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Here’s CANAV Books Fall 2017/Winter 2018 Booklist … Have a Close Look!


Good day to all CANAV fans and readers!
You’ll want to take a good look at CANAV’s new booklist. This season has several outstanding new titles from detailed histories of Found Brothers Aviation to Okanagan Helicopters, the Norwegian air training plan in Canada during WWII, and RCAF Station Bagotville through the decades. Besides such top books, we’re also offering Rich Hulina’s magnificent new Vol.2 of Bush Flying Captured. Talk about a magnificent book! Also, check out the CANAV deals, everything from Canada’s Air Force at War and Peace Vols.1-3 at 1/2 price, Air Transport in Canada at $60 off and The Canadair Sabre at $10 off (not to forget about CANAV’s free book” offer on p.4). So … here you go. You won’t go wrong by jumping in to enrich your aviation library today!

Click Here for the New CANAV Books List 2017-18

CF-104 Warbird Emerges

Those dedicated to the warbird scene are an inveterate bunch. Even though hardly any original WWI aircraft survived the 1920s, all over the world dedicated and amazingly skilled replica builders and pilots have put hundreds of full scale and scaled-down versions into the air of such classic types as the Nieuport, SE.5, Sopwith Pup and Fokker Triplane. Then, ever since war’s end in 1945, countless WWII warbirds have returned to the skies. That movement seems to grow annually, to the extent that in 2017 there are now more airworthy Hurricanes, Mustangs, Spitfires, etc. than ever. The Korean War era is represented by  MiG-15s and Sabres, Southeast Asia by anything from the Cessna O-2 to the thundering F-4, on and on.

 

Canada has kept up with its own flying warbirds. In one case, around 1950 several Lysanders were crop dusting in the prairies (the company had the niftiest motto — “Weed ’em and Reap”), and all through the 1950s Spartan Air Services of Ottawa kept such types as the Mosquito and Ventura busy in the aerial survey business. In the 1960s, a P-40 and Vampire flew privately in Alberta, and there were ex-RCAF Harvards (some bought from the government for a few hundred dollars) flying all across the country. Also from the 1960s, fleets of A-26s, Avengers, B-25s and Martin Mars (even one Lancaster) were busy annually in the west dousing forest fires. As these gradually retired, you could count on them joining the hobby and museum sides of the warbirds movement. Such organizations as the Canadian Warplane Heritage and the Great War Flying Museum have performed miracles in keeping airworthy warbirds and replicas in the public eye.

 

In the 1960s Canadair at Montreal/Cartierville turned out hundreds of CF-104 and F-104G Starfighters. These served numerous air forces, the RCAF receiving about 200. Dubbed the “Missile with a Man in It”, the Starfighter proved to be a marvellous and versatile design (see such books as Starfighter: A Loving Retrospective of the CF-104 Era in Canadian Aviation 1961-1986 (the original such book, Bashow), Canadian Starfighter: The CF-104 and CF-104D in Canadian Service 1961-1986 (Martin, the newest), Canadian Profile CF-104 Starfighter (McIntyre), Starfighter CF-104 (Stachiw & Tattersall) and Canadair: The First 50 Years (Pickler & Milberry). If you have the least interest in CF-104 history, you can find most of these for sale on line using a Google search).

 

Many Canadair-built F-104s/CF-104s survive in museums all over the world, and at least four are known to have been restored to airworthiness, including ex-RCAF 12637. Having served Canada from 1962-72, it transferred to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, where it flew into 1983. After years in storage, it was acquired by a group of CF-104 supporters who set out to make it airworthy again. If you go here  http://vintageaviationecho.com /starfighter-test-flight/ you can see the full story leading to “637” flying again last year. This is well worth a good look. Meanwhile, enjoy a few miscellaneous CF-104 photos right here:

Starfighter Gallery Here are a few CF-104 photos from my own archive, just typical photos of the millions taken over the decades by those fascinated by this classic “Fighter of the Fifties”. Enjoy these 1-0-4 pix taken in the 1960s-80 by Les Corness and me:

 

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Who has ever seen a “snakier” looking jet fighter than Lockheed’s F-104? The first that I got up close to was 12700, which was in Toronto for the 1965 Canadian National Exhibition. Here it is at Malton airport near Toronto, about to be trucked down to the CNE. “700” had begun as USAF F-104A 56-0770. After working in the development program at Edwards and Eglin AFBs, it was stored until c.1959, when it became the prototype F-104G — the version aimed at NATO and other allies. In 1963 it became Canada’s first 1-0-4, then served with Central Experimental and Proving Establishment at RCAF stations Cold Lake (Alberta) and Uplands (Ottawa). In 1969 it was turned over to Canada’s national aeronautical collection in Ottawa, where you may see it today. Naturally, for Toronto’s few airplane spotters, getting ramp access at Malton on August 14, 1965 to photograph “700” was a very big deal.    
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In June 1967 I travelled to Ottawa with my airplane spotting pals Paul Regan and Nick Wolochatiuk. As usual, we travelled in Nick’s well-travelled VW, The big draw was Canada’s Centennial Airshow at Rockcliffe, then still an RCAF station. Having attended the show on Saturday, we used some connection to get on the tarmac at Uplands where several CF-104s were beautifully lined up. Here is 12783 as it looked that Sunday morning (June 11). This bird today is with the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum at Halifax International Airport.

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CF-104s, CF-5s and CF-101s on the ramp at Uplands the same day. By this time I had learned (mainly from Mo Reddy and Nick Wolochatiuk) that there was more than one was to photograph airplanes.
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I was on the road again on the weekend of September 1-2, 1971. Most of the aircraft for that year’s CNE Airshow were flying from Trenton, so that was the big draw. A few CF-104s were present, one of which (104772) had some sort of emergency on returning to base. Here it sits mid-field as the base fire fighters stand ready. On April 18, 1973 this 417 Sqn Starfighter crashed on the range at Cold Lake, killing Capt J.K. Salter.

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On our August 31, 1975 swan to Trenton to photograph CNE Airshow planes, I snapped this angle on CF-104 104790 (Nick was a proponent of using relevant foreground in photo composition, something that gradually rubbed off on his buddies). This also was the first we had even gotten close to the F-15, and the Thunderbirds with their T-38s were very exciting as they returned from their Toronto performance. After some years as an air force ground training aid, “790” found its way to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. On 104711 note that small appendage near the exhaust. Maybe a radar warning device? Anyone know? “711” survives today in a Turkish museum.

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The great Edmontonian, Les Corness, took these three photos. I tell his story in The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection, a wonderful book which (after 12 years) Edmonton has not yet discovered and seems determined never to do so. No one did more to record Edmonton’s aviation and rail heritage than did Les, his father and his brothers Dennis and Norm. It’s just a shame how such things go, but there sometimes simply no dragging people into the light. I really enjoy this candid shot of Les’ showing Starfighters leaping into the air at Moose Jaw on June 29, 1968 as four local airshow rubes watch in amazement.
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Having begun photographing in the late 1930s, Les always had his connections around Edmonton’s airports. By some good fortune, on June 24, 1963 he was at RCAF Station Namao a bit north of the city. I wonder what was going on? Maybe these new CF-104s were being tweaked up before delivery to 6 ST/R OTU at Cold Lake or to 1 Canadian Air Group in NATO? Nearest is 12755, which spent its career with 1CAG, before transferring to the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 1973, where it flew for a decade. Today, it’s on display at Kjeller Air Base.

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Not an every day sight … an amazing mass fly-by with a dozen 1-0-4s in nice close formation. Les captured this rare scene at Cold Lake on July 3, 1977. Any old-time 1-0-4 man will hear that unique whine of J-79s and smell the JP4!
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Abbotsford Airshow action … Starfighters on the ramp there on August 13, 1976. A shot like this could be made if a fellow could get up on a refuelling truck, into the cockpit of a C-5A, onto a hangar roof, etc. We always took any such opportunity. Nearest is “750”, which ended its days ingloriously as a ground training aid with 1CAG.

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Starfighter 104652 served the Aerospace Engineering and Test Establishment at Cold Lake for years, before being shipped to Toronto, where it’s now memorabilia at Canadian Forces College.

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A typical scene at Baden-Soellingen showing a 441 Sqn CF-104 being readied for a mission. Beyond is a standard NATO “HAS” — hardened aircraft shelter”. These would protect against most conventional weapons, but everyone in 1CAG knew that if ‘the balloon” ever went up, every such NATO base would be nuked within the first hour or two of WWIII. Mutual assured destruction was the secret to keeping that from happening, and it worked. Such “assurance” is not so readily available in 2017.
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CF-104s ready for action at Lahr on July 7, 1982.

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Aircraft “743” at Baden-Soellingen on April 17, 1978. Note the 441 Sqn “Checker Board” emblem on the rudder. In 1986 “743” became one of 54 Starfighters transferred to Turkey. Today, it’s on display at a trade school in Jordan.

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Starfighter RT-664, seen at Baden-Soellingen on April 17, 1978, was Canadian to 1972, then Danish to 1984. It went for scrap in 2012. When on any such base it was always great fun when a visitor like this one dropped by.

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A pair of Dutch F-104Gs at Baden also on April 17, 1978. There might have been a mini-NATO air conference going on, but maybe these fellows just dropped by for lunch.

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For Canadair’s anniversary celebrations at Dorval on June 10, 1994 this lovely CF-104 2-seater was on the ramp. You’ll see it if you visit the wonderful museum at RCAF Trenton.
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To finish this little gallery, here’s another of the countless photos of Canada’s CF-104s. “787” and “790” are seen taxing in at Trenton on August 31, 1975. The first went to Turkey in 1986 (it crashed there on January 24, 1990), the second ended as scrap. Keep reading up on the great deeds and aircraft of the RCAF. Two of your best possible books to get you well informed are CANAV’s own Sixty Years: The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924-1984 and Canada’s Air Force at War and Peace (3 huge volumes). They’re both on sale in your new CANAV list.
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CAE Family Day 2017

 

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A real highlight of the plant tour for CAE Family Day 2017 was getting a close look (even a visit to the flight deck) of one of the world’s most advanced flight simulators. Here are a couple of scenes from this year’s Family Day, held on September 23. Nearest is a “sim” (full flight simulator — FFS) for the new CSeries jetliner – it’s almost ready for delivery. Then, a display explaining “Methods” – how parts get machined, completed, inspected, delivered down the line for assembly, etc.

