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Edenvale Classic Fly-in - Part I

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

A permanent fixture at Edenvale, and a sight you can't miss if passing the aerodrome,
is this MiG 15 mounted near the road.

Edenvale Aerodrome, the former home of World War II RCAF Detachment Edenvale, is a busy little airport in southern Ontario and host of the Edenvale Gathering of Classics Fly-in every year in early August. From World War II aircraft to civilian classics and modern aircraft, the Gathering sees a wide variety of aeroplanes and ultralights flown in from all parts of Ontario and even a few from the USA.

Canadian Warplane heritage Museum B-25 on final approach,
arriving at the fly-in from Hamilton.

One of the favourites that makes the trip to Edenvale is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum B-25 Mitchell. This ever-popular World War II era bomber and its unmistakable sound have every head turning to watch her approach and land. The sound of those big radial engines drowns out everything else around whether in the air or on the ground.

The unmistakable lines and look of the Cessna 195,
one of the most beautiful of the Cessna line of aircraft.

Another round engine classic is the Cessna 195 "Businessliner" and this beautiful example is often seen flying around southern Ontario. The prototype first flew in 1945 and production ran from 1947 to 1954. Though the 195 was initially produced for the general aviation market the aircraft was expensive to purchase and to operate so promotion of the aircraft leaned toward the businessman, hence the name "Businessliner." The 195 was also used by the US Air Force, US Army and the US Air National Guard.

Up from New York State was this lovely 1942 Howard DGA 18P.

Adding to the classic radial line up was a 1942 Howard DGA 18P, flown up from the Buffalo, NY area. The Howard was built from 1939 to 1944 with a deep and wide cabin allowing for 5 comfortably seated passengers and lots of leg room. This particular aircraft flew as a Navy Officer Liaison from 1942 until 1946 when it was sold off by War Assets in the US. This aircraft has a cruise speed of 191mph with a Never Exceed Speed of 270mph. Due to its high wing loading, the Howard could handle most turbulent skies with relative comfort.

Vintage Wings of Canada sent their lovely Westland, National Steel Car Corporation, Lysander to the event and it was quite popular with fly-in patrons.

As we're on a trend of radial engine aircraft, another radial that made the trip was the Vintage Wings of Canada Lysander IIIA flown in from Gatinuea Airport, just east of Ottawa, Ontario. Designed by Westland Aircraft in the UK, this Lizzie, as they were affectionately known, was built by National Steel Car Corporation in Malton, Ontario in 1942. It currently wears the markings of RCAF No. 416 Sqn flown by Sergeant Clifford Stewart.

The fabulous Waco YOC Custom Cabin.

The Waco YOC Custom Cabin is a local aircraft which is a resident hangared at Edenvale. These were produced in the 1930s in an assortment of variants, this particular aircraft being built in 1935 wearing a 225hp Jacobs L-4 engine. Many Custom Cabins in Canada were built as freighters for use in the bush and came with additional doors. Others were used as executive transports, and as a utility aircraft with various militaries and even an anti-submarine patrol aircraft by the US Civil Air Patrol.

Certainly one of the prettiest and most rugged of the biplanes is the Meyers OTW.

One of the prettiest aeroplanes at Edenvale is the Meyers OTW (Out to Win), designed by Al Meyers. These were built by the Meyers Aircraft Company from 1936 to 1944 for use as a training aircraft, built to compete with the venerable Stearman, and in 1939 was the second aircraft type that was approved for use as a training aircraft in the US Civilian Pilot Training Program. The OTW has an open cockpit, tandem seating with a metal fuselage, fabric wings and control surfaces. Of the 102 OTW's produced, there are thought to be some 60 still in existence with as many as 40 of those aircraft still flying today.

The workhorse of the Cessna line is the L-19/O-1 Bird Dog,
this one wearing the markings of the Canadian Army.

A relatively newly acquired Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog made an appearance at the fly-in as well. The L-19 was designed and built based on a requirement by the US Army for an artillery fire and liaison aircraft. The prototype first flew in December of 1949 with the first deliveries of the aircraft taking place a year later. L-19s first saw action in Korea from 1950 - 1953. Bird Dogs also served with the RCAF and Canadian Army, some eventually serving as tow aircraft with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. This particular aircraft flew with the Canadian Army as a trainer, by the Canadian Joint Air Training Centre at RCAF Station Rivers in Manitoba. It was transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in B.C. in the 1970s. It was sold by the Pacific Region Air Cadet program in 2014 to its current owner in Ontario who restored the aircraft to Canadian Army markings, dedicated to Ltn. William S. (Bill) Brown, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.

An unusual looking but sleek and sexy aircraft is the Air New (Questair) Venture.

Returning to the Gathering was the unusual and rather unique looking Air New (Questair) Venture Model 20. This amateur built, 2-seat aircraft has a complex tricycle landing gear and a Continental IO-550 which gives the aircraft a cruise speed of 275mph and a maximum speed of just over 300mph. The Venture is a streamlined design though has a comfortably wide cabin for its size and has a reasonably good long range performance of 1000 nautical miles.

The de Havilland Tiger Moth was a mainstay of the
flight training programs in the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

Often seen at Edenvale is a beautiful British de Havilland Tiger Moth but at the 2015 fly-in there were two of these lovely old biplanes. The Tiger Moth was originally British built and utilised by the RAF as a primary trainer until the early 1950s when it was replaced by the DH Chipmunk. The Tiger Moth was also produced in Canada by de Havilland Canada and used as a primary trainer by the RCAF and RCN. More than 1500 were built in Canada and hundreds of Tiger Moth's, built in various countries, survive today.

This week we had a look at some of the aircraft that made the trip to Edenvale for the 2015 Gathering of Classics Fly-in, such as the Cessna 195, left. Next week we'll have a look at other aircraft that were on hand for the fly-in such as the ultralight Challenger, right.

This week we spent time at the 2015 Edenvale Gathering of Classics fly-in in which took place in August. Next week we'll return to Edenvale to have a look at what else, despite the marginal weather, made an appearance at the fly-in and the date for the 2016 event.

The office of the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog, left. The Challenger looks relatively narrow but the cockpit is actually fairly roomy for an ultralight, right.


Huge mural of a Supermarine Spitfire inside one of the hangars, left.
The vintage RCAF roundel on the fuselage of the L-19, right.


Nose art on the CWH B-25 Mitchell, "Hot Gen," left.
Tribute on the fuselage of the L-19 Bird Dog, right.


By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer

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