Category Archives: Promotions

CANAV’s 2016 Spring/Summer Booklist is here!

The world famous TCA Super Connie CF-TGE, soon to be on display at the Museum of Flight, is featured on the cover of The Wilf White Propliner Collection. Check out the booklist to order.

The world famous TCA Super Connie CF-TGE, now on display at the Museum of Flight in Washington State, is featured on the cover of The Wilf White Propliner Collection. See CANAV’sbooklist to order.

Check out our latest booklist! There are some great titles and deals you won’t want to miss 🙂

**SPECIAL NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER**

Dear readers … As of March 17, 2016 CANAV is out of stock of its world-famous  title, De Havilland in Canada. Having begun in 1983 as The De Havilland Canada Story by Fred Hotson, the book morphed in 1999 into De Havilland in Canada. Should you need a new copy, contact Viking Aircraft in Victoria, BC, or search some of the internet’s many used book sites — abebooks.com, bookfinder.com, ebay, etc. All the best … Larry

 

CANAV Special Offer: De Havilland in Canada

 De Havilland in Canada

by Fred W. Hotson

** N.B. From 2016, new copies of this famous title available only through Viking Aircraft of Victoria. Contact Viking at (800) 6727-6727 or info@vikingair.com

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An aviation hound since he was a little boy, while still in high school Fred Hotson built his own plane – a tiny one-seater, mail-order Heath. Fred ordered it one part at a time, finally finished it and got it airborne. Finished with school, Fred got on at de Havilland Canada before WWII. He flew through the war, including with Ferry Command, then had a distinguished postwar career in corporate aviation. Eventually, he returned to DHC, where he demonstrated Twin Otters and trained pilots all over the world.

As an early member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, Fred promoted Canada’s aviation heritage every chance he got. His special passion was DHC, about which he spoke and wrote much until the time came to do a comprehensive history. First published by CANAV in 1983, his best-selling The De Havilland Canada Story eventually needed an update. We did that in 1999, creating a new book, De Havilland in Canada. This production gives all the details of an incredible success story from the 1920s to the present. You won’t find a lovelier aviation book. Not only does DHC cover all the great planes from tiny Moths to wartime Mosquito and postwar Beaver, Buffalo, Dash 7 right to today’s Q400 and Global Express, but the key people also all are there. This is a story of humble beginnings and grand success, how a dubious gamble ended with a Canadian company influencing the entire world.

Revered as Canada’s leading aviation history personality, Fred Hotson was a fastidious collector of aviation documents, photos and memorabilia. He was a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame and there’s a list of other honours. On his passing in 2012 Fred’s priceless collection was offered gratis to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, which turned it down as irrelevant (your Ottawa mentality at work, eh – can you believe it!). Fred already had donated his magnificent library to me, so the estate offered me the pick of everything Ottawa had no use for. I selected a few items, the rest was snapped up by the quick-minded folks at the Provincial Archives of Ontario, who know valuable Canadiana when they see it. Anyone doing serious DHC research will do well in visiting Fred’s collection, located in the new provincial archives building on the York University campus in northwest Toronto. Masses of photographs and a very rare collection of DHC 16mm movie reels are included.

Here are a few of the astounding de Havilland Canada photos from Fred’s collection. Some of these you’ll enjoy in the book, some not. Check every so often to see what new DHC photos have been added. Click once on any photo to see it full frame. Have a great day, have fun with the CANAV blog and thanks for your loyal support … Larry Milberry, publisher

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As young fellows, Fred Hotson and his pals, including C. Don Long and George Neal, were totally keen about aviation. Not surprisingly, they usually carried their cameras — even in his 90s Fred was avid about photography. C. Don Long, a DHC engineer, carefully covered the aviation scene at least since the late 1920s. Fred inherited his old pal’s collection, including this fabulous view of a pair of Moths circa June 1928 in front of the first de Havilland Canada building. This was at de Lesseps Field in Mount Dennis, on the northwest fringes of Toronto. C-GAKX was a Cirrus Moth newly assembled for the Halifax Aero Club. The following summer ‘AKX was wrecked landing on floats near Halifax. By this stage, unfortunately, there remains almost no record of how any of these old planes were painted. Call it a black-and-white world, right! (Click on any photo to enjoy it full screen.)

