Airborne Awesomosity

Canadian Vickers Vedette: Mapping Canada


Canada, for those of you unaware, is a very large country by landmass. Since most of that land is constantly frozen by Old Man Winter, vast portions of the country are uninhabited. In the mid-1920s, the RCAF put out a spec for a flying boat that they could use to photograph and map out these portions of the country. Somehow, they decided that “beware of Samsquamches“, “ice weasel breeding zone”, and “ogres be here” were no longer appropriate for the official government maps.

Continue reading Canadian Vickers Vedette: Mapping Canada

Airborne Awesomosity

The Flame Barrier

One of the most fascinating things about aircraft is how quickly these machines progressed. The Wright Brothers made their first powered heavier-than-air flight in 1903. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947. The Germans sent the first man-made object into space during a V-2 test flight in 1944. The breakneck speed at which aircraft and, by extension, spacecraft were advancing began creating problems. Lightweight metals were not strong and were not heat resistant. In the days of subsonic and even up to Mach 2 or so, the heat generated by friction with the air was minimal. However, once we broke the sound barrier and sought to go faster and faster, the materials available became more and more unsuitable.

Continue reading The Flame Barrier

Airborne Awesomosity

Baddeck Number 1

Yesterday’s Canadian bacon-flavoured User Input lamenting the lack of a home-grown replacement for the CF-18 got me thinking. There are some notable Canadian aircraft — Avro Arrow, Canadair CP-107 Argus, and the Bombardier CRJ series — not to mention all the copies license-built versions of US fighters. Canada has quite the history of aircraft, but what was the first?

Continue reading Baddeck Number 1