Dave Shore comments on Wayne's Wings article from NetLetter # 1382.

tmb victoria harbourA similar restaurant to the Flying Beaver is the Flying Otter in Victoria's Inner Harbour. It's on the Harbour Air docks and has spectacular views not just of the seaplane action (Harbour Air and also Kenmore Air to the U.S) but also views of the Empress Hotel, Parliament Buildings and the old CPR steamship building.

Other transportation activities on view are the Victoria Clipper (catamaran service to Seattle), the MV Coho (ferry to Port Angeles) and the small harbour ferries. It's a great place for transportation buffs.

Photo by Joe Mabel from Flickr.

For the Vickers Viscount aficionados.

Robert Arnold has sent us this information regarding some old TCA/AC Viscounts.

The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (Winnipeg) has the only Viscount done in full red and white Air Canada livery. The BC Aviation Museum (YYJ) has the only “White Top” Trans-Canada Air Lines Viscount and the National in Ottawa has the only “Bare Metal” Viscount, CF-THI, in Trans-Canada Air Lines livery. Ex Air Canada Viscount, CF-TID-X is still around but not in any airline markings.

This Viscount still wears the blue and white colours of Pratt and Whitney and is currently being used as a fire training aid by the St. Hubert Airport folks. Not sure how, but apparently they do this somehow without doing any damage to the aircraft itself.

Good on them I say. The website, vickersviscount.net, has the history for all Viscounts built.

Robert Arnold.

We, at the NetLetter, recently read an article in the Flight International Magazine about the Bristol Freighter - remember that one?

There are only 11 surviving examples of the 214 built. TCA had 3, and I know a bunch went to New Zealand Air Force. The one which was at Ardmore airport since 1978 and has been bought by the Aerospace Bristol Museum at Filton in the UK. The aircraft was stripped and is being shipped to the UK.

This information was sent to Norman Hogwood, a reader living in New Zealand as there was reference to Ardmore airport in New Zealand.

Here is a memory from Norman -

I didn’t realize TCA had them. Yes, the RNZAF had a fleet but the biggest user of them in NZ was Straits Air Freight Express (SAFE) who were based in Blenheim at the top of the South Island.

Full details of this airline can be found in Wikipedia. It was once partly owned by NAC and then wholly owned by Air NZ after the merger. My NAC Safety Manager boss and I had an occasion to visit SAFE once and while we took an NAC F27 to Blenheim, we were offered a ride home in the lumbering brute.

Being an ex-737 skipper, my boss was invited to the flight deck upstairs. I took the only seat downstairs in one of the “cabins”. In the next “cabin” was a massive prize bull! The B170 was sometimes known as thirty thousand rivets flying in formation! My ex-Air NZ Safety Manager boss actually flew them in the RNZAF in Singapore during the Malayan crisis.

Click Here (or on image below) for a YouTube video of the Bristol Type 170 being loaded on haulage vehicles for transportation to the docks for its return to the UK. It had been left unprotected for years so let’s hope it has a happier time in Bristol.

Bristol Freighter

Cheers. Norm

Mike Nash shares this memory with us -

Further to ‘Sound Breaking’ in the January 15, 2018 issue of NetLetter, #1382, and the photograph of the prototype Concorde 001, under "Odds and Ends", that was rolled out 50 years ago in December 1967. Last year I realized a lifelong ambition to see a total solar eclipse, which my wife and I did in Idaho on August 21, 2017 (For an account of this trip Click Here).

In researching what became known as ‘The Great American Eclipse’ I came across an interesting item concerning this same aircraft. For most total solar eclipses, the period of totality lasts two or three minutes, with the record being a little over seven minutes. Astronomers will sometimes extend this by a few minutes in jet aircraft, as was the case with NASA aircraft in this recent event. The longest eclipse in over a thousand years occurred on June 30, 1973 over the Sahara, lasting up to 7 mins 4 secs on the ground.

For this event, the original Concorde 001 prototype aircraft, then nearing the end of its successful test program, was modified with the installation of several small quartz windows in the roof and flown with astronomers and specialized instrumentation, achieving totality for 74 minutes, the longest ever from near the surface of the Earth.

The idea had been warmly welcomed by the prototype’s owners as a way to show off the unique capabilities of the new aircraft. This has never been repeated as there are currently no aircraft with the range, speed and size of the Concorde. This is event is well portrayed in this YouTube video. (click below)

Mike Nash

Concord Eclipse 1973

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