Category Archives: Promotions

Announcing … Two Important New Canadian Books

Exile Air: World War II’s Little Norway in Toronto and Muskoka by Andrea Baston and  Bagotville: 75 Years of Air Defence by Marc-Andre Valiquette

Andrea Baston has spent years working on this epic WWII story. To begin, she provides a detailed backgrounder ref. the 1940 Nazis invasion of Norway, and how Norway and the UK struggled to stave off disaster. Coverage of the air war includes RNoAF 1920s Fokkers and RAF biplane Gladiators putting up strenuous opposition.

Norway is overwhelmed, but the government, treasury and many citizens make it to the UK. By June 1940 arrangements are made to establish a Norwegian air training plan in Canada. “Little Norway” is established at Toronto Island Airport, with almost a hundred aircraft initially assigned, Curtiss P-36 fighters included. All the details about planning, contracts, administration, training, dovetailing everything with the BCATP, housing, sports, social life in Toronto and — sad to say —  accidents are part of this outstanding book. The Norwegians also open a base in Muskoka to the north. Here, new pilots train on the Fairchild Cornell. Eventually, the Norwegian graduates end up manning RAF squadrons flying Spitfires, Catalinas, etc. All this also is carefully covered.

Many personal profiles (based on in-depth research and interviews) are interwoven and everything is carefully covered to war’s end, the aftermath included, e.g., important events such as unveiling the commemorative monuments in Toronto and Muskoka. This beautifully-produced, large format, 240-page softcover is one of the most important Canadian aviation stories in recent years. Many photos, essential maps, notes, bibliography, index. An all-around beauty of an aviation book. $30.00 + $12.00 Canada Post + $2.10 tax = $ 44.10 (Canada). USA and overseas CDN$52.00. PayPal directly to larry@canavbooks.com, or post a cheque by snailmail to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E 3B6 Canada.

Here’s the info about Canada’s aviation blockbuster book for 2017. It’s a heavy duty effort – 512 pages, hardcover, some 1600 photos, 30 paintings and colour profiles – on and on, so no one will be disappointed in this wonderful production. Marc-André has done his usual in-depth coverage, assembling the exciting history of one of the great RCAF air stations, while blending both languages in his attractive/seamless layout. The book begins with WWII, with Bagotville training fighter pilots on the Harvard and Hurricane. Many famous aces pass through on instructing tours, many students go on to stellar careers. Next, comes the postwar era with Vampires, Sabres and CF-100s – all the historic squadrons, especially the all-weather CF-100 units – 440 and 432 — form with CF-100 Mk.3s in 1953-54. Then come steady developments – 440 goes overseas, 413 forms up, the CF-100 Mk.4 and 5 arrive, there’s a steady stream of NORAD exercises, etc.

The CF-100 gives way to the CF-101 Voodoo era (410 and 425 sqns), then the tactical world arrives with the CF-5 with the renowned 433 Squadron. Finally come the CF-18 Hornet years with 425 Sqn. The evolution of Base Flight/439 Sqn is also covered – from T-33 to Griffon helio. Many other aspects of life at “YBG” are included in this huge colour production, from DEW Line helicopter times to Air Cadets and airshows. So don’t think that this overview begins to cover all the exciting content – the photo presentations alone will knock you out!

All things considered, Marc-André’s book is a bargain at its sticker price of $60.00 + $12.00 postage (Canada only, so USA and overseas please contact me for a shipping price) + tax $3.60 … Total in Canada $75.60. How to order? PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com, or post a cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Have a fine summer and make sure to read some good books (stay off those dopey, mind-numbing “devices” eh).

~ Larry Milberry, Publisher CANAV Books

 

 

Air Transport in Canada Hits 20 + Some CAHS & CAE News

Stop the Press! Here is some important news about this year’s annual convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. Please have a look here:

2017 is a good year for aviation anniversaries. Two big ones are the Beech 18 (turns 80) and the Boeing 737 (turns 50). There’s even a CANAV Books 20th anniversary. In 1997 CANAV launched its grandest title – Air Transport in Canada. It was an exciting evening out at the since-demolished Constellation Hotel on Airport Road near YYZ. However, at one point I’d been worrying about how the whole thing would go, for by mid-afternoon “ATC” still hadn’t arrived from the printer in Manitoba. Finally, the shipment — all 20 tons of it — pulled into the warehouse and we were in business. A solid crowd turned out for a good old aviation get together. A bonus was the presence at the front entrance of former TCA Super Constellation CF-TGE (now part of the Museum of Flight in Seattle). Several of the old timers attending knew this old classic personally.

