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Event Report
Event Reports - EAA AirVenture 2004

Thursday, July 29
EAA AirVenture 2004
Created: 07/13/2004
Updated: 08/11/2004
Link(s): N/A
Article by Steen Staff
Thursday, retired RCAF Col. Fern Villeneuve came by. Fern is a legend in Canada, the same way that Bob Hoover or Chuck Yeager is in America. He was instrumental in the early days of the jet era in Canada, and was the leader of the 431 Iroquois Squadron's 4-plane aerobatic team during the Prarie Pacific operation in 1954, which demonstrated the RCAF's skills to the public. In 1959, he was chosen as the leader of the legendary Golden Hawks F-86 aerobatic team. Not too much later he served with the Canadian Snowbirds. He was also involved in developing the method by which CF-104's would have dropped nuclear bombs from low level had the Soviets attacked Canada. Today, Fern is still actively flying, and serves as a Glider tug pilot for the RCAF air cadet training program.

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Famed Canadian test/exhibition pilot Col. Fern Villeneuve (Ret.) drops by to see us. Fern was instrumental in forming the first exhibition flying team of the Royal Canadian Air Force (the Golden Hawks, flying F-86's) and was the first leader of the Canadian Snowbirds. He still flies, towing gliders for RCAF cadet training.  
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Paul poses with Fern in front of the Pitts Model 14. Fern also helped in the development of low-altitude bombing techniques for the CF-104.  
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The original members of the RCAF 441 Squadron Aerobatic Team (the legendary Golden Hawks) in Nov. 1952. (L-R) F/Os Jean Gaudry (slot), Ralph Annis (left wing), Fern Villeneuve (right wing) and Gar Brine (leader). (RCAF photo)  
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In 1997, the Canadian Mint issued a CAD$20 silver and gold coin with Fern's likeness on it. He's sort of a Canadian version of Bob Hoover.  
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This plane, N241ST - (appropriately named "Symmetry") was built by Cory Bird - who just happens to work for Scaled Composites... Burt Rutan's company. The composites expertise shows!  
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It is rumored that the whole plane is built to an accuracy of thousandths of an inch.  
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Even the latches on the cowl are high-tech. This is why this aircraft won the Gold Lindy Award (Grand Champion, Plans-Built) as well as the Stan Dzik Memorial Award for Design Contribution. Good going, Cory!  
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This plane is so slick it even has a retractable tailwheel.  
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The airshow at AirVenture is world-renowned, and always opens with parachuters and the Star Spangled Banner.  
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When the Poberezny's said they wanted to have a marshmallow roast, they really meant it!  
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Paul and John Goetsch pose in front of the Lone Star Flight Museum's B-17G "Thunder Bird".  
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"Fast glide. Slow Control." Flying report, or a reminder?  
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The USAF brought their newest airplane, the C-130J Hercules. While it obviously incorporates new technology, the basic C-130 design is now over 50 years old - and still going strong!  
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Paul and John Goetsch pose with the C-130J. The 6-blade Dowty composite props are used to absorb the 6,000shp from each engine (up from "only" 4,300shp in the H model.)  
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This Giles has a hot-rod paint scheme.  
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The Giles 202 is typical of modern aerobatic monoplanes.  

Other entries in this series:
     We're heading up to Wisconsin!    July 21, 2004
     Skybolt Flight - Melbourne to Oshkosh    July 22, 2004
     Travelling to Oshkosh    July 23, 2004
     Pre-Show Setup    July 26, 2004
     Tuesday, July 27 - Opening Day    July 27, 2004
     Wednesday, July 28    July 28, 2004
      » Thursday, July 29    July 29, 2004
     Friday, July 30    July 30, 2004
     Saturday, July 31    July 31, 2004
     Sunday, August 1    August 1, 2004
     Monday, August 2    August 2, 2004
     Skybolt - Return Trip    August 2, 2004

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

Go to Event Reports archives

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