The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for June are:

Question: The F-35 Lightning II – Canada’s Next Fighter is considered a 5th Generation Fighter and the CF-18 Hornet is considered a 4th generation fighter. What is the difference between a 4th generation fighter and a 5th generation fighter?

Answer: “Three key capabilities distinguish a 5th generation fighter from a 4th generation fighter: Interoperability: A unique combination of stealth, long-range high resolution sensors, a comprehensive self-defence suite, and secure high-capacity networks that allow aircraft to communicate with one another and share data in a secure environment. Sensors/data fusion: A system that consolidates tactical information from the sensors and off-board sources to provide pilots with a clear understanding of the tactical situation at a glance. Very low observable stealth, advanced sensors and secure data-link that mean a 5th generation aircraft can accomplish more in a mission with fewer supporting assets. Furthermore: 4th generation aircraft cannot be upgraded to a 5th generation aircraft.”

Source: RUSI Warning Order – Mar/Apr 2011 – Issue 2 – Page 6

Question: What was the DEW Line? How much did it cost in money and lives? When was it approved by the US and Canadian Governments and when was it declared technically ready?

Answer: “The most northerly of the three lines of electronic sentinels,” for NORAD “was THE Distant Early Warning Line, or DEW Line for short. The governments of Canada and the U.S. approved its construction in 1954. Minister of National Defence at that time, Ralph Campney, announced that the DEW line would be built above the Arctic Circle. The U.S. bore complete financial responsibility for the line.” “The six Main stations were placed roughly 500 statute miles apart.” “Twenty-three Auxiliary stations were placed 100 statute miles apart and used the same equipment as the Main Stations.” “Twenty-eight Intermediate stations (gap fillers) were placed roughly 50 miles apart and used only AN-EPS/23 transmitters.” “On May 15th 1957, the DEW Line was declared technically ready. It cost in excess of 500 million dollars to build. It was costly in human terms as well, with the loss of 30 lives.”

Source: Air Force Revue – Spring 2008 – Page 32

Question: What did F/L Bill Baggs, an RCAF Typhoon pilot, do during WWII that possibly made him the envy of the Canadian Navy?

Answer: “Early in May of 1945 as the war was ending, Bill and a Canadian major in the Intelligence section took Bill’s jeep on a reconnaissance of Wilhelmshaven harbor as no one seemed to know what was going on. Bill drove along the wharf to have a good look at the German cruiser Nurnberg when suddenly the captain, Helmuth Gressler, came down the gangway and asked Bill to come aboard and accept the surrender of his ship. Bill, like all of on the continent at that time, and his buddy had had a few shots of magic elixir and felt quite bold. On deck they were surrounded by over 700 of the ship’s crew to witness the surrender by the Captain. Bill received the captain’s 7.65 mm Mauser automatic pistol and the huge swastika flag from the stern of the ship, as well as a few incidental items.”

Source: Airforce Revue – Spring 2008 – Page 20