Each year CAE throws its doors wide open, inviting in its huge extended family for “Family Day”. This is a truly wonderful event. This year alone, some 10,000 attended, all welcomed to tour through almost every nook and cranny in CAE’s vast facility on the edge of Dorval airport. Moms, dads, children, grandparents, retirees and friends all enjoyed every minute from early morning to late afternoon. Entering at the front door, the crowds were guided towards the shop floor, “where it all begins” – the process of manufacturing a flight simulator. The tour kicked off at the “raw materials” start line. Nothing here looks anything like a flight simulator. It’s just piles of materiel and all sorts of machines and processes going on. For Family Day actual production was shut down, but at each work station were volunteers to explain or demonstrate what goes on – milling or plating a part, cutting or assembling sheet metal, installing wiring, etc. There were line-ups all along the way and great fun for the little ones — clown acts, acrobats, etc. As the crowd moved along, people could see how an actual flight simulator takes shape.
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A display of flight simulator motion system hydraulic components. Since CAE’s first motion system-equipped flight simulators in the 1960s-70s (early DC-8, 747, etc.), “sims” were powered by heavy-duty hydraulic systems. Periodically, there was talk of using electric power, but no such system could handle the heavy installations and punishing cycles. In the 1990s, however, R&D led to lighter installations and improved electrical power systems. These have been perfected and now are universally used. However, CAE continues supporting older hydraulically-powered “sims”, many of which remain in use around the world. See Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story for the history of how technology has evolved at CAE over the last 70 years. Then, a view showing CAE family members checking out an electronics equipment display.

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All of a sudden, this “aviator” from some other planet dropped from the sky to stir things up among the families.

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This station demonstrated the key phase whereby a new flight simulator gets “wired up”. Miles of electrical wiring are needed to bring a big FFS up to operating standards.

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As I walked through CAE’s main plant, the nose of a Beech 350 King Air (formerly C-FRLD of Carson Air) caught my eye. Sitting there, it looked like scrap metal. Before long, however, C-FRLD will be re-manufactured as an “all new” flight training device. In an earlier such case, CAE converted a MiG-29 jet fighter ready for scrap into a new MiG-29 flight simulator for the Malaysian Air Force. Using a discarded airframe is a practical solution vs paying for an expensive new factory-made airframe, or building up a new facsimile structure in the CAE shops. While the typical new CAE FFS, does start with an all-new cockpit frame manufactured in the sheet metal department, for “one off” devices such as the King Air, renovating a discarded airframe makes a lot of sense, especially to the customer.

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Here’s another example of the same practical solution. On the right is a well-worn actual Airbus A320 throttle quadrant. The A320 FFS cockpit certainly needs one of these, but a new one is cost-prohibitive. On the left is how the restored component looks.

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Airbus EC135 helicopter flight simulators near completion on the shop floor at CAE.

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The cockpit structure of a new airliner FFS takes shape in CAE’s sheet metal department.

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Super-thin, super-reflective Mylar is essential to any CAE FFS visual system. Notice in this Family Day display how magnificently the ceiling is reflected in the Mylar. In early days, CAE depended on outside suppliers for FFS visual system. Through years of R&D, however, CAE attained world-class status manufacturing its own visual systems.

Finally, at the top end of the vast manufacturing facility, several complete full slight simulators were sitting ready for customer acceptance.

 

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Pilots soon will be training on the CSeries FFS. Then, a CAE MD-11 FFS manufactured ages ago in 1992 for the UPS fleet. Presently, it is back for complete modernization. Just for fun, for Family Day it was programmed to “dance” to some popular tunes. Originally with a hydraulically powered motion system, this FFS has been retrofitted with electric power.

Moving from the production bays, families passed through a hall of CAE history with displays and activities to interest anyone. I was fascinated to see some early products about which I had only heard, while researching the history of CAE a few years ago. Included were priceless artifacts from CAE’s “Consumer Products” department of the early 1950s – Dumont/CAE television sets, high end sound systems of the day including a rare radios/record player combo, a portable radio, even one of CAE’s battery-powered portable scintillometers, used by prospectors searching for minerals.

 

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“Ancient history” – a beautifully-crafted 1950-vintage home entertainment system – the CAE “Sonoramic Mark II” radio-record player combination. While watching one little guy scrutinizing this equipment, I saw him look down at the turntable and happily conclude, “Oh, it’s a CD player.” Then, a close-up showing the tuning panel. Third, attached to the unit’s back is its authenticating data plate. Too bad that I didn’t have these photos for The CAE Story, but it’s fun to be able to add them now as blog images.

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In Montreal in the early 1950s,CAE was assembling DuMont TV sets (from that New York company’s high-end line). CAE initially sold lots of these, but in the long run could not compete with such big producers as RCA, or such entrenched retailers as Eatons. Next … a 1950s CAE “Lodestar” portable radio and one of CAE’s portable scintillometers used in the search for metals. See The CAE Story for more about CAE’s consumer products years.

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Family Day along the CAE “Museum” corridor with beautiful 1950s CAE/Dumont TV sets in the background. Then, Larry Milberry autographing a copy of The CAE Story. Finally, CAE retirees Richard Valiquette and Hani Macramalla (a long-serving CAE Electronics Ltd. executive), Larry again, plus Robert, an officer with 785 Air Cadet Squadron visiting from St-Eustache, Quebec. (CAE & Andrea Marcoux photos)

From the history displays came more kids activities and, downstairs, where there were outstanding displays of aerospace training equipment, and demonstrations of CAE Healthcare’s latest medical training aids. CAE Family Day 2017 was a real summer highlight for anyone lucky enough to be there.

 

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Much advanced pilot and technical training now can be done using programs loaded into laptops. CAE has been on the leading edge of this type of training.

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One of the human-like training aids marketed by CAE Healthcare.

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Being CAE’s 70 th anniversary, there’s a big emphasis on company heritage. One important recent event was naming a street (with appropriate plaque) not far from the plant to honour CAE founder, Kenneth R. Patrick. In this photo taken at the naming are (on the left) CAE V-P Communications, Hélène Gagnon, City of St-Laurent Mayor DeSousa and CAE President Marc Parent. Far right is Ken Patrick’s grandson, Glenn. Then, a 2017 Family Day CAE volunteer shows off the Ken Patrick street sign.

Anyone with a connection to CAE will want a copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. To get you copy autographed by the author send $80.85 to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6; or send that amount by PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com

For more details about the book (and to order a copy on line) check out the rest of http://www.canavbooks.wordpress.com right here. There lots more CAE history and info if you scroll back (all the way to 2015, if you have the time).

Announcing … Three “Must Read” Canadian books now available from CANAV and … Important Norseman News!

 

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Bush Hawk Rick Found’s detailed history of Canada’s famous Found Brothers Aviation. Having written the original history of FBA (see Air Transport in Canada) I can highly recommend this fine new book. Bush Hawk covers everything from the early Found years to the late 1940s FBA-1 “Green Hornet”, then on to the FBA-2C bushplane. Production ensues in 1963, but there are steady company’s woes. Sales are difficult and there is head-butting in the marketplace with Cessna, Piper, etc. FBA is forced to close its doors, then comes a failed effort under new management with the FBA Centennial 100. FBA is revived again in the 1980s, produces the outstanding Bush Hawk, morphs into the Expedition company, then fades again in the 2000s. This is an important Canadian story, on a parallel with the Fleet 50, Fairchild Husky, Avian 180, ST-27, etc. Highly recommended for anyone seriously following Canada’s great aviation heritage. 199pp, softcover, photos. $27.50 A

Blog 1A DSC_4065 Blog 1B DSC_4421During my travels this summer in Northwestern Ontario I came across three of the original 1963-64 FBA-2s, including C-FRXJ near Nestor Falls. These rugged old work horses barely hiccup decade after decade, clear proof that the Founds designed a good one starting back in the 1940s. On the same trip I spotted 1990s Bush Hawk C-FEJM at Red Lake. Cheers … Larry

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Exile Air: World War II’s Little Norway in Toronto and Muskoka Andrea Baston has spent years working on this epic WWII story. To begin, she provides detailed background 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. Training officially begins in November. All the details are here, including the expected growing pains and how Little Norway dovetailed with the BCATP. Besides all the training, contracts, administration, housing, sports, social life in Toronto and — sad to say — accidents all are part of this outstanding book. Little Norway adds a base in Muskoka to the north, where pilots train on the Fairchild Cornell. Eventually, the Norwegian graduates man RAF squadrons flying Spitfires, Catalinas, etc. All this also is carefully covered in detail.

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 nicely-produced, 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.

Blog 3 Bagotville BookBagotville: 75 Years of Air Defence 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 and the renowned 433 Squadron. Finally come he 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 the sticker price of $60.00. Add $12.00 for postage (Canada only) + tax $3.60 … Total in Canada $75.60

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How to order? Let me know which of these lovely books you wish. Pay the sticker price, add (Canada only) $12.00 for one book, or $16.00 for two or more (USA and overseas send me an email to get a shipping price). You can use PayPal (pay to larry@canavbooks.com), or post a cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Norseman Updates: New Pix of CF-GLI

Norseman CF-GLI Jim Campbell 2008 IMG_3544

Norseman CF-GLI Jim Campbell 2008 IMG_3545

Recently, Jim Campbell of Winnipeg submitted these two lovely photos of Norseman CF-GLI, which he took at Snow Lake, Manitoba in 2008. In 2017 “GLI” is a restoration project in the Netherlands:

Other Norseman News

This summer brought some newsworthy Norseman activity. For one thing, in July I attended the Norseman Festival in Red Lake. This year’s event was just the best fun, pretty well the whole town and lots of visitors turning out around Howey Bay to watch the usual floatplane activity, line up for flights in the Norseman, Otter and Caravan, and enjoy the practices and shows by the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, and the bushplane fly-past. There also were wonderful dinners at the Legion, a great ribs BBQ in the park, and fun and games in Centennial Park. Just a super weekend. Here are a few photos:

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Two new “takes”on Red Lake’s famous “Town Norseman” CF-DRD.

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Red Lake’s work-a-day Chimo Air Norsemans CF-JIN and CF-KAO at the dock at Howey Bay. Then, a closer view of JIN and one of KAO offloading passengers after a sightseeing ride.

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Chimo Air has been expanding. Added to the fleet recently is turbine-powered Otter C-FODG.

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The Green family’s own Norseman CF-ZMX was one of the first bushplanes operated by Bearskin Airways. From humble beginnings, Bearskin today is one of the major airlines operating between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, and many points north.

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This important part of Northern Ontario is founded on gold mining, a story that dates to the Red Lake Gold Rush of 1925-26. It was the bushplane that opened up the area and allowed the whole Red Lake economy to develop. Here’s an aerial view in July of one of the great mines at Cochenour, a few minutes’ drive from Red Lake.

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An aerial view of Red Lake taken this July of the head of Howey Bay, where the main bushplane docks are found.

 

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The CHAT Harvards arriving at Red Lake for the 2017 Norseman Festival. Then, views of the team performing over Howey Bay.

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This year’s Norseman Festival even included a Norseman tattoo competition!

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Norseman author Larry Milberry visits Lemar Weaver’s excellent shop “Treasure House of Red Lake”. Lemar supports CANAV’s “Aviation in Canada” series, as well as Rich Hulina’s fantastic book Bush Flying Captured.

Blog Norseman #17 CF-DRD Hail Aug.2017 Joe Sinkowski Photo

Sad to say, but just a couple of weeks after the Norseman Festival, a severe hail storm struck around Howey Bay. All four Norsemans were badly damaged. Retired Red Lake bush pilot, Joe Sinkowski, sent me this detail showing the serious damage to CF-DRD. Repairs are going to be costly and lengthy.

