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!
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.
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.
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: