Author Topic: Jackrabbit  (Read 21700 times)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2023, 05:44:33 AM »
FWIWm the MB.326Km with the single-seat canopy has the ammunition for the cannons where the second seat was, that's one reason it's faired over.  I'm not certain how this layout affects your concept of the Prarie Rattler.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2023, 07:11:41 PM »
FWIWm the MB.326Km with the single-seat canopy has the ammunition for the cannons where the second seat was, that's one reason it's faired over.  I'm not certain how this layout affects your concept of the Prarie Rattler.

My idea with the Prairie Rattler, and other early armed MB.326 variants is to have the guns and ammunition in their real world position, but maintain the standard trainer style canopy over it all.

Partly, this would be for parts commonality between the attack and trainer versions where possible. It would also be to maintain some degree of rearward vision for the pilot.

From what I've seen of cutaways of the MB.326K, the gun package doesn't extend up past the point of the cockpit sill and the upper part is taken up by some avionics boxes.

I figure if those avionics boxes can be arranged behind the pilot so that the pilot can see to at least the four and eight positions, if not five and seven, then keeping the trainer canopy and the better field of view it could give might be prudent.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2023, 03:47:15 PM »
Reasonable enough assumption on the Prarie Rattler, now that I understand the set up.  It's going to be interesting to see where you take this story and where Canadian production ends up serving.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2023, 10:03:30 AM »
If someone wants to model the Prarie Rattler, it's easy in 1/72 as pavla has the cannon bulges that can be applied to a standard MB.326 kit.  In 1/48, you'd almost have to combine a MB.326 and MB.326K to get everything.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2023, 12:55:02 PM »
If someone wants to model the Prarie Rattler, it's easy in 1/72 as pavla has the cannon bulges that can be applied to a standard MB.326 kit.  In 1/48, you'd almost have to combine a MB.326 and MB.326K to get everything.

These days, you're pretty much in the same boat in either scale.

Pavla folded in 2021 or so. So unless you are lucky enough to get your hands on the 1/72 cannon bulges, or someone else makes a set, you're kitbashing in 1/72 as well.

The current Pavla website looks like it's just a website builder template:
https://www.pavlamodels.cz/
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2023, 10:03:09 AM »
With all of this going on, are any of the Canadian airlines going to order canadian equivalents of the MB.326D to transition their pilots from piston engines to jets?  You could whif some colorful MB326's that way.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2023, 10:06:17 AM »
If someone wants to model the Prarie Rattler, it's easy in 1/72 as pavla has the cannon bulges that can be applied to a standard MB.326 kit.  In 1/48, you'd almost have to combine a MB.326 and MB.326K to get everything.

These days, you're pretty much in the same boat in either scale.

Pavla folded in 2021 or so. So unless you are lucky enough to get your hands on the 1/72 cannon bulges, or someone else makes a set, you're kitbashing in 1/72 as well.

The current Pavla website looks like it's just a website builder template:
https://www.pavlamodels.cz/
i did manage to acquire some of their 1/72 MB.326K cannon bulges.  Originally bought with the idea of converting a G-4 Super Galeb into a J-4 Super Jasyreb in Yugoslavian markings.  Never got around to that conversion, but I have the parts and may do your "Prarie Rattler" instead.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2023, 10:16:00 PM »
With all of this going on, are any of the Canadian airlines going to order canadian equivalents of the MB.326D to transition their pilots from piston engines to jets?  You could whif some colorful MB326's that way.

That had not crossed my mind.

However, I'll have to work it in somehow. The idea of MB.326s in Canadian Pacific or Pacific Western livery is just too tempting to pass up.  :-*
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2023, 05:48:44 AM »
Strategy for Supply

As the result of predicted interest in the MB-326 and better than predicted interest in the CL-215 at the 1964 ILA Airshow, a strategy had to be developed to supply the demands. Canadair and Aermacchi could not fill all the orders on their own.

A former Aermacchi executive:

"In 1964 it was only ourselves and Canadair producing the MB-326. In Italy, we had been testing the CL-215 extensively and had refined it to the point of building some pre-production models that would be ready for the Paris Airshow in June of 1965. We were also developing a utility version of the aircraft that did away with the water bomber capacity in favour of a multi-use cabin. We hoped the prototype for that would also be ready for Paris in 1965.