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Don photographed Fox Moth CF-API at the Toronto Flying Club on some pleasant weekend. As you can see, the aviation set always was pretty sharply turned out in these early times. That’s the renowned Leigh Capreol standing by the cockpit. Canada’s first Fox Moth, CF-API arrived in Toronto in a crate from the UK in May 1933. That winter it joined General Airways of Rouyn to toil in the Quebec and Ontario bush. In 1937-39 it was in Western Canada, then returned east for Leavens Brothers. Wrecked in the Ontario northland, it was rebuilt as CF-EVK, then worked into the 1950s, before fading from the scene.

Another early DHC type was the D.H.84 Dragon. Powered by two 130-hp D.H. Gipsy engines, the Dragon carried six passengers at about 100 mph. CF-APJ was delivered to Canadian Airways Ltd. of Montreal in May 1933. That summer it served the tourist trade, joy-riding from Cartierville airport, making a lot of money for CAL. It then joined CAL’s Maritime’s division. Eventually, it was cannibalized, so that Dragon CF-AVD could be reconditioned. The Dragon was an early example of a solid, economic, general purpose “airliner”, kind of a Dash 8 of its day. Don photographed it while DHC was getting it ready for delivery. Note the classic CAL “Goose” emblem.

Another early DHC type was the D.H.84 Dragon. Powered by two 130-hp D.H. Gipsy engines, the Dragon carried six passengers at about 100 mph. CF-APJ was delivered to Canadian Airways Ltd. of Montreal in May 1933. That summer it served the tourist trade, joy-riding from Cartierville airport, making a lot of money for CAL. It then joined CAL’s Maritimes division. Eventually, it was cannibalized, so that Dragon CF-AVD could be reconditioned. The Dragon was an early example of a solid, economic, general purpose “airliner”, kind of a mini-Dash 8 of its day. Don photographed it while DHC was getting it ready for delivery. Note the classic CAL “Goose” emblem.

De Havilland in the UK refined the somewhat dowdy-looking Dragon into the nifty-looking D.H.89 Rapide. Many Rapides served the Canadian scene into the late 1940s. CF-BBG was one of Canada’s early corporate planes. Delivered in June 1937 to Toronto-based Globe and Mail, Don photographed it “factory-fresh” on Toronto Bay. Dubbed “The Flying Newsroom”, it was intended for use on news gathering expeditions. But fate intervened -- CF-BBG was soon was lost. Fred tells the story in his book.

De Havilland in the UK refined the somewhat dowdy Dragon into the nifty-looking D.H.89 Rapide. Many Rapides served the Canadian scene into the late 1940s. CF-BBG was one of Canada’s early corporate planes. Delivered in June 1937 to the Toronto-based Globe and Mail, Don photographed it “factory-fresh” on Toronto Bay. Dubbed “The Flying Newsroom”, it was intended for news gathering expeditions. But fate intervened — CF-BBG was soon was lost. Fred tells the story in his book.

From Mont Dennis, DHC moved to Downsview, where airplanes still are built under the Bombardier banner. Here is the factory set-up circa 1938. Very little empty space remains here today – it’s now all jam-packed with “Toronto megalopolis” development.

From Mont Dennis, DHC moved to Downsview, where airplanes still are built under the Bombardier banner. Here is the factory set-up circa 1938. Very little empty space remains here today – it’s now all jam-packed with “Toronto megalopolis” development.

Further pre-war DHC development at Downsview.

Further pre-war DHC development at Downsview.

The hangars shown in this spring 1940 photo are easily seen in the aerial view. By now the place had picked up wildly. The war is on and Tiger Moth trainers were being churned out – more than 1400 would be produced. No.4043 (nearest) was delivered in May 1940. Sad to say, the following March is was lost in a crash at the RCAF flying school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

The hangars shown in this spring 1940 photo are easily seen in the aerial view. By now the place had picked up wildly. The war was on and Tiger Moth trainers were being churned out – more than 1400 would be built. No.4043 (nearest) was delivered in May 1940. Sad to say, the following March is was lost in a crash at the RCAF flying school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Also mass-produced at Downsview were more than 1100 Mosquito bombers. This is the view as Mosquitos were coming down the line. This very production bay still stood in 2014, but it likely soon will disappear, now that the former Toronto Aerospace Museum has been rousted from the place. The Mosquito story is well covered in Fred’s book – you’ll love it!