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In case you still don’t yet have your 2-volume set of Norseman books, let me know at larry@canavbooks.com, and I’ll send you the info you need to place your order. This is one Canadian aviation history that you’ll happy to add to your library. It will give you decades of enjoyment.

Montreal Aviation Museum Acquires Norseman CF-GYY

Other very big Norseman news this summer comes from Robert St-Pierre, director of the absolutely amazing Montreal Aviation Museum: “Last Friday [September 1] with a little delay, our Norseman was finally delivered to us … All the parts are now stored in the 40’ trailer, the fuselage will be transferred inside in the west wing. Find in attachment a few pictures of the day and one showing it in its operational days in Ontario. Thank you to all the volunteers that were able to come in help for this very special day.”

This was a huge achievement in 2017 Norseman heritage. The plane is CF-GYY, which had been rusting away for years in Kuby’s airplane maintenance base and scrapyard in Kenora.

CF-GYY originally was a 1945 US Army UC-64. Delivered late in the war, it saw little service before being disposed of to a buyer in Michigan. In 1950 it joined Vancouver-based Queen Charlotte Airlines, then served various Northern Ontario operators from 1953. It ended in Kuby’s yard following a 1985 accident.

The MAM plans to restored CF-GYY to the specifications of the 1935 Norseman prototype CF-AYO.

Here are four photos from Robert St-Pierre showing the Norseman arriving at Ste-Anne de Bellevue, located a few miles west of Montreal. I like that great shot of the MAM volunteers doing the heavy lifting that day. The final shot (from the late Mike Ody’s collection) shows CF-GYY during its working days.
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Here is your contact info for the MAM: email info@cahc-ccpa.com Tel (514) 398-7948 Location: McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21 – 111 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 64 Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Pierre Gillard reviews “Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story” & CAE Turns 70

CAE dust jacket Pierre Gillard, that inveterate Quebec, Canada and Global aviation researcher, writer, photographer, bibliophile, blogger and educator, reviews Aviation in Canada:The CAE Story. Here, author Larry Milberry gives you a “free translation”, but you also can enjoy the original below.

The CAE Story is a book that no true aficionado of Canada’s great aviation heritage will care to miss. Of his 40 or so titles since 1979, Milberry considers this his best to date. Check out Pierre’s review and see what you think. Download the order form – it’s easy to latch on to your own copy of this beautifully-produced book!

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What’s new in books with the seemingly tireless Larry Milberry? This time he has tackled the history of Canada’s renowned flight simulator manufacturer – CAE Inc. “Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story” follows his 2-volume history covering the Noorduyn Norseman – another great Quebec-based aviation company.

The story begins at St. Hubert, where CAE set up in a hangar along Ch. de la Savane, maintaining and refurbishing surplus military electronic equipment. Next, CAE got involved installing LORAN transmission towers in the Canadian north. Other diversification followed, getting into television, etc. Meanwhile, with the RCAF re-equipping with the Avro CF-100, a new CAE factory opened in St. Laurent to accommodate the company’s entry into flight simulation. This is the project that brought CAE to the world stage.

The author carefully outlines CAE’s many early flight simulation projects, whether military or civil, beginning with the CF-100. Along the way he doesn’t forget the human side of CAE. This was accomplished by doing many interviews … putting together CAE’s “inside” story via personnel anecdotes. The book also covers some lesser known history, including CAE in the medical technology field, in nuclear power stations, even doing aircraft maintenance in Winnipeg.

Even if one or the other contract is missing in its enormously detailed enumeration of flight simulation projects, this book goes beyond the expectations that one can have for this type of work. Like the entire work of Larry Milberry, “Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story” is a must and will certainly become a world reference in the history of flight simulators.

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Prefer Pierre’s original French language review? Here it is:

Infatigable, Larry Milberry s’est lancé dans la rédaction de l’historique du célèbre fabricant de simulateurs de vol CAE. Après les deux ouvrages de référence consacrés au Noorduyn Norseman, voici donc un autre sujet diffusé dans la série « Aviation in Canada » relatif à une entreprise établie au Québec. L’histoire de la compagnie débute à l’aéroport de Saint-Hubert où CAE occupe un hangar situé le long du chemin de la Savane pour y effectuer de la maintenance et du reconditionnement d’appareils électroniques issus de surplus militaires. La compagnie prend ensuite de l’expansion, notamment, en étant associée au développement de tours de transmissions destinées au système de navigation LORAN dans le nord-canadien. Puis les activités commencent à se diversifier dans d’autres secteurs industriels comme la télévision, par exemple, et, simultanément, CAE s’établit dans de nouvelles installations situées à Ville-Saint-Laurent à Montréal. 

Avec l’acquisition de l’Avro CF100 par l’Aviation royale canadienne débute réellement le développement de l’expertise de CAE dans le milieu des simulateurs de vol. C’est assurément cette activité qui rendra la compagnie célèbre dans le monde entier. L’auteur détaille donc méticuleusement la chronologie des différents projets de simulation, qu’ils soient civils ou militaires. Mais il n’oublie pas en chemin le volet humain de l’aventure de CAE grâce à de nombreuses entrevues et récits de membres du personnel qui viennent rehausser le texte d’histoires vécues et d’anecdotes. Il détaille aussi les nombreuses autres activités, souvent un peu moins connues, de la compagnie que ce soit dans le secteur médical, les centrales nucléaires ou la maintenance d’aéronefs à Winnipeg, par exemple. Même s’il manque l’un ou l’autre contrat dans l’immense énumération détaillée de l’ensemble des projets de simulateurs de vol, ce livre va au-delà des attentes que l’on peut avoir pour ce genre d’ouvrage. Tout comme l’ensemble de l’œuvre de Larry Milberry, “The CAE Story” est un incontournable et deviendra, très certainement, une référence mondiale en ce qui concerne l’histoire des simulateurs de vol.

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Need more? To see the wonderful level of aviation history that Pierre is producing, take a look (right now … why not, eh?) at his fantastic blog, Passion Aviation.

CAE Turns 70

One of Canada’s greatest aerospace industry success stories, CAE, continues to boom as it celebrates 70 years since founded by K.R. Patrick in 1947. Production, diversification and employment are company hallmarks as CAE enters its 8th decade. Its January 12 press release gives an idea about what’s going on.

CAE has announced that it has signed two long-term training services contracts with the U.S. Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with a combined value of more than CAD$1 billion, including options.

The contract with the U.S. Army is for rotary-wing flight training classroom, simulator, and live flying instructor support services for one year with eight one-year options until 2026. The training is delivered at the U.S. Army’s Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) at Fort Rucker, Ala.

The contract with the RCAF is a modification and extension to 2023 of the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program where CAE provides ground-school classroom and simulator training, and supports the live flying training of military pilots in Moose Jaw, Sask., and Cold Lake, Alta.

In addition, CAE will also add new capabilities and perform a range of upgrades and updates to the overall NFTC training system and aircraft over the next several years. The modified operating period of the NFTC contract includes a one-year option to extend the contract through 2024.

“We are honoured the Royal Canadian Air Force has extended its contract with CAE, and that the U.S. Army has selected CAE once again as its training partner to support the instruction required for its new helicopter pilots, which follows our contract to provide fixed-wing flight training to Army aviators,” said Gene Colabatistto, CAE’s group president, defence and security. “These contracts are testimony of CAE’s successful strategy to focus on long-term training services that leverage our training systems integration expertise and help our defence customers enhance safety, efficiency and readiness.”

Suggestions for CAE in celebrating its glorious 70th anniversary, and for its upcoming 75th:
1) Nominate K.R. Patrick for membership in Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. It’s a real oversight how Patrick remains largely unrecognized by Canada’s aerospace industry and, so far, has been missed out for CAHF membership.
2) Salvage CAE’s prototype CF-100 flight simulator. This priceless treasure remains in storage at the Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. It’s still in original condition, needing  just a good dusting and touch-up. It would be a wonderful permanent display at CAE, perhaps in the main lobby in St. Laurent. What an emblem representing CAE’s pioneering days, its creative spirit and its success going into the 21st Century.
3) Why not go a step further? Think about saving the next CAE old-generation commercial flight simulator that comes up for scrapping. The 737 flight simulator in Vancouver comes to mind — isn’t it the very 737 “sim” built by CAE for Eastern Provincial Airlines of Halifax back in the 1970s? Few such artifacts still exist, so CAE shouldn’t miss out. Such a historic aerospace treasure would be a tribute to today’s company and its fantastic pioneers. What a glamorous example of technological art it would make in CAE’s main facility, at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, or in one of our leading aerospace educational institutions. There sure are great possibilities for CAE in celebrating its glorious past, while forging into the future.
Additional info about the CAE/Moose Jaw and Cold Lake agreement (January 13):

CAE provides ground-school classroom and simulator training, and supports the live flying training of military pilots in Moose Jaw and Cold Lake. In addition, CAE will also add new capabilities and perform a range of upgrades and updates to the overall NFTC training system and aircraft over the next several years, the firm noted in a news release. The modified operating period of the NFTC contract includes a one-year option for government to extend the contract through 2024 if it wants.

“Since acquiring the NFTC program in October 2015, CAE has worked closely with the Royal Canadian Air Force on a range of initiatives to help improve the quality and efficiency of training,” Joe Armstrong, Vice President and General Manager, CAE Canada, said in a statement.  “As the training systems integrator on the NFTC program, we will now continue to make enhancements and improvements that will sustain NATO Flying Training in Canada well into the next decade.”

In addition to modifying the operating period and extending the NFTC contract through 2023, CAE will also add new capabilities and perform a range of upgrades and updates to the overall NFTC training system and aircraft over the next several years, the firm noted. According to CAE, the new capabilities as well as upgrades and updates include: upgrades to the two existing CT-155 Hawk flight training devices (FTDs); upgrades to the three existing CT-156 Harvard FTDs; minor upgrades, ongoing maintenance and obsolescence management for the fleet of CT-155 Hawk aircraft; minor upgrades, ongoing maintenance and obsolescence management for the fleet of CT-156 Harvard aircraft.

As the prime contractor for the NFTC program, CAE pointed out that it operates the NFTC base facilities, delivers the ground-school classroom and simulator training, and supports the live flying training on a fleet of Beechcraft T-6 (CT-156 Harvard) and BAE Systems Hawk (CT-155 Hawk) aircraft. The NFTC program combines basic, advanced, and lead-in fighter training as part of the comprehensive military pilot training program, the firm noted.

 

Also … see this feature item in Skies magazine:

CAE plans upgrades to NFTC and jet training fleets … Posted on January 19, 2017

 

 

CANAV Anniversary Highlight: The Canadair Sabre

Canadair Sabre dust jacketThirty-five years ago I stepped into the deep end of the pool without a life jacket by founding CANAV Books and publishing The Avro CF-100. Happily, things worked out. Overnight the book became a best-selling Canadian hardcover with 6000 copies sold in Year 1. When McGraw Hill-Ryerson followed up with a small reprint, the CF-100 topped 7500 in print before fading. Buoyed by such numbers, CANAV turned out The Canadair North Star (1982), The De Havilland Canada Story (1983), Sixty Years (1984), then Austin Airways and Helicopters: The British Columbia Story (1985). Happily, the world still was full keen, liberally-educated, book-minded people, so Canadian publishers were not afraid to keep producing good books. So, “What next for CANAV?” became the question, and that soon was resolved.

