The secret flying suit

A top secret Canadian invention gave second world war aircrew a tactical edge.

The Plane Spotters

“I hereby declare my willingness to act without remuneration as an Official Observer in the Aircraft Detection Corps of the Royal Canadian Air Force.”
Thus began the agreement for civilian volunteers who wanted to do their part by becoming the eyes and ears of Canada’s home front during World War II. Among those signing the call were lighthouse keepers, housewives, high school students, fishermen and Hudson’s Bay Company fur traders.

When the Boys Came to Town

They did more than train to become wartime aircrew. They harvested crops, organized hockey teams, played in bands for high school dances and graduations, not to mention winning the hearts of thousands of local young ladies. Airmen trainees of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan had an impact on communities that went far deeper than economics.

The Gift of Air Power

Following losses in the Battle of Britain, Canadians organized hundreds of fundraising events to buy Spitfires for the RAF

Flying Under the Midnight Sun

As with pilots everywhere, the weather is a main topic this Friday night in late July on Max Ward’s dock in Yellowknife. Nasty clouds looming off to the southeast have already delayed four delegates planning to fly in from Manitoba to this city’s biennial Midnight Sun Float Plane Fly In, and those already here are busy renewing old acquaintances over beer and wine.

The Rainmakers

They sit, majestic, on the quiet surface of Sproat Lake on the road from Parksville to Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. Waves gently lap their hulls and turn the late July sunshine into dances on the underside of their massive wings. Two monstrous red and white flying boats, the largest ever in service, are the queens here. But that moniker is shattered whenever their four Wright R3350 engines roar with life.


Stuck in the Spin Cycle

Cut throttle to idle. Ease back on the stick to maintain altitude, reducing airspeed by one knot per second. At five knots above stall speed, gradually feed in rudder so full input is achieved at the stall. Voila! We are in a standard spin.

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