In 1964, the only other company with a license to produce the MB-326 was Atlas Aircraft of South Africa. They had not yet started production, but it didn't really matter. With the Apartheid government that was in place there at the time, very few places indeed would buy from them and their variant of the aircraft would be very specialised to their own needs.

At the ILA 1964 show, Commonwealth Aircraft of Australia, along with Embraer of Brazil and FMA of Argentina all showed interest in obtaining licences to produce the MB-326. Additionally, all three companies showed greater or lesser degrees of interest in obtaining licenses to produce the CL-215.

Before 1964 was out, we had granted a license for the MB-326 to Commonwealth Aircraft and a team was sent from Canadair to the Commonwealth facilities to oversee the tooling up process.

Supplying the license for the MB-326 to Embraer and FMA was more problematic as we felt we didn't need two full production lines for the aircraft in South America. We suggested that one could hold the license and be the main production/assembly line while the other could be subcontracted by them for production of certain components.

We could tell they weren't happy with our suggestion, but nobody had any better ideas for how both companies could get themselves involved in the production of the aircraft.

Ultimately, we gave the license to Embraer in early 1965 and they subcontracted FMA to produce the landing gear and wingtip fuel tanks along with the rear fuselage and empanage.

What really tipped the scales in Embraer's favour was their higher interest in the CL-215 than FMA seemed to have. Shortly after granting the license, Aermacchi sent teams to both Embraer and FMA facilities to supervise tooling up for the MB-326."

A former Canadair executive:

"It was a tremendous relief to us in Cartierville when we heard there would be another production line for the MB-326 in the Americas. We were stretched to fill the Central American orders, we had no idea how we could stretch to South America as well.

The challenge was determining where the line would be for us and Embraer. We were already delivering the MB-326 fleet to Guatemala, but had made no deliveries south of there yet.

After some bargaining, we agreed that Embraer would have the markets from the Honduras-Nicaragua border southward. We agreed on this as the first batch of Honduran aircraft was nearing completion at Cartierville. Any commitments Canadair had made for the MB-326 further south were transfered to Embraer.

We were really very eager to get the CL-215 production started in Canada now that the bulk of development had been taken care of in Italy. At the time, we were also deciding whether to expand the Cartiervile facilities or open another facility elsewhere to handle CL-215 production when the time came.

A former Commonwealth Aircraft executive:

"The ink was barely dry on our production license for the MB-326 when we were told by Aermacchi to actively pursue customers across Asia and Oceania.

Their idea was that Embraer would have South America, Canadair would cover North America and a good section of Western Europe, Aermacchi would focus on Mediterranean markets as well as any other potential customers in Africa or the Middle East. We would have what was left.

We already knew New Zealand was committed to the MB-326. Australia also had good relations with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; so we hoped we might find a customer for the aircraft among them as well.

As for the rest of Asia, we knew india was unlikely as they already had the domestically designed HAL Kiran trainer underway. As for the rest of the continent, we had no idea what to expect."
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2023, 05:51:47 AM »
He's back ...

Great stuff! Keep 'er coming  :D
"It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes." - Agent Rogersz

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2023, 09:48:01 PM »
He's back ...

Great stuff! Keep 'er coming  :D

Yep, it feels good to get more of this story out.

A bit of writer's block here and there and some real life advantures got in the way a bit. Hopefully it won't be so long to the next installment.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2023, 01:51:33 AM »
A bit of writer's block here and there and some real life advantures got in the way a bit.

Oh I know how that goes...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2023, 04:22:48 AM »
Sharing Europe

A former Aermacchi marketing executive:

"With Embraer set to produce the MB-326 for South American markets, we decided to redirect Canadair's marketing responsibility for the aircraft to the more northern regions of Europe. This would allow us at Aermacchi to focus more on southern Europe and African markets.

The sale to West Germany was already done and it was easy because Johannes Steinhoff personally approved of the aircraft and did a great job of selling it to the West German defense ministry.

Another thing that made the West German sale easy was that the Sabre jets the Luftwaffe, and several other European NATO nations, flew had come from Canadair and so the Canadair name carried some weight in Europe. We were counting on that weight to generate sales.

Aside of West Germany, we put Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands and Norway under Canadair's pervue for the MB-326.