Also mass-produced at Downsview were more than 1100 Mosquito bombers. This is the view as Mosquitos were coming down the line. This very production bay still stood in 2014, but it likely soon will disappear, now that the former Toronto Aerospace Museum has been rousted from the place. The Mosquito story is well covered in Fred’s book – you’ll love it!

How Downsview looked during the Mosquito era. Hovering over this spot in a helicopter today, you would see Hwy 401 sweeping across the bottom left to right, the sprawling Yorkdale Shopping Center and a major TTC subway station.  You would not see much unused real estate!

How Downsview looked during the Mosquito era. Notice how suburban development already was encroaching on the airport. Hovering over this spot in a helicopter today, you would see Hwy 401 sweeping across the bottom left to right, the sprawling Yorkdale Shopping Center and a major TTC subway station.

DHC author – the great Fred Hotson in his home office in Mississauga in 2012. Age 97, Fred still was busy researching and writing. On the wall is the painting Bill Wheeler did of Fred’s tiny Heath homebuilt.

DHC author – the great Fred Hotson in his home office in Mississauga in 2012. Age 97, Fred still was busy researching and writing. On the wall is the painting Bill Wheeler did of Fred’s tiny Heath homebuilt.

PS … are you keen about the F-104, that fantastic “Fighter of the Fifties”? If yes, then here’s something to light your burner …  check into The Canadian Starfighter Museum. Located in Manitoba, the CSM is restoring one of the oldest CF-104s — RCAF 12703. It also has many important “collectibles”, including one of the RCAF’s CAE-built CF-104 flight simulators. Make sure you see what excellent work these dedicated, hardworking folks are doing!

CF-104 12703 on arrival in 2013 at the CSM hangar at St. Andrews Airport, a short drive north of Winnipeg.

CF-104 12703 on arrival in 2013 at the CSM hangar at St. Andrews Airport, a short drive north of Winnipeg.

The CSM's beautifully-restored CAE-built CF-104 flight simulator. Based at Cold Lake, No.6 OTU/417 Squadron trained Canada's CF-104 pilots from 1961 into the early 1980s.

The CSM’s beautifully-restored CAE-built CF-104 flight simulator. Based at Cold Lake, No.6 OTU/417 Squadron trained Canada’s CF-104 pilots from 1961 into the early 1980s.

The CF-104 flight simulator cockpit restored by the CSM to the smallest detail. (photos via Steve Pajot/CSM)

The CF-104 flight simulator cockpit restored by the CSM to the smallest detail. (photos via Steve Pajot/CSM)

PPS … Are you a self-respecting airliner fan? If so, you must have these essential sources to be “au courant” (including the “fashionable” and “stylish” versions of the translation):

1) Your subscriptions to Airways: The Global Review of Commercial Flight  and Propliner Aviation Magazine.

2) Your personal connection to Henry Tenby’s airlinehobby.com. There you can order books, buy/sell aviation photos and other collectibles, etc.

3) Your copies of The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection, The Wilf White Propliner Collection and Air Transport in Canada. These now are on sale, see CANAV’s current booklist.

Canada Post — spare us from the yahoos in Ottawa, please! You can scoll back a bit to see about CANAV’s Canada Post woes. We still are missing delivery days in M4E. So be that, but others in Canada seem to be getting really royally screwed over —  little or zero mail for them. So why are we paying taxes and is it time for a tax payer revolution? How about it, citizens?

Can you believe this crapola about King Deepak Chopra and his do-nothings at Canada Post? Have a look at this little news item:  Herein, “$500K Deepak” discusses the Canada Post charter. His summary is a real hoot — Deepak bleets how the terms of the charter are what “we try to strive for”. Huh? Not actually striving, just “trying” to strive — Homer Simpson couldn’t have put it better. Hey, Your Eminence, you don’t strive for the terms of the Canada Post charter — you deliver as promised or get outta town.

