Category Archives: Propliner

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

 

Leslie Corness Collection Keeps on Inspiring

CORNESS 19 Book CoverSince CANAV published The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection in 2005, I continue to be impressed by the richness of the Corness photo collection. If you have the book, you know how aviation was a Corness family hobby. The three boys all were keen on everything to do with aviation, and their parents encouraged them. Their father taught them the basic of camera and dark room.

It would take more than one book to cover Leslie’s great collection. I thought it was time to put a few more of his wonderful shots out there for you to enjoy. And … while you’re doing so, notice some of the qualities of Leslie’s unpretentious style when he was behind the lens. For instance, he was far more of a “content” man than a “form” man. Instead of obsessively going for the perfect “set-up” photo, he tended to shoot just what he saw before him. Bang – shot taken, scene captured forever, warts and all.

These days there’s a lot of emphasis on “form”, on “set-up” potential, on controlling what’s there, rather than letting it simply be. With all the current Vivian Maier hoopla, you’d think she discovered everything about content vs form. Well, at least that’s what those promoting her stuff and making millions from it would have you believe. But those like Vivian who shoot creatively (vs trying to manage everything) have always been around. In my case, back in the Fifties I got tangled up with a crowd of young fellows shooting airplanes who mainly were “form” minded: set up your photo very deliberately, wait for the right sun, avoid a messy or busy background, wait for any people to clear out of the picture, don’t shoot on cloudy days, get that “pristine” shot. So that’s what we did. It took years to finally learn learn to appreciate the vibrancy and spontaneity of really meaningful aviation photography. Leslie Corness could have taught us that in one day of tutoring out at Edmonton Airport.

Today, there still is a preponderance of anal-type “form” picture takers. However, there are many more, also, who get the big picture. Leading the way in this part of the country are the likes of Gustavo Corujo. He can take a tightly scripted “form” oriented photo as well as the next shooter but, more typically, he’s getting lovely tight-in shots as well as the wide angle stuff, lots of people-and-airplanes scenes, etc. One thing for sure, he’s having a ton more fun than those who are slaves to the “set-up” shot.

Here are a few more of Leslie Corness’ magnificent photos taken (probably all) in Edmonton. In his days Edmonton already was known in the worldwide press as the “Canada’s Aviation Gateway to the North”. What an understatement that household phrase turned out to be. Anything flying north or south in the mid-continent generally had to flight plan through Edmonton. The Corness boys were waiting for whatever would show up. This selection dates to the late 1930s into the 1950s. Click on the pictures to see them full screen. See what you think.

  There usually was a Fairchild 71 or an 82 any day around Edmonton from the late 1920s into the early 1960s. This lovely period view by Leslie features CPA’s famous “82” CF-AXQ getting some daily servicing. Built in 1939 for Mackenzie Air Services of Edmonton, it migrated to CPA with that new company’s takeover in the early 1940s of a host of smaller northern operators. In 1946 “AXQ” was acquired by Waite Fisheries of Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. When the pilot got into deteriorating weather on January 28, 1947, his windscreen iced up so badly that he couldn’t see properly on landing, and crashed near home base. In our junior days of shooting at Malton in the 1950s we’d have been happy with the lighting here, but would likely have passed on even taking a shot “for the record” due to the gas drum, tie–down ropes, engine cover, open cockpit door , ladder in the background and, horror of horrors, that fellow standing there. How pitiful, eh, to be missing out on such fundamentals of a true aviation scene.

There usually was a Fairchild 71 or an 82 any day around Edmonton from the late 1920s into the early 1960s. This lovely period view by Leslie features CPA’s famous “82” CF-AXQ getting some daily servicing. Built in 1939 for Mackenzie Air Services of Edmonton, it migrated to CPA with that company’s takeover in the early 1940s of a host of smaller northern operators. In 1946 “AXQ” was acquired by Waite Fisheries of Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. When the pilot got into deteriorating weather on January 28, 1947, his windscreen iced up so badly that he couldn’t see properly on landing, and crashed near home base. In our junior days of shooting at Malton in the 1950s we’d have been happy with the lighting here, but would likely have passed on even taking a shot “for the record” due to the gas drum, tie–down ropes, engine cover, open cockpit door , ladder in the background and, horror of horrors, that fellow standing there. How pitiful, eh, to be missing out on such fundamentals of a true aviation scene.

