Steelhead
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Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:19 pm

During my recent visit at the Canada Aviation & Space Museum in Ottawa I noticed this Canadair North Star stored outside the museum in a really sad condition:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/steelhead2010/sets/72157635766729723/

They said, that this is the only existing North Star in the world and that fund-raising has begun to restore the aircraft
- don't know if that means into flying condition.

Is there really only this example in existence worldwide?
 
Flaps
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Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:46 pm

There weren't many built to begin with. Given the fact that it was very much a niche aircraft and pretty expensive to operate Im surprised (but quite pleased) that even that one remains. I would have loved to have heard one of these beasts on takeoff.
 
northstardc4m
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Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:54 pm

There are a couple others in "existance" but they are not in any better shape... the one in Ottawa probably cannot be restored to a flyable condition due to corrosion issues, but it should be restored to museum display appearance... though my emails about what paint it will be in have gone unanswered... probably RCAF though  

sadly no commercial DC-4M-2/3 (sometimes called Mk 1) or 2/4s survive (sometimes called Mk 2), or any model C-4 (BOAC)...
Sadly the only DC-4M-1 crashed.
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Steelhead
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Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:23 pm

I can imagine the sound of 4 RR Merlins (have the AVRO Lancaster here in Hamilton (YHM) with similar engines). I hope they will put the old RCAF colours back on - this how this plane should look.

Thanks for the info NorthStarDC4M !
 
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longhauler
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Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Quoting steelhead (Thread starter):
Is there really only this example in existence worldwide?

The only other one I know of, was the "Wings Cafe" at MEX. I used to do layovers there, and often looked for it. I have since learned it it burned down in 1999.

It was originally a DC-4M2/4, CF-TFG, of TCA.

The one at Rockliffe is a C-54GM. (The M of the designators, indicating the Merlin engines).

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 2):
Sadly the only DC-4M-1 crashed.

There were six DC-4M1s. They were the first built for TCA, on loan, then returned to the RCAF after TCA's DC-4M2s started to arrive. One DC-4M1 was lost while operating for TCA, at YQY.

The DC-4M1s were virtually identical to the C-54GMs, in that they were unpressurised like a Douglas DC-4, with the same cabin layout/doors.

TCA's DC-4M2s were either /3s or /4s. The /4s had three bladed props and were virtually identical to the C-4s of BA and CP. They were slightly heavier than the four bladed /3s. All the DC-4M2s and C-4s were pressurized

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 2):
model C-4 (BOAC)...

CP also operated the C-4, lost one, and the rest were sold to TCA. So TCA operated the DC-4M1, DC-4M2/3, DC-4M2/4 and C-4-1.

Quoting Flaps (Reply 1):
There weren't many built to begin with. Given the fact that it was very much a niche aircraft and pretty expensive to operate Im surprised (but quite pleased) that even that one remains.

The aircraft was built by Canadair under licence from Douglas. As it was being built the same time as the DC-6, Douglas feared competition against their DC-6 so a restriction was placed on the licence that Canadair could only sell the DC-4M to Commonwealth countries. Hence, it was only sold to Trans-Canada, Canadian Pacific and BOAC.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
cf6ppe
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:24 am

In the 1970's we lived in the MIA area and were frequent visitors to the parking area along 36th Street adjacent to the Immigration and Customs arrival area for the cargo birds. Their was a NorthStar that frequented MIA as an outbound/inbound USA transit point. I had a small Radio Shack radio with an aircraft band and would try to listen to ground frequencies - they seemed more interesting at the time. One visit we heard the NorthStar crew talking to the tower controller who wanted to know what it was like to fly a NorthStar. The NorthStar pilot replied that it was like flying four P51 Mustangs in a very tight formation. This particular NorthStar operated under the name of Air Caicos. At other times, listening I found out that they hauled building materials from the USA to the Turks and Caicos Islands which are south east of MIA.