Canada’s Air Forces on Exchange – A Book You Are Guaranteed to Enjoy & Treasure

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Since early post-WWI days, Canadian airmen have gone on exchange postings to foreign nations. There they have learned how other air forces operate, become familiar with different aircraft types and procedures, enlightened their hosts about Canadian military aviation, and established new (often life-lasting) professional and personal relationships.

This story always was of special interest to me for, during base visits, while enjoying life in air force messes, attending airshow briefings and parties, etc., I often would meet foreign airman on exchange here in Canada. Once it was a Dutch pilot instructing on the CF-5 with 419 Sqn at Cold Lake, another time a French air force Mirage pilot serving 2 years on CF-5s with 433 Sqn at Bagotville. On a CanForces trip to Somalia one year, our C-130 navigator was on exchange from the RAF. While visiting Canada’s “Willy Tell” team at Tyndall AFB one year, I met another exchange pilot – a USAF fellow flying the CF-18 with 425 Sqn at Bagotville. Eventually it occurred to me – this is a brilliant topic for a book. And … if I don’t do it, no one ever will, right. So the work began.

Through the late 1990s I was travelling around visiting people who had done RCAF/CF exchange postings, or who had been here from foreign militaries. All this turned out to be some of the most fascinating research. Here are some of the characters I encountered either face-to-face or via telephone interviews or in the “dusty” personnel files in Canada’s public archives (Hugh Halliday did a lot of that hardcore research for me). You’ll enjoy reading about these airmen in detail in the book:

W/C William Barker – Canada’s famous WWI fighter ace, whose incomparable efforts led to a Victoria Cross. I cover his exchange duties in Mesopotamia in the mid-1920s, flying the D.H.9 and Snipe. Barker analyzes the type of “tribal warfare” under way and what role the tactical  combat plane had in it. He submitted a detailed field report once back on more routine duties in Ottawa. Reading the original copy was enlightening, but this also tempted me to compare the amazing Canadian with his contemporary – Lawrence of Arabia.

F/L E.L. McLeod, who flew RAF Southampton flying boats in the UK in 1927; and Sgt J.D. Hunter who crewed with 7 Sqn RAF on Virginia bombers in 1933. Also, the likes of F/L F.A. Sampson flying large Singapore flying boats on armed security patrols off Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

F/L A.A. Lewis piloted RAF Heyford pre-war bombers. One of his reports was critical of this type, which just was joining RAF squadrons as the Germans were equipping with such modern types as the He.111. Wrote Lewis at the time of the Heyford: “It is practically useless for modern warfare.”

F/L Ernie McNab. In 1937 McNab had the good fortune for an RCAF fighter pilot (then flying obsolete Siskins) to be posted on exchange to 46 Sqn RAF to fly the high-performance Gauntlet biplane fighter. From his reports we learn much of daily routines on an RAF fighter base and how training was organized.

F/L L.F.J Taylor. This RAF pilot came to Canada on exchange to RCAF Station Trenton. Sadly, there he came to his end in the crash of a Fleet trainer. F/L Ken Mude (RAF) had an early postwar exchange, serving as a navigator on the P2V-7 Neptune at RCAF Station Greenwood. Ken tells how a Brit adapted to life in Canada following WWII. The story of each man’s exchange is packed with details about how his career evolved, led to an exchange, then what was learned and passed on.

Many RCAF aircrew on postwar exchanges with the RAF are covered: S/L A.P. Huchala – piloted Lincoln bombers including on combat against the Mau Mau in Kenya; F/L D.R. Pearce — navigated on Hastings transports and ended in a ditching in the Mediterranean; and F/L Donald T. Thompson — flew Britannias on RAF Air Transport Command global duties.