Besides frequent and ever-exciting visitors, Edmonton was home to dozens of ordinary bushplanes that plied the Mackenzie River Valley down to the Arctic coast. The Curtiss Robin was a typical hard working northern workhorse. CF-AHH was first registered in Canada in 1929. It served various Alberta owners into 1946, when it migrated to Hudson, Ontario to fly with the famous Starratt Airways. “AHH” last was heard of with an Air Cadet squadron in Winnipeg in 1950. Leslie caught it in this ideal view, heading out from Edmonton on skis (tail draggers tend to look especially nice in a “rear ¾” view). This is a typical shot by Leslie, where the day was cloudy. The result was nice even lighting with no harsh/distracting shadows. One of the truly delightful sources of information about any such early US-certified aircraft is the magnificent 9-volume set “US Civil Aircraft Series” by the incomparable Joseph P. Juptner. Fans everywhere have been leaning on Juptner for “the good gen” since his series first appeared in 1966. Any serious fan needs these books.

Besides frequent and ever-exciting visitors, Edmonton was home to dozens of ordinary bushplanes that plied the Mackenzie River Valley down to the Arctic coast. The Curtiss Robin was a typical hard working northern workhorse. CF-AHH was first registered in Canada in 1929. It served various Alberta owners into 1946, when it migrated to Hudson, Ontario to fly with Starratt Airways. “AHH” last was heard of with an Air Cadet squadron in Winnipeg in 1950. Leslie caught it in this ideal view, heading out from Edmonton on skis (tail draggers tend to look especially nice in a “rear ¾” view). This is a typical shot by Leslie, where the day was cloudy. The result was nice even lighting with no harsh/distracting shadows. One of the truly delightful sources of information about any such early US-certified aircraft is the magnificent 9-volume set “US Civil Aircraft Series” by the inimitable Joseph P. Juptner. Fans everywhere have been leaning on Juptner for “the good gen” since his series first appeared in 1966. Any serious fan needs these books.

  Built in Delaware, the renowned Bellancas were at home in Edmonton for decades, especially when Commercial Airways had its famous fleet of big red bush planes. There also usually was some transient Bellanca for the Corness boys to photograph and, at war’s end, Northwest Industries had a decent go at manufacturing a revitalized Bellanca Skyrocket. Here, CH-400 Skyrocket NC-11661 (420-hp PW Wasp engine) sits at Edmonton awaiting departure likely on the Alaska route. This would be no earlier than 1940, the year CF-BQM (in the background) came to Canada. NC-11661 had been in the news in the Kingston, Jamaica “Gleaner” of January 18, 1939. The report that day identified it as being a luxurious plane “formerly of Palm Beach Air Service”, piloted by Capt. H. deB Tupper, being on wheels and having a yellow paint scheme. To my knowledge, to date no detailed history of NC-11661 has arisen from the dusty files. It would be nice to know a bit about it.

Built in Delaware, the renowned Bellancas were at home in Edmonton for decades, especially when Commercial Airways was running its famous fleet of big red bush planes. There also usually was some transient Bellanca for the Corness boys to photograph and, at war’s end, Northwest Industries had a decent go at manufacturing a revitalized Bellanca Skyrocket. Here, CH-400 Skyrocket NC-11661 (420-hp PW Wasp engine) sits at Edmonton awaiting departure likely on the Alaska route. This would be no earlier than 1940, the year CF-BQM (in the background) came to Canada. NC-11661 had been in the news in the Kingston, Jamaica “Gleaner” of January 18, 1939. The report that day identified it as being a luxurious plane “formerly of Palm Beach Air Service”, piloted by Capt. H. deB Tupper, being on wheels and having a yellow paint scheme. To my knowledge, to date no detailed history of NC-11661 has arisen from the dusty files. It would be nice to know a bit about it.

A plane sitting in the corner of a hangar at Edmonton was as inviting to Leslie as if it were outside in the sun. Bellanca CH-300 NC258M (300 hp Wright engine) also was passing through when he shot it circa 1940.

A plane sitting in the corner of a hangar at Edmonton was as inviting to Leslie as if it were outside in the sun. Bellanca CH-300 NC258M (300 hp Wright engine) also was passing through when he shot it circa 1940.

This unique, aluminum-hulled Keystone-Loening K-84 “Commuter” turned up one day in Edmonton. A luxurious amphibian using a 300-hp Wright engine, the Commuter (first flight 1929) was popular with sport aviators and corporations. NC374V today resides with the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage.

