Tuesday, October 9, 2007

––– The Mummer's Flight ––

“Participate in and protect democracy. It does not thrive as a spectator sport.”
Loreena McKennitt,
Canadian Celtic singer

“The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days”

The Mummer's Dance, Loreena McKennitt

::: MADE IN Toronto. Again!

There’s one thing that I’ve learned about Canadians.

WE HATE losing.

In hockey… or in AVRO Arrows.

I must again lament the loss of the Arrow… because it is in so DEEPLY INGRAINED in the Canadian psyche. In the psyche of Canadians that matter, that is.

NOW CANADIANS, instead of lamenting (with Kleenex in hand) over picture books of a plane that ONCE WAS… it’s not too late to tell the story of the Arrow to your son, this time with the Arrow right behind you!

Where will you find an ARROW?

Well, at the Toronto Aerospace Museum.

Life-size, and in all its’ regalia (day-glo colour scheme) ~

But we’re Canadians, so the story can’t end there!

We need to come full-circle; we need a flying version.

So a 2/3 scale Arrow is being built, right now, in Alberta.

And so, the Arrow WILL TAKE to the skies yet again.

AND A government that tried to erase the Arrow (OUR SYMBOL of advanced technological achievement, and of a “little” country that could) from our Canadian conscience forever, ultimately, failed, In the end.

Yes, THERE WAS an Arrow, there is an Arrow… in fact, damn it… ARROWS are springing up all over the country.

‘nuff said ~

But jus’ so you don’t think the AVRO Arrow was any ole’ plane… here are:


• First a/c designed with digital computers being used for both aerodynamic analysis and designing the structural matrix (and a whole lot more).
• First a/c design to have major components machined by CNC (computer numeric control); i.e., from electronic data which controlled the machine.
• First a/c to be developed using an early form of "computational fluid dynamics" with an integrated "lifting body" type of theory rather than the typical (and obsolete) "blade element" theory.
• First a/c to have marginal stability designed into the pitch axis for better maneuverability, speed and altitude performance.
• First a/c to have negative stability designed into the yaw axis to save weight and cut drag, also boosting performance.
• First a/c to fly on an electronic signal from the stick and pedals. i.e., first fly-by-wire a/c.
• First a/c to fly with fly by wire AND artificial feedback (feel). Not even the first F-16's had this.
• First a/c designed to be data-link flyable from the ground.
• First a/c designed with integrated navigation, weapons release, automatic search and track radar, datalink inputs, home-on-jamming, infrared detection, electronic countermeasures and counter-countermeasures operating through a DIGITAL brain.
• First high wing jet fighter that made the entire upper surface a lifting body. The F-15, F-22, Su-27 etc., MiG-29, MiG 25 and others certainly used that idea.
• First sophisticated bleed-bypass system for both intake AND engine/exhaust. Everybody uses that now.
• First by-pass engine design. (all current fighters have by-pass engines).
• First combination of the last two points with an "ejector" nozzle that used the bypass air to create thrust at the exhaust nozzle while also improving intake flow. The F-106 didn't even have a nozzle, just a pipe.
• Use of Titanium for significant portions of the aircraft structure and engine.
• Use of composites (not the first, but they made thoughtful use of them and were researching and engineering new ones).
• Use of a drooped leading edge and aerodynamic "twist" on the wing.
• Use of engines at the rear to allow both a lighter structure and significant payload at the centre of gravity. Everybody copied that.
• Use of a LONG internal weapons bay to allow carriage of specialized, long-range standoff and cruise missiles. (not copied yet really)
• Integration of ground-mapping radar and the radar altimeter plus flight control system to allow a seriousstrike/reconnaissance role. The first to propose an aircraft be equally adept at those roles while being THE air-superiority fighter at the same time. (Few have even tried to copy that, although the F-15E is an interesting exception.)
• First missile armed a/c to have a combat weight thrust to weight ratio approaching 1 to 1. Few have been able to copy that.
• First flying 4,000 psi hydraulic system to allow lighter and smaller components.
• First oxygen-injection re-light system.
• First engine to have only two main bearing assemblies on a two-shaft design.
• First to use a variable stator on a two-shaft engine.
• First use of a trans-sonic first compressor stage on a turbojet engine.
• First "hot-streak" type of afterburner ignition.
• First engine to use only 10 compressor sections in a two-shaft design. (The competition was using 17!!)

The Avro Arrow was one of Canada's finest aviation achievements, even though it never entered service.

© www.AvroArrow.org
© www.globalaircraft.org
© Special Projects In Research

Republican IN HIDING?

< Change YOUR LOGO >

…change your luck.

And not for the better.

The "ARRRRGGGGGGOOSSSSSS!!!" suck this year.

So I thought I would show a picture of better times (2001)… although, not much better.

Yup, the Argos won THREE Grey Cups with the “Jason” logo (the bold Argonaut shielded warrior) pictured above, but this year they decided to change up.

Bad idea.

