Tuesday, April 20, 2010

::: This WAS Streetsville ::: 1979


WHERE have all the CHEERLEADERS gone?

On a similar note, where have the junior and senior FOOTBALL TEAMS gone??


The EFFEMINIZATION of the Canadian male continues…

Somehow, badminton just doesn't cut it for us OLD SCHOOL types.

(B/W, Hand tinted by me, photographer unknown)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

::: ORENDA IROQUOIS ::: Toronto ::: 1957

WELL, WHEN IT CAME TIME for testing the Canadian designed, and produced Orenda Iroquois PS-13 jet engine…Avro Canada needed a BIG airplane.

You know, for doing some actual flight testing.

Someone suggested creating another Jet Lancaster.

That idea was immediately shot down. A much bigger airplane, a more weighty one, was needed…unless you wanted to send a disintegrated Lancaster right into deep space!

"Well, the Lancaster…that's the biggest airplane the RCAF has!"

"…but, America has the Boeing B-47 Stratojet , it's H-U-G-E!"

Get one.

And so the RCAF, somehow, got one. RCAF and Avro Canada pilots had to be trained to fly one.

But before you know it, before you could say, "greatest jet engine in the world", Canadair of Montreal, mounted the PS-13 Orenda Iroquois in an engine pod on the starboard side of the gigantic American bomber (see picture, and the pod…within the two yellow oblong circles), and those pilots learned how to fly a Stratojet.

As a test-pilot at Avro Canada you just never knew what the future would bring. One day you're falling asleep at a table playing craps, or solitaire…asking yourself why you took this job; the next day someone drops an 800 page Stratojet Flight Manual on the very same table, tells up to snap to it…and again, you wonder why you took this job!

The RCAF B-47B Stratojet—in Toronto, in both pics above, is the only B-47 to have ever served outside of the USAF. The Stratojet was America's frontline bomber in SAC (Strategic Air Command). These were the Cold War years, folks. The USAF had 600 of their 2,000 Stratojets on standby at bases everywhere…to take to the air with a nuclear payload at a moments notice. The Americans didn't take it lightly…loaning the world's first swept-wing bomber to a bunch of Canadian yahoos who were no longer just a bunch of brawling hockey goons… but had become, somehow, also, world-class aeronautical engineers! The B-47 would later evolve into the B-52, as we all know—

A 50 hour benchmark engine test had to be completed on the B-47 before anyone would start to take the Iroquois engine seriously.

At the 150 hour benchmark, the engine becomes viable, and can be sold worldwide.

Iroquois Jet Engine 1003 was so powerful that it could propel the massive bomber all on its own…with all six B-47 engines turned off!

Kidding? No, not kidding!

That PS-13 Orenda Iroquois jet engine turbine rotor blade (lower pic) is from Engine 1003, the Iroquois used to complete the 50 hour benchmark test. It belonged to E.K Brownbridge, Orenda Engines's Executive Vice-President and General Manager, during the time when Avro Canada was seriously marketing the engine…come one, come all.

And, yes, it is now owned by moi, me.

PS-13 Orenda Iroquois Jet Engine 1003 has a permanent home in Hamilton, Ontario at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

I gonna' tell you TWO SECRETS that you likely never knew before.

One, for sure.

What ever happened to the Orenda Engines Limited, which was once a subsidiary of Avro Aircraft of Canada Ltd? I mean, we know that Avro Canada, the manufacturing facilities that once churned out Lancasters by the hundreds, 700 CF-100s, and 37 Arrows in various stages of completion, were wrecked by GTAA lunatics, and bulldozed to the ground a few years back.

But what became of Orenda?

It makes me sick, BUT I'll tell you. It became, ARE YOU READY, Toronto's International Centre! Once a building that produced world-class jet engines, and flying saucers…has been reduced to a revolving warehouse clearance centre, and consumer and trade show emporium!

Oh…my ticker…

(self-talk…calm…calm…relax…,…, …)

T h a t ' s … b e t t e r …

And that final secret?

