The 'Halibag' Newsletter

It’s been a long, hot summer…by busier and better than we could have ever wished for. We have had so many major events in the recent weeks that this newsletter will only begin to touch on some of them. If you want to know ‘the rest of the story’, you’ll just have to take a day and visit us for a while.

NA 337 is flying…right wing low…at present. Those working on the left wing are away ahead of the them working on the right. By the time you read this letter, re-skinning of the left wing should be complete. The next task will be to manufacture a new wing tip as the original is severely  damaged. We want to assemble the entire wing, just to ensure that all parts mate and that paint can be blended. We will have to disassemble it of course, before it can be moved.
This Halifax has a wing span of over 104 feet. Most visitor, many of them Halifax Crews, are impressed and awed with the size of the airplane. Wait till they see it on it’s wheels. At over 21 feet, the Halli is not only wide, it is tall.

Engines and Propeller
Many months ago Cees van der Leeuw, our man in the Netherlands, had found a number of propeller parts in Arnhem. We have had little luck in finding an empty C130 Hercules coming this way, to bring these parts home. We’re still trying.
In the mean time Dave Dorosh of Edmonton, Alberta visited our project and became aware of our propeller problems. He mentioned that Western Propeller, an Edmonton based overhaul shop, may be able to help. We told him that we had already tried them with no luck.
To make a long story short, Dave re-visited the company and met with Mike Wagner, the manager. Would you believe, Mike had recently inspected a set of DC3 propellers for a customer? They failed the test, were rejected and graciously donated. When I called Dave last night he already had 2 complete sets of propeller half-barrels in his shop and was crating them for transport.
NOTE: This time we won’t be caught with transportation problems. There are 7 C130 Hercules aircraft at Overhaul at Spar in Edmonton. They will have to come back to Trenton some time, and when they do they will have our propeller parts on board.

Rescue 57, our Scottish Satellite
Ian and Gillian Foster have again collected a multitude of Halifax bits and pieces…hundreds of pounds of them. They have been transported to RAF Station Leuchars in Scotland and are awaiting pick-up. We had 2 flights that were staging through that station in November. However with the reduced Servicing Support now in effect at Leuchars the C130’s we had hoped would bring this stuff home will now refuel in Prestwick. Again we’ll have to wait.

Other News
RCAF Memorial Building Fund
The restoration of Halifax NA 337 is progressing to the point where we need to begin moving some sections of the aircraft out of our shop area to make room for other work, hopefully into a new addition to the RCAF Museum. That should have happened this autumn; but funding was slow in coming. The Museum Fund Raising organization had applied to a provincial agency, Superbuild, for approximately $1.6 Million. It was expected many months ago but suffered many delays. The last few months have seen major lobbying and convassing by many people and organizations. The Halifax Aircraft Association even put out a May Day newsletter asking their members to write their Members of Parliament. It worked.

Friday, 20 September, Provincial Culture Minister David Tsubouchi presented the RCAF Memorial Museum with a cheque for the sum of $766,000. While this is only half the amount needed, it will allow for the start of construction. The Minister’s words at the presentation were “What really sold me were the volunteers working on the Halifax. They seemed so dedicated. They were having fun. They reminded me of a group of kids working on a model airplane”. Working on the Halifax has definitely made many of us feel younger…and it has been fun. Compliment graciously accepted.

Minister of National Defence Visit
In August, we had the pleasure of a visit by the new Minister of Defence, John McCallum. Mr. McCallum was impressed and said…I am confident we can open the doors to more corporate funding. Corporations often wait to see what governments are doing.
NOTE: Within minutes of the announcement, corporate and private donors came forward with another $35,000. It is intended to approach the Federal Government for funding. This is happening now. We have been assured of Minister McCallum’s support.

RCAF Memorial Museum – General Meeting
This meeting took place on 17 September; the major portion dedicated to the building and renovation of the museum. Everything seemed to hinge on funding; they had their ground work done and could react when and if funding was approved. It did and most of the plans are now under way. We were invited to attend the afternoon sessions where each team volunteer was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation. The team was also treated to a BBQ of Steaks and Salads; compliments of the Board of Directors. (The board members paid for this personally). Working with the RACAF Museum has been fun and interesting; we thank them for their appreciation and recognition.

It has been a busy and productive summer with so many of the things we needed finally coming together. We now have a sense of urgency to get back to work…there is now a schedule to meet.

              Bill Tytula

Back Issues of The 'Halibag' Newsletter are available by clicking below.
Please note 1995, 1996, 1997 Newsletters have been removed from the website, however, click on the link & we will e-mail a zipped copy to you.
July '96
July '97
Nov '98
June '99
Aug '99
Oct '99
Dec '99
The 'Halibag' Newsletter is produced to try to keep members of the Halifax groups and other interested parties in touch with the progresson of the project.

The views expressed in these newsletter are those of the author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the views of the RCAF Memorial Museum, the Halifax Aircraft Association or the Halifax Restoration Team. Material for inclusion in future issues may be e-mailed to BillTytula


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