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The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. The questions and the answers are now being published together in the same e-newsletter, rather than questions one month and the answers the next. We are hoping this instant gratification might encourage more interest and research by our readers. Spoiler alert - if you read any further, you will find the answer to February's questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for February are:

Question 1: How did the responsibilities in regards to forestry flying change for the Canadian Air Force in 1921? What impact did the change have on the type of aircraft used?

Answer: “Initially, forestry flying consisted of spotting and reporting fires, but in July 1921 the aircraft of the Northern Ontario Mobile Unit went a step further by transporting rangers and equipment to fight the conflagrations., The aircraft thus moved from a passive to an active role, known as “fire suppression.” This created a need for a new type of aircraft, one capable of airlifting firefighters, pumps, etc. The old H2SL could carry only minimal loads. In 1923, the RCAF introduced a larger, sturdier machine – the Vickers Viking: followed in 1926 by a type designed specifically for fire suppression: the Vickers Varuna.”

Source: Legion Magazine – Sep-Oct 2009 – By Hugh A. Halliday - Page 34


Question 2: In 1919 and 1920, the British Government bestowed upon Canada a number of different types of airplanes with associated equipment. This was called “The Imperial Gift”. What were the types and numbers of airplanes given to Canada?

Answer: “After many suggestions and changes, the final mix of aircraft consisted of the following types; Avro 504 - 62, De Havilland D.H.4 – 12, De Havilland D.H. 9 – 12, Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A – 12, Felixstowe F.3 Flying Boat – 11, Curtiss H.16 Flying Boat – 2, Bristol F.2B Fighter – 1, Sopwith Snipe – 1, Fairey IIIC Seaplane – 1. It should be noted that not all the aircraft ultimately delivered were eventually flown. G-CYDQ, an F.3 appears to have been assembled, registered, and then never given a Certificate of Airworthiness. And F.3s N4012, N 4013, N4178 and N4179 did not even reach the stage of registration. Similarly, four AVRO 504K aircraft may never have left their crates; they were not subsequently registered by the Air Board (H9552, H9554, H9557, H9733). A Curtiss H.16 (N4902) and a D.H.9a (E991) appear to have suffered the same fate. One Sopwith Snipe (E8213) was also part of the Imperial Gift that was not registered by the Air Board.”

Source: Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal – Vol.47 No.1 – Spring 2009 –Page 26


Question 3: Which aircraft, originally designed in 1913 as an operational type, provided the backbone for flying training throughout the First World War for Britain and her allies? Did Canada ever take this type of aircraft on strength and if so how many did they have and where did they obtain them from?

Answer: Originally designed in 1913 as an operational type, the Avro 504 provided the backbone for flying training throughout the First World War for Britain and her allies. In 1918, Canada ordered a substantial number of 504 aircraft to be built by the Canadian Aeroplanes Company. When the war ended the order was terminated and instead, in 1919, Canada received sixty-two Avro 504K’s as part of an Imperial gift of 114 aircraft from Britain. The type then served in a variety of roles for more than a decade. Additional examples were also acquired and the aircraft was progressively modified and improved.”“TOS: 1920 SOS: 1934 No: 97”

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – A Military Compendium – T.F.J. Leversedge – Page 57