Art “Chevy” Cooper passed away recently at the age of 97 years. What I am trying to ascertain is if he was the last living member of the mechanics in Montreal or elsewhere who actually worked on the Lancastrian which was the new TCA international overseas operations aircraft. Anyone else out there? They were and are a rare part of the history of TCA/AC. Any information would be appreciated.
Ken Pickford refers to NetLetter #1325 and sends this -
Just received #1325. Haven't read it yet but the opening DC-8 photo caught my eye. That's not a Rolls-Royce Conway-powered DC-8. It's a stretched DC-8-63 with Pratt & Whitney JT3D-7 engines. Only AC's first 11 (of a total 42) factory-delivered DC-8s were Rolls-Royce Conway-powered (the -40 series models). The other 31 all had varying models of the Pratt & Whitney JT3D. CP's first 6 DC-8s were also Conway-powered. Five of AC's DC-8-63s were later converted to freighters, including re-engining with the CFM56 engine, the original model of the engine that now powers AC's Airbus A319/320/321s. The re-engined freighters became DC-8-73Fs.
(From Alan - Thanks for the correction - I should have really noticed this as I worked on these aircraft in the 70's before they were sold. I was using info from the site where I obtained the photo. I've corrected the caption in the back issue now)
Regarding “Alan’s Space” Ken Pickford tells us - Regarding the "Ten things you didn't know about AC" from the Globe and Mail:
The second photo caption says it's TCA's first aircraft, CF-TCA, which would have been a Lockheed 10A Electra like CF-TCC in the first photo. The 2nd photo is of a larger Lockheed 14 Super Electra, not a 10A.
The third photo caption refers to 22 Viscounts built for TCA. TCA took delivery of 51 Viscounts, not 22.
And Garnet Ross sends this –
Regarding NetLetter # 1325 and the top picture of an Air Canada DC 8 on landing approach. The caption says DC 8 YVR Conway Engines. The photo is of a DC 8-63 stretch series aircraft that had Pratt and Whitney engines, not Rolls Royce Conway Bypass engines. I believe the Pratt and Whitney engines were JT3D engines. The Rolls Royce Conway Bypass engines were installed on the smaller DC 8 series 41 and 43 models. The FIN numbers of these aircraft were 801 through 811. The aircraft shown would be DC 8 63’s with FIN numbers 867 through 879.
Close but no cigar. Garnet Ross AC078537 Air Canada Cargo Toronto 410
Wayne Albertson responds to the comments on his "Wayne's Wings" in NetLetter #1325 -
I love the responses we are getting concerning the DC 8 story. I guess that being wrong about a few details gets people's attention. I don't mind being corrected at all as my goal is to open up discussion and hopefully have people submit the special memories of a fleet or a specific aircraft. Obviously, the DC8 era was special and spans generations and I would like to thank everyone for sharing their comments and experiences.
Here are the replies we have received -
Jim Coupethwaite writes - Regarding the DC8 question. Maybe this is the answer. The first acft were delivered without galleys. The TCA designed galleys were not ready to be installed by Douglas, so had to be done by TCA in Montreal & the acft certified/re-certified after the galleys were installed. Jim Coupethwaite, Montreal
From Ken Pickford who writes - I spotted another error in Wayne Albertson's item on the DC-8. In paragraph 2, the reference to Fin #817 as the aircraft that carried the Queen home after a visit to Canada in October 1964 (and the first aircraft to wear the new AC name and livery) is incorrect.
She most definitely returned on a Rolls-Royce Conway-powered aircraft, Fin #809. The backup aircraft was Fin #802.
That history has been mentioned several times in The NetLetter, including #971 with a lengthy article by Bill Norberg who was directly involved in preparations for that Royal flight. See paragraph 4 in NetLetter # 971 here.
(However, a separate article in the "Between Ourselves" issued November 1964 indicates the fin number was 807.- eds)
Dennis Giguere tells us-
Re fin 804 delivery before 801/802/803. I believe they were part of the certification program used in flight testing.
Dennis Giguere, AC Captain Retired
Vic Rivers gives us some insight to the CPA DC-8 -
Further to Wayne Albertson's discussion about the DC-8, fin 602 belonging to CPAL officially flew supersonic in the early '60's with Douglas test pilots at the controls. It occurred during test of the 4% leading edge modification to improve fuel consumption. There was a plaque mounted in the forward galley area noting the event.
We had a thick file about the event with photos and data in Flight Technical Services in the 1970's but where that went is anyone's guess. Not surprisingly, the plaque disappeared, probably to someone's rec room.
Attempts were made to save this aircraft from the scrap yard by some employees but CP Limited who actually was the aircraft's owner, wouldn't give it to the Museum of Flight, and they wouldn't/couldn't pay the price for it so it went to the chopping block. I spotted the aircraft at Miami Airport a short time later.
Peter Sutherland sends this memory -
As a Cargo Biller working in Building 107 on LHR’s north side, I remember the Queen’s flight arriving. I seem to recall she previously flew RCAF Canadair transport and this was the first time she had flown on a commercial (albeit, reconfigured) aircraft from Canada. However, I am certain that the date was in August 1967 (not 1964, as stated) when she returned home from visiting the ‘Expo 67’ fair in Montreal. Aircraft 817 (CF-TJQ) was, indeed, the first to be seen at LHR with the new colour scheme.
Back in those days, the commissary boys used to share any left-over meals, etc., with other staff members rather than consign good food to the trash. One of my enduring memories of that day was being given a partly full bottle of “Liebfraumilch” German Reisling wine and a plate of sliced madeira cake! We all assumed Her Majesty had drunk the wine from that very bottle and nibbled some of those cakes!
Cheers, Peter Sutherland, ACLHR 1964-1974
(We did confirm to Peter that on checking with the November 1964 “Between Ourselves” magazine, we note that DC-8 fin 807 was used at the conclusion of the QEII visit returning her on October 13th 1964..- eds) (From Alan - I'm sure the Queen used a glass and didn't drink from the bottle)
T.A.Thusska refers to Wayne's Wings query in NetLetter #1326 -
The L1011 on the Papal flight September 20, 1984. Fin # 555. Flight from YOW to CIA, Rome's military airport. There were actually 2 L1011 - 500 aircraft configured for the return. Second parked behind the first with both aircraft receiving same amenities and security treatment in the event that problems were found readying 555 for flight.
Fin 555 first class section had a king size bed replacing all seats except for 2 seats 1 A and B if I recall correctly. A second crew readied A/C # 2 with identical route flight plan input and I assume it was fueled and readied as was the actual aircraft. (Fin 555).
PS. At the end of the flight each crew member had a private visit with His Holiness using 1A and B for this.. Photos were taken and sent to each crew members home, front and back end crews. It was over an hour before the Pope left the aircraft following arrival and this Papal honor.
Attached are 2 pics taken by me from Flight Deck, the second pic shows the helicopter he boarded for parts unknown.
Captain T. A. Thususka (Retired)
Wayne responded to Captain Thususka
Thank you very much for the clarification. I thought it was "Triple Nickel" but I could not be sure. I delivered the new wheel assemblies to maintenance in the hangar that night and climbed the stairs to have a quick look at the first class section. Certainly something that would never be permitted today.