There also were many RCAF postwar exchanges to USAF flying units, examples being:

  • F/L Douglas G. Scott flying the WB-50 bomber. On one long-range patrol a propeller disintegrated. This was a “dicey do”, but Scott brought his plane back to an Alaskan base.
  • F/L G.G. Webb flew C-97 transports at Kelly AFB, Texas. Later, he evaluated the C-119 in Korea. Data from his C-119 report likely were  studied at RCAF HQ prior to Canada re-equipping with this important postwar transport. Webb even had a mission on the giant XC-99, the transport version of the B-36. He had a further USAF exchange flying the C-118.
  • F/L S.R. Wallis flew the oddball YC-122 transport on exchange in Tennessee. Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy such “reverse” exchanges as Major Jack Ralph, who flew RCAF North Stars from Resolute Bay to North Luffenham (UK) to Haneda (Japan). Later, RCAF aircrew would have exchanges on USAF jet transports from the C-141 to today’s C-17 – it’s all here!
  • F/L D.J. Williams and F/L George Conway-Brown: two of the RCAF men who flew the B-47 and B-52 with USAF Strategic Air Command. This reminds me of several retired RCAF officers who were “too tough the crack” – they felt duty bound not to reveal details of their exchanges. This was fair enough, any researcher would understand. Although I earlier had written about this great man’s career, when it came to the top secret B-52 air navigation research he did in SAC, Keith was mum. He since has passed on, but it’s possible that some future researcher may uncover the details.

Test Flying: numerous RCAF pilots had test pilot exchanges abroad, including F/L Roger Mace, F/L Bob Ayres, S/L Frank Phripp and F/L R.D. Schultz flying such types as the early Meteor and Vampire in the RAF. There are some fascinating pages describing S/L Joe McCarthy test flying Luftwaffe aircraft in the immediate postwar months. Joe was an American in the RCAF flying with a RAF experimental unit. Another section covers test flying at RCAF Winter Experimental Establishment. Such UK types as the Venom, Canberra, Beverley and Sycamore are covered.

There is much covering the adventures of RCAF crew on exchange with operational squadrons flying such RAF types as the Canberra (F/L Steve Gulyas, F/L Garnet Ovans, F/L Robert Brinkhurst, F/L Mo Gates, F/L N. Funge, etc.) There are many exciting experiences, including Brinkhurst’s almost-fatal inadvertent ejection. Also covered, is the RAF’s Javelin and the exotic Lightning Mach 2 interceptor, which several RCAF pilots flew. F/L Al Robb’s tour doing Lightning weapons evaluation at RAF Binbrook is one of the more fascinating RCAF exchanges. Canadians flying the RAF and Luftwaffe Tornado also are covered.

Other fighter exchanges involve everything from RCAF F-86 pilots in the USAF fighting MiG-15s in Korea, to F/L Jim Hanna flying early F-94 all-weather fighters at Otis AFB, and F/L Norman and F/O Vaessen on an evaluation tour at Tyndall AFB flying such USAF fighters as the F-89 Scorpion. During his tour at Tyndall, F/L Ted Simkins crews on the F-101, F-102, RB-66, etc. One week he navigated a B-57 on its delivery flight all the way to Pakistan. The summary of his tour helps explain why exchanges often were sought after by the more adventuresome RCAF aircrew. Also covered is the RCAF exchange posting flying the Mirage III in Australia.

Other USAF fighter exchanges include F/L Gordy Joy and F/L Garth Cinnamon flying the F-100 at Nellis AFB, Garth doing trials with such weapons as the Bullpup missile. Buster Kincaid ejects one day from his F-100 over the southwest desert. F/L Ray Carruthers and F/O E.H. Stone are covered re. their USAF tours instructing on the F-105 Thunderchief. Carruthers maneuvers without success for a combat exchange tour in Vietnam, Stone has a scary ejection. Others fly the F-104 from USAF bases, including F/L Larry Sutton instructing Luftwaffe students at Luke AFB. Only two “Canucks” fly the F-106 on exchange — both are covered. Canadians flying F-4s for the USAF, RAF and Luftwaffe also are part of this beautifully-produced book.

Training: Canadians had many tours instructing in the RAF on the Vampire, Meteor and Jet Provost. In the USAF they instructed on the T-37 and T-38. About 100 RCAF instructors were involved with the USAF, this being a little known aspect of Canada’s quiet support for the US during the Vietnam War.