The first time I saw the NorthStar (thinking that it was a radial engine powered DC4), it was parked so you were looking at the rear of the aircraft. I saw the crew board using their extension ladder, but when the engines were started that it didn't have the PWA R2000's. The Merlin's started quickly as opposed to the laborious start of the radials.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:16 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 4):
The only other one I know of, was the "Wings Cafe" at MEX. I used to do layovers there, and often looked for it. I have since learned it it burned down in 1999.

When I laid over in MEX during the late 70's and early 80's we had short layovers within walking distance of the Wings Café. I know I took pictures of it because at the time I did not know enough about the Northstar--I took it to be a DC-4 with very odd engines. I also remember that it was a "greasy spoon" kind of place and that I would not want to eat there. There were vents and chimneys cut into the roof and out of the emergency exits.

Still, it is sad that it was lost to fire. On landing I would always try to catch a glimpse of it before I ran for my jumpseat.
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Viscount724
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:40 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 4):
Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 2):model C-4 (BOAC)...
CP also operated the C-4, lost one, and the rest were sold to TCA. So TCA operated the DC-4M1, DC-4M2/3, DC-4M2/4 and C-4-1.

After TCA acquired CP's 3 surviving C-4-1s I can't recall TCA continuing to refer to them as C-4-1. They had a different rear cabin layout with 5 windows behind the door (like those operated by BOAC) rather than 4 windows like those delivered to TCA.

One of the ex-CP aircraft was written off in a mid-air collision with an RCAF Harvard trainer over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1954, killing all 35 aboard plus one person in a house that was struck by the wreckage.

I think one or perhaps both of the remaining ex-CP aircraft were converted to freighters during their last few years of TCA service. They could only handle cargo that could be loaded through the passenger door as there was no main deck cargo door.

[Edited 2013-09-29 07:03:25]
 
jetstar
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:56 pm

In the early 1970’s I used to fly to SRQ quite often and across the field from the terminal there was a company that used to modify, restore and maintain P-51’s, I believe the company’s name was Cavalier.

Outside their hangar was a few C-51M’s airframes stripped of their engines and I was told they bought up these airplanes just for their engines. I would assume these airframes were eventually scrapped at SRQ because they were built to use the Merlin engines and could not be modified back to the radial engines versions.

JetStar
 
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longhauler
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:49 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
After TCA acquired CP's 3 surviving C-4-1s I can't recall TCA continuing to refer to them as C-4-1.

Not publicly, no. They were always referred as Canadair North Star Skyliners. Internally though, they kept the C4-1 designation as performance was slightly different. There were always two columns M2-3, and M2-4 + C4-1.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
They had a different rear cabin layout with 5 windows behind the door (like those operated by BOAC) rather than 4 windows like those delivered to TCA.

This is an interesting point, as the fifth window would have been in the rear of the cabin, where TCA had lavatories. TCA's did have a smaller window, but it was higher up and placed in the lav.

I have never been able to find an external picture of an ex-CP C-4 in TCA colours, as I wondered how that fifth window was "handled". Looking at my Dad's North Star Pilot Operating Manual dated November 1960, it shows the cabin layouts, of various passenger configurations .... all with rear lavs. So whatever CP had back there was removed and lavs placed instead.

That was further confirmed when I found an interior picture of CF-TFU (ex CP), that had encountered turbulence. Among the mess in the cabin, one could see the rear lavs. Maybe they had a huge full sized window in the lav!!!
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Viscount724
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:09 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 9):
I have never been able to find an external picture of an ex-CP C-4 in TCA colours,

Here's one. CF-TFU at YWG.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001-FREZ4D__YThVPmq4mIAsKXw49YR8LYAogJGaqaSBmzsbqX1pH_hCLahBnY_ESyelZd7zwtD_6SCkHAjZR9FuflPCx6RtpnFJ3eYiMcMdCPVU9clelNFbEHBulebj2BG8V3R9hHh7khge-NTBwgAVlMS17CYzjSv8c-5-MjLDbM=

At CP it was CF-CPI, named "Empress of Sydney". That aircraft had a notable place in CP history as it operated CP's first international flight in July 1949, routing Vancouver-San Francisco (fuel stop, no traffic rights)-Honolulu-Canton Island (fuel stop)-Nandi-Auckland-Sydney, with 2 overnight stops at Honolulu and Nandi (hotel and meals included in the fare).

