Monday, March 30, 2009

Lancaster GROUNDED! ::: No Cheer in Hamilton!!

GIRLS…put away your pom-poms. Our Lanc' hangered on the Mountain has been grounded indefinitely ~

HAMILTON CHEERLEADERS perform in the Roger's Centre. Where else could the lighting be so bad!

FULL STORY: See below—

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Will Our 'MIGHTY LANC' Fly Again?

FOLKS, you know very well, if AVRO CANADA was still around…they would just give the MUCH NEEDED Lancaster props to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, free of charge!

Such was the greatness and generosity of the company.

The Mississauga Hospital is there today because Crawford Gordon (President of Avro Canada) and the company Avro got behind the fundraising efforts to put a hospital in Mississauga, where one was desperately needed in the 50s.

And our Lanc was one of their own.

That Lancaster, you see before you, was made in the very same bays as the legendary CF-105 Arrow! No foolin'.

But alas…Avro ISN'T around to bail out the Lanc.

It's just you. And me.

Without $100, 000 CDN…the propellers can't be purchased and the Lancaster will miss out on the airshow "revenue circuit" this season. When she flys, people pay to fly with her. She makes money for the museum!

We gotta' keep the cycle going.

So whatever you can give…


HERE, I'll let the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum tell you all about the dilemma:

At this time we are seeking your financial support for a very special project here at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. During the annual inspection on our Lancaster bomber aircraft it was discovered that there is a corrosion issue with the propellers and until we can replace these propeller blades our Lancaster will be grounded.

The propellers used on the aircraft are unique and although we have been fortunate enough to locate a very limited and currently available supply, the total replacement cost will be about $100,000.00. As I am sure you are aware, we own and operate one of only two Lancaster bombers still flying in the world today. This aircraft is the most popular and notable aircraft in our collection and we therefore receive many requests to have the Lancaster attend events throughout North America. Unfortunately without new propeller blades we will not be able to meet our flying commitments for the 2009 season.

As this year is the Centennial of Flight in Canada, the Lancaster has been requested to attend a number of high profile events and venues including Air Venture at Oshkosh, WI, the largest air show in the world. It is also scheduled to go to Cold Lake, Alberta; Bagotville, Quebec; and Winnipeg, Manitoba; as well as attending several other events in Southern Ontario. In 2009 the Lancaster C-GVRA flight schedule has been planned to allow many hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy this aviation icon during the course of the summer as we celebrate 100 years of powered flight in Canada.

In order to honour our commitments, we must endeavor to make our Lancaster airworthy once again. We have sent an appeal letter to our members and supporters and now we are asking for your assistance at this difficult time. With less than 2% of our annual operating budget coming from any government grant or assistance, we rely very heavily on supporters like you. As a donor, your investment in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is an investment in a great Canadian success story. We still have a great deal to be accomplished here at the museum and we hope you will take part in this worthy endeavor.

PLEASE DONATE NOW!!
Donations can be made on our website by clicking: www.warplane.com/Gift-Shop/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=38&a....

Or please contact the museum at (905) 679-4183 to donate by phone.

Donations can also be mailed in to:
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 9280 Airport Road, Mount Hope, ON. L0R 1W0

Please mark "Lancaster Propeller Fund" on your cheques.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lancaster: URGENT APPEAL!

Our "Made in Toronto" Avro Lancaster Bomber has been grounded.

Corrosion found. Propellers.

$100, 000 CDN needed to get our Lanc back in the air.

Whatever you can give…

HERE, I'll let the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum tell you:

"At this time we are seeking your financial support for a very special project here at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. During the annual inspection on our Lancaster bomber aircraft it was discovered that there is a corrosion issue with the propellers and until we can replace these propeller blades our Lancaster will be grounded.

The propellers used on the aircraft are unique and although we have been fortunate enough to locate a very limited and currently available supply, the total replacement cost will be about $100,000.00. As I am sure you are aware, we own and operate one of only two Lancaster bombers still flying in the world today. This aircraft is the most popular and notable aircraft in our collection and we therefore receive many requests to have the Lancaster attend events throughout North America. Unfortunately without new propeller blades we will not be able to meet our flying commitments for the 2009 season.