France, Great Britain and Spain all had domestically developed jet trainers that also had some scope for ground attack. As such, we had no plans to market the MB-326 to them.

Yugoslavia was a similar situation. They were a user of the Canadair Sabre, but they also were taking a stance of non-alignment and decided to develop their own jet trainer, the SOKO G-2 Galeb.

Portugal had already recieved a fleet of Cessna T-37 trainers from America via the Mutual Defense Aid Program (MDAP) in the early 1960s, so they had no immediate need of the MB-326. Greece and Turkey were in a similar situation as they had also recieved T-37 fleets the same way Portugal had.

Our primary strategy for marketing the MB-326 to Europe was to focus on any user nation of the Lockheed T-33, or the Canadair built variation of it. The general idea was to have the T-33 largely gone from European skies by the late 1960s or early 1970s.

We were also going to put a special focus on user nations of the F-104 Starfighter. The team at Canadair was working on a new variant of the MB-326 that involved marrying the nose of an F-104 to it so the MB-326 could be used as a training aid for F-104 crews to learn the radar and navigation aspects of the Starfighter.

With as steep a learning curve as the F-104 had, we were optimistic that such a variant of the MB-326 would be welcome if it worked. "
« Last Edit: August 10, 2023, 04:17:58 PM by upnorth »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2023, 11:12:17 AM »
Any chance of the MB,328, MB,329, or MB330 business aircraft coming about in this scenario?  MB.330 business jet would be the most likely as it mated the wings and horizontal tail of the MB.326 with a new fuselage and vertical tail and two aft-mounted Cj610 engines (same as fitted to the 20-series Learjets).

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2023, 12:35:26 PM »
Any chance of the MB,328, MB,329, or MB330 business aircraft coming about in this scenario?  MB.330 business jet would be the most likely as it mated the wings and horizontal tail of the MB.326 with a new fuselage and vertical tail and two aft-mounted Cj610 engines (same as fitted to the 20-series Learjets).

I hadn't thought about that. I'll maybe see if I can make some space for it.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2023, 04:17:36 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2023, 05:37:53 PM »
See here:  https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/aermacchi-projects.629/

Very interesting, I didn't know about that. I'll keep it in mind as the story progresses.  :smiley:
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2023, 04:04:15 AM »
Angry in Argentina

A former FMA factory supervisor:

"It was a very tense time around the FMA offices and factory in Cordoba for a while after the MB.326 License went to Embraer in 1965.

While work went ahead in the factory for our part of the aircraft under sub-contract, many in the corporate offices were fuming.

As a supervisor, I was happy that there was work to keep people employed. At the time FMA didn't really have anything happening in the way of major projects, so any work was good work even if it was as a sub-contractor.

I could see how our exective types would feel rather slighted, though. FMA had a history going back to 1927, while Embraer was a newly founded company. There was also the fact that in 1959 we got the license to produce the Morane Saulnier MS.760 Paris trainer jet for the Argentine air force.

With the history FMA had and recent experience building an aircraft of the same category as the MB.326, it really was a puzzle to many of us why we didn't get the production license.

Could the fact that we weren't really that interested in the CL-215 and Embraer were, the reason Aermacchi gave for their decision, really have made so much of a difference?

Whatever the case, an unavoidable reality was that we would need a replacement for the Paris trainers and had to put some priority on it. Morane Saulnier was bought out by Potez in 1962. Potez inherited the very popular Magister trainer jet when they purchase Fouga in 1958.

As long as the Magister was selling for them, we weren't counting on Potez to give us any support for the Paris if we needed it.

Regardless of how some of our executives felt, FMA factory staff were kept employed and able to support their families while the Argentine air force and navy both got a training and light attack jet that they were very pleased with for many years."


A former FMA executive:

"We could go some distance on sub-contracted part work, but we wanted a license for a whole plane. We NEEDED a whole plane!

We had a couple of projects of our own at the time. There was the IA 46 Ranquel light utility aircraft that we had currently in production and the IA 50 Guarani II twin turboprop utility aircraft in testing.

Neither aircraft was set for large production, nor were they the sort of aircraft that would keep the FMA name on people's lips. Embraer was a fresh upstart with no reputation, we could only hope Aermacchi had not made a mistake in giving the production license to someone unproven who was possibly biting off more than they could chew.

