This aviation handbook is designed to be used as a quick reference to the classic military heritage aircraft that have been flown by members of the Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and the present-day Canadian Forces. The interested reader will find useful information and a few technical details on most of the military aircraft that have been in service with active Canadian squadrons both at home and overseas. 100 selected photographs have been included to illustrate a few of the major examples in addition to the serial numbers assigned to Canadian service aircraft. For those who like to actually see the aircraft concerned, aviation museum locations, addresses and contact phone numbers have been included, along with a list of aircraft held in each museum’s current inventory or on display as gate guardians throughout Canada and overseas. The aircraft presented in this edition are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type. Although many of Canada’s heritage warplanes have completely disappeared, a few have been carefully collected, restored and preserved, and some have even been restored to flying condition. This guide-book should help you to find and view Canada’s Warplane survivors.
J.A.D. McCurdy flew the Aerial Experimental Association’s (AEA) Silver Dart from the ice of Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia on 23 February 1909. Shortly after the successful flight, Alexander Graham Bell attempted to interest government officials in aviation. In early June the Silver Dart was shipped to Camp Petawawa, where J.A.D. McCurdy and his partner F.W. Baldwin test flew the aircraft on 2 August 1909. A shed was erected to house the machine and a new 40-hp Kirkham automobile engine was shipped in for the aircraft. McCurdy flew the Silver Dart briefly, and was then joined by Baldwin for two more “hops.” On the fourth flight that morning, McCurdy misjudged his landing and crashed in rough ground. He and Baldwin were shaken up and cut and the machine was badly damaged. This was the Silver Dart’s first significant accident after some flights, although it had been lightly damaged during one of its previous 14 flights in the USA. Their second machine, the CAC Baddeck No. 1 was soon assembled and fitted with the Silver Dart‘s Kirkham engine. This aircraft crashed on its second flight and was a total wreck. The Baddeck No. 1 was repaired in Nova Scotia and Baddeck No. 2 was built, with the second version completing more than 50 successful flights. The Canadian Militia Council was offered both of these aircraft, but the offer was turned down. It should be noted that the first flights in Canada wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if Alexander Graham Bell’s wife Mabel hadn’t used her personal fortune to finance the aerial operations. Replicas of the Silver Dart are displayed in the Aerospace Museum, Calgary, Alberta. Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta; in the Canada Aviation Museum, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario. Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Bedford, Nova Scotia. ¾-scale replica in the Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Glenn Curtiss Museum, Hammondsport, New York. Ed Lubitz is building a replica at his airfield just west of Kitchener, with completion planned for Aug 2009. The AEA 2005 replica which flew in February 2009 is being rotated to a number of sites including CFB Greenwood until a display site is completed at the Bell Museum, possibly by 2011. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario has a ½-scale replica. Jack Minor, Port Colborne, Ontario has a trailerable ½-scale replica. The Town of Baddeck, Nova Scotia has a ¼-scale replica.
Major Harold A. Skaarup, CD2, BFA, MA in War Studies, is a Canadian Forces Army Intelligence Officer with an interest in Military History. He has served overseas with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade in Germany, with the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Nicosia, Cyprus, with the NATO-led Peace Stabilisation Force in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with North American Aerospace Defence Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and with the International Security Assistance Force, Kabul Multi-National Brigade in Kabul, Afghanistan. He currently lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.