As this year is the Centennial of Flight in Canada, the Lancaster has been requested to attend a number of high profile events and venues including Air Venture at Oshkosh, WI, the largest air show in the world. It is also scheduled to go to Cold Lake, Alberta; Bagotville, Quebec; and Winnipeg, Manitoba; as well as attending several other events in Southern Ontario. In 2009 the Lancaster C-GVRA flight schedule has been planned to allow many hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy this aviation icon during the course of the summer as we celebrate 100 years of powered flight in Canada.

In order to honour our commitments, we must endeavor to make our Lancaster airworthy once again. We have sent an appeal letter to our members and supporters and now we are asking for your assistance at this difficult time. With less than 2% of our annual operating budget coming from any government grant or assistance, we rely very heavily on supporters like you. As a donor, your investment in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is an investment in a great Canadian success story. We still have a great deal to be accomplished here at the museum and we hope you will take part in this worthy endeavor.

PLEASE DONATE NOW!!
Donations can be made on our website: www.warplane.com/Gift-Shop/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=38&a...

Or please contact the museum at (905) 679-4183 to donate by phone.

Donations can also be mailed in to: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 9280 Airport Road, Mount Hope, ON. L0R 1W0

Please mark "Lancaster Propeller Fund" on your cheques."

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Way We Were ::: 1953 ::: CANADA

That's CRAWFORD GORDON (President, A.V. Roe) and FRED SMYE (Vice President, A.V. Roe) shaking hands with the men who were rolling THE FIRST CF-100 Mark IV Canuck off the line, in 1953. On time, and right on schedule.

What a difference two years made with Crawford at the helm.

The earlier CF-100s were delivered to the RCAF in 1951, two years late by that point, and structurally unsound.

Shortly thereafter Crawford turned the whole lackluster enterprise around, commandeering Avro to become the 3rd largest company in Canada by 1955!

So when the tale of Canada is told…the story of Avro CANADA (A. V. Roe Canada) must be told, as well.

To Canadians.

Forget Louis Riel, who was only an insignificant dreamer. But, whom, my history teachers were absolutely mesmerized with back in the soulless high school years of the late 70s.

The esprit de corps at Avro Canada, and the aeronautical achievements at Avro and Orenda for Canadians, and by Canadians, in the 17 short years of her aviation related existence, were absolutely breathtaking for the outsider to behold. Employees were enthusiastic. And unquestionably devoted. As a collective they had that strong regard for the honour of their company. And their country.

Avro was the only place to be, in Canada, in the 50s.

But, let's not pretend. It'll will never happen again.

The little country that could.

Did. However briefly. And that's where it ends.

We will never again repeat the scope and diversity of those aviation technological achievements from such a united and singular industrial base.

Marvels, really—

In technology, and industrial amalgamation.

Avro Canada funded initially and exclusively by the Government of Canada…but moving toward a more public and commercial model of self-sufficiency, only to be ruined in the end.

The Jetliner, the CF-100, the Avrocar, the Orenda Iroquois, and the Arrow. And all that stuff on the drawing boards. Only far flung memories now.

So Avro Canada must always be remembered for lofty dreams, detailed planning and brilliant execution…but only, only—by those Canadians that matter.

"NEVER WAS" does acknowledge the commercial and technological success of Bombardier Aerospace Canada…but I've always been partial to military stuff.

Hey, I gave my heart to Avro.

I own the copyright to this post production rework of the original Avro photo. All rights reserved.

© Paul Cardin
© 2009 SPIR

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BOMBER BOYS: The B.C.A.T.P. and an R.C.A.F. Lancaster Crew

video
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. We will remember them."



