Air Force

Pilots Down

Canada’s most up-to-date aircraft in 1939 was the Northrop Delta, manufactured under licence by Canadian Vickers Ltd. in Montreal. It was about the size of a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter—a large, single-engine, low-wing monoplane, powerful and fast. Although noisy and said to be nose-heavy, the Delta was a versatile aircraft and pilots generally spoke...
  • The NCO Pilots: Air Force, Part 11

    September 1, 2005 by Hugh A. Halliday
    PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA62619 NCO pilot R.S. Grandy prepares for takeoff at Rockcliffe, Ont., in 1929. World War I British pilots were usually commissioned officers. Non-commissioned officer pilots were a rarity until 1918, and were still greatly outnumbered by officers. And so by late...
  • Flying the Hudson Strait: Air Force, Part 10

    July 1, 2005 by Hugh A. Halliday
    PHOTO: CANADIAN FORCES Adjustments are made to a Fokker Universal in the frigid waters of the Hudson Strait in the late 1920s. In 1922, the Canadian Air Force dispatched Squadron Leader R.A. Logan on the CGS Arctic during its annual cruise of the Eastern Arctic...
  • Godfrey Of The RCAF: Air Force, Part 9

    May 1, 2005 by Hugh A. Halliday
    PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA-PA114776 Air Vice-Marshal Albert Godfrey addresses personnel during a 1943 inspection at Gander, Nfld. Albert Earl Godfrey was a remarkable Royal Canadian Air Force officer, proud of two accomplishments above all else. One was having held, from 1910 to 1944, virtually...
  • Fathering Civil Aviation: Air Force, Part 8

    March 1, 2005 by Hugh A. Halliday
    photo: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA–PA139754 John Wilson accepts the Trans-Canada Trophy in Ottawa in 1944. Canada owes an enormous debt to John Armistead Wilson. Indeed, there should be an airport named after him, for in many ways he invented the Royal Canadian Air Force and...
  • Canadian Content In The RAF: Air Force, Part 7

    January 1, 2005 by Hugh A. Halliday
    photo: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA–C-086058 Percival S. Turner in 1941. At the outbreak of World War II, the Royal Canadian Air Force had 4,061 personnel, including 512 pilots. Overseas, Royal Air Force ranks included roughly 900 Canadians who had previously joined that force; approximately 700...
  • Preparing For The Past: Air Force, Part 6

    November 1, 2004 by Hugh A. Halliday
    PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA The Armstrong-Whitworth Atlas, used for army co-operation flying, joined the RCAF in the late 1920s. Army cooperation flying had been the central role of aircraft during World War I (Eyes In The Skies, March/April). In the interwar years, the Royal...
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