THERE IS just too much history, and success, with ole’ Jason. Everyone who matters, still remembers those Flutie years!

8-7 is a long way from 15-3 and the dominance of "Flutie Magic".

Strangely enough, the 2007 logo looks an awful lot like the Argos logo that the now head coach "Pinball" Clemons donned on his uniform, as a running back, way back when he first started with the Argos back in 1989.

That’s Jimmy Kemp running the play as QB, fillin’ in for an injured Kerwin Bell in 2001. The Argos just didn’t offer Kemp enough money to start, in 2002, so he didn’t return.

That said… we’re sure Jimmy is doin’ alright, even though he "passed" on the QB oppertunity of 2002. Jimmy's dad is none-other-than JACK KEMP, who was the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee in 1996, on the Bob Dole ticket. Jack Kemp was the one who wrote that now famous memo to Ronald Reagan, back in 1980, outlining an economic plan that became the foundation for REAGANOMICS.

Before politics, Jack was also a QB (like father, like son) for the Buffalo Bills from 1963 – 1969 and was finally inducted into the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame in 1984.

Though the internet is silent… I expect Jimmy is still being mentored by his dad… and if the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree… he'll enter politics at some point.

The Way We Are ::: 2007 ::: CANADA

HERCULES practicing "touch n' goes" at an undisclosed Ontario location.

REMEMBER: Support Our Forces!

The CANADIAN FORCES / FORCES CANADIENNES are CURRENTLY serving your country, and the needs of the world community by operating in:




Central Sudan

Golan Heights




Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sierra Leone

Tampa, Florida (NATO)

The Way We Were ::: 1939 ::: CANADA

The Way We Were ::: 1939 ::: CANADA

On September 3rd, Britain, France, Holland, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany.

On September 4th, Britain's Royal Air Force began its first attacks on German warships.

On September 5th, the United States of America made an announcement declaring its neutrality.

On September 9th, it was learned that two Canadian women were on the unarmed ocean liner, SS Athenia," which had been sunk by German U-boats.

On September 10th, CANADA declared war on Germany independently of the British Commonwealth declaration.

TWO INNOCENT Canadian women died… and IMMEDIATELY the whole country rallied for war.

Wow…how times have changed!

Waffle… waffle… waffle…

Afghanistan… should we stay… should we go… heck only 24 INNOCENT CANADIANS died in 9/11. Remember an Afghan Taliban government that supported al-Qaeda in those years, and also gave those murderers safe harbour!

ANYWAYS…back to 1939, when men were still men…and we didn’t have politicians like Liberal Michael Ignatieff who called the Canadian 9/11 victim’s families “a sideshow”.

Then again the Liberals are more likely to care about Taliban detainees… than about Canadian soldiers, the Canadian victims of 9/11, or furthering democracy worldwide.

CANADIAN 9/11 victim MAUREEN BASNICKI responded to “Iggy” (who never did apologize, by the way) on a talk show that aired on February 27, 2007.

“Sideshow? I was a victim of terrorism. My husband was murdered.”

Our heartfelt condolences for your loss, Maureen, and additionally our condolences for the embarrassing response of the Chrétien Liberals who were masquerading as our Federal government back then…

Again…back to 1939, when men were still men…

Well, we had to start our war somewhere back then.

So Canada, and the RCAF, started it with the Bristol Bolingbroke!

The Bristol-developed Blenheim IV was “adopted” by the RCAF for coastal reconnaissance in 1939. The "Boly" was produced, as the Bolingbroke, in Canada, until 1943, under license by Fairchild Aircraft Ltd. then located in Longueuil, Quebec.

THE FIRST BOLINGBROKE entered service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in November of 1939.

Patrols were flown on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and a Bolingbroke became involved in the first successful RCAF attack of a Japanese submarine (R032) on July 7, 1942. This Japanese sub was sunk with the assistance of the US Navy on Canada's Pacific Coast. And those BC folk thought they were so safe!

BOLINGBROKES served throughout the war as bombing and gunnery trainers, and as target tugs in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

Production of this aircraft, with its then modern, stressed skin design, initially caused some difficulty for our Canadian workers, who previously had no experience with this particular type of construction.

A total of 676 Bolingbrokes were eventually built, in seven different variations.

And now, again we’re…

Going. For. Broke.

But we’re only trying to build ONE this time!

The work on this Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Bolingbroke continues slowly. Sections of the aircraft are in various stages of completion and in particular the Museum needs engines for her “Boly” !!

Pratt & Whitney, SB-4G, R-1535, 14 cylinder twin Wasp Juniors to be exact–

Only 15 Bolingbrokes were built with these engines, and all were flown by the “City of Hamilton” Squadron.

If you have these engines, or anything Bolingbroke related, and/or a generous heart, contact the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at (905) 679-4183.

“We want our Boly… We want our Boly… We want our Boly…finished!”

Where the hell are all the corporate sponsors for this historical, and most worthy project? !!!

