(Submitted by: Tony Walsh via Rob Hemmett and Michael Fox)
There are numerous photos, stories and videos in the news, Facebook, and elsewhere regarding the recent 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We have further information coming in our next issue (1366) as well. What most people don't see is all the work done by various volunteers that goes into making this all happen. Today we highlight a team of volunteers from the Vancouver area that built two Sopwith Pup Replicas for the event as well as those that were involved in actually getting them shipped to France and back.
For those not Facebook hinged, below are a few shots of RCAF CC-117 Fin-705 being loaded on April 20, 2017 at Lille France with the 7 Vimy Flight WWI bi-plane replicas and support equipment, having just completed their epic mission in France for the Battle of Vimy Ridge 100th. Now transported back to Canada for their Birth of A Nation Tour (and A Nations Soars documentary “Flight Path of Heroes” continuance) that starts in Charlottetown, PEI this May long weekend. They then proceed across Canada in a kind of flying circus through the summer to bring Vimy 100th to Canadians and to celebrate our country's 150th anniversary, ending at their home base in Langley BC.
Note: We hope to publish more photos in the ACFN Photo Gallery (that is presently under construction), so that you can view them all in one place.
Unfortunately, the two Sopwith Pups were not allowed to fly but were on static display. This note was received from Jerry Vernon, CAHS Vancouver Director - "Sad to hear, but I was advised at our Mess Dinner by the CMF General Manager that the two Sopwith Pups will NOT fly at the Vimy Ridge event. I gather it is because they do not have the necessary 25 hours flying time yet, and other requirements have yet to be met, as required by Air Regs. Instead, they will be on static display at Vimy Ridge, and the other 5 aircraft are scheduled to fly several times during the ceremonies. After they return from France, the plan is for the Vimy Flight to tour across Canada from the Maritimes to B. C., visiting air museums, etc. along the way, and to appear at the Battle of Britain Parade at Boundary Bay Airport on 17 Sep 17."
(Below) Loading Pup into CC-117 Fin-705 at Lille France – April 20. The de-winged 2 Sopwith Pups and the SE-5 are loaded last longitudinally, behind the 4 Nieuport XIs already loaded laterally, with wings on.