Monarch Films describes the BOMBER BOYS Series (4 DVDs):

"As seen on PBS stations comes a new four hour "living history" series set in the early days of World War II. Using a unique blend of living history elements, CGI, first-person interviews and never-before-seen W.W.II footage, this dramatic four-part documentary series, follows a new generation of "Bomber Boys" as they train to become a Lancaster Bomber crew. All are descendants of British, Australian, American and Canadian airmen, and while these new recruits struggle to come to terms with 1940s discipline and values - we hear the harrowing anecdotes of the "real" Bomber Boys - the veterans who flew into the night skies over Occupied Europe to fight in some of the most critical battles of the war. As the two groups come together, a special bond emerges and a bridge is built between the generations."

CANADA's special role during the war is thoroughly explained.

But what was Canada's special contribution?

Why it was the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (B.C.A.T.P.) or ("The Plan") of 1939-1945. Across Canada aircrews from the Commonwealth countries, the USA, Poland etc. were trained and prepared for combat. Upon completion of their training, successful candidates left Canada, were transported "across the pond" and filled up the ranks of the RAF.

SEE Monarch Films to purchase: www.createspace.com/212916


© Frantic Films
© Monarch Films

RCAF Approved: MAINTAINING Your Lancaster!

FIXING MY BOMBER


WHENEVER I'M working on my Lancaster, as you can see here I'm working on those mighty Merlins…I can't always go by memory.

Ain't what it used to be.

So I get out my Hayne's Owner's Workshop Manual for my Mighty Lanc before I do ANYTHING!

This is a damn expensive airplane, folks! And I can't take it to Canadian Tire!! Even though it was made here, locally, in Toronto.

So here goes.

Chocks in place.

Righty, tighty…lefty, loosey.

It doesn't get any better than this…working on my Lanc…Supertramp playing in the background, but hey…I almost forgot.

There is ALSO a Hayne's Owner's Workshop Manual for the Supermarine Spitfire and even the British Leyland one! Thanks ...Anna... for the tip.

WHY THERE ISN'T a Hayne's Owner's Guide for the Boeing B-17 or the North American P-51, only Ken knows. There isn't even one for the famous Taylorcraft 75.

There will be one for the Avro Arrow.

I assembled a little graphic here for the viewership, complete with page views from the books.

I. Ain't. Making. This. Stuff. Up.



© Hayne's Owner's Workshop Manuals
© SPIR
© Paul Cardin

Friday, March 13, 2009

:::: And A Mitchell Flew Through it

::: A New War Is Coming ::...

You guys know what I am talking about.

When groups here in Canada want to prevent our singing of the national anthem publicly…as far as I am concerned war has been declared.

So CANADIAN FREEDOM will have to be fought for all over again, but not over there in Europe, or the Far East, or Africa, but right here on our own soil.

In Canada.

So,

"Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, 'I am strong!'"

FREEDOM must always be earned…by each generation…it seems that IS the will of God.

And if your don't care about freedom…your freedom will be taken away. Inch by inch…or by blitzkrieg. That's the rule.

THOSE HEROES flying our Canadian bombers knew it. Do you?

The MOST HATED Canadian (still)

OH, OUR BELOVED ARROWS being torched, and cut-up—

Well Chief, Dief, this IS your legacy.

That 1963 cover of Newsweek says it all. Decline and fall.

You may have given the aboriginal people the vote, and you had an impressive quip about being Canadian…but THIS is all you are remembered for. And cursed.

Destroying the Arrow (and the Iroquois).

And ultimately Avro Canada.

Oh, and by the way, that 1959 Herb Nott flyover photo (shown above) was finally published after being suppressed for nearly two months! The Canadian public saw for the first time that the Arrows were being cut-up! The public outrage was enormous! The directive to do it quietly and quickly had ultimately failed!

The town of Neustadt, Ontario proudly declares that you were born there on a 50ish style sign leading into town. But the rest of the province feels…well, it’s not fit to print all that blue language, here.

The province of Saskatchewan commemorates you, John G, as their son most proud, honouring you even, with an official Diefenbaker Day. But my dad, also born in the province of Saskatchewan, always referred to you as that know-nothing, small-town, prairie lawyer.

You will forever be vilified by true Canadians.

Not only for canceling the Arrow and the Iroquois, but for destroying any remnants of them as well. While you said you never knew, nor ordered their destruction, someone in your cabinet did and you should have known what was going on, Mr. Joke PM.