RCAF Sabre at Downsview c. 1960

I photographed this lovely RCAF Sabre when it stopped into Downsview one sunny day c1960. 23404 is listed in my Sabre notes as having crashed on September 9, 1963.

This is the announcement I mailed out in 1985, once I decided to do the Sabre book.

This is the announcement I mailed out in 1985, once I decided to do the Sabre book.

As a kid in the late 1950s I used to cycle 15 miles each way to meet some pals and hang out along the fences at Downsview to watch the Sabres flown by Toronto’s RCAF weekend warriors. There seemed to be no more exotic jet fighter back then, and to this day Sabre’s aesthetic looks still impress. Gradually, I met many who had flown or worked on Sabres, and started filling notebooks with interviews, and gathering other Sabre “stuff”. Then, while I was down at Canadair doing North Star research in the early 1980s, Ron Pickler and Ian Geddes showed me a big pile of rare Sabre production info. This was too much to resist, so I really got to work, and before long had the basis for a solid general history of the Canadian-built Sabre. In August 1986 the book was launched in a flurry of great fun in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. RCAF Sabre people, bibliophiles, modellers, all sorts of in-depth people keen on the Sabre flocked to our launches, starting in Toronto on August 19. Toronto was smashing, crowded with leading Sabre people and other fans. Shoulder to shoulder that evening were such Kings of the Sabre as RCAF pilots Denny Denouden, Ken Hagerty, Paul Hayes, Dean Kelly, Scotty McKay, Bernie Reid, Ernie Saunders and Jerry Tobin.

No trouble moving a few copies at the book launch 30 years ago. At the left here is Chuck Kemp (430 Sqn 1960-63), Gerhard Joos (Luftwaffe F-84F), Spitfire veteran Raymond Munro (dark tie), photographer/artist Bob Finlayson, modeller Derek Pennington, author Larry Milberry with daughter Stephanie, and Max Nerriere (Orenda).

No trouble moving a few copies at the book launch 30 years ago. At the left here is Chuck Kemp (430 Sqn 1960-63), Gerhard Joos (Luftwaffe F-84F), Spitfire veteran Raymond Munro (dark tie), photographer/artist Bob Finlayson, modeller Derek Pennington, author Larry Milberry with daughter Stephanie, and Max Nerriere (Orenda).

The Canadair Sabre book won immediate praise from the old-guard reviewers. Air Combat simply called it, “The aviation literary event of the year”. France’s leading aviation monthly, Air Fan, added a delicious compliment: “Ici encore, les anecdotes savoureuses fourmillent. Ce sont celles-ci qui rendent les livres de Milberry différents des publications anglo-saxonnes ou américaines, qui sont généralement moins humaines”. So … Air Fan picked up on my two chief objectives in doing any book – to tell the human side of the history as carefully as the airplane side. The inimitable Air International commented: “There seems scant prospect of a better history.” Greece’s aviation monthly, Ptisi, added that the book was “a real oasis for F-86 fans”. No publisher or author could have had his book better received.

Many Sabre pilots joined us for the launch, Ralph Heard (left) and Ken “Hagis McPuke” Hagerty (center) included. By this time Ralph was flying helicopters for Ontario Hydro. Hagis was pretty well retired. Cancer since deprived us of these wonderful Canadians. On the right is the great Moe Servos, retired from Air Canada and enjoying the joys of flying his classic Beech 17 Staggerwing. Moe later died in a traffic accident.

Many Sabre pilots joined us for the launch, Ralph Heard (left) and Ken “Hagis McPuke” Hagerty (center) included. By this time Ralph was flying helicopters for Ontario Hydro. Hagis was pretty well retired. Cancer since deprived us of these wonderful Canadians. On the right is the great Moe Servos, retired from Air Canada and enjoying the joys of flying his classic Beech 17 Staggerwing. Moe later died in a traffic accident.

The Bryant Press of Toronto was my printer/binder for this project. All such old-time Canadian book manufacturers long since have faded, forced out by changing technology and management styles. They could or would not adapt. Those were the days when big, mainline Canadian book publishers would do a first-run of any major hardcover trade book of 3500 to 5000 copies. If required, a reprint could be ordered, but the big publishers never really were risk takers – there could be no more conservative an industry back then. For CANAV, however, in the 1980s it always was a balls-to-the-wall effort, when a new book was in the offing, so I ordered a first printing of 10,000. Bryant thought I was nuts, but put its seasoned pressmen on the job. That August they delivered 10,422 copies of The Canadair Sabre. With each book at 3.27 lb that gave me a job weighing in at about 17 tons. What made a fellow think he could ever sell 17 tons of Sabre books still is a bit of a mystery, but I was encouraged by advance sales in the hundreds.

Revered wartime Spitfire pilot, Dean Kelly (left), was one of the first to do a Sabre solo demo airshow, while on 441 Sqn. Dean (as they say) could make your eyes water with his amazing display. Here he is with John L. “Denny” Den Ouden (410 Sqn), well-known on squadron and with the wild and crazy Overseas Ferry Unit. Denny later practiced law in Niagara Falls and built up a spectacular 5000-volume aviation library. Both of these fine aviators have departed.

Revered wartime Spitfire pilot, Dean Kelly (left), was one of the first to do a Sabre solo demo airshow, while on 441 Sqn. Dean (as they say) could make your eyes water with his amazing display. Here he is with John L. “Denny” Den Ouden (410 Sqn), well-known on squadron and with the wild and crazy Overseas Ferry Unit. Denny later practiced law in Niagara Falls and built up a spectacular 5000-volume aviation library. Both of these fine aviators have departed.

How time flies, right. This summer is the 30th anniversary of The Canadair Sabre. This hefty hardcover remains the premier tribute to all those who flew or supported the Sabre in the RCAF (I estimate about 6000 pilots, so roughly 60,000 people in all trades over about 18 years). The book also honours the thousands at Canadair and Orenda, and the many other air forces that used Canadian-built Sabres from the USAF (which operated 60 of them in Korea) to the RAF, West Germans, Italians, Greeks, Turks on to the Colombians, Hondurans, Pakistanis and South Africans. This classic title has hundreds of photos and an appendix with a full production list of the 1815 Canadair Sabres.

If you still don’t have The Canadair Sabre, here’s your chance to fix that. Usually CDN$40.00 but … my last 300 copies now available at $30.00 + $12.00 shipping for Canada + $2.10 tax, so (Canada) all-in $44.10. USA and overseas all-in CDN$54.00. Mail your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto M4E 3B6 or pay by PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com or order on-line (see canavbooks.wordpress.com). I’m autographing all these last copies.

All the best as usual … Larry

Caption Air reservists attending the book launch included Jim Foy, Denny Den Ouden, Mike Valenti, Ron Richardson and Gord Mansell. All but Mike (from the Otter era) had flown Sabre 5s from Downsview.

Caption Air reservists attending the book launch included Jim Foy, Denny Den Ouden, Mike Valenti, Ron Richardson and Gord Mansell. All but Mike (from the Otter era) had flown Sabre 5s from Downsview.

The success of the Sabre book counted heavily on the talents and patience of graphics man and editorial guru Robin Brass. I met Robin in the early 1970s, when he was a sponsoring editor at McGraw Hill-Ryerson. I then was trying to sell the idea for a general Canadian aviation book to succeed Frank Ellis’ 1954 Canada’s Flying Heritage. Through Robin, the idea was accepted by MHR, appearing in 1979 as Aviation in Canada, which eventually sold out five printings. Robin soon left MHR to go freelance. As such he became the production brains behind the first wave of CANAV titles. Here (right) he chats at the book launch with Ralph Clint, the project’s indispensible proof reader, fact checker, and line drawing/map making perfectionist. Left is our great mutual pal and darkroom practitioner, Bob Finlayson. Bob and Ralph since have left us. Robin recently guided the Ontario Regiment through the complex task of producing Fidelis et Paratus: The History of the Ontario Regiment, 1866-2016.

The success of the Sabre book counted heavily on the talents and patience of graphics man and editorial guru Robin Brass. I met Robin in the early 1970s, when he was a sponsoring editor at McGraw Hill-Ryerson. I then was trying to sell the idea for a general Canadian aviation book to succeed Frank Ellis’ 1954 Canada’s Flying Heritage. Through Robin, the idea was accepted by MHR, appearing in 1979 as Aviation in Canada, which eventually sold out five printings. Robin soon left MHR to go freelance. As such he became the production brains behind the first wave of CANAV titles. Here (right) he chats at the book launch with Ralph Clint, the project’s indispensible proof reader, fact checker, and line drawing/map making perfectionist. Left is our great mutual pal and darkroom practitioner, Bob Finlayson. Bob and Ralph since have left us. Robin recently guided the Ontario Regiment through the complex task of producing Fidelis et Paratus: The History of the Ontario Regiment, 1866-2016.

Some younger fans at the book launch: Simon and Stephanie Milberry, Zoe Brass, Kate Milberry, Jane Werniuk and Matt Milberry.

Some younger fans at the book launch: Simon and Stephanie Milberry, Zoe Brass, Kate Milberry, Jane Werniuk and Matt Milberry.

So many contributed to the Sabre project. Here I am with Gerhard Joos, who researched the basic material for Ch.11 “The German Sabre Story”. As a young postwar aviator, Gerhard flew the F-84F in the newly re-formed Luftwaffe, but his unfulfilled dream had been to fly the Canadair Sabre. Later, he flew with Condor Airlines and to this day is keen about all things aviation. Yes, those were the days when a fellow would drop everything and fly an ocean to attend a book launch. For our North Star launch at the same hotel people flew in from the UK, Bermuda and California, while Canadair showed up from Montreal with a Learjet full of old timers. By comparison, these days people barely will cross the street to attend a book event. Times and priorities change, eh.

So many contributed to the Sabre project. Here I am with Gerhard Joos, who researched the basic material for Ch.11 “The German Sabre Story”. As a young postwar aviator, Gerhard flew the F-84F in the newly re-formed Luftwaffe, but his unfulfilled dream had been to fly the Canadair Sabre. Later, he flew with Condor Airlines and to this day is keen about all things aviation. Yes, those were the days when a fellow would drop everything and fly an ocean to attend a book launch. For our North Star launch at the same hotel people flew in from the UK, Bermuda and California, while Canadair showed up from Montreal with a Learjet full of old timers. By comparison, these days people barely will cross the street to attend a book event. Times and priorities change, eh.

The late Spitfire history aficionado, Robert Bracken, and John Biehler look over a spread in the Sabre book. Robert was one of the solid types at researching RCAF and CAN/RAF Spitfire personalities. His wonderful 2-volume work Spitfire: The Canadians (illustrated by the incomparable Ron Lowry) belongs in every collector’s library.

