Tuesday, May 29, 2007

COME and Gone –

THAT’S A WW II vintage de Havilland Mosquito perched on the top of this memorial. Remember that…it’ll be important later!

SO MANY aircraft companies have come and gone…

de Havilland
English Electric
Hispano Aviación
And who could forget the Wright Company, of course!!

And the men who made these forgotten planes, have also come…and gone.

BUT SOME have been remembered.

Right here on this very memorial.

For their heroism and their ultimate sacrifice.


…some of Canada’s, de Havilland employees, gave their lives between 1939 – 1945. They are forever enshrined here, in front of the main office of BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE (Toronto), the eventual successor to the de Havilland Company of Canada.

No other remnant of the de Havilland era remains today, save this memorial, and the lone, insignia-less, de Havilland sign, which is also found above the main office.

But if you look real close, you’ll see something else, unexpected, unknown…

ONE OF THE de Havillands, themselves, gave his own life alongside that of his employees.

It wasn’t enough just to produce fighter planes for the war effort.

Even more was demanded apparently…

And no family was spared…

And no special preference was accorded him on this memorial plaque either.

And so these men, de Havilland employees, who produced the MOSQUITO FIGHTER PLANE, both in Canada and in the UK…were called additionally, to make that ultimate sacrifice of their lives…to protect the freedoms that we enjoy, and value so much in Canada today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ILLUSTRATING in Photoshop…

…using Photoshop ACTIONS.

Start with a corrected photo and an "action" you like which you've download from Actions Central.

Unzip the PHOTOSHOP ACTION which is only a few "k" as a script or atn file, and is then "dragged and dropped" into the Photoshop Actions folder, that resides within the Photoshop CS Application. The "action" is then loaded…and the action is executed…from the ACTIONS PALETTE.

THIS WAS CREATED using Comix Actions … by Andy Purviance..

THROW AWAY the created white layer and then erase the unwanted and unnatural elements of the resulting illustration–

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

FUN with Photoshop!

PHOTOSHOP can do it all. Not so sure about Photoshop Elements…which has an easier user interface BUT doesn' t have the SUPERHERO power of its elder brother!

PLUS you can create a photo like this above MANUALLY and take forever…or you can employ PHOTOSHOP ACTIONS to do this "automatically".

This PHOTOSHOP ACTION is only a few "k" as a script, atn file, which is "dragged and dropped" into the Photoshop Actions folder and then loaded to be used…from the ACTIONS PALETTE.

Panos Efstathiadis created Pano's Actions …and this is BnBig Picture.

I HAVE AN Apple DUAL G5 and this "action" took about 15 minutes! IF YOU HAVE a PC…well……it may never finish!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

BUGGY in a Hurry!!

…hold on to your hat, son!

IT WAS ALL so simple, back then~


D-DAY. Invasion of Europe. June 06, 1944

ALLIED AIRCRAFT (Canadian, American, British, Australian, and Polish etc.) were painted with the white and black “invasion stripes” like the Canadian B-25 above.

The purpose of the five alternating bands of white and black stripes on the wings and fuselage of ALLIED AIRCRAFT were to help trigger-happy Allied soldiers identify “friendly” planes and therefore not open fire on them.

(This B-25 has a few "riders"…and is headed for downtown Toronto where it will pass through, go out Niagara way, and then return to Hamilton)


ADDITIONALLY…British pilots thought it was a bad idea for American P-51s to enter the fray with metal finish, or unpainted aircraft.

“Ah mate, the Jerries will see you coming for miles!”

The American response was unexpected.

“Good…we want them to see us!”

The American P-51 pilots were quite proud of their high performance Mustangs–

‘nuff said ~

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Way We Were ::: 1939 - 1945 ::: CANADA

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) came into effect on December 17, 1939 when Canadian PM MacKenzie King, The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand agreed that Canada would host the greatest air training scheme ever ushered into existence.

“THE PLAN” trained aircrews from all over the Commonwealth to give Britain the aircrews she needed, at her most desperate hour.

So successful was the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that eventually 131,553 air force personnel successfully graduated…in 8 different categories, providing trained aircrews for the RAF first, and then the Air Forces of Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The 360 schools that were established at 231 sites all across Canada so transformed the country that U.S. President Roosevelt called Canada, "The Aerodrome Of Democracy".

The LANCASTER bomber, shown flying above, was one of the aircraft these trainees learned to fly and bomb targets with.

But why Canada…for so great an undertaking?

1. Proximately to Britain (by air)
2. Suitable climate (no fog or rain interference)
3. She had the manpower
4. Safe distance from every theatre of WW II
5. Inexhaustible natural resources

MANY AMERICANS also trained at these BCATP schools. One school had so many Californians that the RCAF was nicknamed the “Royal Californian Air Force” by the locals!

And that was a country, called Canada…during WW II.

NOW! ::: You Know ::..

THE EGG-SHAPED tail of the LANCASTER was designed by the none-other-than, soon to be legendary, Jim Floyd when he was only a designer at A. V. Roe in England.

He worked alongside a Canadian designer…there at A. V. Roe, who kept singing the praises of some far-flung country called Canada.

Jim just couldn't get Canada out of his head.

So it worked.

And finally…Jim had to come over to see this enigma called Canada, for himself.

And there he stayed. He went on to became a Canadian citizen, and oversaw such LEGENDARY PROJECTS as the AVRO C-102 JETLINER and the CF-105 Avro Arrow.

UNBELIEVABLY, the nearsighted Canadian Government eventually scrapped both aircraft.

And the man who fell in love with Canada, was eventually rejected by his newly adopted country!


So back to England he went…where Jim wrapped up his aeronautical career designing the "lowly" BAC-Aerospatiale CONCORDE.

HE DID retire in Canada, and penned a book about his greatest love…the Canadian designed AVRO Jetliner. JIM FLOYD, now in his 90s, was seen recently at the Toronto Aerospace Museum Arrow roll-out this last October.

THANKS JIM for your contribution to Canadian aviation!

(Lancaster photo taken at the CNE during CIAS)

ISLAND in the Sun

HIP…HIP…FLYING toward an Island In The Sun

(Post-production of this photo – STREETSVILLE, Ontario by Paul Cardin)