Everyone in Canada…and a handful of Americans know, how big the Arrow could have been.

Few know…the Orenda Iroquois jet engine could have easily surpassed the cutting-edge success of the Arrow interceptor. Certainly, commercially. The Iroquois was the superstar waiting in the wings… to save the day. Singularly capable of returning all of that Government of Canada, peoples of Canada' monetary investment, in both the Arrow and Iroquois programmes. A technological bumper crop. The PS-13 was an engine that WOULD HAVE been sold worldwide. It was simply…hands down…the best engine design available, at the time.

CURTIS-WRIGHT, in 1957, had ALREADY signed a deal with Orenda, to produce the Iroquois under license. The American engine maker believed that 12,000 Iroquois engines could be sold over the life of the engine. The deal was worth billions of dollars! All that Curtis-Wright needed from Orenda was for the company to complete the 150 hour benchmark test, successfully.

The IROQUOIS had sailed, SAILED, through the 50 hour benchmark test.

But before completing the 150 hour benchmark test, the gloomy Luddite Prime Minister of Canada, John G. Diefenbaker, on February 20th, 1959, cancelled both the production of the Avro Arrow, and any further testing on the PS-13 Orenda Iroquois.

America has ITS' Benedict Arnold…Canada HAS John G. Diefenbaker!

'nuff, said—

Get, Iroquois Rollout, by Peter Zuuring, for a good pictorial of the development of the Orenda Iroquois, right up to and past, the cancellation of the Iroquois programme.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

CWH Sidesteps CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, Orders into Production…3,000 Avro Arrows!

The Prime Minister's Office was pezzed.

LAST YEAR the PMO was going to shut down the CWH museum…until someone pointed out to Harper, that the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum IS… a flying museum. The CWH have almost as many operational, fighters, bombers, interceptors, AND secret projects…as the present Canadian Armed Forces!

They are a force to be reckoned with.

That's when Harper changed his mind.

And the Prime Minister's Office could not be reached for comment, as I penned this piece.

SO ARROW PRODUCTION HAS BEEN secretly taking place in China since last year! The first Avro Arrows have already been arriving, in Hamilton…three weeks ago—

I got one!

Ok, ok, maybe they aren't operational Arrows.

Ok, ok…but they are a FINE DIECAST REPLICAS of Arrow 203!

The detail on these 1/72 scale RL 203 Arrows is beyond belief (see picture). The Arrow can stand on its own, or be placed on an included stand to race through the skies, unchallenged!

The weighty model is almost 14" long!

And the awesome detail…did I mention the awesome detail, of these Arrow models?

There's Aeroclassics, Gemini, Herpa, Franklin Mint Precision Models, etc, etc,

Well, now the CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE MUSEUM has their own line of die-cast models.

The CWH won't tell anybody whose creating these fine models for them. For their introductory airplane, CWH has crafted the Avro Arrow RL 203 of the RCAF. And that Arrow has been selling like hotcakes. The production run of 3,000 is almost SOLD-OUT!

Why every Canadian doesn't own one of these (at $89.99) …I'll never know!


Well, because every Canadian can't own one…the run is limited to 3,000!!

AVIATION WORLD, in Canada, has some.

The CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE , itself, has less than 100 left!

In the USA KensAviation.com (Stuff You Can Buy ----> Historic Aviation --> Search--> CF-105)

You been warned.

Don't come cryin' to me when you've missed out on your LAST CHANCE to own one! I told ya'. I told ya'!




THIS WAR PRIZE (as they were called, back then) Messerschmitt Me.262A-1a Schwalde (Swallow) is shown in a hangar at RCAF Station: Downsview, in 1952.

This Leslie Corness photo appears in the incredible CANAV book by Larry Milberry entitled, "The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection".

A fantastic airplane photobook spanning almost five decades, featuring photographs taken by RCAF chaplain Rev. Leslie Corness. (of course, I own a copy!)

This photo of Me.262A-1a, Luftwaffe 500210, in the CANAV book states that this Me.262 was posing for pics in Aylmer, Ontario.