The same aircraft below at SYD on July 15, 1949, prior to the return flight of the inaugural.

http://www.acfamily.net/photopost/data/504/9cpa-canadair-four-aussie.jpg

[Edited 2013-09-29 08:12:56]
 
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longhauler
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:28 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
Here's one. CF-TFU at YWG.

That's great, thanks.
Man, that is one big ass window in the aft lav!
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Arrow
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:31 pm

Fascinating discussion, people -- thanks for all the info. As a kid (think I was maybe 8-9 at the time) I flew on a TCA North Star from New York to Toronto. I do remember the unbelievable racket it made -- and I suspect this bird maybe had the crossover exhaust system installed. My father was an engineer whose years at Rolls Royce during the war involved quite a bit of work on installing Merlins in various aircraft (he was involved in the P-51 installation project).

Fascinating aircraft -- another example of Canada's (then) unique ability to take an existing design and modify it for better performance. Probably the best example of that was the Canadair Sabre. On the North Star, too bad they couldn't modify the noise level much.
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longhauler
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:07 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 6):
I took it to be a DC-4 with very odd engines.

It's funny that you thought it was a DC-4, as with the square windows and mid cabin entry door, most thought it was a DC-6. (with odd engines). It was however, smaller than a DC-6, but without a size comparison it would be hard to tell.

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The DC-4M1 though, was often mistaken for a DC-4, as it had round windows and rear entry door.


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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:28 pm

I recall seeing some airlines trying to fudge a DC-4 as a DC-6 by painting squares around the round windows.

Still, it is a shame to see such an historic aircraft destroyed by fire. She deserved better.
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northstardc4m
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RE: Is There Really Only One Canadair North Star?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:47 pm

[quote OR longhauler,reply OR 4]There were six DC-4M1s. They were the first built for TCA, on loan, then returned to the RCAF after TCA's DC-4M2s started to arrive. One DC-4M1 was lost while operating for TCA, at YQY.[/quote]

Ok, the one at YQY was the crash i was speaking of, and I now see what i got wrong...

I think I got it maybe below... I'm still finding yet more model numbers?:

CL-2-1X OR CL-4-1X OR DC-4M-1X, Prototype - i incorrectly though this was the only DC-4M-1 qty 1

CL-2-1 OR DC-4M-1 OR DC-4M Mk2, 3 blade props, round windows, short fuselage, TCA DC-4M-2-3 "North Star Skyliner", conv to C-54GM to RCAF qty 6


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Photo © RAScholefield Collection



CL-2-2 OR CL-4-1? OR DC-4M-2/3 OR DC-4M OR DC-4M Mk2, 3 blade prop, Merlin 622, square windows, longer fuselage, etc TCA DC-4M-2-3 "North Star Skyliner" qty 10?

CL-2-3 OR CL-4-2? OR DC-4M-2/4 OR DC-4M-2 OR DC-4M Mk3, 4 blade prop, Merlin 624, square windows, longer fuselage, etc, TCA DC-4M-2-4 "North Star Skyliner Mk2" qty 10? some converted to cargo DC-4M-2-4C


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Photo © RAScholefield Collection



CL-4-1A? OR C-4-1, for CPA, pretty much same as BOAC C-4, similar to CL-4-1 w/Merlin 624?, "Canadair Four" qty 4


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Photo © RAScholefield Collection



CL-4-1B? or CL-4-B? or CL-4? OR C-4 OR C.4, BOAC C.4 "Argonaut", again similar to CL-4-1 w/Merlin 624? qty 22


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Photo © Nicholas Denbow
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CL-2? OR C-54GMC-54G/M?, RCAF qty 17+5 conv DC-4M-1


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Photo © Frank Croom



CL-4-5 OR C-5 OR RCAF qty 1, non-merlin

There's also CL-4-M1 floating around some lists , but I can't verify that one, seems to be another C-54GM designation?

Canadair Four was seemingly the common name after resale Derby, Overseas, etc even though most of them were previously Argonauts or North Stars.
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