As time would prove, Aermacchi did not make a mistake. Embraer handled the project admirably.

Also, as it turned out, we would not have to wait very much longer for that whole aircraft that we needed."

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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2023, 05:08:13 AM »
On the Nose

Cartierville, Quebec, Canada
January 11, 1965


A former Canadair engineer:

We had spent a good part of the Autumn of 1964 working on grafting an F-104 radome and navigational gear into the MB.326.

After some adjustments to our proposed grafting design, based on wind tunnel tests, we got two full sized aircraft converted just before Christmas of 1964.

On January 11 of 1965, the aircraft rolled out of the plant and was prepared for their first flights. One was piloted by a company test pilot and the other by a pair of F-104 instructor pilots from the RCAF.

Many people around the company had taken to calling the aircraft "Woodpecker". While completely informal and in fun, the name ended up sticking with the aircraft into its service life.

The first flights could not have gone better. All of the pilots were very optimistic about the aircraft.

The next step was to send the aircraft to the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment at the RCAF station at Rockliffe to let the RCAF test it more deeply.

A Former Aermacchi engineer:

"I and some company executives had gone to Cartierville specifically to see the new variation on the MB.326 and watch the first flight.

We shared the enthusiasm everyone seemed to have for it. We headed back to Italy with a copy of the design adjustments needed and got directly on the job of modifying a couple of our own aircraft almost as soon as we got back home.

We got our first aircraft converted in a remarkably short length of time.

At some point between its completion and its first flight, the Italian word for woodpecker, "Picchio" had been stenciled onto one side of the nose just ahead of the cockpit. To my, knowledge, the culprit was never found.

Not everyone saw the humour in the stunt, but the name stayed on the plane all the way to Paris.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2023, 08:17:53 AM »
Nice! The Real World MB.326C become an 'MB.326CA'  ;D

-- https://digilander.libero.it/air10/f104/curiosita_dc3spillone.htm
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2023, 12:31:29 PM »
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2023, 03:05:40 AM »
Canadair West

Even before 1964 was out, Canadair executives had reached the conclusion that it would be best to set up a separate facility for the construction of the CL-215 in Canada.

A decision made early on was that the facility should be in the west of the country. Both Alberta and British Columbia had vast forested regions and were known for forest fires. Setting up a facility in either province would put the CL-215 line close to the aircraft's intended area of use and, hopefully, potential customers.

A former Canadair executive:

"We looked at a number of airports across British Columbia and Alberta as potential places to set up the CL-215 production line. Eventually, we shortlisted to Abbotsford in British Columbia and the Edmonton International Airport in Alberta.

The advantage of Edmonton was that the international airport there was still relatively new, having been extablished in 1960. This meant that it had a good amount of available land and we could build our facility from the ground up and have it just as we wanted.

Edmonton's international airport also wasn't too busy at the time, so we wouldn't be competing with too much traffic on the runways.

Like Abbotsford, Edmonton would put us in a part of the country where aerial firefighting was in demand on a regular basis and many potential customers for the aircraft were nearby.

The advantage of Abbotsford was that it had a well established aerial fire fighting culture in place. It would not be difficult to find veteran waterbmber pilots willing to fly the CL-215 and give honest feedback to us about it.

Abbotsford also came with the advantage of the airshow that had been inagurated there in 1962. Having the facility at an airport that had its own airshow would present a regular opportunity to show of both the aircraft and the production line to both potential customers and the general public.

While both locations were perfectly suitable, Abbotsford ultimately won out.

Aside of the existing aerial fire fighting culture and airshow, Abbotsford had an available hangar that was large enough for us to start some small scale production while building a larger purpose built production facility on a nearby piece of land that the airport offered to let us purchase."

At the end of February of 1965, the deal for Canadair to move into the available hangar at Abbotsford and begin construction of a dedicated production building had been finalized.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2023, 03:10:54 AM by upnorth »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #72 on: November 12, 2023, 03:50:43 PM »
I love the way the ancillary details are developing as much as the main story.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #73 on: November 13, 2023, 02:38:53 AM »
I love the way the ancillary details are developing as much as the main story.

