Canada Day 2017 gets top marks from CANAV

 I just spent Canada Day (which we older types knew as Dominion Day “way back when”) on the Toronto waterfront instead of around airplanes. “Ye Olde CANAV Books Publisher” headed down early on the “501” TTC bus to start off his “CANADA 150” schedule with breakfast at the Radisson Hotel, then on to Toronto Fire Services Station 334, home to the city’s famous fire boat – William Lyon Mackenzie.

The station was open to the public and there was a talk on the program that I didn’t want to miss – Corey Keeble’s story of Toronto’s greatest marine disaster – the burning of the SS Noronic on September 17, 1949. Corey kept us all on the edge of our seats from start to finish.

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Then it was back out to carry on with the day getting a good look at a major highlight on Toronto Bay — the giant inflatable “Rubber Ducky”. Regardless of the (usual and predictable) soreheads moaning and groaning about the Rubber Ducky having nothing to do with anything, I’d say that for the hundreds of thousands of Torontonians and out-of-towners enjoying Canada Day here this weekend, we couldn’t have had a better novelty. And there’s no doubt that Rubber Ducky more than paid for itself on Day 1, let alone over the long weekend. Good on ya, Rubber Ducky, but what’s with those yahoos who’d love to let the air out of your rubbers?

Next stop along the way was the tour boat dock, where I bought a ticket for a wonderful cruise along the harbourfront, across to the islands for a zigzag through their lagoons, then finally out into the bay again, and back to the dock. If you ever get a chance, don’t miss out on one of these superb guided tours. This year my boat was the 90-foot Miss Kim Simpson, one of the older Toronto tour boats (I recall when it first appeared back around 1970, having earlier done service in the Netherlands).

One point explained as we wound through the lagoons was the exceptionally high water this season – high enough that the islands still are off limits for the tourist season. This view of Long Pond shows the bleachers still partially awash, and the famed Toronto island ferries remain tied up at the foot of Yonge Street until Lake Ontario settles back to normal.

Once back ashore I, headed east along Queen’s Quay as far as “Sugar Beach” beside the great Redpath sugar refinery – almost the last example of functioning heavy industry on Toronto’s waterfront. Even this far east the waterfront was jammed with locals and tourists having just the finest of Canada Days. The big highlight here was HMCS Toronto, one of the Canadian Navy’s renowned destroyer escorts that have been doing stellar work over the decades on duty in such areas as the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean

By mid-afternoon I had covered the waterfront pretty well, so turned north to the St. Lawrence Market, shooting off a few frames on some of Toronto’s other historic landmarks, the market and famous Gooderham flat iron building included. A couple of beers at the Jersey Giant let me wind down a bit, then I headed back up to Queen Street to catch the “501” eastbound and home.

What a great way to spend Canada Day 2017. And what a country, right. No wonder people are willing to crawl through minefields and cross great waters like the Mediterranean, just in the vague hope of some day reaching Canada to start a new life.

All the best for the rest of the year, eh. I’ll sign off this time with my new pal looming behind … Larry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the best… Larry Milberry

CAE Updates

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

2017 Spring-Summer Booklist is here!

Introducing CANAV Books’ 2017 Spring/Summer book list! You’ll find the best in Canadian aviation and general military/transportation reading. Download it here and have a look. Then get in touch when you find what you’re looking for!

Canada Post update I haven’t commented for a while about Canada Post, so here are a few notes. I wish I had a better review than last time, but no such luck, sad to say. For the past year or so mail delivery in postal code M4E remains spotty. Some days mail, some days no mail, various letter carriers on the route, who knows what time the mail will arrive, etc.

CANAV still regularly receives its neighbours’ mail and and vice verse. Apparently, being able to read is not a requirement for getting a letter carrier job at Canada Post.

This week Canada Post outdid itself by mis-delivering the same piece of first class mail to me for the third time. This item arrived a week ago, so I dropped it back into system. Then it came back to me two days later. I again re-posted the letter. Today (March 27) I received the same letter yet again. The addressee isn’t anywhere near 51 Balsam, and the postal code is not even close. So, what’s the story Canada Post? This time I’ll have to do your job and take a walk up to my distant neighbours’s place to make sure she gets her first class mail. Is there something like a Darwin Award for which we can nominate Canada Post?

1) A Few Typhoon Books Left 2) Bob Hoover “Ole Yeller” Update 3) Norseman Readers React

Typhoon dust jacketYou can see the interesting history of Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story by scrolling back through this blog (for example here and here). After waiting pretty well a quarter of a century, I thought the day would never come.However,  our original stock of about 3000 copies is now down to the final 10 as of February 4, 2017. These are available to the hardcore aviation history bibliophile at (for Canada) the collector’s price of  $90.00 + $12.00 Canada Post + $5.10 tax = $107.10. For USA and overseas each book CDN$90.00 + CDN$21.00 postage = CDN$111.00. Otherwise, you sometimes can find a lower price on a used copy at such sites as http://www.abebooks.com or www.bookfinder.com, so all is not lost!