This unique, aluminum-hulled Keystone-Loening K-84 “Commuter” turned up one day in Edmonton. A luxurious amphibian using a 300-hp Wright engine, the Commuter (first flight 1929) was popular with sport aviators and corporations. NC374V today resides with the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage.

 One of the most modern aircraft of the early 1930s was the speedy, 8-passenger Northrop Delta, first flown in 1933. Accidents plagued the Delta, however, so it did not realize its potential. Several were manufactured in Canada by Canadian Vickers for the RCAF (the Delta was the RCAF’s first all-metal aircraft). Edmonton occasionally was a refuelling spot for a long-range Northrop. Shown is NC13777. Delta No.28, it was powered by a 710-hp Wright. This example is believed be in storage somewhere in Kansas City, Missouri.

One of the most modern aircraft of the early 1930s was the speedy, 8-passenger Northrop Delta, first flown in 1933. Accidents plagued the Delta, however, so it did not realize its potential. Several were manufactured in Canada by Canadian Vickers for the RCAF (the Delta was the RCAF’s first all-metal aircraft). Edmonton occasionally was a refuelling spot for a long-range Northrop. Shown is NC13777. Delta No.28, it was powered by a 710-hp Wright. This example is believed be in storage somewhere around Kansas City, Missouri.

In this case Leslie was focusing on Northrop Gamma 2D NC2111. Juptner observes about the Gamma: “More than anything else the Northrop Gamma 2D was a dramatic exercise in highly advanced all-metal construction, in refined aerodynamics, experiments in long distance cargo-hauling by air and research into over-weather flying.” Some 61 Gammas were turned out in the 1930s, 49 for export to the Chinese military. In the US they earned headlines in air racing (e.g. Los Angeles to New York City non-stop in 13 hours 26 minutes), long distance flight, and one supported the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic expedition of 1932. The latter Gamma resides in the Smithsonian collection. NC2111 became famous when Russell Thaw flew it in the 1935 Bendix Trophy race from Los Angeles to Cleveland. We can’t say what NC2111 was doing in Edmonton, but there well could be a report of it somewhere in the Edmonton Journal in the late 1930s.

In this case Leslie was focusing on Northrop Gamma 2H NC2111. Juptner observes: “More than anything else the Northrop Gamma 2D was a dramatic exercise in highly advanced all-metal construction, in refined aerodynamics, experiments in long distance cargo-hauling by air, and research into over-weather flying.” Some 61 Gammas were turned out in the 1930s, 49 for export to the Chinese military. In the US they earned headlines in air racing (e.g. Los Angeles to New York City non-stop in 13 hours 26 minutes), long distance flight, and one supported the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic expedition of 1932. The latter Gamma resides in the Smithsonian collection. NC2111 became famous when Russell Thaw flew it in the 1935 Bendix Trophy race from Los Angeles to Cleveland. We can’t say what NC2111 was doing in Edmonton, but there well could be a report of it somewhere in the Edmonton Journal in the late 1930s.

This magnificent Ford Trimotor NC8419 came though Edmonton one day, perhaps on delivery from “The Lower 48” to Alaska’s Star Airlines. The Alaska State Archives has a photo of it on skis with Star in 1937, so it might have shown up in Edmonton any time up to 1942, when Star became Alaska Star Airlines. Leslie shot it happily as he saw it -- step ladder and all. Note that the light is long, so it’s an early or a late-in-the-day shot (the fuss budgets preferred mid-day lighting). NC8419 was Ford 5-AT-C No.58 built in 1929 for Northwest Airlines of Minneapolis. Research points to a strange story about it. The original plane crashed in 1959 -- years after Leslie saw it. By then it was doing forestry work and went down during fire operations. The data plate was salvaged and used to legitimize the restoration of today’s N8419, which is a combination of parts from several Ford wrecks. “New” N8419 today flies with the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Michigan.

This magnificent Ford Trimotor NC8419 came though Edmonton one day, perhaps on delivery from “The Lower 48” to Alaska’s Star Airlines. The Alaska State Archives has a photo of it on skis with Star in 1937. It might have shown up in Edmonton any time up to 1942, when Star became Alaska Star Airlines. Leslie shot it happily as he saw it — step ladder and all. Note that the light is long, so it’s an early or a late-in-the-day shot (the fuss budgets preferred mid-day lighting). NC8419 was Ford 5-AT-C No.58 built in 1929 for Northwest Airlines of Minneapolis. Research points to a strange story about it. The original plane crashed in 1959 — years after Leslie saw it. By then it was doing forestry work and went down during fire operations. The data plate was salvaged and used to legitimize the restoration of today’s N8419, which is a combination of parts from several Ford wrecks. “New” N8419 today flies with the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Michigan.