INSET images were taken from the 1945 movie, “Son of Lassie” starring Peter Lawford with a young June Lockhart (future Lost In Space mom)… and all are Canadian Bolingbrokes, of course!

In the middle: The Canadian Warplane Heritage "Boly" goes "visiting" on the back of a trailer.

‘nuff said.

© Wikipedia
© Special Projects IR
© Warner Brothers and Turner Entertainment

a NEW PUPPY for…

…Air Canada.

Only 7 months old, this is the FIRST REAL photo I've taken of Air Canada's newest "puppy".

It's BIG.

AIR CANADA is the very FIRST OPERATOR of the next generation (300 series) 777s on the North American continent.

The TWO MASSIVE GE90-115B engines which power this Air Canada "beast" are the LARGEST AIRCRAFT ENGINES in the world.

And since we're talking about Air Canada…when the Boeing Dreamliner 787 comes out in 2010, Air Canada will be the largest operator of the Dreamliner in North America with 60 on order, and the second largest operator of the Dreamliner in the world next to Qantas.

With these significant Boeing purchases, Air Canada's "love affair" with Airbus is "officially" over.

AIR CANADA has gone through different aircraft purchase stages. The DOUGLAS and Vickers stage, followed by the Airbus and Canadair stage and now the Boeing and Embraer stage.

"You and I" were meant to fly, so sings CD.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE an Air Canada 777

1) Massive size with a thin sharklike tail

2) Only in UGLY "toothpaste" livery colours

3) Two HUGE engines

4) Rear bogies… 3 sets of two wheels

'nuff said ~

(partial source: Wikipedia)

(All Flickr "pieces" processed in Streetsville.)

:: The NEW Chapter .::..

…in America's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program… the Raptor!

You MIGHT be TOO CLOSE…when you're the same distance from the lampost… as the photographer!

The 5th generation of STEALH TECHNOLOGY has arrived, high above the skies of dormant Toronto!!

At $137.5 million USD each these "babies" are pricy but man can they fly! RAPTORS use thrust vectoring nozzle technology for incredible manoeurability, jamming technology to prevent counter-attack weapon "lock-ons" and strike their targets "sight" unseen.

The Congress of the United States has decided that the Raptor will never be sold internationally, to anybody, so Canada will never have any.

BUT WE WILL have some of these, which Canada is currently co-developing with the USA and several other Allied nations… the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35.

Didya Know?

In the 2007 movie the Transformers, the Decepticon known as Starscream is an F-22.

In April of 2006, an F-22 pilot became trapped in his aircraft due to the canopy getting stuck. When all else failed he had to be cut out by fire department personnel.

The canopy was replaced.

…… and the cost?

A cool $182,205 USD, folks!

The Way We Were ::: 1959 - 1969 ::: CANADA

AVRO comes to Georgetown!

… so, so, long ago now… and only for a time.

A quick decade.

Then AVRO Canada… the Georgetown chapter, was closed.

EMPIRES, like people, usually die by degrees…not all at once…or suddenly.
The mortally wounded often falter at first, try to regain their footing… their balance… pick themselves up and carry on, until…

… it becomes obvious to everyone, more especially to themselves, that the “death blow” has been dealt, and they shall succumb.

And it is now quite apparent that AVRO CANADA’s “last gasp” was indeed in Georgetown, Ontario.

BECAUSE HERE, in Halton Hills… that AVRO Canada mantra and attitude… ”that we can do anything we put our minds to” was still alive and being freshly channeled into the newly formed AVIAN AIRCRAFT Ltd. company of 1959. AVIAN was created and “birthed” into existence by a dozen former AVRO Canada engineers and employees.

Speedboats, and refrigerators were then being made at the then-diminished AVRO Canada Malton facility… in an attempt to keep the company afloat… in some capacity…but the innovative AVRO “spirit” now, realistically, remained only in Georgetown, Ontario at Avian.

And no, Avian didn’t create another C-102 Jetliner… the first commercial jetliner to be designed, created and flown in North and South America.

And no, they didn’t create a world-class supersonic, stratospheric, interceptor like the AVRO ARROW.

Or even another FLYING SAUCER.

They headed off in an entirely new direction.

They created a GYROPLANE.

The Avian 2/180 Gyroplane, specifically.

Say what??!!

Now I won’t say a lot here…but I will say it is an aviation story that needs to be told.

Special Projects IR is waiting to acquire all the necessary and pertinent info related to Avian… to tell the “tale” ~

BUT YOU can see the flying GYRO “beast” above an August 2007 photo of the building that was built for, and once housed AVIAN, but is now an auto-collision facility!

The AVIAN Gyroplane certification prototype first flew in November of 1965.

SPECIAL THANKS to Dawn Livingstone and Mark Rowe, of the Esquesing Historical Society, for their assistance.

© 2007 Dawn Livingstone
© 2007 Special Projects IR
© 2007 Paul Cardin
© 1969 – 2007 Avian Aircraft Ltd