Thanks1 I'm glad you're stil enjoying and following along.
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Jackrabbit
« Reply #74 on: November 21, 2023, 05:20:44 AM »
Paris Airshow, Le Borguet airport, France - June, 1965

As the crowds moved through the static park of the show and the various displays there, the rumble of six turboprop engines caught the attention of many.

A trio of CL-215 waterbombers approached low from one side of the field and made a spectacular dump of water in the colours of the Italian flag at the mid point of the showline. The formation did a few more passes before two of the aircraft broke off to land and leave the lead aircraft to do the solo part of the demonstration.

The solo pilot recalled the day some years later:

"There wasn't really a well fitting adjective to describe how good it felt to be demonstrating the CL-215 at a show as prestigious as Paris. Not only did I have the honour to fly the formation lead and the solo, but the other two aircraft in the formation were the first two CL-215s we had built for the Vigili del Fuoco. We had officially handed them over a week before the Paris show.

I was using 'Teresa' to lead the formation and do the solo. She deserved to lead, she had served us well as a prototype in testing and was continuing to do great work for us as a company demonstrator aircraft. We had put a ton of hours on her and she wasn't complaining one bit, it was a great example of how tough and reliable the CL-215 was.

Once the water tanks were empty, the CL-215 was a remarkably agile and responsive aircraft given its size and what it was designed for. Sure, it was no fighter or aerobatics plane, but it had some moves in it that surprized the crowd.

As I finished up the solo and got ready to land, I could see 'Dorothea' at the company display in the statics. The crowd was gravitating toward her and I imagined things were about to get quite busy for our people down there.

We were the first of the company's flying demonstrations at the show and we definitely made a good impression all around.

As I taxied back to my parking spot, I could see our ground crews getting the aircraft of our MB.326 demo prepared for their performance later in the day."

A former Canadair public relations officer:

"I wasn't yet on my shift at the company stand when the CL-215 demo took place. I watched it from on top of the hangar that our company display was placed in front of.

The demo was an amazing thing to see. Some people asked me if it bothered me to see the aircraft drop Italian national colours in spite of the fact that the aircraft was of Canadian design, I must say that it didn't bother me. The aircraft benefited from the Italian involvement and flew much sooner that it would have otherwise.

Were it not for Italian involvement, the CL-215 would probably have been fitted with radial piston engines rather than turboprops and would likely not have the performance that was seen at the show that day.

The first CL-215s were built and flown in Italy and the first customer was Italian. It was only fair that they should show some national pride through it as well.

After the CL-215 solo was done, I looked down at our company display. I saw the crowds build around 'Dorothea' and the first shift of our PR people talking with people and handing out brochures and so forth.

In that moment, it also hit me that we had the biggest display in the static park.

Our display was a combined effort of Aermacchi, Canadair, Embraer and FMA. Pride of place in the display was given to 'Dorothea' and she turned out to be very popular indeed. We had one of her engines exposed; this worked well as the General Electric display was adjacent to ours and they gave the T64 engine, which we selected to power the CL-215, a place of prominence among their products at the show.

At the Canadair end of the display, we had a CF-104 Starfighter in the highly polished bare metal finsh that was standard in the RCAF at the time. We also had one of our F-104 training versions of the MB.326 on display. We also had a large model of the Prairie Rattler, with an example of the real thing set to be part of the flying display.

The Aermacchi display included a standard trainer version of the MB.326 and an example of their AL.60 light civil aircraft. They also had models and information about a business jet design they had designated as the MB.330.

Embraer had brought one of their MB.362 company demonstrator aircraft for the company display. They also had a model of a very handsome looking turboprop airliner that they had named the EMB-110 Bandeirante. The model generated a good amount of interest not only for its looks, but also that it had been designed by the Frenchman, Max Holste.

FMA brought the prototype of their IA 50 Guarani II turboprop utility aircraft for their part of the company display. The Guarani II generated some interest, but mostly because it was the first aircraft of Latin American design to be flown across the Atlantic. It was definitely dated in many aspects of its design.

FMA was the weak end of our combined company display at the show. It was clear they would need some help to become a stronger link in the chain.

By the time the 1965 Paris airshow was over, we would make sure FMA had something good to sink their teeth into."
« Last Edit: November 21, 2023, 05:26:00 AM by upnorth »
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