Proud to have received honourable mention at the 2012 Governor General's History Awards. This documentary film series, produced by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in collaboration with Outsiders Films Inc., focuses the spotlight on men who have left their mark on Canada's aviation history.
There are often great men and women who humbly walk among us each day virtually unnoticed, their feats once the stuff of greatness, receding into the fabric of time. Eight aviators were interviewed over a 72 hour period by a dedicated film crew, among the planes and artefacts housed in the Museum that are so much a part of their past exploits. The interviews are enriched by the inclusion of film clips, memorabilia, and photos from the aviator's private collections and the Museum's archives.
The stories range from a Spitfire pilot who found himself flying intercept missions in West Africa by accident to an engineer that introduced the computer to the Canadian aviation industry for work on the power plants of the much lamented Avro Arrow.
Eight men were selected from various areas in aviation. The capsules and authors, in no specific order, are:
Cold War Fighter Pilot
Ken Castle, CD, Flight-Lieutenant (ret'd)
Ken Castle reminisces about his experiences as a flight instructor for NATO, training pilots from all participating countries in the organization. Mr. Castle flew aboard Canadair Sabres (day fighters notably used in North Korea) and Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (super-sonic interceptor, utilised by the CF as low-altitude tactical fighter).
Cold War Testing
Glenn Cook Lieutenant-Colonel Ba CAF (ret'd)
Glenn Cook recounts the various trial flights he effectuated with the RCAF, and shares his finest and most exhilarating aviation memories, notably experiencing a canopy blow-out while flying a Canadair T-33 Silver Star, from Shearwater (Nova-Scotia) to Cold Lake (Alberta).
Orenda and the Computer
John Duggan Flight-Lieutenant BaPh (ret'd)
John Duggan shares his experiences working with an electronic calculator, now commonly known as a computer, with the A.V.Roe Canada Limited on the infamous Orenda engine, and how the inclusion of this modern technology greatly influenced the effectiveness and power of the Canadair Sabres.
Hurricanes and Spitfires across Three Continents
Bill McRea Flight-Lieutenant (ret'd)
Trained as a pilot, Bill McRea flew aboard Supermarine Spitfires with RAF 132 Squadron during the Second World War, intercepting what was feared to be German aircraft. Bill narrates his experiences flying Hawker Hurricanes equipped with photographic equipment in Takorati (Ghana), and his unexpected transfer to Sierra Leone.
Canadian Naval Aviator -
Bob Murray, Lieutenant-Commander RCN (ret'd)
Bob Murray shares stories from flying Sikorsky S-55 HO4S-3 rescue helicopters with the Royal Canadian Navy and flight missions he executed as a Lieutenant-Commander in Shearwater (Nova-Scotia), such as landing on a submarine (USS Triton) during a rescue mission.
A lifetime in Aviation
George Neal, Director of Flight Operations with de Havilland Canada and Chief Pilot for the National Aviation Museum.
George Neal recounts his flight experiences aboard vintage aircraft and his involvement with Canada Aviation and Space Museum, from delivering the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver presently in the Museum's collection, to rebuilding and flying the Museum's Sopwith Pup.
Nightfighting in Mosquitos
Rayne Schultz Group Captain (ret'd)
Rayne Shultz narrates his experience fighting against German Junkers 88s fighter-bombers during the Second World War in a dog fight that nearly cost him his life. Rayne counts flying the de Havilland Mosquito in the night fighter configuration as his greatest experience while in the skies.
Wings on my Sleeve
David Tate Captain (N) / Colonel CAF (ret'd)
David Tate reminisces about receiving his wings as a naval aviator, landing aboard aircraft carriers flying naval jets, and anti-submarine missions with the Royal Canadian Navy. Having flown many aircraft in his illustrious and extensive career, Dave revisits the Hawker Sea Fury, an aircraft he affectionately refers to as "his first love".
Regular schedule: Wednesday to Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays except statutory and school holidays.
Closed Christmas Day. Open New Year’s Day.
Aviation and Rockcliffe Parkways.