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ISSUE 95 - December 2009
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2009 Classic Air Rallye – Part 1

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Roslin, Ontario, Canada

A true classic and one of the most loved fighter aircraft of all time, the Supermarine Spitfire. This aircraft, owned by Vintage Wings of Canada and flown here by founder, Mr. Michael Potter, is a Mk XVI, adding refined beauty to the skies at the Classic Air Rallye at Rockcliffe (Ottawa), Ontario.

Every year in Ottawa, along the Ottawa River, at the site of a former World War Two airfield known as Rockcliffe (YRO), a gathering of classic aircraft occurs. The Classic Air Rallye draws aircraft from all over Ontario, Quebec, New York State and other parts of Canada and the USA. From biplanes to fighter aircraft to Cessna’s and more, there’s something for virtually every classic interest.

One of the most beautiful civilian aircraft ever flown, the Globe/Temco Swift visiting the show, left. This one is owned and flown by former RCAF pilot & Golden Hawks Team Lead, (H)Col. Fern Villeneuve. In unusual markings, this VAN’s RV7A taxi’s in to the parking area, right.

The location, Rockcliffe, also hosts the National Aviation Museum of Canada, a big draw in the Nations Capital and a popular place to find a unique perspective of Canada’s aviation history. Originally housed in World War Two era hangars, now long gone, the collection is presently found in a bright, modern museum building with a relatively new ‘hangar’ addition created for the ever-increasing number of aircraft.

A beautiful example of the Cessna 190 with the big radial out front, left. Probably one of the most unusual aircraft that visits the show, a Republic Seabee taxi’s in, right.

On a single, old tarmac runway, aircraft land and then taxi to their parking spots. Aviation enthusiasts have the opportunity to see, touch, and smell the history, chat with the pilots and learn more about the airplanes and their history. Some aircraft are original factory examples, some have been restored, and a few could probably do with some restoration and/or new paint. Regardless, they all have a story to tell about aviation history.

Not just for classic aircraft, the show draws classic car lovers to the museum as well such as this Austin Healey, left. Also on hand were vintage military jeeps and their ‘uniformed’ drivers, right.

Though mostly an aviation ‘rally,’ joining the aircraft is an assembly of classic cars with some drivers in period costume but all willing to chat about their pride and joy and the history of the vehicles. Not far from the classic cars you’ll find some vintage pieces of military hardware with ‘volunteers’ dressed in World War One and Two uniform who are more than happy to chat about the history of their pieces of history.

A beautiful example of the Cessna 140, left. The Canadian built De Havilland of Canada Chipmunk on take-off, right.

Walking along the aircraft parking area you find yourself taking a trip back in time, back to a day when flying by the seat of your pants wasn’t just an expression but a way of life. It was a time when barnstorming and bush flying wasn’t merely a terminology, it was what pilots did for a living. Some classic beauties that attended the show included the DHC Beaver and Tiger Moth, the sleek beauty of the Beech Staggerwing, and once common aircraft such as the Cessna 140 and 190.

The USA calls it the T-6 Texan. Canada calls it the Harvard. However, in Australia it is known as the Wirraway. Whatever it’s called, the Wirraway shown in the left photograph, is a beautiful airplane. A sleek beauty of an aircraft, this Beech Staggerwing D-17S from Vintage Wings of Canada adds a certain air of elegance to the rallye, right.

Visiting from Laval, Quebec was this 1960 Focke-Wulf FWP-149D, performing one of several passes, left. Another visiting aircraft that participated with several passes was the Yakovlev Yak-18T, right.

This story will be continued in the next Barnstormers eFlyer....sign-up here to get your copy!

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer

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