We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Moments in March. 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: What was the original strength of the Sea Kings? How many are left?

Answer: “As the Maritime Helicopter (MH) community reflects on 40 years of CH – 124 Sea King operational service, one sobering thought relates to the fact that only 27 of 41 original aircraft remain on the Canadian Forces inventory. Catastrophic accidents have claimed a total of 14 aircraft since the helicopter first entered military service in the mid-1960s, together with the loss of seven naval aviators. Experienced aviators understand that there seldom are new accident cause factors; simply old familiar ones forgotten through the passage of time, apathy and/or complacency. There can be little doubt that engines, transmissions and human factors shall continue to challenge future Sea King operations, thus demanding a close and continuous watch over their status on a recurring basis. Never has the demand for such oversight been greater than the present as the MH community prepares to take delivery of the more highly advanced, sophisticated and capable CH-148 Cyclones.”

Source: Page 11 – Air Force Revue – Winter 08

Question: What was the single reason, caused by bureaucracy, that limited the Short Stirling bomber to a 15,000 ft ceiling?

Answer: “It was doomed to mediocrity because of its ninety-nine foot wingspan, which was not long enough to generate sufficient lift for the aircraft’s massive fuselage. This limited the operational ceiling of early variants to around 10,000 feet, exacerbated by the initial installation of under-powered Bristol Hercules II radial engines. Although Stirlings would eventually be fitted with up rated Hercules IX power plants, nothing could be done about the short wingspan, which had been insisted on by an obtuse and myopic Air Ministry solely in order to fit the 100 foot wide hangar doors mandated by the RAF’s prewar expansion schemes.”

Source: No Prouder Place: Page 39

Question: What was the name of the WW1 equivalent to the BCATP of WW2? How many pilots were graduated and of those how many went overseas and how many fully trained observers graduated?

Robert Nash from Winnipeg sends this response:

Thank you for providing the excuse to explore an aspect of Canadian aviation history.

Answer: The Royal Flying Corps established a training organisation in Canada in 1917, to train Canadians and Americans for wartime service. RFC Canada established training operations at RFC Station Borden, RFC Station Deseronto and RFC Station North Toronto. By 11 November 1918, RFC Canada graduated 3,135 pilots and 137 observers, of which 2,539 and 85, respectively, served overseas.

The most interesting aspect of the RFC Canada programme for this writer was the reciprocal agreement that allowed RFC Canada to transfer training activities from Borden and Deseronto to Fort Worth, Texas, for the winter of 1917-1918. RFC Station North Toronto continued to operate through the winter of 1917-1918, thus proving that the Canadian winter, as experienced on the north shore of Lake Ontario, was not a barrier to aircrew training.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Source 4 | Source 5


Answer: “The RFC-Canada program graduated 3,135 pilots of whom 2,500 went over-seas and 137 fully-trained observers. In spite of the government’s original timidity, Canadians reacted positively to the plan that provided a strong outlet for the grassroots interest in aviation. Most of the students and many of the instructors were Canadian and the bases had a pronounced effect on aviation in Canada in spite of the government’s initial fear of flying."

Source: From Baddeck to the Yalu: Page 31

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

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions for April are:

Question: How did the Canadian version of the CF-18 differ from its American and foreign counterparts?

Source: Windsock – June 2007 – Page 4

Question: What training aircraft did the RCAF buy in late 1941 for the BCATP from the Stearman Aircraft Company, how many were purchased, how long did they last, and why?

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 230

Question: What was the last name of the three brothers from Saskatchewan who all served on operations with Bomber Command and who all were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross? What town were they from?

Source: No Prouder Place – Page 59 and 316