Canada’s Air Forces on Exchange covers many aspects of maritime air warfare, including people on RAF exchange on the Shackleton and Nimrod. In one case, F/L John Hudson survives a horrendous Shackleton crash at night near Inverness, Scotland. Another ordeal involves F/L Herb Smale surviving at sea when his big Marlin flying boat was forced down onto the Atlantic between Puerto Rico and Norfolk. S/L R.E. Hicks’ US Navy exchange on early P-3s involved missions during the Cuban missile crisis. F/L Bill O’Gorman piloted Neptunes during his Australian exchange tour.

Other unusual USAF exchanges see RCAF members on such unusual types as the WB-47 and EB-57. USAF exchanges on the CF-101 and CF-104 also are included. Other unusual material includes Rogers Smith, a former RCAF Sabre pilot who eventually became one of the high time SR-71 pilots, Capt Kevin Whale flying AH-64 Apache gunships, and ex-pat F/O Christopher Hasler, flying RAF Chinooks in Afghanistan and earning the DFC for his good efforts.

This 320-page hardcover is one of Canada’s best aviation reads in decades. “Unique” barely begins to describe it. There are  hundreds of photos, a bibliography, glossary and index. It’s the full package! Get this $50.00 beauty at this time for $30.00 + shipping and tax for a total of $44.94 (Canada) or USA and overseas all in at $54.00. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool aviation hound, you must have a copy of this rare book! Order by cheque or PayPal via CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4E 3B6. Tel (416) 698-7559. As always, feel free to send an e-mail: larry@canavbooks.com.

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.

Hot picks for the Holidays: CANAV’s Winter/Spring Booklist 2012-2013

JUST RELEASED! CANAV’s new list of premier aviation and miscellaneous titles. Download your copy here. Yukon Wings is the new lead title — just a magnificent presentation about people, planes and events never yet given their proper place in Canadian aviation history. Take a good look and you’ll certainly find something for your aviation history bookshelf or to use as special gifts. There are scads of great bargains, including for some of CANAV’s classic best-sellers at half price.

UPDATE: April 27, 2015. Please note that CANAV is no longer is listing Yukon Wings. For your copy please now see Amazon or such internet bookstores as abebooks.com.

DON’T MISS the free book offer at the bottom the main CANAV list. Thanks as usual and happy reading!

The Travels of Nick and Larry — Chasing the Fairchild C-119

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar 22104 of 436 Sqn approaches to land on Runway 33 at Downsview (Toronto) on a frigid February 6, 1960. Having joined the RCAF in 1952, by 1967 the C-119 had been replaced by a fleet of new C-130E Hercules. The C-119 always was a favourite for the few kids around Toronto chasing airplanes in the 1950s-60s. With its high wing, twin booms and massive R-3350s, it was an exciting sight. We were lucky to have 436 Sqn at nearby Downsview. It was close enough to hitchhike or cycle (about 15 miles, no sweat). There we photographed the Boxcars taxying by or landing. This series of historic Larry Milberry photos has been subtly sharpened up for presentation by astronomer Andrew Yee, whom many of you know from The Weather Channel.

Boxcar 22101looking pristine on the tarmac at Trenton on August 31, 1961. Nick and I hitchhiked to Trenton this day to photograph aircraft taking part in Toronto’s CNE airshow. There was no trouble getting home later in the day, as Nick used his magic to get us aboard Dakota 663 for a pleasant 42-minute flight back to Downsview. Struck off strength in 1967, 22101 was sold by Crown Assets Disposal Corp. to Hawkins and Power of Grey Bull, Wyoming. HP owned 21 ex-RCAF C-119s, which fought fires from California to Alaska into the 1980s. 22101 served the HP fleet as N15505. Some say that it later joined the Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, but there is a great debate about this (see http://www.ruudleeuw.com/c119s-in-ky.htm).

Back in the 1960s Nick Wolochatiuk and I spent a lot of time driving around Canada and the US in Nick’s VW Bug. Those were our fanatical photography days, when we were shooting all things natural (wildflowers were a specialty), industrial and transportation (land, sea and air). Sometimes our route in the Bug was a complete circuit of the Great Lakes, which we could do in about two weeks. Nick drove, I supposedly navigated. In summer we’d have Nick’s canoe strapped to the roof, lest we come across a float base with interesting planes, or a harbour with ships to shoot.

