The Canadian National Exhibition and the Canadian International Air Show



Beaver #1000 which rolled off the line at Downsview in late 1956. Still flying today as a seaplane in B.C. carrying passengers every day – A tough bird!

The Vampire

The development of radar in the 1930s led the RAF to revise its defences against bombers. Traditional reliance on standing patrols along the coast had emphasized endurance. Radar, however, facilitated fighter scrambles emphasizing speed and rate of climb. Performance soared to new heights in Britain with development of the jet engine under Fl-Lt. Frank Whittle. In 1935 Whittle found sponsors who helped to facilitate Power Jets, the company formed to develop Whittle’s engines with air ministry research money. It produced the W.1, which made its first successful run in June, 1939. However, the engine produced only 1,000 pounds when 3,000 was needed. Almost immediately a spec was issued to produce the second version, the W.2, with 3,000 lbs thrust. Gloster was to produce the aircraft, while Rover built the engine.  [ More info … ]

AVRO Aircraft & Cold War Aviation - Randall Whitcomb

This book is definitely not another rehash of old Avro Arrow material! It covers the entire history of Avro Canada, includes much about Avro in Britain and about advanced aviation progress in the United States. Its sub-plots involve the aerospace race of the 20th century set in global political aspects. The reader will discover the exciting advances in aviation over the last century and be able to assess the impact of the Avro story as a result. Statistical comparisons of Avro’s products to the benchmark products of the American competition provide the most shocking evidence of how advanced the Avro actually was.  [  More info …  ]

De Havilland in Canada - Fred W. Hotson

The story moves to the Second World War with the Tiger Moth, Anson and Mosquito – the magnificent “Wooden Wonder” and the fastest bomber of it’s time. Next come the postwar blues, with workers laid off; but the parent company backed DHC’s concept for a Tiger Moth replacement, the Chipmunk. From this venture a skilled DHC design team emerged. Manager Phil Garratt followed with his dream of a small bush plane, the amazing Beaver. Details follow of subsequent projects – the Otter, Caribou, Buffalo, Twin Otter, Dash 7 and Dash 8.  [ More info … ]

deHavilland Canada’s STOL Aircraft

A paper by George Georgas

STOL has had a flexible definition over the years. The DHC-2 Beaver was conceived as a rugged, easily maintained bush plane that could land and take-off in confined areas, particularly lakes, both in summer and winter (Fig. 1). As with all of the subsequent DHC aircraft types, it was designed to meet and operate under one or another set of established national civil air worthiness regulations. When the prototype DHC-2 Beaver, CF-FHB-X first flew, on the 16th of August 1947, the term STOL hadn’t yet been invented! In the case of the Beaver, the regulations were the British Civil Airworthiness Regulations, Section K, Normal Category. Initially, its gross weight was 4,500 lbs. but this was eventually increased by 13 percent to 5,100 lbs. [ More info … ]

Robert Howden Fowler

On August 26, 1944, Bob had a harrowing experience. His aircraft was hit by flak over Caen. Eighty holes were later found in the bomber. The left engine was hit and the prop became ungovernable, so he reduced power. Fuel was leaking into the navigator’s compartment. The landing gear was unlocked and drooped down. Bob, losing altitude, offered the crew the option to bail out. They refused. Bob followed two other crippled Mitchells into an airfield on the U.S. side. The first aircraft landed safely, but the second flew past the end of the runway and burst into flames. Bob was landing towards a burning airplane, without flaps and hydraulics. The navigator hand-pumped the gear down, but the left tire was shot out. It was a very rough landing, ending in a ground loop. Luckily, the crew quickly evacuated safely, with fuel still coming out of the wing. Bob wrote in the Journal that it was sometimes a relief to not fly in formation, often in high concentration. Crews often flew very close to the ground. After the war, he realized he had flown over numerous hazards that he wasn’t aware of.  [ More info … ]

The X-Planes

How did we gain an aviation industry in Western New York and part of Canada? It was due to Glenn Curtiss of Hammondsport, NY where he was running a bicycle shop and developing engines for motorcycles. In 1907 Curtiss set a world speed record of 136 mph on Ormond Beach, Florida, while riding the world’s first V-8 powered motorcycle that he built in his shop. For this feat, Curtiss become known, ”as the fastest man on earth”. People tried to get Curtiss interested in building engines for the emerging new field of aviation. Curtiss was at first reluctant, but when the airplane became more prominent, he quickly formed the Curtiss Aeroplane Company. Curtiss caught the attention of Alexander Graham Bell, the famous inventor, who had just formed the Aerial Experiment Association which was financed by Bell’s wife Mabel.  [ More info … ]

Canadian Military Aircraft