A lot has happened over the past month, but perhaps that which is foremost in the aviation heritage community's mind is the future of the Canadian Air & Space Museum in Toronto at Downsview Park. I am sure many of you have been following the drama of the lockout and reprieve with interest and concern. It will likely also be a significant topic of conversation at this week's Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association (CAPA) conference in Windsor, ON.
To learn about the museum's history (and historic site in the de Havilland Canada building), the background of this current situation, and how to lend your support, please visit the museum's website.
It can at times feel that getting recognition and funding for heritage in Canada is an uphill battle, but compiling this newsletter, I cannot help but be optimistic. There are so many terrific initiatives happening through government, not-for-profits such as ours, and individuals. I hope reading it will inspire you to continue in your efforts to preserve and celebrate Canada's aviation history, be it by attending an event, doing research, or writing down your own experiences.
We are all in this together!
CAHS National President
2012 Convention – Call for Papers!
Next year’s CAHS Convention will be held in Saint John, NB in September 2012. The theme will be “First in the Air – New Brunswick’s Place in Canadian Aviation.” The conference will also explore the sub-themes of balloons, fixed and rotary-winged aircraft.
We recently switched from a closed Facebook group to an open fan page. If you are on Facebook, please click here and “like” the page – then feel free to post news, photos, videos, and links.
And please do not forget to follow @CanAvHistSoc if you are on Twitter. Our current followers include Dan Dempsey of Hawk One, CANAV Books, Ice Pilots NWT, and several aviation museums across the world!
New on the website this month:
- Highlights from women’s history month;
- A write-up from a recent talk by Norman Leach to the Manitoba Chapter; and
- An excerpt from article on doing northern aviation in Spring 2011 Journal.
After many technical delays, the Spring 2011 edition is at the printers. Online members should be receiving their PDFs by email shortly and traditional members should start watching their mailboxes later this month.
Summer 2012 will hopefully follow quickly, and will include write-ups on this year’s Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame inductees – such as the CAHS’s William Wheeler – by CAHF historian John Chalmers.
The CAHS regional chapters are back in full swing, as the exciting meeting descriptions that follow indicate. For contact information, locations, and other details, please visit their pages on www.cahs.ca.
October 11: Vancouver Chapter President Jerry Vernon will present a slide show on the 2011 CAHS Convention in Edmonton, including visits to the Alberta Aviation Museum, Reynolds Alberta Museum, and Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. There will also be some slides from the 2011 Abbotsford Air Show and the 2011 Chilliwack Air Fair.
October 20: the Montreal Chapter will feature Frank Henley, a WWII pilot, senior executive with Nordair, and Aeronautics Consultant to Hydro Quebec on the James Bay development. His visual and audio presentation will describe flying a 1950 Geodesic survey team along the Labrador coast with Norseman aircraft.
October 20: the Calgary Chapter is hosting Tim Wall, who will speak about the amazing story of scratch-building, restoring and flying an exact 70% scale British Supermarine Spitfire Mark I Second World War fighter replica. Weather permitting, this aircraft will be on display from 6 p.m. until the start of the meeting in the SAIT Aero Centre hangar.
October 22: the Toronto Chapter is hosting aviation historian Keith R. Hyde who will tell the engaging story of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
October 27: the Ottawa Chapter meeting will feature a talk by Norm Avery about his new book, Mayhem to Mayday. He will share details from his new biography of one of the RCAF's renowned fighter pilots of the Second World War and Korean Conflict -- the late Andy MacKenzie. Copies will be available for purchase that evening.
CAHS Member Edward Soye flies Rick Mercer!
To watch classic Mercer in a vintage Harvard aircraft (and Stearman), click here. The photographs here were taken by Eric Dumigan that day. For more stills, please visit his website.
As Jerry Vernon added, "Bessy," Harvard CF-UFZ, was the air-to-air camera ship for his ride in the Harvard and Stearman. “Bessy” was owned by COPA’s Tony Swain from 1971 until 2005, when he sold it to the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association.
Norm Sheppard, a new director with the NB Chapter, was recently involved in bringing a De Havilland Mosquito model his dad, Clarke, built back to New Brunswick. It is now on display in the Don McClure Aviation HIstorical Gallery at the Greater Moncton International Airport, where three of Clarke's models are already on display. The ceremony took place last month to coincide with a celebration of life at the Moncton Flight College, as Clarke passed away June 27. For more details, please click here.
