and centre this year, along with such other renowned (no doubt million-sellers) as "Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals" and "Bad Girls". What the heck, they all look great, right (this will sure burn the nincompoops who keep babbling mindlessly about the book being dead)!

News of the world! CANAV announces Aviation in Canada: Bombing and Coastal Operations Overseas 1939-1945



Hot on the heels of Aviation in Canada: Evolution of an Air Force, here is Vol.4 of CANAV’s on-going “Aviation in Canada” series. This landmark book is at the printer!

Here is a “sneak peek” at this magnificent production that no supporter of RCAF history will care to miss:

Get the low-down right here in CANAV’s new Fall 2011 Booklist, and watch the blog for coming details, book launch date/location included.

Aviation in Canada: Bombing and Coastal Operations Overseas 1939-1945 is now shipping, so don’t delay. Get your order in. Meanwhile, check out the whole booklist — it’s packed with great reading for the serious aviation history buff and bibliophile.

Now available from CANAV Books

 Early Canadian Military Aircraft: Acquisitions, Dispositions, Colour Schemes & Markings

This wonderful new book is Volume 1 “Aircraft Taken on Strength through 1920.” Published by Terry Higgins of Aviaeology, this one has long been anticipated. Begun decades ago by the great John Griffin, the project gradually evolved through John’s years in Ottawa. But it ended up dormant due to the lack of a publisher. Periodically we in the CAHS would hear a rumour that the material might be getting into print, perhaps via the War Museum or the National Aviation Museum, but nothing ever happened.

Even after John suffered a stroke, he continued working on his research. When he passed away, his collection was donated in 2008 to the Office of Air Force Heritage and History, and now resides in Winnipeg. Not long afterwards, Terry Higgins put a team together that included Tony Stachiw, Andrew Tatersall and Carl Vincent to get this volume produced.

This is a book for the true aficionado of Canadian aviation. Volume 1 will satisfy any such a fan. The subject matter is the original Canadian Air Force aircraft types taken on strength immediately after WWI — Avro 504K, Bristol Fighter, Curtiss HS-2L and JN-4, D.H.9, etc. Each type is described as to CAF and RCAF service and all the variations are covered. Many anecdotes from training and operations are included in the massive text.

Intricate details are given for all the paint schemes and individual airplane markings. Wonderful colour 5-views are splashed throughout the pages, and there also are detailed multi-view line drawings. You will revel in this book, if you have the slightest interest in the CAF/RCAF.

Check the blog while you are here for the scoop about several other new aviation titles that you need on your bookshelves.

Early Canadian Military Aircraft: Acquisitions, Dispositions, Colour Schemes & Markings Specifications: 288 pages, large format, hardcover, photos galore, maps, charts, glossary, index. Sticker price is $59.00, CANAV price $55.00 + $12.00 Canada Post + $3.35 GST = Cdn$70.35 cheque or PayPal. USA and Overseas Cdn$80.00. CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E 3B6

Three Books to Check Out: “Bush Flying Captured” is CANAV’s Pick of the Year!

Howdy good readers … if ordering this lovely book, you’ll receive a free copy of “Tales from the Lakeview”.

For any true fan of aviation this could well be “the” book of 2011. Bush Flying Captured has just been released. Author/publisher Rich Hulina had done us all a gigantic favour by turning out this magnificent tome. A large-format hardcover, Bush Flying Captured features hundreds of fabulous colour photos of the great Canadian and Alaskan bushplanes. Informative captions accompany each photo. The turbine Otter on the cover (one of Rich’s own planes from his Slate Falls Airways fleet), gets your attention immediately, and shows you what to expect from Page 1 to Page 164 of this hefty, finely-produced book.

What else do you like? Well, if it’s northern aviation, Rich includes much of it from the Beaver to the Otter, Twin Otter, Norseman, Beech 18, Beech 99, Founds, Cessnas, Pipers, DC-3, C-46, CL-415 and BAe748.

Rich is the very definition of the knowledgeable, avid aviation photographer. I need to tell you that, because he’s too low-profile a guy to tell you so himself. He’s won more than once in Aviation Week’s annual photography contest!

Bush pilot and entrepreneur Rich is no weeny when it comes to photography. He shoots in all weather and seasons, so you’ll see float scenes, ski scenes, even tundra tires throughout the book. You’ll see the planes hard at work, hibernating over the winter, at sunrise,  at sunset and there are scads of air-to-air photos that the aficionado always expects.

You know what … I can’t say enough about this magnificent book. It’s at once a solid work-a-day presentation and an artistic masterpiece. Order your copy from CANAV: Canadian orders … $40.00 + $12.00 shipping (it’s a heavy one, so a bit pricier to mail) + 5% GST $2.60 = $54.60 and a heck of a bargain at that! PayPal is good or send your cheque by post to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, ON M4E 3B6. (US and overseas Cdn$64.00).

Tales from the Lakeview: Collected Aviation Stories by Robert S. Grant

Take note, folks … now (March 2015) available from CANAV Books for $15.00 all-in. Thanks!

Since he was a boy, Bob Grant has been nuts about aviation, so he and I hit it off when we were getting started. Bob went into the bush and pretty well stayed there, flying whatever they’d trust him with — Cessnas, Founds, Pipers, then moving slowly up to the big leagues — to the MU-2 “Rice Rocket” and DC-3. Finally, Bob got a real job — the Ministry of Natural Resources hired him and he was in heaven with everything from the Turbo Beaver to the CL-215.

All along we also had our airplane photography and magazine writing gigs. We did a decent job at those and the writing opened many a door — we got to travel all over the world chasing aviation stories and got our first books out.

Bob had a real knack turning his bush flying experiences into some of the best stories. Everyone to this day enjoys them, especially his Red Lake yarns that always seem to feature something about “the Lakeview”, where local aviators and other n’er-do-wells seem to hang out and where Bob himself is always known (and proudly so, it seems) as the cheapest tipper.

Well, here is Bob’s latest book, just an excellent collection of his best stories. Great coverage of pilots, air engineers and the classic bushplanes of the Canadian backcountry — Beaver, Beech 18, C-46, DC-3, Junkers, Moth, Norseman, Otter, PBY, Twin Otter, etc. Tales from the Lakeview is a mini-treasure chest of a book for anyone who enjoys this great topic. 192 pages, softcover, photos galore. $29.95 in the stores, CANAV price as of March 2015 is $15.00 all-in. CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto M4E 3B6

Mayhem to Mayday: The Two Air Wars of Andy Mackenzie

**Please note, folks. This title no longer available at CANAV Books. You can look for a copy at abebooks.com.**

Norm Avery has produced this fine biography of one of the RCAF’s renowned WWII/Korean fighter pilots — the great Andy Mackenzie. Andy’s youth, his training, then his Spitfire years start off the book. Postwar, he flies Vampires and is posted on exchange on Sabres in Korea. There his career takes a very bad turn — his USAF wingman shoots him down over enemy territory. Andy spends two years as a guest of some of the rottenest members of the human race, but somehow comes out in one piece (more or less).

Back in Canada Andy remained in the RCAF, but never received another promotion. But he always loved airforce life and became a founding member of the Canadian Fighter Pilots Association. Mayhem to Mayday is a tribute to a great Canadian — you deserve a copy!

Larry Milberry, publisher