The late Spitfire history aficionado, Robert Bracken, and John Biehler look over a spread in the Sabre book. Robert was one of the solid types at researching RCAF and CAN/RAF Spitfire personalities. His wonderful 2-volume work Spitfire: The Canadians (illustrated by the incomparable Ron Lowry) belongs in every collector’s library.

The late Spitfire history aficionado, Robert Bracken, and John Biehler look over a spread in the Sabre book. Robert was one of the solid types at researching RCAF and CAN/RAF Spitfire personalities. His wonderful 2-volume work Spitfire: The Canadians (illustrated by the incomparable Ron Lowry) belongs in every collector’s library.

The late Spitfire history aficionado, Robert Bracken, and John Biehler look over a spread in the Sabre book. Robert was one of the solid types at researching RCAF and CAN/RAF Spitfire personalities. His wonderful 2-volume work Spitfire: The Canadians (illustrated by the incomparable Ron Lowry) belongs in every collector’s library.

The author looks over some Sabre photos with Max Nerriere, one of the pioneers of the Orenda 14 that powered the Sabre VI. Max later was helped maintain the large fleet of ex-Luftwaffe Sabres that Pakistan clandestinely acquired.

The author looks over some Sabre photos with Max Nerriere, one of the pioneers of the Orenda 14 that powered the Sabre VI. Max later was helped maintain the large fleet of ex-Luftwaffe Sabres that Pakistan clandestinely acquired.

Ray Munro of Oakville with his hero, G/C Z.L. “Lewie” Leigh of Grimsby, Lewie’s lawyer pal, and Canada’s premier aviation historian, Ken Molson of Toronto. Lewie and Ken were always supportive of my efforts, but could be no-nonsense critics. Sabre history was not really Ken’s territory – he was more of a Silver Dart, JN-4 and Fairchild FC type. Four years earlier at the North Star book launch, he gave me his opinion about that book’s art gallery. When I saw him flipping through those pages, I (foolishly) asked what he thought. In his true style, Ken told me unapologetically, “I wouldn’t give you a nickel for the lot of it.”

Ray Munro of Oakville with his hero, G/C Z.L. “Lewie” Leigh of Grimsby, Lewie’s lawyer pal, and Canada’s premier aviation historian, Ken Molson of Toronto. Lewie and Ken were always supportive of my efforts, but could be no-nonsense critics. Sabre history was not really Ken’s territory – he was more of a Silver Dart, JN-4 and Fairchild FC type. Four years earlier at the North Star book launch, he gave me his opinion about that book’s art gallery. When I saw him flipping through those pages, I (foolishly) asked what he thought. In his true style, Ken told me unapologetically, “I wouldn’t give you a nickel for the lot of it.”

Some of the autographs I collected in my Sabre book at our Toronto 1986 book launch.

Some of the autographs I collected in my Sabre book at our Toronto 1986 book launch.

Sabre autograph2

 CANAV was the first book publisher to support Canada’s almost invisible (at the time) aviation art community. Our Sabre cover art by Geoff Bennett was his first published book art. We put up a small show at the Sabre launch – likely the first such in Canada. Other artists on show were Tom Bjarnason, Ross Buckland, Keith Ferris (USA), Ron Lowry and Pete Mossman.

CANAV was the first book publisher to support Canada’s almost invisible (at the time) aviation art community. Our Sabre cover art by Geoff Bennett was his first published book art. We put up a small show at the Sabre launch – likely the first such in Canada. Other artists on show were Tom Bjarnason, Ross Buckland, Keith Ferris (USA), Ron Lowry and Pete Mossman.

The Beech Bonanza at 70 and the Golden Age of Post-WWII Light Planes

The Bonanza also captured Canadian civil aviation headlines and scooped covers. Featured on the May 1948 cover of Canadian Aviation magazine is Lome Airways Beech 35 CF-FKI (serial number D-55) at Toronto Island Airport, while busy flying Miss Canada around the country. After 57 years of service, in 2016 “FKI” was N1599V based at Genoa, NY. (Click on any picture to see it full size.)

With the end of WWII in sight in 1944, the Allied nations started planning to eventually get their economies back into peacetime mode. The aviation industry was enthusiastic, yet, unsure about what the future held. One assumption made by manufactures was that thousands of returning airmen, pumped up by the thrill of flight, were sure to soon be shopping for their personal planes. Accordingly, each company from Beech to Cessna, Grumman, Piper, Republic, Ryan, Stinson, etc., began designing their own version of an attractive, affordable, 2- or 4-seat light plane. Excellent aircraft emerged from the Cessna 170 to the Globe Swift, Grumman Kitten, Piper Pacer, Ryan Navion, Republic Seabee and Stinson 108. However, 3 or 4 years into peacetime there were so many new airplane type that the market was swamped, especially by the industry’s “Big 2” in light planes – Cessna and Piper.

There wasn’t going to be room for every contender, so by 1950 production had petered out for most, as with the Navion (about 1200 built), Seabee (1060) and Swift (1521). Only two Kittens were built. Chief factors explaining what happened were 1) relatively few airman really wanted or could afford a new plane 2) airman were more likely to buy a cheaper war surplus plane, thousands of which flooded the postwar market.

Determined to win a market share was the renowned Wichita manufacturer, Beechcraft, run by Walter and Olive Ann Beech. Beechcraft had made its name in the 1920s-30s, especially with its upscale Model 17 Staggerwing 4/5-seat personal plane, first flown in 1932. With the war, Staggerwing production continued for the military, while the twin-engine Beech Model 18 crew trainer was mass-produced.

This beautiful, 200-mph Beech D17S Staggerwing was photographed at Oshawa in June 1965. Begun in 1932, Staggerwing production eventually totalled 785, the final 20 being G17Ss built in 1946, when the sticker price was $29,000. That same year Beech was offering its shiny new Bonanza at a quarter the price. Even so it must have been a sad moment for Beech’s old timers when the gavel came down on Staggerwing production. These classics still regularly appear all around North America during fly-in season. (Larry Milberry)

This beautiful, 200-mph Beech D17S Staggerwing was photographed at Oshawa in June 1965. Begun in 1932, Staggerwing production eventually totalled 785, the final 20 being G17Ss built in 1946, when the sticker price was $29,000. That same year Beech was offering its shiny new Bonanza at a quarter the price. Even so it must have been a sad moment for Beech’s old timers when the gavel came down on Staggerwing production. These classics still regularly appear all around North America during fly-in season. (Larry Milberry)

The brainwave of Beech designer Frank Harmon, the 180-mph Bonanza at first was pooh-poohed by Walter Beech, so Harmon and some associates (according to legend) designed the Bonanza on their own time. Then, they made a new and successful run at Mr. Beech. The prototype flew on December 22, 1945, by which time Beech had deposits in the bank for the first 500 aircraft. In the February 1947 issue of Flying Magazine, chief editor Max Karant (already with six flying hours on the still-experimental Bonanza) thoroughly reviewed the new plane, commenting, in part:

As this is written, three Bonanzas are being flown 16 hours a day, seven days a week in an exhaustive accelerated service test. Eighteen pilots fly the planes in shifts, their sole job being to do everything the average private owner would do, and get 1,000 hours on each plane. Any design change indicated by a failure is made immediately … the test airplane is quickly repaired and sent back into the air. The result, Beech officials hope, will be a bug-free airplane. No airplanes have yet been delivered … although the company already has over $2,000,000 invested in the design. Engineers call this basic design “good for 10 years”. Contrary to rumors, the price still is $7,345 … I must admit frankly that the Bonanza is one of the best personal planes I’ve ever flown.

In his 1982 book, Beechcraft: Fifty Years of Excellence, William H. McDaniel added: “A wholly new Beechcraft also made its way from the drawing boards … into the skies over Wichita soon after the war ended. It was the Model 35, a four-place, all-metal monoplane powered with a 165 hp Continental engine, and using a fully-retractable, tricycle type landing gear. Among its features were the two-element ‘V-tail’ and the Beechcraft controllable pitch propeller. In addition, it was perhaps the only airplane in its class to be offered with all instruments and equipment necessary for cross-country and night flying operation including two-way radio”. Bonanzas Nos.1 and 2 were non-flying airframes. The first to fly was No.3 and No.4 made it onto the cover of Aviation Week. While most of the new postwar personal planes were affordably priced at $3000 – $5000, Beechcraft gambled on the market’s higher end at about $7500 ($97,500 today) which panned out. The Bonanza instantly appealed to the professional classes. Flying physicians, for example, couldn’t resist a Bonanza – its looks and performance suited them and price was no impediment.

CF-FKM Shell_LR

The initial six Canadian Bonanzas arrived via Beech’s distributor, Page Aviation of Canada. These were CF-FKI through CF-FKM, including Shell Aviation’s CF-FKM D-218, and the Royal Canadian Flying Club Association’s CF-FKK D-140. Gross weight for this early version was 2550 pounds. “FKM” was delivered in July 1947. Having served Shell reliably, it was sold in 1956 to Arcade Electric Co. of Toronto. Various others enjoyed this classic plane over the years, especially Clifford Watson of Elora, Ontario, who operated it from 1976 to 2014. In 2016 “FKM” was residing in Revelstoke, BC. Note the two side windows. Later Bonanzas had three. Many earlier machines eventually had the third window retrofitted (see C-GZAY below). Both these photos were snapped by the (late) great Toronto aviation fan, Al Martin. In 1963 Al was a founding member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society and twisted my arm that year to join. Putting down my $2.00, I received CAHS membership No.11, for which I owe Al Martin a great deal.

The initial six Canadian Bonanzas arrived via Beech’s distributor, Page Aviation of Canada. These were CF-FKI through CF-FKM, including Shell Aviation’s CF-FKM D-218, and the Royal Canadian Flying Club Association’s CF-FKK D-140. Gross weight for this early version was 2550 pounds. “FKM” was delivered in July 1947. Having served Shell reliably, it was sold in 1956 to Arcade Electric Co. of Toronto. Various others enjoyed this classic plane over the years, especially Clifford Watson of Elora, Ontario, who operated it from 1976 to 2014. In 2016 “FKM” was residing in Revelstoke, BC. Note the two side windows. Later Bonanzas had three. Many earlier machines eventually had the third window retrofitted (see C-GZAY below). Both these photos were snapped by the (late) great Toronto aviation fan, Al Martin. In 1963 Al was a founding member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society and twisted my arm that year to join. Putting down my $2.00, I received CAHS membership No.11, for which I owe Al Martin a great deal!

Don McVicar of Worldwide Airways in Dorval and Lome Airways at Toronto Island Airport were two early Bonanza operators. McVicar bought CF-FZC in 1947 as a company utility plane, e.g., to speed his pilots back and forth as they ferried war surplus planes around the continent. Don also loved the pizazz of the Bonanza, how it always turned heads when he arrived anywhere in “FZC”. Other early Canadian Bonanzas were CF-FAC (Aero Club of Vancouver), CF-FAS (Crown Coal Co. of Edmonton), CF-FKJ (Roy Staniland of Edmonton), CF-FKK (Royal Canadian Flying Clubs of Ottawa), CF-FKM (Shell Aviation Co. of Toronto), CF-FLW (Intercontinental Packers of Saskatoon), CF-FYE (Gayport Shipping Ltd. of Toronto) and CF-FYF (Chilliwack Finance Corp. of Chilliwack.

