A couple of visitors have shown up at the museum in the last week.
The first is a bird that has returned to the nest. A De Havilland DHC-2 MK.1 Beaver owned by Four Seasons Aviation Ltd. Registered as C-FETE this beaver bears construction # 1204 and she rolled off the line on December 6, 1958 which means she celebrates her 51st birthday tomorrow.
A testament to the rugged nature of all Beavers, FETE looks brand new even though she crashed in 1986. Rebuilt and re-registered in 1998, she continues to fly passengers. 5 years ago a water landing while the amphibious gear was still down caused another trip to the repair shop.
FETE will be with us over the winter and will return to service when the lakes and rivers thaw.
The Beaver was designed, built and flown from Downsview Airport and it’s long overdue that the museum should have one of these marvellous birds on display, even if just for a little while.
The second visitor will only be with us for a very short while.
The Rocketbelt. Science fiction made real in 1958 when the first SRLD (Small Rocket Lift Device) lifted a man off the ground for the first time.
Hard to control, the design was worked on over the years and finally got to the point that it appeared at Super Bowl’s and played a bit part in the 1965 James Bond movie “Thunderball”.
One of the Rocketbelt pilots was William (Bill) Suitor who will be on hand at the museum on December 12th at 4 pm to promote his new book, “Rocketbelt Pilot’s Manual” with a presentation and book signing.
Here’s a shot of Bill in flight. Powered by a combination of hydrogen peroxide and compressed nitrogen, each flight lasted no more than 30 seconds at a noise level of 130 decibels.
The entire concept was deemed to be a failure as the distance traveled in flight was no more than 120 metres.
The Rocketbelt is on loan from the Niagara Aerospace Museum located in Niagara Falls, NY and will be heading back home in early January.