Notice the De Havilland Vampires in the background?

There weren't any in Aylmer, but there were lots in Toronto. RCAF 400 Squadron based out of Toronto, had oodles of Vamps.

That Me.262 is sitting right where the Canadian De Havilland Mosquito manufacturing line was during WW II! Right there in Downsview, right there in Toronto. Note the Junkers Jumo 004 B-1 turbojet on the ground underneath the 262's nose. Also note the RAF tail marking, RAF serial no. VH509 and the Air Ministry no. 52.

This 262 was flight tested in Britain by the Royal Aeronautical Establishment…but was never flown in Canada. However, it was, for sure, fired up a coupla' times at Downsview.

Two Me.262s were shipped to Canada for the National Research Council and for the RCAF.

War prizes.

One went to Aylmer, Ontario (near London) RCAF Station: Aylmer…and was scrapped there in 1950!

That historical Me.262, had been flown by Oblt. Fritz Stehle who had recorded the LAST KILL of the Luftwaffe during WW II! Stehle took off from Zatec (Czechoslovakia) on May 8, 1945 and en route shot down a Soviet P-39, after which he landed in Fassberg, and immediately surrendered to the British forces there!

And yes, Stehle's historical jet fighter was scrapped, right here…in Ontario!

Right after the CO of RCAF Station: Aylmer, had downed an entire bottle of stupid pills.

Our other war prize Me.262 went to RCAF Station: Downsview…AND never left!

Well, where is it then, since it's not in CASM's collection?

IT IS BURIED somewhere on the Bombardier Aerospace airport grounds which are located at Downsview, the site of the former De Havilland Aircraft of Canada manufacturing facility, and of former CFB Downsview.

Just so you know, the Canadian Air and Space Museum (also at Downsview, and is home of the TAM Arrow) has been SECRETLY looking for that Me.262…for TWO YEARS!!

Got any idea where on the grounds it was buried, Torontonians????

All four Jumo engines from these two Me.262A aircraft are in the Canadian Aviation Museum's collection, in Rockcliffe, Ontario…so a remnant of Stehl's historical Luftwaffe jet-fighter, indeed, remains.

1,400 Me262s were produced. Only a small portion of that quantity ever saw action since fuel was scarce. One hundred Me.262s were lost in combat, while they were able to shoot down 150 Allied aircraft. So the Me.262 had little effect on the outcome of the war, but it would greatly effect the post-war period.

The Allies were absolutely mesmerized with the Me. 262.

Its design was far ahead of anything the Allies had produced, or had on their drawing boards. This German aircraft would greatly influence the early jet age.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

:::Miss Orenda Aerospace 2010 ::…

… well, not really.

But in a perfect world ~


Toronto Argonaut cheerleader, member of the BLUE THUNDER.

::: HAS THE Royal Canadian Navy DIRIGIBLE, HMCD Samuel de Champlain…FINALLY, finally, been found? ::

On MARCH 31, 1930, at 23:56 pm, a large airship, the Royal Canadian Navy dirigible, known as the HMCD Samuel de Champlain, which had been made in Friedrichshafen, Germany, by the Zeppelin Company, disappeared without a trace…and was never heard from again.

32 lives lost.

At the time it was Canada's largest air disaster.

Oh, they looked for her. For months afterwards. Crisscrossing northern Quebec, in vain, in vain, I tell ya!

Fast forward to 2009.

Well, the Samuel de Champlain has been lost for nigh of 80 years.

But has she NOW been found?

HAS THE Royal Canadian Navy dirigible HMCD Samuel de Champlain FINALLY been found?

AND CAN Vintage Wings of Canada rebuild her?

Well, we're getting ahead of ourselves, here.

Remember those bad storms that happened mostly throughout Quebec, and the Eastern provinces? The very one that caused only a few inconveniences around Ontario, but power was down everywhere else, about 10 years ago?

You remember that storm?

C'mon…you know the one that Mel Lastman, then Mayor of Toronto, called in the Canadian Armed Forces to restore…order in Toronto?