This scene at Regina during the 1953 Trans Canada Air Tour couldn’t illustrate better the predominance of the Bonanza as a private plane. At least nine V-tails can be counted. (Canadian Aviation)

This scene at Regina during the 1953 Trans Canada Air Tour couldn’t illustrate better the predominance of the Bonanza as a private plane. At least nine V-tails can be counted. (Canadian Aviation)

From the outset the Bonanza in Canada was ordered by sport aviators wanting the flashiest in a single-engine, light plane, and by companies needing speedy, comfortable travel on short business hops. This profile never really changed, although small charter operators sometimes had a Bonanza for air taxi business. By 2016 some 18,000 Bonanzas have been manufactured in a great variety of models and sub-models. Roughly 12,000 remain in service, including about 140 listed in 2016 by Transport Canada. Listed are such 1947 “oldies” as serial number D-64 C-GZAY in Castlegar, s/n D-95 C-GLMZ in Edmonton, s/n D-218 C-FFKM (the old Shell Bonanza) in Revelstoke, s/n D-294 CF-UVV in Waterloo and s/n D-320 CF-IDJ in Medicine Hat.

Bonanza owners are a loyal bunch – once a pilot gets to know one, it’s bound to be a long-term relationship. In 2015 Ian Coull in BC wanted a Bonanza for more reasons than one. He previously had owned one, so had come to appreciate its comfort, speed, range and economy – it was in a class of its own giving 20 miles to the US gallon. When Ian found Bonanza D-64, a 1947 Beech 35, on ebay, he looked into it, liked the general deal, so bought D-64 for US$25,000. The plane looked great with a modern paint job and even had the third window mod. It also had a recommended wing spar mod, and the airframe was low time at about 4000 hours. Once in Canada, D-64 became C-GKAY. Ian added some further upgrades – two yokes, electric fuel pump, and long range tank (giving a 5 ½-hour range). Just starting a new life, in 2016 D-64 is Canada’s oldest Bonanza.

C-GZAY is Canada’s oldest Bonanza. It’s seen at home base in Castlegar, BC, looking mighty fine for its 69 years! (Ian Coull)

C-GZAY is Canada’s oldest Bonanza. It’s seen at home base in Castlegar, BC, looking mighty fine for its 69 years! (Ian Coull)

The current edition of the Bonanza is the G36, of which only a few dozen are produced annually. In 2016 the CCAR lists five, the newest (registered in 2014) being Edmonton-based C-FGWD, a 2006 model. Flying Magazine flew a new G36 in December 2013, reporting: “When the subject of legendary light airplanes comes up, one of the names certain to be mentioned early in the conversation is the Beechcraft Bonanza. The latest model, the G36, bears a passing resemblance to the revolutionary original, which Beech Aircraft began selling way back in 1947. But today’s Bonanza is a very sophisticated platform, one that has enjoyed a wealth of improvements, from spinner to tail, over its 65-year production span. No other airplane has been able to achieve such a lengthy production record. Beech launched the G36 in 2005 to usher in the era of flat panel avionics, including the Garmin G1000 (the “G” in G36 is for Garmin)” From 1947 to the present, Flying clearly has been impressed by this (by now) 70-year-old beauty!

Some Specs for the 1947 Prototype Beech 35 Bonanza:

  • Length 25’2”
  • Height 6’6.5”
  • Wing span 32’10”
  • Seating 4
  • Max takeoff weight 2650 lb
  • Useful load 1075 lb
  • Fuel 40 US gal (60 gal with aux. tank)
  • Max cruise speed 150 ktas
  • Max range (with aux fuel) 775 mi.
  • Ceiling 18,100’
  • Engine Continental 165 hp
  • New price about CDN$7000

Some specs for the 2016 G36 Bonanza:

  • Length 27’6”
  • Height 8’7”
  • Wing span 33’6”
  • Seating 6
  • Max takeoff weight 3650 lb
  • Useful load 1033 lb
  • Fuel 74 US gal
  • Max cruise speed 176 ktas
  • Max range 920 mi.
  • Ceiling 18,500’
  • Engine Continental IO-550-B 300 hp
  • New price about CDN$950,000
CF-KVL was B35 Bonanza D-2650 built in 1950. Until 1958 it had been N5258C, then came to Winnipeg for Wallace C. Hanaway, who sold it to Teal Air, a Northern Manitoba tourist operator. In August 1959 “KVL” migrated to Hamilton for John Knapp, then R.F. Mitten of nearby Galt took over in 1963. The following year it was sold to Air Taxi Service of Cincinnati, becoming N8724R. On June 2, 1967 it was damaged at Lunken Airport, Ohio, when the pilot inadvertently landed wheels-up. In 2016 N8724R was flying from Frankfort in northern Michigan. I spotted “KVL” at Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport on April 30, 1961.

CF-KVL was B35 Bonanza D-2650 built in 1950. Until 1958 it had been N5258C, then came to Winnipeg for Wallace C. Hanaway, who sold it to Teal Air, a Northern Manitoba tourist operator. In August 1959 “KVL” migrated to Hamilton for John Knapp, then R.F. Mitten of nearby Galt took over in 1963. The following year it was sold to Air Taxi Service of Cincinnati, becoming N8724R. On June 2, 1967 it was damaged at Lunken Airport, Ohio, when the pilot inadvertently landed wheels-up. In 2016 N8724R was flying from Frankfort in northern Michigan. I spotted “KVL” at Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport on April 30, 1961.

Bonanza CF-LUT was 1950-built K35 D-5726. Bob Finlayson photographed it at Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport on May 6, 1967. Having begun as N620T, it came to Canada for Beech dealer Field Aviation in August 1959. It soon was sold to John W. Combs Ltd. of Toronto. Actress Joan Fairfax had it in 1961-62, then it was based in Regina until sold in 1967 to Toronto aircraft dealer, Bob Quigley. He sold “LUT” to D.V. Brown of Manitoulin Island. On March 4, 1979 Brown and his wife died when “LUT” flew into a West Virginia mountain while flying from Toronto to Florida. Canada’s worst Bonanza accident occurred on February 13, 1949, when legendary Canadian aviator, Wally Siple of Montreal, his wife and five children all died when their (4-seat) Bonanza CF-FYC crashed in foul weather en route Montreal - Ottawa.

Bonanza CF-LUT was 1950-built K35 D-5726. Bob Finlayson photographed it at Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport on May 6, 1967. Having begun as N620T, it came to Canada for Beech dealer Field Aviation in August 1959. It soon was sold to John W. Combs Ltd. of Toronto. Actress Joan Fairfax had it in 1961-62, then it was based in Regina until sold in 1967 to Toronto aircraft dealer, Bob Quigley. He sold “LUT” to D.V. Brown of Manitoulin Island. On March 4, 1979 Brown and his wife died when “LUT” flew into a West Virginia mountain while flying from Toronto to Florida. Canada’s worst Bonanza accident occurred on February 13, 1949, when legendary Canadian aviator, Wally Siple of Montreal, his wife and five children all died when their (4-seat) Bonanza CF-FYC crashed in foul weather en route Montreal – Ottawa.

When the V-tail left production in 1982, the straight tail Model 33 Bonanza (at first called the Debonair) still was a great plane. It did, however, lose an aesthetic something in the redesign. Here F33 CF-CWW, one of only 20 built, sits at Toronto YYZ on May 15, 1971. (Larry Milberry)

When the V-tail left production in 1982, the straight tail Model 33 Bonanza (at first called the Debonair) still was a great plane. It did, however, lose an aesthetic something in the redesign. Here F33 CF-CWW, one of only 20 built, sits at Toronto YYZ on May 15, 1971. (Larry Milberry)

12 CF-OIP_LR

The Bonanza gave rise to some natural spin-offs, starting with the Model 50 Twin Bonanza. Seen at Toronto Island on July 16, 1963 is F50 Twin Bonanza CF-OIP s/n FH96, recently bought from the Milwaukee Braves, and soon in use with Sarnia-based upstart charter company, Great Lakes Air Services. From 1950-63 almost 900 Twin Bonanzas were built in several versions. Initially, they were top-line executive planes and small feeder liners. Eventually, they filtered down the line to end in such unglamorous roles as hauling fish in northern Canada. Then, Super V N4530V in its spiffy white and blue paint job at Toronto Island Airport on May 14, 1961. The Super V was an oddball 2-engine Bonanza conversion that began with Bay Aviation in Oakland in the mid-1950s, then migrated to Fleet Aircraft at Fort Erie (see Air Transport in Canada, Vol.2 for this story). However, the Super V did not find a market. Only 14 were turned out, at least eight of which ended in crashes. Three or four survive including N4530V based in 2016 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (Larry Milberry)

The Bonanza gave rise to some natural spin-offs, starting with the Model 50 Twin Bonanza. Seen at Toronto Island on July 16, 1963 is F50 Twin Bonanza CF-OIP s/n FH96, recently bought from the Milwaukee Braves, and soon in use with Sarnia-based upstart charter company, Great Lakes Air Services. From 1950-63 almost 900 Twin Bonanzas were built in several versions. Initially, they were top-line executive planes and small feeder liners. Eventually, they filtered down the line to end in such unglamorous roles as hauling fish in northern Canada. Then, Super V N4530V in its spiffy white and blue paint job at Toronto Island Airport on May 14, 1961. The Super V was an oddball 2-engine Bonanza conversion that began with Bay Aviation in Oakland in the mid-1950s, then migrated to Fleet Aircraft at Fort Erie (see Air Transport in Canada, Vol.2 for this story). However, the Super V did not find a market. Only 14 were turned out, at least eight of which ended in crashes. Three or four survive including N4530V based in 2016 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (Larry Milberry)

Blog Bonanza 13B
Blog Bonanza 13C

Another staple is Edward Phillips’ 1992 Beechcraft: Pursuit of Excellence. Copies of these books usually can be found on the web, including at abebooks.com, where I often shop.

There are countless things to read about the Beech Bonanza saga. A wonderful history is Beechcraft: Fifty Years of Excellence, a copy of which I received in 1984 from Oliver Ann Beech. Another staple is Edward Phillips’ 1992 Beechcraft: Pursuit of Excellence. Copies of these books usually can be found on the web, including at abebooks.com, where I often shop. My all-in-one info source for any earlier plane with a US Air Transport Certificate (the Bonanza has ATC 777) is the great Joseph P. Juptner’s U.S. Civil Aircraft Series, published in 1962 and subsequently revised. A serious aviation library is incomplete without Juptner’s 9 volumes. I suggest investing in a set almost at any price. And no … Juptner’s life’s work is not “on the web” as the internet yahoos always say everything must be. Instead, it’s in paper, ink and glue, something call a book, which intelligent people avidly collect and love (nincompoops need not bother even to look, right).

