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The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for February are:

Question: How many of the BCATP sites IN Canada were chosen because the riding for the site had elected a Liberal candidate for Parliament?

Answer: “In 2000, Carleton University student Rachel Lea Heide completed a paper entitled 'The Politics of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Base Selection in western Canada'. “It seems that communities were awarded bases only if their sites met technical criteria and were cost effective. Officials would not budge on their decisions, even with extensive lobbying efforts. This did not, however, stop various communities from trying. In fact, Heide discovers lobbying occurred to such an extent that she breaks it down into segments. In what she calls the early lobbying years, Heide describes lobbyists as altruistic. The correspondence on file documents community sentiment to be eager to participate in the war effort by hosting an air base. As base selection continued, correspondence from communities became more insistent. The people in the lobbying communities wanted to participate in the war effort, but expressed that this opportunity was inaccessible to them because the government had not presented them with an airbase from where to do so. Later still, these communities lobbied on the premise that they simply deserved a school because of their political affiliations to the Liberal government. When this approach didn’t work, lobbyists became even more aggressive, threatening to discontinue their support for the government if they did not receive an air base. Even still, base selection officials did not waver. Another reason for Heide’s conclusion of lack of partisan politics in base selection is that decisions about base selection were made by RCAF officers and elected officials merely signed their recommendations. The site selection reports, final decisions and reasons for awarding or rejecting a site illustrate the effort to meet technical criteria, not political ends. In evaluating which constituencies were awarded aerodromes, no political pattern can be found. Liberal ridings were not awarded airbases any more or less than ridings that had elected members of other parties.”

Source: Website - Wings Over Alberta – Homefront


Question: Which bomber carried the heaviest individual bomb loads of the Second World War and which bomber was it derived from?

Answer: “The Avro Lancaster was derived from the unsuccessful twin-engine Avro Manchester bomber that first flew in 1939. The decision was made in late 1940 to replace the two Rolls Royce Vulture engines of the Manchester with four of the more reliable Rolls Royce Merlin (Packard Merlins on Canadian-built Lancasters) engines, which had a proven record in the Hurricane and Spitfire fighter designs. The revised design was an immediate success and the Lancaster went on to carry the heaviest individual bomb loads of the Second World War. The Lancaster was manufactured in Canada by Victory Aircraft Ltd. in Malton, Ontario, and 430 MK X versions were built. In post-war use, the Canadian built Lancasters went on to serve in highly useful roles. Quickly converted into photographic reconnaissance variants for charting and mapping and into maritime patrol versions, the Lancaster soldiered on well into the Cold War era.”

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – T.F.J. Leversedge – Page 64