Flying Boxcar 22131 of 436 Squadron performs at RCAF Station Trenton during the open house on Dominion Day (July 1) 1961. The RCAF had two frontline C-119 squadrons — 435 at Namao (Edmonton) and 436 at Downsview (Toronto). Both were famous for their intrepid work in the High Arctic and on UN duties overseas. Otherwise, the work-a-day stuff involved training with the Army on para duties, etc., and doing weekly domestic milkrun “skeds”. 22131 ended with Hawkins and Power as N5216R. Years later is was dormant at Battle Mountain, Nevada. Much debate continues as to which RCAF C-119s became which N-numbers carrying which tanker numbers, and which ones resided where by 2012. This is part of the fun of being an “aviation archaeologist”.

C-119G 51-8099 of the 403rd Troop Carrier Wing at home at Selfridge AFB, Michigan on May 21, 1966. About three years later this aircraft went to the Taiwanese air force, which operated C-119s into the mid-1980s. Nick and I had ended at Selfridge during a Great Lakes tour. It was a weekend and very quiet. Who knows why, but some decent USAF fellow decided to let us onto the base to photograph. The C-119 looked great. We also shot some F-106s.

Mostly, Nick and I were looking for anything with wings. One stop on a typical trip was the Airdale base at Sault Ste. Marie to shoot a beautiful Stinson Reliant and Norseman. From there we crossed into Michigan to visit the local SAC base to photograph B-52s, EB-57s and F-106s. (Fortunately, we never fell into the useless state of being airplane specialists. No one would ever hear us make such a pitiful claim as “I only shoot F-4s”, or, “I only shoot airliners”, etc. Nick saved me from that gloomy fate. We could talk enthusiastically one moment about the Joel D-9 Bébé, then next about the B-52.) We loved everything about our trips. Especially nifty to photograph were the big, ugly, rumbling transports. We shot KC-97s in Minneapolis, C-119s at Niagara Falls, Trenton and Downsview, C-123s at Malton and Stewart AFB, C-124s and C-133s at Charleston, R5Ds at Glenview and Andrews, R4Qs at Minneapolis, etc. To this day those old classics bring back special memories.

The C-119 served in many guises over the decades. Its most exotic role was as the C-119 “Shadow” and “Stinger” gunships during the war in Southeast Asia. This Shadow (52-5898, one of 26 AC-119Gs) was at Lockbourne AFB near Columbus, Ohio, on May 18, 1969. Nick and I visited Lockbourne on a quiet Sunday morning. Amazingly, the main gate was unmanned, so we tested the waters and drove on through. We were on the watch as we photographed, but in half an hour encountered no one. We considered ourselves lucky getting away so easily, when we could have been hauled in and raked over the coals.

52-5898 is in the markings of the 18th Special Operations Squadron/4413th Combat Crew Training Squadron. Two years later it was transferred to the South Vietnam Air Force. This close-up view shows two 7.62 miniguns mounted on the port side (4 such weapons could be mounted). The rear dome housed the tracking radar.

C-119G 22120 of the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment at Uplands (Ottawa) on April 5, 1961. On this trip I hitchhiked solo from Toronto. It was a chilly weekend, but paid off when I was allowed onto the RCAF base to photograph not just CEPE’s C-119, but the Canadair C-5, a Comet, a USAF VC-54, two Argus, CF-100s, T-33s and lots of other great stuff.

C-119G 51-8096 of the 328th Air Transport Squadron runs up at Niagara Falls, NY during the base open house on May 21, 1960. This was an infamous “Nick and Larry” episode (there were many) where Nick was detained by the MPs. They interrogated him for two hours, very curious as to why he had been filling his stenopad with tail numbers. Nick overheard the MPs wondering if maybe the Commies had kids assigned to every base across country, since this was national Armed Forces Day. If so, they could get a decent inventory of the entire USAF! Smooth-talking Nick eventually wiggled his way out of this jam, so we made it home in one piece. In 1968 this Boxcar went for storage to the desert boneyard near Tucson.

