1944 Grumman G-21A Goose, c/n B-101, CF-VFU, FIFT. Dockside somewhere up Knight Inlet, B.C., Canada in spring 1969.

[1959 Kodak Retina IIIS (Type 027) rangefinder 35-mm roll film camera, s/n 86125, with Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 50-mm f/1.9 Synchro Compur lens, s/n 6841319; Kodak Plus-X Pan (ISO 125/22°) 36-exposure black & white negative film]


© Copyright photograph by Uwe Kündrunar Scharnberg, 1969 / Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, March 2011





“The whole history of the Canadian North can be divided into two periods—before and after the aeroplane.”
Hugh L. Keenleyside, Deputy Canadian Minister of Mines and Resources, October 1949




Thursday, June 23, 2011

Conair Firecats at their Abbotsford Air Tanker Base

video

1988 Conair Firecat, c/n 34, C-FJOH, “76”, Conair Group Inc., Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, operating as Conair Aviation, based at Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), Abbotsford, B.C.; powered by two 1,525-hp Wright R-1820-82WA Cyclone supercharged nine-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines with constant-speed three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propellers; single-seat, airtanker/firefighter; retardant tank; rebuilt by Conair Aviation Ltd.; built as Grumman S2F-1 Tracker (Model G-89), c/n G-254, BuNo 133283 USN; crew of four (pilot, co-pilot, two detection systems operators), long-range deep-water ASW (anti-submarine warfare) surveillance and protection; built by The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Bethpage, Long Island, New York, USA at Bethpage, Long Island, New York (F); converted to S2F-1T Tracker (multi-engine flight training and ASW training); redesignated as TS-2A Tracker in 1962; N424DF, California Department of Forestry, Mather, California; rebuilt as Conair Firecat; owner registered since September 24, 1991.

1957 Conair Firecat, c/n 19, C-FOPY, “69”, Conair Group Inc., Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, operating as Conair Aviation, based at Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), Abbotsford, B.C.; powered by two 1,525-hp Wright R-1820-82WA Cyclone supercharged nine-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines with constant-speed three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propellers; single-seat, airtanker/firefighter; retardant tank; converted by Conair Aviation Ltd.; built as Grumman CS2F-1 Tracker (Model G-103), c/n DHC24; crew of four (pilot, co-pilot, two detection systems operators), long-range deep-water ASW (anti-submarine warfare) surveillance and protection/with decommission of aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure, became shore-based and given role change, crew of three (pilot, co-pilot, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator), shallow-water anti-shipping surveillance, northern sovereignty surveillance, fisheries protection and maritime patrol; built by de Havilland Canada, Toronto, Ontario at Downsview, Ontario; taken on strength as 1525 RCN in 1957; renumbered as 12125 CAF in June 1970; redesignated as CP-121 Tracker; not clear if CAF serial marked before being struck off; struck off strength on November 12, 1970; CF-IOF, later CF-OPY, “58”, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources from September 28, 1978; C-FOPY, converted to Conair Firecat by May 1985; registration as CS2F-1 Tracker cancelled on September 24, 1991; re-registered as Conair Firecat the same day.

1958 Conair Firecat, c/n 31, C-FEFX, “75”, Conair Group Inc., Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, operating as Conair Aviation, based at Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), Abbotsford, B.C.; powered by two 1,525-hp Wright R-1820-82WA Cyclone supercharged nine-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines with constant-speed three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propellers; single-seat, airtanker/firefighter; retardant tank; converted by Conair Aviation Ltd.; built as Grumman S2F-1 Tracker (Model G-89), c/n G-527, BuNo 136618 USN; crew of four (pilot, co-pilot, two detection systems operators), long-range deep-water ASW (anti-submarine warfare) surveillance and protection; built by The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Bethpage, Long Island, New York, USA at Bethpage, Long Island, New York (F); converted to S2F-1T Tracker (multi-engine flight training and ASW training); redesignated as TS-2A Tracker in 1962; N425DF, California Department of Forestry, Mather, California; converted to Conair Firecat; owner registered since October 11, 1991.

Three Conair Firecats preparing for departure. In all, four of these vintage birds left one after the other between 10:30 and 10:44 am for a fire at Seton Portage, B.C., situated between Pemberton and Lillooet. The 47th Annual Abbotsford International Airshow, Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), Abbotsford, B.C. at 10:30 am, Friday, August 7, 2009.

© Copyright video by Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, August 2009

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