Well no, not actually, order…he called them in, to remove snow! S N O W !!

The Canadian Armed Forces!?!?

I can see my American friends rolling their eyes.

We have a lot of whackjobs up here, in Canada, folks.

'nuff, said!

Now, think 1930.

Same whip-snap cold…and the same, merciless, snow storms.

Montreal Canadiens star player Howie Morenz, the singer La Bolduc (the Celine Dionne of her day) and Guy Lombardo, bandleader, of "The Royal Canadians" on March 27, 1930 go missing in their Ford Trimotor while on a goodwill tour of mining sites in northern Quebec!

In those days that was pretty much ALL THE TALENT we had in Canada, folks!

Now, lost.

The Prime Minister of Canada was immediately alarmed.

William Lyon Mackenzie King commanded the RCAF and the Royal Canadian Navy to quit playin' around, and find those damn stars!

The RCAF started looking immediately.

The Royal Canadian Navy joined the search two days later…with the arrival of the behemoth airship, the HMCD Samuel de Champlain. Crew of 2…with 30 observers for every porthole in the light deck (passenger basket under the airship).

If you can't find a missing airplane with 30 trained observers looking… that airplane can't be found. Even in stormy weather.

And WHO was the captain of that dirigible?

Commodore Morris S. Crosby.

Crosby, Crosby, Crosby…where have I heard that name before?

Oh, yeah…Sidney Crosby…Canada's winning overtime goal…for Men's Hockey GOLD in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Are they related?

Yup. Commodore Morris Crosby is hockey legend Sidney's great grandfather.

Commodore Crosby's last words at four minutes to midnight were,

"... weighed down. Men in panic. Seven lost at 1032 hrs... less than fifty feet... God help us live through...".

The HMCD Samuel de Champlain's last transmission was received both at Matagami, and Ste. Couche Tard.

And then for 80 years nothing.

And the search vessel, HMCD Samuel de Champlain was presumed lost.

Well there were apparitions. Crosby's grandfather and two guides have appeared to many folk. Several hunters have gone mad from these ghostly appearances.

Rogue, repeated, rough, HMCD Samuel de Champlain mayday transmissions…occurred through the years…years after the horrific event.

And what of the lost sports and entertainment stars?

When the storm lifted, they were found 30 miles from Matagami, safe and sound.

In 2009, two kayakers near Strutton Islands in James Bay found an old Inuit hunting blind that had been long abandoned. Strange cloth and framework construction thought the two kayakers. They took pics and showed them to the RCMP.

The RCMP is presently in lockdown mode around the issue. But it is believed the hunting blind is constructed from material that was found in the crew quarters of HMCD Samuel de Champlain.

THIS JUNE, Vintage Wings of Canada is returning to the crash site and hopes to be able to find the whole damn, dirigible.

And they hope to reconstruct her!

Don't laugh.

See what Vintage Wings of Canada has done thus far:

If anyone can do it, they can!

This was a Vintage Wings of Canada, APRIL FOOL'S joke!

I HAD LEFT MY flash card at home…so my iPhone took-over camera duty with this leftside pic.

Not great, but not half bad as pictures go.

Actually this house (not shown) is for lease, and not for sale. What you're looking' at in the newer photo shows exactly where the underside of Flight 621's starboard DC-8 wing came to rest, 40 years ago, this July. The wing was nestled in between the sign, and the electrical box, spookily enough, back in the day.

The David Davies photo shows the burnt DC-8 wing, and members of the jury who were local professionals, from all walks of life, called upon to assist with the crash. The jury were to observe and review each aspect of the crash, in order to later assist in compiling a crash report for the province of Ontario's, Ministry of Transport.

By the time this large piece of the wing hit the ground, Air Canada Flight 621 was corkscrewing through her final airborne stage and would soon slam into the ground, nose first, at over 400 mph!

BEFORE HOMES were built in this newer development of Castlemore, and while the land was still a farmer's field, I found an old discarded "stubby" beer bottle on site. Remember those??