“ATC” remains one of the world’s grandest-ever aviation titles – 2 volumes, 5 kg, 1030 pages, 9×12 format, 3000+ photos, etc. It’s 53 chapters include a solid outline of the early days of commercial aviation in Canada, everything imaginable about the evolution of Canada’s airlines and air transport in the RCAF to the modern era, the first comprehensive history of the helicopter in Canada, ditto for corporate aviation and aerial surveying, on and on.

Just this weekend I heard from a new reader in the US who has received his set in the mail. His immediate reaction was pretty typical: “Larry, the books arrived today. I wrenched my back picking the box up! Just kidding. Boy, I had been prospecting up in them “Internet Hills” to find some Canadian aviation history and by golly I struck the “Mother Lode” in CANAV. Many thanks for preserving so much history.” Another fan of “ATC” is John Timmins, founder of Timmins Aviation, etc. In the afterword of his biography, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going, But I’m Making Good Time, John writes:

A special note: I want to acknowledge and thank Larry Milberry for having given all of us in Canadian aviation “Air Transport in Canada”, a history of our industry in two magnificent volumes containing over 1000 pages. Never has air transport in any country been so thoroughly and well covered. I cannot imagine anyone attempting to write on Canadian aviation without it.

If you still don’t have this spectacular 2-volume set, here’s a good chance to fill that gap on your aviation bookshelf. Normally $155, “ATC” is on special from CANAV at $95 + $16 flat rate postage + tax at $5.30 for a total (Canada only) of CDN$116.30. To put it mildly, you will not be disappointed with this impressive production. If ordering by mail, post your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E3B6.

Or … use PayPal. Just email your payment to larry@canavbooks.wordpress.com. If you are in the US or overseas and would like a set, email me at the same address, and I’ll give you a price with shipping. Thanks to “Mafia Post”, this monster set of books will cost any buyer in the US at least $40 for delivery, more for overseas. Your only consolation is that you’ll be paying in CDN dollars vs US dollars or Euros.

Only 300 of my original 4000 sets of “ATC” remain. Each comes with a special 20th Anniversary inscription from the author. Thanks as always and keep in touch via the CANAV blog.

All the best… Larry Milberry

CAE Updates

CAE retiree Arthur Grynspan adds a tidbit of valuable info about one of the group photos in The CAE Story: “I would like to identify an “unknown ” person, assuming you may re-issue the CAE Story one day. On Pg 217, in the bottom photo, the person in the last row, immediately to the right of the bearded fellow  is Ron Harmison. He and I spent an afternoon together recently during which he skimmed through your fine book and found himself. ” For the latest news about CAE — its many new contracts, etc., see http://www.cae.com as well as CAE is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017 Learn more

First CAE-built Bombardier C Series Full Flight Simulator Receives Level D Qualification

On June 22, CAE reported some big C Series news. Get the full story of CAE’s magnificent heritage in Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. See how the company began, did its first “sim” for the CF-100, build major components for the L1011 and 707, got into regional airlines, overhauled Viscounts and T-39s, built bushplanes, on and on — a fantastic legacy that culminates in today’s multi-billion dollar CAE. This is the grandest-ever aerospace company history, a book to be treasured by any serious reader. To order, see the main CANAV 2017 booklist and scroll back to read the book reviews. Cheers … Larry

CAE reports: CAE Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and CAE announced, during the International Paris Air Show, that Transport Canada, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have qualified the world’s first C Series aircraft full-flight simulator (FFS) to Level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators.

The qualification by the civil aviation authorities represents a new milestone in the pilot-training activities for the C Series aircraft program. Bombardier Photos
The qualification by the civil aviation authorities represents a new milestone in the pilot-training activities for the C Series aircraft program. Bombardier Photos


The Bombardier C Series FFS, located at the Bombardier Training Centre in Montreal, Que., is the first C Series FFS to receive Level D qualification.

“This Level D qualification represents another milestone reached in the C Series aircraft program and allows pilots to complete all their training in the simulator before they fly the real aircraft,” said Todd Young, vice-president and general manager, customer services and Q400 Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “With this qualification, our simulator reproduces to the highest level of fidelity, the characteristics of the C Series aircraft, as certified by the civil aviation authorities.”

The Bombardier C Series FFS, located at the Bombardier Training Centre in Montreal, is the first C Series FFS to receive Level D qualification.
The Bombardier C Series FFS, located at the Bombardier Training Centre in Montreal, is the first C Series FFS to receive Level D qualification.


“We are proud to highlight another key milestone with the achievement of the highest-level qualification for the first C Series full-flight simulator in the world,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s group president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “This highlights years of collaboration with our longstanding partner Bombardier in the development of the simulator. We are honoured to contribute to ensuring Bombardier customers receive the highest fidelity training for its C Series aircraft.” There are currently in operation, or on order, a total of five CAE-built C Series simulators worldwide.

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!