We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Moments in May. We encourage readers to send in their responses to the Canadian Aviation Moments questions at: Your responses will be included in the following month's newsletter. Here are the correct answers:

Question: When did the RCAF test fly the CT-114 Tutor? How many did the RCAF buy and in what time period?

Answer: Submitted by Bill Upton - A RCAF evaluation team first evaluated the Canadair CL-41 (Note: the military's "CT-114" designation was only assigned in 1968) prototype aircraft, CF-LTW-X, in March 1960 at Canadair Ltd. in Cartierville, Quebec. There are too many references, that for some unknown reason, quote the actual time period for this event as having taken place in December 1960. This oft-reported date is in error.

Most of these references and many other reliable ones mention and confirm that the RCAF pilots tried out the aircraft the day immediately following the recorded incident where this CL-41 prototype lost its canopy during a company test flight with Canadair pilots Ian MacTavish and Colin Harcourt aboard, almost scuttling the RCAF evaluation scheduled for the next day. This lost canopy event duly occurred on 8 March 1960, and a series of eight Canadair photo negative numbers record the canopy retrieval in the dark, early evening hours on this particular date. There were no photographic recorded events related to the CL-41 programme at all during December 1960.

Some reliable confirming references are:

  • "Aircraft" (periodical) April 1960 issue, page 47, shows a photograph of the RCAF evaluation team posed with the CL-41 prototype aircraft (not a Canadair photo, probably one from the RCAF).
  • Canadair News, March 1983, where Ron Foran (Canadair test pilot) states in part, '...first winter of 1960....canopy popped'.
  • CAHS Journal Spring 2007.
  • Canadair's photographic Journals.

Initially, the RCAF had planned to order 265 CL-41s but this was eventually reduced to 190 aircraft due to budgetary reasons. (Ref. periodical "RAF Flying Review", December 1961)

Source: Snowbirds Flying High. Canada’s Snowbirds Celebrate 25 years – Page 28.

Question: How many Canadian airmen served overseas in World War 1? How many were killed and wounded? How many of the top 20 highest-scoring British services were Canadians? Who were they and how many victories did they have?

Answer: “…, the nation teemed with young men anxious to join the Royal Flying Corps or its sister force, the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). By war’s close, an estimated 11,160 Canadian airmen had served overseas with the RFC, the RNAS and the fledgling Royal Air Force (RAF), an amalgamation of the two previously-mentioned British flying services. Of those who served, 1,388 were fatal casualties, while a further 1,130 were wounded or injured. In all, at least 495 British decorations for gallantry, 170 Mentions – in-Dispatches and many Allied national awards were presented to this courageous band of warriors. Canadian airmen thus served with great distinction in all the air combat disciplines during the Great War, including strategic and tactical bombing, reconnaissance and artillery observation, and maritime patrol. However, it was the scout or fighter pilots that truly captured the interest and adulation of the air-minded Canadian public, and of the top 20 highest-scoring British service flyers, eight were Canadians. Maj. William Avery “Billy” Bishop of Owen Sound, Ont, was the unrivalled virtuoso of the Commonwealth scores, with 72 confirmed victories. Close upon Bishop’s scoring heels was Mr. Raymond Collishaw with a score of 62. They were followed by Capt Donald MacLaren with a total of 54, Maj. William Barker with 52, Capt F.R. McCall with 37 kills, and Capts W.G. Claxton and J.S.T.Fall, each with 36 confirmed victories. Capt A.C. Atkey was the last of the top eight Canadians, with a score of 35.”

Source: Airforce – Vol 22 No 3 Fall/Automne 1998 – Page 32.

Question: What was the name of Canada’s first national air force, and how many personnel and airplanes did it have?

Answer: “On 16 September 1914 (while the original Canadian Expeditionary force was forming up in Valcartier), Col Sam Hughes, Minister for the Militia and Defence, authorized the creation of the Canadian Aviation Corps (CAC). This corps was to consist of one mechanic and two officers. E.L. Janney of Galt, Ontario, was appointed as the Provisional Commander of the CAC with the rank of Captain. The expenditure of an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars for the purchase of a suitable airplane was approved. The aircraft selected was a float-equipped Burgess-Dunne bi-plane from the Burgess Aviation Company of Massachusetts. Captain Janney flew the aircraft back to Canada. Upon his arrival in Sorel, Quebec, Captain Janney was arrested by Customs officials and the aircraft was impounded. After Canada Customs received notification from the Department of the Militia and Defence, Captain Janney and the aircraft were released. As it turned out, the, this was to be the only flight of Canada’s first military aircraft.” “After landing at Plymouth, England, the aircraft was off-loaded and shipped to Salisbury Plain where it was considered unsuitable for military service. It was placed in storage, where it eventually rotted and was written off.” “This ended the first attempt at a national air force.”

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Pages 21-22.

The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS.

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions for June are:

Question: What airplane, first acquired in 1927 by the RCAF, made it highly suitable in the ground liaison role? How many in total were acquired?

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 53.

Question: When was the first reported theft of an airplane in Canada?

Source: "Dancing in the Sky -- The Royal Flying Corps in Canada", by C.W. Hunt, published by Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2009, ISBN 978-1-55002-864-5.

Question: What was the average number of Airspeed Oxfords on strength at 32 SFTS Moose Jaw and what was the time frame the Oxford was on strength at 32 SFTS?

Source: Windsock – Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter – CAHS – December 2008 – Page 7 – Report by Will Chabun