When ordering, please use PayPal (pay to larry@canavbooks.com) or mail a cheque/MO to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E 3B6 Canada. Tel: (416) 698-7559.

AND… Our Readers write (or email)

Here’s an update re. Bob Hoover’s Mustang from Ottawa CAHS member and Oshkosh devotee, Tim Dubé:

“Hi, Larry … here is one of my photos of N51RH taken at AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, ‘Ole Yeller’, now owned by John Bagley of Idaho.”

Bob Hoover mustang

“Also, in 2016 the Ford Motor Company donated this Ford Mustang (below) painted like Bob’s ‘Ole Yeller’ to the EAA ‘Young Eagles’ program. At auction it sold for US$295,000.

Regards … Tim”

Ford

Norseman Update

Meanwhile, readers of Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman history keep reporting back with their bons mots about this major 2-volume set. Since the publisher needs to crow a bit once in a while, here I go. First, comments from a UK* aviation bibliophile, then a few words from France**:

*How do you manage to produce such super books at such short intervals? This clearly is a fascinating subject, and Bob Noorduyn’s background was entirely new to me. I didn’t know that he had come to UK to work with Sopwith and Armstrong Whitworth. It’s good that you have done him and his achievements justice in your meticulous CANAV treatment. Also, what a lovely selection of well-reproduced old photos. These recreate the atmosphere of the Norseman era. As an aside, I’d never even heard of the Fairchild Husky.

**I hope all goes well, with lots of great projects to keep you busy in 2017. I just wanted to say that I was going through part of the Norseman book (second volume) yet again in a quiet moment yesterday evening…. it truly is an outstanding piece of work. I don’t think there is anyone out there who comes close to matching your unique blend of great research, depth of content, variety and accessible style. Congratulations again, a spectacular achievement!

Bob Hoover Tribute

hoover-4On October 25, 2016 the great USAF fighter pilot, test pilot and airshow star, Bob Hoover, died at 94. You can find all kinds of coverage about Bob on the web, so take a few minutes to get clued in about this wonderful aviator, who counted many Canadians as good friends.

Beginning early after the war, several RCAF pilots taking USAF test pilot courses at Wright Field in Ohio and Edwards AFB in California were the earliest Canadians to get to know Bob Hoover. Thereafter, many others were honoured to know him professionally in the USAF, and as members of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Bob usually showed up at SETP annual symposia, where there invariably was a Canadian contingent.

Bob was renowned on the Canada-US airshow circuit. Canadians enjoyed his displays at such annual events as the Abbotsford International Air Show. He became a great friend of Canada’s Snowbirds, eventually being inducted by the team as an “Honourary Snowbird”. In 1988 he was inducted into the US National Aviation Hall of Fame.

In 1972 I spent a few days at one of the great aviation events of the era – “Transpo 72” at Washington-Dulles airport. Each day there was a list of exciting displays, including Bob Hoover doing his 3-plane demo. For “Show 1” he would take up his Mustang N51RH and wring it out, leaving the crowd greatly impressed. Then, he’d land and taxi to the ramp. He’d step out of N51RH straight into Bronco 71-3558, take off and fly“Show 2”. That done, he’d finish in Rockwell Shrike Commander N5007H (out of the Bronco, straight into the Shrike). For his finale, he’d shut down both Shrike engines, land “deadstick” and have just enough energy left in his plane to roll to the ramp. He’d exit the Shrike looking none the worst for wear, wave to the crowd and saunter across the ramp.

hoover-1Bob Hoover’s lovely P-51 began as USAF 44-74739. It joined the RCAF in 1951 as 9297, then was sold back into the US in 1959, where it had a string of owners. In 1971 it was re-manufactured by Cavalier Aircraft in Sarasota, then was Bob’s 1974-1997. N51RH remained active in 2017.

hoover-2The Bronco flown by Bob at “Transpo 72” was USAF serial number 66-13558. In 1998 it was sold to Venezuela. That’s Bob taxiing out at Dulles.

It’s always sad to hear that the next Bob Hoover has “flown west”, for these are the magnificent citizens who laid the foundation of today’s aviation scene. In Dan Dempsey’s book A Tradition of Excellence: Canada’s Airshow Team Heritage, there’s a perfect quote about Bob from “OB” Philp. The RCAF “Golden Centennaires” were disbanding at the end of Centennial Year, and their CO – “OB” – was tallying all the congratulations pouring in. “In my opinion,” he wrote, “ the most gracious tribute came from Bob Hoover, probably the best demonstration pilot ever produced by the United States.”

hoover-3

Bob Hoover flew Shrike N5007H for 20 years. You can see it today on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum adjacent to Dulles airport. Here, Bob has just finished his 3-plane flight demo of May 27, 1972 and is walking towards the camera.