 Another incredible flying machine passing through Edmonton to Leslie’s delight was this 10-passenger Stinson SM-6000-B powered by three 215-hp Lycomings. Resplendent in Wien Alaska Airlines markings, it also likely was on a delivery flight in the late 1930s. Too bad, but there was no colour film commonly available at this time. What were the Stinson’s colours? Maybe that brilliant orange we saw on Wien’s later Norsemans?

Another incredible flying machine passing through Edmonton to Leslie’s delight was this 10-passenger Stinson SM-6000-B powered by three 215-hp Lycomings. Resplendent in Wien Alaska Airlines markings, it also likely was on a delivery flight in the late 1930s. Too bad, but there was no colour film commonly available at this time. What were the Stinson’s colours? Maybe that brilliant orange we saw on Wien’s later Norsemans?

 Ditto for Stinson “A” NC-15109 shown in Pollack Airlines colours at Edmonton – another sight to get the local “hangar rats” fired up. Flown in 1934, this type was the last and the fastest Stinson trimotor. Powered by 260-hp Lycomings and with retractable undercarriage, it cruised at 160 mph, so competed reasonably well with the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2. As you can see, this is more of a set-up shot – airplane in the clear, ideal side lighting, registration and company markings visible, etc.

Ditto for Stinson “A” NC-15109 shown in Pollack Airlines colours at Edmonton – another sight to get the local “hangar rats” fired up. Flown in 1934, this type was the last and the fastest Stinson trimotor. Powered by 260-hp Lycomings and with retractable undercarriage, it cruised at 160 mph, so competed reasonably well with the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2. As you can see, this is more of a set-up shot – airplane in the clear, ideal side lighting, registration and company markings visible, etc.

A newly built Northwest Industries Bellanca 31-55 Senior Skyrocket (600 hp PW R-1340) at Edmonton circa 1947. Prototype CF-DCH had flown on February 28, 1946, but only 13 examples were manufactured. The “31-55” had little hope in the market of competing again cheap war surplus Norsemans, then the Beaver came along to seal its fate. This is a really typical Corness photo, capturing as it does some interesting features, especially the nifty Shell fuel truck.

A newly built Northwest Industries Bellanca 31-55 Senior Skyrocket (600 hp PW R-1340) at Edmonton circa 1947. Prototype CF-DCH had flown on February 28, 1946, but only 13 examples were manufactured. The “31-55” had little hope of competing against cheap war surplus Norsemans, then the Beaver came along to seal its fate. This is a really typical Corness photo, capturing as it does some interesting features, especially the nifty Shell fuel truck.

In all my research and sleuthing I never before have seen a photo of the NWI Skyrocket “production line”. One day Leslie poked his nose in the NWI hangar and grabbed to very telling shot of three Skyrockets under way. Nearest is CF-DCE.

In all my research and sleuthing I never before have seen a photo of the NWI Skyrocket “production line”. One day Leslie poked his nose in the NWI hangar and grabbed this very telling shot of three Skyrockets under way. Nearest is CF-DCE.

Another new type for Leslie’s list in the late 1940s was this Fairchild Husky. Like the NWI Skyrocket, the Husky was doomed by cheap Norsemans and the flashy new Beaver. Air Transport in Canada provides a reasonable history of the Husky or Skyrocket in Canada.

Another new type for Leslie’s list in the late 1940s was this Fairchild Husky. Like the NWI Skyrocket, the Husky was doomed by cheap Norsemans and the flashy new Beaver. Air Transport in Canada provides a reasonable history of the Husky or Skyrocket in Canada, but also see Canadian Aircraft since 1909 by the great K.M. “Ken” Molson

In 1957-58 NWI decided to represent the Edgar Percival company in the UK with its E.P.9 “Prospector” utility plane. Specially registered in Canada, it made sales tours and did many a demo/promo flight, but the E.P.9 had less of a prayer of succeeding than had the Husky or Skyrocket. No Canadian operators was likely to invest in such a type, when the locally made and well supported Beaver, Otter and Norseman. CF-NWI has been preserved by the Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

In 1957-58 NWI decided to represent the Edgar Percival company of the UK with its E.P.9 “Prospector” utility plane. Specially registered in Canada, it made sales tours and  many a demo/promo flight, but the E.P.9 didn’t have a prayer of succeeding — less than the Husky or Skyrocket. No Canadian operator was likely to invest in such a type, when  locally made and well supported Beaver, Otter and Norseman were commanding the market. CF-NWI is  preserved in the Reynolds Alberta Museum at Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Many interesting light twins were always coming and going at Edmonton. Typical was the Barkley-Grow, a handful of which came to Canada in 1940, then had long, useful careers. Leslie took many lovely Barkley-Grow photos in b/w and colour at Edmonton, but this view he shot at Vancouver, just as CF-BQM was about to be launched. CF-BQM served many operators beginning with Mackenzie Air Service. It ended as a fish hauler with Pete Lazarenko’s Winnipeg-based Northland Airlines, flying at least into 1964. It resides today with the Aero Space Museum of Calgary.

Many interesting light twins were always coming and going at Edmonton. Typical was the Barkley-Grow, a handful of which came to Canada in 1940, then had long, useful careers. Leslie took many lovely Barkley-Grow photos in b/w and colour at Edmonton, but this view he shot at Vancouver, just as CF-BQM was about to be launched.Look at all the nifty content in this great action photo.  CF-BQM served many operators beginning with Mackenzie Air Service. It ended as a fish hauler with Pete Lazarenko’s Winnipeg-based Northland Airlines, flying at least into 1964. It resides today with the Aero Space Museum of Calgary.

This Boeing 247 served the Alberta oil industry for decades, until finallydonated to Canada’s national aeronautical collection in Ottawa. Based in Calgary with California Standard Oil (later with Chevron Oil), Leslie often saw it in Edmonton. Alberta oil companies also operated the Lockheed 12, Lockheed 18 and DC-3 in the 1950s.

This Boeing 247 served the Alberta oil industry for decades, until finally donated to Canada’s national aeronautical collection in Ottawa. Based in Calgary with California Standard Oil (later Chevron Oil), Leslie often saw it in Edmonton. Alberta oil companies also operated the Lockheed 12, Lockheed 18 and DC-3 in the 1950s-60s.

CORNESS 17 T-50 CF-BXX 8-2014

The Cessna T-50 Crane was as common around Edmonton in the early postwar years as the Anson. These fine little twins found a hundred and one uses. Typical was Crane CF-BXX, which Leslie shot from a nice vantage point. It must have been beside a hangar from which he could set up his shot from the roof or a window. “BXX” had been RCAF 1670 from 1941-46. Then, the Hoover Machine Co. of Edmonton bought it from War Assets Disposal Corp., probably for just a few hundred dollars. With a year, however, “BXX” was sold to a buyer in Montana. In the second Crane scene, Leslie captured an Associated Airlines’ plane in the midst of some serious maintenance. Such raw scenes always interested him – talk about a “non-set-up” shot, eh. Hope you have enjoyed these fantastic Corness photos. I’ll try to add a few more in a week or two. Cheers … Larry

The Cessna T-50 Crane was as common around Edmonton in the early postwar years as the Anson. These fine little twins found a hundred and one uses. Typical was Crane CF-BXX, which Leslie shot from a nice vantage point. It must have been beside a hangar from which he could frame his shot from a roof or window. “BXX” had been RCAF 1670 from 1941-46. Then, the Hoover Machine Co. of Edmonton bought it from War Assets Disposal Corp., probably for just a few hundred dollars. Within a year, however, “BXX” was sold to a buyer in Montana. In the second Crane scene, Leslie captured an Associated Airlines’ plane in the midst of some serious maintenance. Such raw scenes always interested him – talk about a “non-set-up” shot, eh. Hope you have enjoyed these fantastic Corness photos. I’ll try to add a few more in a week or two. Cheers … Larry

In case you still don’t have your copy of The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection, you can order today at 1/2 price — $20.00 vs $40.00. All in for Canada (post and tax) $33.60, USA & overseas $36.00. Let me know if you get interested. Drop me an email at larry@canavbooks.com. The Wilf White Propliner Collection is also at this same great price of $20.00. Both books all in for Canada $57.75, USA & overseas $82.00 … Larry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC-3 No.3 CF-IKD_sm

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

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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

CANAV’s “Do Not Miss” Summer Booklist!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download our Booklist Summer 2011 or check it out below!