On March 17, 1970 C-119G 52-5931 made a surprise visit to Toronto International Airport. It made 3 or 4 practice approaches before flying off towards home — Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, NY. At this time 52-5931 was with the 328th Airlift Squadron/914th Airlift Wing. In December 1970 the wing converted to the C-130. The 914th is still at Niagara Falls with C-130s.

This eye-catching US Marine Corps R4Q Flying Boxcar of VMR-234 MCAS El Toro was at Minneapolis on August 20, 1963 during our Great Lakes circumnavigation of August 5-25. “R4Q” was the US Navy/USMC designation for the C-119. There were 97 R4Qs, the first one accepted in 1950, the last gone into desert storage in 1975. “7E/131717” also served with VMR-216 at NAS Whidbey Island, from where it flew to the boneyard in Tucson in July 1972.

When at Jomo Kenyata International Airport, Nairobi on March 18, 1993, I was delighted to come across this superannuated R4Q, ex-USCG 131700, sunning itself in the Back 40. Under the Comutair banner, in 1988 N3267U had bounced its way across the pond from the US, one fuel stop being at Iqaluit on Baffin Island. Eventually the old crate worked its way down to Kenya. Note the UN flag, since Comutair (ostensibly) was there to do humanitarian work (i.e. to make a bundle of quick cash for the investors for the least possible overhead). Someone told me that N3267U had made some relief flights, then was abandonned at JKIA. Later it was acquired by the Hollywood film makers doing the remake of “Flight of the Phoenix”. As far as can be determined, the plane was shipped somehow to Namibia, where the movie was being shot. The old Boxcar was used as a prop and its remains likely are still sitting down there in the sand dunes. For all the incredible-but-true details check in at ruudleeuw.com/c119-n3267u.htm.

There are two magnificent books that beautifully cover the C-119 and its predecessor, the C-82. These have all the detailed gen that you’ll never find on the internet — that Siren who seduces the feeble minded. Try to get your hands on copies (out of print, so not available from CANAV). You’ll have to scour the used book websites (abebooks.com, etc.). However, such famous CANAV titles  as Sixty Years, Canada’s Air Force at War and Peace (Vol.3) and Air Transport in Canada are loaded with great RCAF C-119 history. These are available from CANAV, presently at good discounts, so check out the booklist. Air Transport in Canada alone will blow you away — two grand volumes, 1030 pages, something like 4000 photos. Normally $155 it’s on special only at CANAV for $95++. Click here to order online!

Order now from CANAV Books!

CANAV “Readers’ Choice” for today …

The world famous TCA Super Connie CF-TGE is featured on the cover.

The Wilf White Propliner Collection is one of “the best in class” of this type of aviation book. Wilf spent decades taking the very best in aircraft photos, whether throughout his native Scotland, down at London in the 1950s-60s, at Farnborough in the same period, or across Canada and the United States. If you are a fan of the great era of propliners, this is a book you’ll enjoy for years. And … if you are looking for a gift for any aviation fan for any occasion, could you pick a nicer one at a nicer price!

A CPA Britannia taxies at London among the other great types of the day that Wilf always revelled in photographing. Look at the super job he did!

WWPC is 176 pages, softcover, large format, 100s of photos with detailed captions, index. The price? Usually $40.00, yours for half price — $20.00 + $12.00 Canada (Mafia) Post + 5% tax $1.60 = $33.60 CAD (US or overseas $42.00 all in per book). We accept PayPal (click here) or old fashioned cheque/money order mailed to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave. Toronto, ON M4E 3B6. Here’s one of the reviews of this lovely production, and some sample pages. Reviewer Dennis J. Calvert is one of those rare types who looks at every aspect of a book. He clearly knows his stuff and isn’t one to raise a new title onto a pedestal without good reason. In this case he designated WWPC as the Aircraft Illusatrated “Book on the Month”, rounding up his thoughtful commentary: “This volume, beautifully produced, offers the very highest quality in nostalgia and comes confidently recommended.” So don’t delay and get in on this special deal!

You can download the review here.

And for a little taste of the book itself, check out these select pages from The Wilf White Propliner Collection