CAHS members have quite a few connections to the recent unveiling of a monument to William Barker VC (left):
Wayne Ralph spoke at the ceremony and at an evening dinner of the RCMI, and our membership officer, Don MacNeil, announced the following:
"If you saw any of the video coverage you may have seen two WWI biplanes and a solo CF-18 doing the flypast. It was my son's first assignment with his new Squadron in Bagotville: quite an honour for a rookie CF-18 pilot. Not often a fighter pilot gets to beat up a major city in broad daylight and not get called up on the red carpet for it!"
Click here for news footage, videos of those flypasts, and other information about Barker and the ceremony. To read the story featuring Wayne Ralph, please click here.
Gordon Wilson is pleased to announce his new book, NORAD and the Soviet Nuclear Threat: Canada's Secret Electronic Air War, has been published by Amberley in England. It will be published by Dundurn Press for North American distribution in March 2012. For more information, please go to his website: wwww.noradandthesovietnuclearthreat.com.
Readers Write Back
Peter Petrov was able to provide more information about the museum on the site of the Brampton Flying Club/Flight Centre I mentioned last month. Peter is a volunteer at the Great War Flying Museum and says you can find more details on its website. He also says he is building the lower wing for a Fokker D VII at the moment and working on some privately-owned projects.
Jim Bell sent in the folliowing link to a news story about new additions to the Jet Aircraft Museum in Waterloo, ON.
Several of you sent in this link to great footage from this year's OshKosh festivities.
Rob Warden emailed me the following (time to dig out your Journal issue and write in the correction):
"My uncle Cecil (left) just passed away and I was doing searches for pictures of him with the P-40 when I came across this reference in your 1997 Journal. The airplane itself was actually owned by my Dad Robert (Bob) Warden. Cecil was the plane’s pilot.
Currently this P-40 is owned by Rudy Frasca of Frasca Aviation in Urbana, Illinois. It is painted in Flying Tigers camo with a 47 on the tail. Rudy has told me that it is one if the most photographed warbirds."
John Chalmers: "The current issue (October/November 2011) of Our Canada magazine carries a six-page spread with five paintings by famed Spruce Grove, AB aviation artist, Robert Bailey. One of the large images shows Mosquitoes of City of Edmonton 418 Squadron attacking a munitions train and depot in Germany.
You can see a sample of this issue by clicking here.
Much of the issue is dedicated to stories of the Second World War. Although the sample includes many pages, it does not include the Robert Bailey art. You'll have to buy a copy to see it - but it's worth it!"
Vintage Wings has introduced a new Vintage Cinéma d'epoque YouTube Channel offering up videos - both amateur and pro - for your listening, viewing, finger-snapping and toe-tapping pleasure. It's All Warbirds, All the Time. Follow this link to learn more. They invite you to submit your video material about Vintage Wings of Canada aircraft, people and events and they will post it.
Royal Roads Ex-Cadet Heritage Projects
For more than 50 years, the Royal Roads mast stood in front of Hartley Castle. Lowered when Royal Roads Military College closed in 1995, the mast has now been refurbished by the Navy at CFB Esquimalt and reinstalled in a new Memorial Plaza at Royal Roads University (RRU). The Vancouver Island Ex-Cadet Club and RRU are now offering granite paving stones to be inscribed with the names of ex-cadets and former staff of any Royal Roads military college. They may be ordered (by donation) for anyone who served at Royal Roads from 1940 to 1995.
Aviation News Bites:
We are very sad to hear about Mike Ody's sudden death in early October. As Neil Aird wrote on his blog: “Mike was enjoying his retirement and constantly keeping his finger on the pulse of all things de Havilland Canada. A great researcher, and he never passed here without coming with binders and slides that might be of interest to the DHC-2.com archives.”
Air-Britain had just awarded awarded him the AAHS Trophy for the best contribution to American aviation history in 2010 for his article on Found Aircraft in the Summer 2010 issue of Aviation World.
His family invites you to make a donation to either the St. Michael’s Foundation or Covenant House.