Peter Zuuring, author of the wondrous pictorial : The Arrow Scrapbook, notes the real reason for their destruction by the Diefenbaker government:

“"It (The Arrow and Iroquois) was a Liberal project and the Conservative government got rid of it. And they're thinking, `What if the Liberals get back into power and want to resurrect it?'

They didn't want the embarrassment so that's why they tried to eradicate everything to do with the Arrow."

DIEFENBAKER dreamed and schemed to make Canada the breadbasket of the world. Somehow, he never noticed our breadbasket was already full.

Right then and there, but full with advanced aerospace technology!

Canada could have farmed that out to the world, alongside agrarian offerings.

But combine and hay bale, was all you understood.

Jack. Stupid Ass.

And remember Dief could rationalize anything. Years later, he would still think canceling the Arrow and Iroquois was the right thing to do! HE HAD NO BUSINESS SENSE whatsoever!! $379 million had been spent on all Avro related projects to date by the Canadian Government and a deal from the French for $120 million purchase was ready to be signed, but totalitarian John Diefenbaker scuttled it all!!!!

The money was in the machine, the symbols were lining up for jackpot…nope, now's the time, let's just walk away!!!

In the history of Canada I DON'T think there has been anyone more adjectively stupid than this.

Just when Canada was about to reclaim ONE THIRD of our Avro investment…he stopped it all. The RECOUP.

He shoulda' been shot and pizzed on.

Should my political party ever ascend to power, all Diefenbaker monuments and statues will be smashed and properly destroyed for the hypocrisy they represent. All trace of Diefenbaker will be wiped from the national archives, post haste!

AVRO CANADA would be undissolved and work immediately commence on the CF-105 Arrow Mark V overseen by Bombardier Canada.

Canada needs to position itself maturely in the new millennium, taking steps toward independence and becoming self-reliant…it is our destiny—


TRIVIA: Why did ya do that?

"A Future Prime Minister Rescues a Former Prime Minister"


In 1965, while vacationing in Barbados, John Turner (future Prime Minister of Canada [1984] ) noticed that former Prime Minister and then-current Leader of the Opposition John G Diefenbaker, staying at the same hotel, was struggling in the strong surf and undertow.

Turner, being a competitive swimmer during university days, jumped in and pulled Diefenbaker to shore, saving his life.

Again John, why did ya do that?



© Herb Nott
© Newsweek
© SPIR (post-production)
© Paul Cardin

THE AVRO ARROW … Wow, wasn’t she a beauty?

video

YES, the whole world may have been going supersonic at the time Peter, but not at the speeds the Arrow was capable of.

Nor, with the Arrow's long distance Arctic Circle range and all-weather capability.

And none of the other supersonic fighters were anywhere near the size of the Arrow.

The Arrow was LARGE.

Company literature at the time boasted that the CF-105 Arrow was as big as a WW II bomber. You know, like a Lancaster…

© CBC
© CBC Home Video (The Arrow)

BUY THIS MOVIE! If you're Canadian!!
Available everywhere ON-LINE and maybe even @ Ken's Aviation!

CHEERING For The Arrow…

…well, actually the ARGOS…but in a perfect world…

BLACK FRIDAY and Secret Toronto: Briarcrest

Black Friday + Two Weeks.

Well, I was truly surprised when I discovered the inside of Briarcrest virtually untouched since the Avro days.

Avro STILL in our midst.

AVRO CANADA Inc. purchased this 11 acre English-style tudor estate from Avro President and General Manager Walter N. Deisher who had used it as a personal residence. Walter was let go by Avro to make way for Crawford Gordon Jr., one of Canada’s famous dollar a year boys, once called forth by CD Howe to run the country’s industrial war effort during World War II.

“Crawford, go in there and fix Avro, and fix that damn CF-100!”

Howe’s sentiments, if perhaps, not his exact words.

Gordon Crawford had been Howe’s “Boy Wonder” during the war years and received the coveted OSC award, which was given to only a very few of this elite.