CAROL PARR, eye witness to the air disaster told me the OPP officers who were assigned to guard the DC-8 wing on that smidgeon of their 140 acres of property, sat in a lone chair just off to the side of the burnt wing. Day and night these officers dutifully kept watch, and enjoyed a beer or two, while on assignment. She could see the wing and the officers from the back of her house.

The current lot owners know nothing of the historical significance of their Upper Ridge Crescent property, in Castlemore, and its ancient connection with ill-fated Air Canada flight. The real-estate agent Devinder Kumar expressed shock when I relayed the sobering details. And the 109 deaths. The home is 3530 feet from Flight 621's point of impact, or two thirds of a mile away.

Ironically, the other part of the Air Canada Stretch 8's starboard wing, the top part, tore away, only a quarter mile away. That other part of the DC-8's wing went crashing through the roof of Carol's parent's bungalow, before coming to rest on the lawn in her parent's backyard.

Carol's parent's who happened to be outside at 8:08 am, on that bright, sunny, and horrific, Sunday morn…were not amused when the separated wing piece came crashing down! As early risers however, they were quite relieved that they weren't still sleeping in their bed on that tragic morning.

:::: The Winds, Have Changed :::.:.

ATTENTION… My Aviator Friends… you may want to pass over this post!

You have been WARNED.

FROM THE ALBUM… "The Winds Have Changed" comes the perfectly rendered, hidden hymn, "Here, I Am."

There remains to this day, a rumour.

It is a rumour amongst angels…

A rumour that God, sat up, and took notice of this song, when it was sung for the very first time.

There was a distinct feeling of being noticed by the transcendent One. And of noticing, an Other.

For nary a nanosecond, God was caught off guard, his guard dropped, and His presence was detected.

And then, the awareness was gone.

Folks, this hasn't happened since the days of King David.

When David's music pleased the Lord.

Eric Genuis, the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, and Ann Marie Boskovich have gathered to give the world a momentous album. But the world is not ready.

That world takes no notice.

And so the album never makes the hit parade.

And Mr Genuis (pronounced GEEN•us) resumes to flying below the radar.

In this touring rendition of, "Here, I Am" … American, Caroline Brooks, provides the stunning vocals.

And no… she does not falter.

THEY SAY THIS WOMAN is an angel. And I believe it!

Sensational album.

Did I already say that?

But the world is not ready.

No major label is promoting Eric. And Caroline remains, unsigned.

And so, in perfect pathetic fallacy, the moon should careen into the Earth. Now.


THERE IS a sliver of hope, yet.

Not, all, it seems, is lost.

Some of Eric's songs can be found on iTunes.

Yes. And, this one.

But there still remains Eric's forgotten album of the early 90s. Last in Line.

Eric's songs. Eric's vocals. Eric on piano. Eric's masterpiece.

I know one Catholic priest, in Hamilton, who has a copy. Father K. And that's it!

So good luck in finding that gem!

I think there may be another hidden copy in Stoney Creek. But you'd need an airplane to find it.

No. Catholic. Inspirational. Collection. Is. Complete. Without. Both. Of. These. Albums.

But this exceedingly rare album is truly only for Christians—

Sorry, paganos.

I really don't know how a pagan would relate to it. How could they? Or the busy, unreflective, secular, humanoid?

Or, one of Hitchy's shallow cracklings.

Better not to try—

"I passed this way in silence. For I had hoped to pass this way, unnoticed."

And some have no religious stirrings, at all.

Sad, really.

::: 1ST FLIGHT ::: AVRO ARROW :: March 25, 1958

… and REMEMBER folks, the Avro Arrow went straight from the drawing board to production aircraft.

There were NO PROTOTYPES made. Not one! No experimental airplanes were subjected to testing. None to work out those challenging "kink"s which must always accompany an undertaking of this size!

That traditional process step was simply eliminated…

Just another way, AVRO CANADA did things… a wee bit differently~

© 1958 CBC (movie clip)