Well the 5th annual Wings & Wheels Heritage Festival flew off into a beautiful sunset on Sunday night. A great time had by all. Thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who worked their tails off to make the event come off without serious incident.
Sure there were problems. A press conference where nobody showed up. Two aircraft brushing wingtips. A carefully planned arrival of hundreds of bikes and cars that turned into a 3 stooges routine. Heck, they’ve all faded from memory while the thousands of happy faces and compliments remain.
My feet have finally stopped aching and the sunburn has cooled down. Time to start working on next year’s show.
Wow, where did the time go? Feels like I just got home and it’s time to get ready to get going again.
Tomorrow, it’s off to Niagara Falls, NY for the Northeast Council of Air Shows meetings at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Cocktails tomorrow night with a chance to do some networking and then lots of presentations and discussions on Saturday. Hopefully, we can convince some aircraft to come our way for Wings & Wheels in May.
Sunday, it’s a quick drive to the Buffalo airport for another trip down to Memphis. Delta to Detroit and then down to Elvis Land. sure hope the weather is better this time.
It will be interesting to see how intense base security is. So far, it just looks like they want to make sure that you have a valid drivers license, insurance and registration. Sounds less stringent than crossing the border which surprises me somewhat. Who knows what that will be like tomorrow.
Not many updates here lately but I’ve got a good reason. Been spending the last couple of weeks building the new website for Wings & Wheels.
I’m not taking all the credit for this but it’s safe to say I’ve been doing most of the frustrating little things that go into building it.
The whole site is built on the Joomla CMS application. Like WordPress, which this site runs on, it’s open source backed up by thousands of users, designers and extension writers. Learning a new web app is like learning a new language and I *STILL* can’t speak German even after dozens of trips.
I’m pretty proud of the new website and sure hope all the hard work will bring the visitors in. Drop over and take a look.
Terrible quality and too much wind noise but here it is. A flyby of the Corsair and P51 Mustang from Vintage Wings of Canada as they departed from Downsview Airport during Wings & Wheels last Sunday.
Loaded most of the pictures from the event in a photoset on Flickr. You can see others at the Festival website.
Still lots of things to do to close off the 2009 gathering – like all that nasty accounting stuff. We’re already starting to work out the dates for 2010!
Back at work. The Wings and Wheels Heritage Festival took place last weekend. Now I’ve got to sift through all my pictures and videos to see what I got. I was so busy all weekend that I never got a chance to take a break and work on getting anything posted.
Here’s a couple of teaser shots until I can get all the post-processing completed.
All in all, it went off pretty smoothly.
I feel like Jack Bauer in 24. I want to shout “WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME"! Wings and Wheels starts in less than 48 hours and there’s so much more to do.
Today we got a little taste of what’s to come when the Lockheed 10A Electra flew in a day early.
A good start!
Lockheed 10A “Electra” registration CF-TCC.
From their website:
On September 1, 1937, Trans Canada Airlines (the forerunner of Air Canada) operated its first scheduled passenger flight – a fifty minute trip from Vancouver to Seattle.
The route had been acquired from Canadian Airways Ltd. along with two ten seat Lockheed 10A "Electra" aircraft. Shortly after, TCA bought three other LI0As, all brand new, direct from Lockheed’s plant, at a purchase price of $73,000 each. They were dubbed the "three sisters" and bore the registration letters of CF-TCA, CF-TCB and CF-TCC.
After flying for a couple of years for TCA, CF-TCC was sold in 1939 to the Canadian Government, who turned it over to the RCAF as part of the war effort. Then it was sold again, and went from owner to owner during some forty years. One day in 1975, a retired Air Canada employee recognized it at a Texas Air Show when he saw the faded shadow of the registration letters, CF-TCC, through the paint work.
Air Canada kept track of the aircraft and finally re-purchased it in 1983. The plane was flown to the Airline’s Winnipeg maintenance base where it was rejuvenated and refurbished. Pratt & Whitney Canada arranged for the complete overhaul of its two engines and for furnishing accessories and spares.
In 1986 Air Canada flew the aircraft on a fifty stop "sentimental journey" across Canada with CF-TCC arriving in Vancouver in time for Expo "86. It was on display there at the Air Canada pavilion complete with sound effects as the engines cranked over.
Today, CF-TCC participates in diverse promotional activities, including conducting flights to raise funds for charitable organizations. It has flown across Canada in the last few years raising money for "Dreams Take Flight".
The aircraft weights 4724 kilos (10,500lbs) with a full payload including fuel. It has a cruising speed of 256 KPH (160 mph) and a cruising altitude of 4,800 meters (16,000 ft).
A beautiful memory of times gone by. Great to see her return to Wings & Wheels.
The CF-18 Hornet. Canada’s fighter. From the 425 Squadron in Bagotville Quebec, the Hornet is a regular visitor at Wings & Wheels. Pilots and spectators alike love coming to Downsview Airport every year.
One of the highlights of past shows has been the opportunities to see the CF-18 beside the museum’s CF-105 Arrow replica. Separated by nearly 50 years, both aircraft represent the apex of aviation technology for their respective times.
CF-18s have served in the first Gulf War as well as in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Approximately 80 still serve in an air defence role across Canada and the fleet is undergoing a modernization project.
Wings & Wheels provides an opportunity to get very close to both the aircraft and their crews. “Cherry”, standing, was extremely friendly and great with the hundreds of kids who got a cockpit view during the 2008 event. His arrival and departure was a real treat (especially the special manoeuvres on arrival).
At least one CF-18 will be at the 2009 Wings & Wheels Heritage Festival.
(BTW, the plane in my masthead picture is Cherry’s Hornet performing a “runway check” last year)
Douglas DC-3, C-47, Dakota, “Gooney Bird”. No matter what you call it, the shape is unmistakable. The Dakota was a workhorse of both civil and military aviation.
From the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, this fine example is sure to be a crowd pleaser.