Memphis Belle

aviation, Flying Is Fun, photo

Memphis Belle B-17 by Ken Mist The Memphis Belle is, arguably, one of the most famous aircraft in the world.  A B17 bomber, she was the first American bomber of WWII to complete 25 missions. 

The original aircraft is still undergoing restoration but the movie stand in still flies and made an appearance today at the Waterloo-Wellington air show outside Toronto.

I’m working here all weekend helping to man the museum’s booth but I, of course, had to duck out to get a chance to see this famous plane.

Memphis Belle B-17 by Ken Mist

Seeing her up close was great but watching her glide through the air was amazing.  This is one graceful airplane and the crew put on a great show with plenty of low speed passes and tight turns.

The air show organizers have put on a terrific event and I’ve been taking some notes now that we’ve starting preparing for next year’s Wings & Wheels festival.

(click on a picture to enlarge)

Today in aviation history – August 16, 1947

aviation history

Canadian Aviation Museum

First flight of the de Havilland DHC-2 “Beaver” at Downsview Airport in Toronto.

One of the most important and recognizable aircraft ever built, hundreds of Beavers are still in the air even though production ceased in 1967.

The picture above shows CF-FHB, the very first Beaver now housed at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa. I took it last year during my visit.

Here she is as CF-FHB-X (for experimental) on one of the first test flights.

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The building behind now houses an indoor soccer pitch and is located next door to the Canadian Air & Space Museum.

Beavers passing

A picture I took last year in Vancouver of 2 working Beavers near Vancouver airport.  There’s nothing like the sound of those big Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. radial engines. 

The upcoming weekend

"Canadian Air & Space Museum", aviation

Friday winding down and the weekend’s on the horizon gleaming with promise.  Spending the next 2 days at the museum.  Saturday is prep day for Sunday’s luncheon celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Avro Jetliner.

Avro XC-102 Jetliner - picture from author's collection

The Avro C102 Jetliner was the world’s 2nd jet powered passenger aircraft.  The de Havilland Comet beat the C102 by only thirteen days! CF-EJD (-X), pictured above, took to the air on August 10 1949 from Malton Airport.

In April 1950, the Jetliner carried the world’s first jet airmail from Toronto to New York in 58 minutes– half the previous record (c.340 miles, 352mph). The flight was highly publicized and the crew was welcomed with a ticker tape parade through the streets of Manhattan.

Just like the CF-105 Arrow, the C102 project was ordered stopped by the Canadian government.

Chief Designer of both aircraft, James C. Floyd, will be at this Sunday’s event.  Looking forward to some interesting stories!

First Airbus A380 at YYZ

aviation, Flying Is Fun, photo

A380001

 

All day long they’d been saying that the first Airbus A380 to land in Toronto would be coming in from the East to land on runway 24L.  I just happened to be outside the office when I noticed that the wind had shifted.  Grabbing the camera I was lucky enough to get a few shots as Emirates flight UAE241 came in on approach to 6L.

To all the thousands of photographers who were left scrambling at the change of runway, all I can say is HA HA!