My all-in-one info source for any earlier plane with a US Air Transport Certificate (the Bonanza has ATC 777) is the great Joseph P. Juptner’s U.S. Civil Aircraft Series, published in 1962 and subsequently revised. A serious aviation library is incomplete without Juptner’s 9 volumes. I suggest investing in a set almost at any price. And no … Juptner’s life’s work is not “on the web” as the internet yahoos always say everything must be. Instead, it’s in paper, ink and glue, something call a book, which intelligent people avidly collect and love (nincompoops need not bother even to look, right).

A Crowded Field — Other Early Postwar Light Planes

Too many types flooded the early post-war small plane market. Canada’s entry into these risky waters was the Fleet Model 80 Canuck 2-seater. First flown in 1946, orders at first poured from flying clubs and sport aviators eager to get away from the wartime Tiger Moths and Finches (a Canuck then cost about $5000 taxes in, while an airworthy ex-RCAF Tiger Moth could be picked up for a few hundred dollars). When reality struck, Fleet abandonned the Canuck in face of competition from such cheaper US types as the Cessna 140, Aeronca Champion and Globe Swift. Carl Millard of Toronto bought the last 28 Canucks from Fleet for $1500 each, then quickly re-sold them at $2500. Today the Canuck is sought after by collectors (in 2016 CF-ENM was for sale at $60,000 -- about $5000 in 1946 dollars). Here sits Central Airways Canuck CF-EBE at Toronto Island Airport c1960. First flown at Fleet on November 6, 1946, it was sold in September 1949 to Roger Watson of Stayner, Ontario, who leased it to Bob and Tom Wong of Central Airways at Toronto Island (the Wongs bought it in 1953). Hundreds of students would learn to fly in “EBE”. Finally, in 1971 Central Airways sold “EBE” to Dr. J.D. Robinson, who flew it from Collingwood. Others took their turn until 1974, when Ernest Weller of Port Loring sold “EBE” to Canada’s national aviation museum in Ottawa, where today it enjoys a deserved place of honour.

Too many types flooded the early post-war small plane market. Canada’s entry into these risky waters was the Fleet Model 80 Canuck 2-seater. First flown in 1946, orders at first poured from flying clubs and sport aviators eager to get away from the wartime Tiger Moths and Finches (a Canuck then cost about $5000 taxes in, while an airworthy ex-RCAF Tiger Moth could be picked up for a few hundred dollars). When reality struck, Fleet abandonned the Canuck in face of competition from such cheaper US types as the Cessna 140, Aeronca Champion and Globe Swift. Carl Millard of Toronto bought the last 28 Canucks from Fleet for $1500 each, then quickly re-sold them at $2500. Today the Canuck is sought after by collectors (in 2016 CF-ENM was for sale at $60,000 — about $5000 in 1946 dollars). Here sits Central Airways Canuck CF-EBE at Toronto Island Airport c1960. First flown at Fleet on November 6, 1946, it was sold in September 1949 to Roger Watson of Stayner, Ontario, who leased it to Bob and Tom Wong of Central Airways at Toronto Island (the Wongs bought it in 1953). Hundreds of students would learn to fly in “EBE”. Finally, in 1971 Central Airways sold “EBE” to Dr. J.D. Robinson, who flew it from Collingwood. Others took their turn until 1974, when Ernest Weller of Port Loring sold “EBE” to Canada’s national aviation museum in Ottawa, where today it enjoys a deserved place of honour.

Ercoupe CF-LUV_LR

Two especially beloved, all-metal, 2-seat light planes mass-produced in the 1940s are the ERCO Ercoupe and Globe Swift. The Ercoupe first flew in 1937. It went on sale in 1940, but the advent of war delayed production until 1946, when the Model 415 appeared with a $2665 sticker price ($35,500 in 2016 dollars). When the postwar light plane boon faltered, ERCO ceased production, having turned out an astounding 4311 Ercoupes. Happily, others took an interest and, over the decades, more were built under such banners as Forney, Alon, even Mooney. Some 5700 Ercoupes eventually flew. The natty Globe GC-1 Swift also was a pre-war US design, which had to wait for 1945 to get going. After rushing out more than 1200 Swifts, however, Globe ran out of money and was sold to Temco. Temco added just 260 more, before ceasing production in 1951. Shown is ERCO 415C Ercoupe CF-LUV s/n 1016 and Toronto Flying Club GC-1A CF-DLD. “LUV” was photographed at the Kitchener-Waterloo breakfast fly-in on July 9, 1961. It then was owned by Heinz Asmussen of Sarnia. “DLD” had been sold by Globe in Texas to McDonald Aviation in Edmonton, which immediately re-sold it to Carl Millard in Toronto, where it first reached Canada in April 1946. In June, Carl sold it to the flying club. Beginning in May 1950 came a long list of Quebec owners, until in 1957 “DLD” returned to Toronto. In 1967 it went to a buyer in Michigan then, on January 15, 1977, was lost in a fatal accident near El Paso, Texas. (Larry Milberry, Al Martin)

Two especially beloved, all-metal, 2-seat light planes mass-produced in the 1940s are the ERCO Ercoupe and Globe Swift. The Ercoupe first flew in 1937. It went on sale in 1940, but the advent of war delayed production until 1946, when the Model 415 appeared with a $2665 sticker price ($35,500 in 2016 dollars). When the postwar light plane boon faltered, ERCO ceased production, having turned out an astounding 4311 Ercoupes. Happily, others took an interest and, over the decades, more were built under such banners as Forney, Alon, even Mooney. Some 5700 Ercoupes eventually flew. The natty Globe GC-1 Swift also was a pre-war US design, which had to wait for 1945 to get going. After rushing out more than 1200 Swifts, however, Globe ran out of money and was sold to Temco. Temco added just 260 more, before ceasing production in 1951. Shown is ERCO 415C Ercoupe CF-LUV s/n 1016 and Toronto Flying Club GC-1A CF-DLD. “LUV” was photographed at the Kitchener-Waterloo breakfast fly-in on July 9, 1961. It then was owned by Heinz Asmussen of Sarnia. “DLD” had been sold by Globe in Texas to McDonald Aviation in Edmonton, which immediately re-sold it to Carl Millard in Toronto, where it first reached Canada in April 1946. In June, Carl sold it to the flying club. Beginning in May 1950 came a long list of Quebec owners, until in 1957 “DLD” returned to Toronto. In 1967 it went to a buyer in Michigan then, on January 15, 1977, was lost in a fatal accident near El Paso, Texas. (Larry Milberry, Al Martin)

Cessna got off to a strong postwar start with its 2-seat Ce.120/140 personal planes and trainers, and glitzy Ce.170 and 190/195 4/5-seaters. The 1948 Ce.170 had an all-metal fuselage with fabric-covered, metal-framed wing and tail. Fabric was traditional and practical enough, but buyers now were eyeing all-metal construction, where Beech was excelling. Cessna closed the gap in 1949 with the all-metal Ce.170A, then the Ce.170B with improved wing/flaps. But these aircraft all were tail draggers, while the Bonanza had begun futuristically (as far as personal light planes then went) with a steerable nose wheel. Ultimately, in 1956 Cessna brought out its nose wheel “172”. Cessna turned out more than 5000 Ce.170s plus some 1200 of its higher-end, Ce.190/195s, introduced in 1947 at $12,750. Shown is Cessna 170B CF-HVY departing the Oshawa Breakfast Fly-In on June 16, 1963. Richard Pagani of Guelph owned “HVY” at this time. Ce.195B CF-FRO is seen at Vancouver on September 25, 1956. Following an accident of October 23, 1972, when it was owned by Gary Bell of White Rock, BC, “FRO” was sold to Robert Payne of Kent, Washington. The last heard of “FRO” was a 1996 notice in the Ce.195 club newsletter that a few of its bits and pieces were for sale. Parked behind and to the right of “FRO” in this fine view is a 1951 Nash Ambassador. (Larry Milberry, Al Martin)

Cessna got off to a strong postwar start with its 2-seat Ce.120/140 personal planes and trainers, and glitzy Ce.170 and 190/195 4/5-seaters. The 1948 Ce.170 had an all-metal fuselage with fabric-covered, metal-framed wing and tail. Fabric was traditional and practical enough, but buyers now were eyeing all-metal construction, where Beech was excelling. Cessna closed the gap in 1949 with the all-metal Ce.170A, then the Ce.170B with improved wing/flaps. But these aircraft all were tail draggers, while the Bonanza had begun futuristically (as far as personal light planes then went) with a steerable nose wheel. Ultimately, in 1956 Cessna brought out its nose wheel “172”. Cessna turned out more than 5000 Ce.170s plus some 1200 of its higher-end, Ce.190/195s, introduced in 1947 at $12,750. Shown is Cessna 170B CF-HVY departing the Oshawa Breakfast Fly-In on June 16, 1963. Richard Pagani of Guelph owned “HVY” at this time. Ce.195B CF-FRO is seen at Vancouver on September 25, 1956. Following an accident of October 23, 1972, when it was owned by Gary Bell of White Rock, BC, “FRO” was sold to Robert Payne of Kent, Washington. The last heard of “FRO” was a 1996 notice in the Ce.195 club newsletter that a few of its bits and pieces were for sale. Parked behind and to the right of “FRO” in this fine view is a 1951 Nash Ambassador. (Larry Milberry, Al Martin)

Blog Bonanza 15 CE.170B CF-HVY_LR

Piper’s main entry right after the war was the PA-20 Pacer 4-seat tail dragger, first flown in 1949. After building more than 1100 Pacers, in 1951 Piper transformed it into the tricycle gear PA-22 Tri-Pacer, of which more than 8000 were built by the time production ended in 1960 (plus 2000+ 2-seater PA-22 Colts). Here is CF-HHF, which in 2016 was one of 69 Pacers still listed by Transport Canada. You can see by the great looks of this natty little beauty why the Pacer always has been in demand by sport aviators. This scene is at Welland, Ontario on March 26, 1961, the day I hitchhiked to Welland from Toronto to meet the great WWI ace, Tommy Williams, and photograph his Fleet 21. But “HHF” also caught my eye, sitting handsomely in its tan paint job with red trim. When last heard of “HHF” was domiciled in Carleton Place, Ontario. Then, CF-PKO, a standard Tri-Pacer, is seen at Hamilton in 1967. (Larry Milberry, Bob Finlayson)

Piper’s main entry right after the war was the PA-20 Pacer 4-seat tail dragger, first flown in 1949. After building more than 1100 Pacers, in 1951 Piper transformed it into the tricycle gear PA-22 Tri-Pacer, of which more than 8000 were built by the time production ended in 1960 (plus 2000+ 2-seater PA-22 Colts). Here is CF-HHF, which in 2016 was one of 69 Pacers still listed by Transport Canada. You can see by the great looks of this natty little beauty why the Pacer always has been in demand by sport aviators. This scene is at Welland, Ontario on March 26, 1961, the day I hitchhiked to Welland from Toronto to meet the great WWI ace, Tommy Williams, and photograph his Fleet 21. But “HHF” also caught my eye, sitting handsomely in its tan paint job with red trim. When last heard of “HHF” was domiciled in Carleton Place, Ontario. Then, CF-PKO, a standard Tri-Pacer, is seen at Hamilton in 1967. (Larry Milberry, Bob Finlayson)