Elsewhere in Dan’s world-class book (make sure you have your copy, eh), the great RCAF fighter pilot and flight demo professional, Bob Hallowell (the RCAF’s “Red Knight” in the early 1960s) recalls flying formation one day with Bob Hoover: “We did a nice beat-up at Paine AFB in Washington with an American named Ben Hall leading in a green and orange Mustang – Hoover on left wing in an F-100 Super Sabre and myself on right wing in the Knight. The FAA didn’t like us much!” So, read up a bit about Bob Hoover on the web, you’ll be inspired. And … be sure you have A Tradition of Excellence, the book that’s at the top of my personal list as the best of them all. Order your copy online or download the order form here.

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

 

 

Three top aviation book choices for year’s end 2016 and heading into the New Year.

In case you don’t happen to have a really good new book at your elbow this time of year, here are three wonderful titles. Pick one up and you’ll be a happy camper.

Canadair SabreThe Canadair Sabre is respected far and wide as the loveliest book ever produced about the F-86 Sabre. This beauty is the story of Canadair turning out 1815 North American Sabres in the 1950s, mainly for RCAF NATO squadrons. It starts with all the background from early postwar days when Mustangs and Vampires equipped the RCAF at home. With a better day fighter needed in the face of the USSR’s MiG-15, Canadair proves itself up to the task, setting up the production line at Cartierville. Soon the RCAF is known as No.1 in the NATO day fighter game. Sixty Canadian Sabres even fight in Korea with the USAF, where they account for several MiGs.

The Canadair Sabre covers the development story, then operations at the famous Sabre OTU at Chatham, details of NATO operations from the four Leapfrogs to daily patrols right up to the NATO/Warsaw Pact buffer zone, service back home with the home front squadrons in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal and much more. Then come South Africa and Colombia, and there’s even a failed deal with Israel. As earlier Canadair Sabres are replaced by the hotter Orenda-powered models, earlier examples go down the line to such allies as Italy, Greece and Turkey. Some even end in Yugoslavia. A large number of ex-Luftwaffe Sabres end clandestinely in Pakistan, where they down India AF MiG-21s in a brutal 1971 air war. Talk about Sabre coverage, eh!

With 372 pages and some 600 photos, production and accident lists, fold-out line drawings, maps, index, etc., you won’t find a much more impressive or beautifully-produced aviation hardcover. Air Fan called The Canadair Sabre “The aviation literary event of the year.” Air International added, “There seems scant prospect of a better history”, and Greece’s aviation monthly Ptisi concluded: “A real oasis for F-86 fans and anyone interested in the Golden Years of the 1950s-60s.” You can have your own copy autographed by author Larry Milberry at the all-in special price (book, shipping, tax) of CDN$44.00 (USA & Int’l CDN$56.00). Cheque or MO by mail OK, or pay via PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com

LostLost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation offers top coverage of this theme including such famous crashes and disappearances as the Flying Bank Robber, Johnny Bourassa & Chuck McAvoy in mysterious NWT cases, and hockey star Bill Barilko. Other episodes include long-distance Russian flier Levanevsky, and TCA’s tragic Lodestar and North Star crashes in the BC mountains. 224 pages, softcover, photos, index. CANAV’s all-in price (book, shipping, tax) CDN$33.00 (USA & Int’l CDN$36.00). Cheque or MO by mail OK, or pay via PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com

CotliffeUnder the Maple Leaf by Kenneth Cothliff recounts the remarkable adventures of four young Canadians in Bomber Command during WWII. Four lads from different backgrounds fight overseas in deadly night skies punctuated by flak and crawling with heavily armed, radar-directed night fighters. Somehow, they beat the survival odds and get home, but each is much changed from the innocent fellow who had enlisted back in Canada. Says one reviewer, “Ken Cothliff’s book is extremely valuable in telling of Canada’s vital contribution to the air war against Germany.” 240pp, hard cover, photos. CANAV’s all-in price (book, shipping, tax) $60.00 (USA & Int’l CDN$68.00). Cheque or MO by mail OK, or pay via PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com

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Canadian Aeorplanes Ltd. marks 100th anniversary!

December 15. 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd. CAL was the first company in Canada to have an aircraft production line. Its operations in west Toronto (1917-18) turned out more than 2000 Curtiss JN-4 Canucks. These were used by the Royal Flying Corps (Canada) to train Canadians to fly. Many of the RFC (C) graduates would fight overseas with the Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service, then the Royal Air Force (once the RFC and RNAS merged in 1918).

JN 4s in productionIn these two fine photos from CANAV’s archives JN-4s (above) are seen on the CAL line. JN-4 C142 (below) is seen dormant in a typical Southern Ontario winter scene. The RFC (C) operated training bases from Leaside and Armour Heights in suburban Toronto, to Camp Borden, Beamsville, Deseronto and Texas. Flying continued in the toughest of winter weather in the rugged wood-wire-and-fabric JN-4C.

Production