Remember, when Crawford arrived, Avro Canada was in utter disarray. Completely demoralized as an organization. The CF-100 which had been proudly delivered to the RCAF, with so much fanfare only shortly before, months maybe, and had now just been returned to the company by the very same RCAF!

It was quite bad.

The wonky CF-100 examples that were returned had warped wings! Rivets were popping out everywhere.

Stress problems. Only a few short years previous, Sir Roy Dobson had publicly stated that the Lancasters built by Avro Canada (then the crown corporation Victory Aircraft) under license, were better made than the English produced ones!

But we won’t go into it here. That’s another story all in itself.

So here is the living, and meeting room at Briarcrest. Like I said, much like it was back when Crawford Gordon lived here during the final (last gasp) days of Avro.

Lived here?

Crawford, somewhat of a womanizer, had left his wife and needed a place to stay. So he came here, to the solitude, and quiet and refinement of Briarcrest.

Previous to Crawford’s stay, Briarcrest was the Avro executive get-away cottage. Complete with pool, tennis courts, a games room, and hand carved totem poles. Four authentic totem poles. All INSIDE the house, by the way, and located downstairs in the game room!

Inside the tudor style abode is a serious, yet cozy atmosphere. Intricately hand carved woodwork, ancient handmade metallic light switch plates, exotically tiled rooms…oh, I could go on and on.

Not important here.

And yeah, that’s the secret passageway to the right in this picture. It leads up to the meeting room, directly from the games room downstairs! By way of a large block stone hewn corridor!

The Diefenbaker government was to declare the results of their review about the ongoing viability of all Avro Canada related projects on March 31 of 1959. That was the declaration and promise of the Canadian government to Avro Canada. However, Diefenbaker, not listening to reason at all, whether voiced by the Opposition, the GTA community, or Avro management prematurely cancelled the projects in a spiteful move on February 20, 1959 at 11 am in the morning. This caught the company by surprise and was well before the agreed upon review date. It became known as Black Friday. Forever.

And where was Crawford when the Company received the bad news from Ottawa?

By fax I might add.

Home in bed.

Crawford had been a bit out of sorts of late, and had given express orders NOT to be disturbed unless an emergency arose at the office. Well, this was such an emergency.

Fred Smye, Assistant General Manager of Avro Canada Limited, went to Briarcrest and told a drowsy Crawford personally the bad news. News, which was already circulating like wildfire throughout his plant of 14, 000 workers. This was an utter shock to the Avro executive who had been reassuring Avro employees that all was indeed well, and that the Arrow and the Iroquois would go into full production as expected. On that assurance Avro people were buying cars, and buying homes, and having kids…with no hint of the dark days immediately before them.

Crawford Gordon now enraged, rose to the occasion. Bull. China. Shop.

He immediately called the remaining Avro executive to Briarcrest. And it was here, right in this very room, the famous Avro employee dismissal notice was crafted by those very Avro executive, and later that day delivered over the company PA system at 2 pm by J.L. Plant.

That termination notice would make headlines, splashed across Canadian newspapers, in the late evening addition, shocking Canadians everywhere.

Oh, and did ya’ notice?

SOMEBODY BESIDES me, in this GTA city of eight million, knows about Briarcrest’s Avro related days.

I didn’t hang that print, folks!

And so, in honour of that historical connection, a framed print of the CF-105 Avro Arrow being escorted by it’s aeronautical precedent, the CF-100 Canuck, proudly hangs above the Briarcrest fireplace 50 years later, put there by the present owner!

Small wonders never cease—

Oh, and Crawford, well he was let go a few months later. Yes, by the very company he had spawned and nurtured into an national empire and which had quietly became the third largest company in the Dominion of Canada by 1959. Crawford, now disillusioned, quietly moved on, to Montreal.

It has been said that once Crawford was done with a place, he never looked back. Or went back.

But Crawford we had to come here. Even fifty years hence.

We had to return to Briarcrest, if only for a moment, to once again get caught up in that aura of our past Canadian aviation excellence. Avro, the Arrow, and all that could have been…that once was the glorious Avro Canada—

And the anguished story that just won't go away.

© Paul Cardin
© Special Projects In Research