Blog Bonanza 16 Piper Pacer CF-HHF

In 1947 Aeronca introduced its own 4-seater, the attractive Model 15AC Sedan. Framed in metal and wood and covered in fabric, the Sedan proved a durable type with good performance and cabin spaciousness to the point that small bush operators were quick to buy. Production ended in 1951 at 561 Sedans. Not only are the survivors now collectable (they sell in the US$60,000 range), but newly-built Sedans can be ordered in Alaska from Burl’s Aircraft (base price US$235,000). Shown is Sedan CF-FNS s/n 328 at St. Catharines on May 18, 1963. “FNS” went new in 1949 to W.N. Dalzeg of Morson, a remote Lake-of-the-Woods hamlet accessible only by boat or plane. Next, it called Whitedog Falls (NW of Minaki) its home after Henry Zuzek bought it in 1958. Ten years later it moved to Terrace Bay on Lake Superior, then to Timmins, finally Matheson. In 1997 retired Air Canada pilot Ron Dennis bought “FNS” from Cec Tomlinson, a mining man in Matheson. In 2016 Ron was getting his wing rebuilt at Parry Sound to keep “FNS” fit for many more good years of flying. (Larry Milberry)

In 1947 Aeronca introduced its own 4-seater, the attractive Model 15AC Sedan. Framed in metal and wood and covered in fabric, the Sedan proved a durable type with good performance and cabin spaciousness to the point that small bush operators were quick to buy. Production ended in 1951 at 561 Sedans. Not only are the survivors now collectable (they sell in the US$60,000 range), but newly-built Sedans can be ordered in Alaska from Burl’s Aircraft (base price US$235,000). Shown is Sedan CF-FNS s/n 328 at St. Catharines on May 18, 1963. “FNS” went new in 1949 to W.N. Dalzeg of Morson, a remote Lake-of-the-Woods hamlet accessible only by boat or plane. Next, it called Whitedog Falls (NW of Minaki) its home after Henry Zuzek bought it in 1958. Ten years later it moved to Terrace Bay on Lake Superior, then to Timmins, finally Matheson. In 1997 retired Air Canada pilot Ron Dennis bought “FNS” from Cec Tomlinson, a mining man in Matheson. In 2016 Ron was getting his wing rebuilt at Parry Sound to keep “FNS” fit for many more good years of flying. (Larry Milberry)

Of all the new light planes of the mid-to-late 1940s one of the most representative is the Republic RC-3 Seabee. Invariably referred to as “an ugly duckling”, it’s endured admirably and is greatly sought after by sport aviators. Being all-metal, rugged and amphibious, the Seabee originally found eager fans among sportsmen, cottagers, and bush and coast air taxi services. Designed in 1940 by Percival Spencer, who first had flown in his own hang glider in 1911, the Seabee first flew in December 1945. It immediately entered production at Republic, which recently had been churning out P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. Production suddenly ceased in October 1947 at 1060 aircraft, many of which were sold in Canada. Republic then concentrated on mass-producing F-84 Thunder Jets for the USAF. Subsequently, many Seabee survivors have been restored, especially with modern engines, e.g., Eric B. Robinson of Lindsay, Ontario has turned out several “new” Seabees powered by the 425-hp Corvette V-8 engine (the Seabee originally came with a 165-hp Franklin), plus other upgrades. Shown at Toronto Island c1950 is Orillia Air Service Seabee CF-GAF. For all the latest Seabee news visit www.seabee.info. (Al Martin)

Of all the new light planes of the mid-to-late 1940s one of the most representative is the Republic RC-3 Seabee. Invariably referred to as “an ugly duckling”, it’s endured admirably and is greatly sought after by sport aviators. Being all-metal, rugged and amphibious, the Seabee originally found eager fans among sportsmen, cottagers, and bush and coast air taxi services. Designed in 1940 by Percival Spencer, who first had flown in his own hang glider in 1911, the Seabee first flew in December 1945. It immediately entered production at Republic, which recently had been churning out P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. Production suddenly ceased in October 1947 at 1060 aircraft, many of which were sold in Canada. Republic then concentrated on mass-producing F-84 Thunder Jets for the USAF. Subsequently, many Seabee survivors have been restored, especially with modern engines, e.g., Eric B. Robinson of Lindsay, Ontario has turned out several “new” Seabees powered by the 425-hp Corvette V-8 engine (the Seabee originally came with a 165-hp Franklin), plus other upgrades. Shown at Toronto Island c1950 is Orillia Air Service Seabee CF-GAF. For all the latest Seabee news visit http://www.seabee.info. (Al Martin)

The historic Bellanca company also was in the postwar running with a new design – the Model 14-13, first flown in 1946. Dubbed the Cruisair, this attractive plane had a fabric-covered, metal-tube fuselage with wooden wings. About 600 were built until 1956, when it was replaced by the Model 14-19 Cruisemaster. Shown at Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport on April 30, 1961 is Donald Hawkin’s Cruisemaster CF-LGV. Although speedy at about 200 mph (max), its wood and fabric features limited the appeal of this otherwise alluring 4-seater. By this time Cruisemaster production was under the Downer Aircraft banner, but Downer (of Alexandria, Minnesota) soon ceased making Bellancas. However, in 2016 Alexandria Aircraft (same town) was manufacturing and rebuilding Bellanca wings (see partsales@bellanca-aircraft.com). (Larry Milberry)

The historic Bellanca company also was in the postwar running with a new design – the Model 14-13, first flown in 1946. Dubbed the Cruisair, this attractive plane had a fabric-covered, metal-tube fuselage with wooden wings. About 600 were built until 1956, when it was replaced by the Model 14-19 Cruisemaster. Shown at Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport on April 30, 1961 is Donald Hawkin’s Cruisemaster CF-LGV. Although speedy at about 200 mph (max), its wood and fabric features limited the appeal of this otherwise alluring 4-seater. By this time Cruisemaster production was under the Downer Aircraft banner, but Downer (of Alexandria, Minnesota) soon ceased making Bellancas. However, in 2016 Alexandria Aircraft (same town) was manufacturing and rebuilding Bellanca wings (see partsales@bellanca-aircraft.com). (Larry Milberry)

In November 1945 the historic Stinson Aircraft Co. of Wayne, Michigan introduced its Model 108 Voyageur, priced initially at $5489. In his quintessential study, US Civil Aircraft, Joseph Juptner notes: “Dealers were having no trouble selling this airplane and by the end of 1946 some 1436 were built and sold”. By 1948 Stinson had turned out more than 5000 in three main models. Then the company also was clobbered by the 1948 slump. Piper swooshed in to buy Stinson, but had no enthusiasm for the 108, so production ended. Happily, hundreds of these lovely postwar “family planes” survive all over the US and Canada. Here, Stinson 108-3 CF-HJE, owned by Arcade Electric Co., bobs at its buoy at Toronto Island Airport c1955. Beyond are Toronto’s only two skyscrapers of the day – the 32-storey Bank of Commerce on the right, and the Royal York Hotel. Today, these can barely be picked out among the crush of skyscrapers. In 2016 Transport Canada still listed 279 Stinson 108s, CF-HJE included. (Al Martin)

In November 1945 the historic Stinson Aircraft Co. of Wayne, Michigan introduced its Model 108 Voyageur, priced initially at $5489. In his quintessential study, US Civil Aircraft, Joseph Juptner notes: “Dealers were having no trouble selling this airplane and by the end of 1946 some 1436 were built and sold”. By 1948 Stinson had turned out more than 5000 in three main models. Then the company also was clobbered by the 1948 slump. Piper swooshed in to buy Stinson, but had no enthusiasm for the 108, so production ended. Happily, hundreds of these lovely postwar “family planes” survive all over the US and Canada. Here, Stinson 108-3 CF-HJE, owned by Arcade Electric Co., bobs at its buoy at Toronto Island Airport c1955. Beyond are Toronto’s only two skyscrapers of the day – the 32-storey Bank of Commerce on the right, and the Royal York Hotel. Today, these can barely be picked out among the crush of skyscrapers. In 2016 Transport Canada still listed 279 Stinson 108s, CF-HJE included. (Al Martin)

. Also keen on the personal plane market was Ryan, which built the high-end 4-seat Navion. Designed by North American, the Navion looked reminiscently like the beloved wartime P-51 Mustang. But North American decided not to challenge the postwar civil market after all, selling the Navion to Ryan in 1948. About 1200 were produced before Tusco took over and kept the Navion alive for several more years, modernizing it along the way mainly in the form of the very handsome Rangemaster, which endured into 1976. In the 2000s there still was interest in this fabulous design from Sierra Hotel Aero Inc. Inc. in Minnesota. SHA’s website notes: “As holder of the type certificate for the Navion, Sierra Hotel Aero, is dedicated to improving the safety, support, performance and preservation of all Navions worldwide.” See info@navion.com. As with most of the great light planes of the 1940s, there also is a Navion owners club. See navionx.org and look for the many other Navion-related sites. Shown is 1947 Navion CF-HJI of the St. Catharines Flying Club. Originally N8957H, the club acquired it in December 1953, then flew it until an accident three years later. Rebuilt by Trans Aircraft of Hamilton, “HJI” then had a succession of owners across Canada and in 2016 still is listed (along with 35 others) in Transport Canada’s Canadian Civil Aircraft Register. Special thanks to astronomer Andrew Yee for processing these old negatives and slides. (Al Martin)

Also keen on the personal plane market was Ryan, which built the high-end 4-seat Navion. Designed by North American, the Navion looked reminiscently like the beloved wartime P-51 Mustang. But North American decided not to challenge the postwar civil market after all, selling the Navion to Ryan in 1948. About 1200 were produced before Tusco took over and kept the Navion alive for several more years, modernizing it along the way mainly in the form of the very handsome Rangemaster, which endured into 1976. In the 2000s there still was interest in this fabulous design from Sierra Hotel Aero Inc. Inc. in Minnesota. SHA’s website notes: “As holder of the type certificate for the Navion, Sierra Hotel Aero, is dedicated to improving the safety, support, performance and preservation of all Navions worldwide.” See info@navion.com. As with most of the great light planes of the 1940s, there also is a Navion owners club. See navionx.org and look for the many other Navion-related sites. Shown is 1947 Navion CF-HJI of the St. Catharines Flying Club. Originally N8957H, the club acquired it in December 1953, then flew it until an accident three years later. Rebuilt by Trans Aircraft of Hamilton, “HJI” then had a succession of owners across Canada and in 2016 still is listed (along with 35 others) in Transport Canada’s Canadian Civil Aircraft Register. Special thanks to astronomer Andrew Yee for processing these old negatives and slides. (Al Martin)

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