Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"BLAST" From Canada's…

…aviation PAST!

This is a de Havilland Grumman CP-121 Tracker!

Yup…de Haviland, not just Grumman!!

ALL 101 CANADIAN Trackers were built in Toronto, at de Havilland (now Bombardier Aerospace) and were a foot-and-a-half shorter than all other Trackers manufactured for the Americans, British, Aussies, etc.

Betcha' didn't know that.

Originally produced for the Canadian Navy, and the HMCS Bonaventure (Canada's aircraft carrier) for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)…all Canadian Trackers were made a "tad" smaller to fit on our very STOL aircraft carrier with its small hangar bays.

507 rests contentedly here at CFB Borden near ANGUS, Ontario…not far from the largest FRESH WATER beach in the world.

IF YOU WANT your kids to see it all in a day…BASE BORDEN has it…aircraft…old and new…and TANKS galore from every era.

Don't say I didn't tell ya'.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

FLYFEST 2007:::Hamilton

…THERE WERE some nice "birds" in the air and SOME NICE "chicks" on the ground!

AND DON'T GET ALL JUMPY…it's……jus'…Grumpy.

BEST FLYFEST 2007 quote: "Listen to the sound of that "thing" (the B-25)…it sounds like a very large, BAD-ASS motorcycle.

NEVER quite heard it put that way before…but THE ENGINES of that era actually do sound like that, very, very GUTTERAL ~

Friday, June 15, 2007


THEY'LL never understand…

THEY say they do.

But YOU KNOW they don’t.

They just haven’t had the LANC EXPERIENCE yet.

So, let’s break it down for them.

The aircraft pictured above is an AVRO LANCASTER that was built, nearby, in Toronto at Victory Aircraft.

Of the 7, 366 Lancasters (all types) built back in the day, this is the only one that still flies in North America.

That’s right…of the THOUSANDS built in Canada and Great Britain during World War II…THIS is it.

There are a few “Lancs” on static display, somewhere…but this IS the only FLYING EXAMPLE, again, over here in the Americas!

Seeing a “Lanc” start up, roll forward, head out to a runway, and then fly overhead constitutes participating in the “Lanc Experience”.

That means you have participated in History and connected “mystically” with all those others who went before us, and who “lived” that experience, and made our history, whether friend, or foe, during the war.

NOW, IF YOU WANT, you can travel to England in grand fashion, and for about $2,700 CDN per person (all expenses paid) you can “get” the “Lanc Experience” over there, and see the ONLY OTHER flying Lancaster in the world.

Or, for a couple of tablespoons of gas, and $10 per person you can travel on over to Hamilton, Mount Hope specifically, to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on this June 16th or the 17th, and get your “experience” there!

So when veterans recount war tales, or WW II is discussed, in books, newspapers and “on-line”, or you see movies like the “Dambusters” due out in 2008, you’ll have experienced personally, first hand, the sounds, sights, and smell of World War II and Bomber Command.

YOU’LL NO LONGER have “yellow canaries” flying about your head when World War II enters the discussion and you haven’t got a clue what everyone else is talking about!

You’ll know…because you’ve been there…

Mystically ~

ONE MORE thing you need to know to get the FULL “Lanc Experience”.

The Lancaster JUST ISN’T any ole’ plane out there…denuding our fragile environment and cluttering up our skies like the "horrendous" Cessna 152 does.


The “Lanc” became the MOST FAMOUS and successful NIGHT BOMBER of World War II, "delivering 608,612 tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties (bombing missions)." The Lancaster was also used, at times, for daylight precision bombing.

The Lancaster garnered worldwide attention in 1943 during “Operation Chastise” when she took out Germany’s most important dams. Factories as far away as forty miles were immediately flooded, and a serious shortage of water occurred. This severely crippled the German “war machine” at the time.

Other Facts YOU NEED to know:

• B X version of the Lancaster: The B X (pictured above) was a Canadian-built B III, differing in having Canadian/US made instrumentation and electrics. Also on later batches, the Martin 250CE was substituted for the Nash & Thomson FN-50 mid-upper turret. The greater weight of this turret necessitated moving the turret forward for C-of-G balance reasons. Canada was a long-term operator of the Lancaster, utilizing modified aircraft in postwar maritime patrol, search and rescue and photo-reconnaissance roles until 1963.

• The test pilot Alex Henshaw is the only known pilot to have barrel rolled a Lancaster bomber, a feat considered almost impossible because of the slow speed of the aircraft.

• During the war, Lancasters carried out a total of 156,000 missions and dropped 608,612 tons of bombs. This was double what the Handley Page Halifax, the other major bomber used by the Royal Air Force achieved. In the four years of combat service 3,249 Lancasters were lost in action and another 487 were destroyed or damaged while on the ground. Only 24 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful missions.

• While only 7, 366 Avro Lancasters were made during the war…more than 30 MILLION die-cast and model Lancasters have since been purchased by an adoring public.

SOURCES: Wikipedia, Canadian Warplane Heritage, AVSIM.com, and Special Projects In Research

Friday, June 8, 2007

FIREFLY…But Not In The Garden~

♦ Fireflies in the Garden ♦

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,

That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)

Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.

–Robert Frost

The FAIREY FIREFLY was most definitely a real star of WW II and the Korean War, filling enemy skies, where she served as a carrier-borne reconnaissance fighter.

The ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY acquired 65 of them for anti-submarine purposes. Detection and destruction of subs, that is.

The RCN used them from 1946 - 1954…and as it was the FIRST AIRCRAFT acquired by the Canadian Warplane Heritage…this aircraft is also featured in their logo!

'nuff said –


…this FIGHTER JET is a long, long, way…from its glory days, at Cold Lake, Alberta.

RIP at CFB Borden.

Yes…rest in peace…mighty ”T”.

ONE CONSOLATION only…the new generation flies above you, ole’ girl ~

Saturday, June 2, 2007

…Jazz. –DOWN–

Yep…she's down.

WINGS…not normally "resting" on runway. Fire trucks, crane, not normally a part of airside ground services.

LATE DAY capture on Sunday May 20, 2007, of a Jazz CRJ-100, Flight AC8911, that experienced a main landing gear collapse while arriving at noontime from Moncton, N.B. Runway 06 is closed while TSB personnel are investigating the crash. Thirty-seven passengers and three crew members were not injured in the accident.