April 07, 2017
We feel very honoured and privileged to have received a most kind and generous donation from a fellow museum. The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada based in Winnipeg, Manitoba transferred several aircraft parts from the CF-104 Starfighter which they had in storage for many years. It had come to our attention that these parts were in storage after Mark Theaker had made a visit to the RAMWC facility just outside of St. Andrew Airport. Pat English was in charge of the parts along with Shawn Romas who both work at the RAMWC. They were very helpful in making things happen to help us acquire the parts. The executive staff of the museum gave their stamp of approval and we were able to take possession of the parts. We wish to extend our gratitude to these people for allowing the Canadian Starfighter Museum to get the parts which will be put to good use. Some of the items were very important to us in restoring the CF-104 such as the centerline bomb rack, electronics boxes for the electronic bay, circuit breaker panel, tow bar and many cockpit instruments. Also very notable are the forward main landing gear doors for the CF-104 Starfighter which are different from the doors used on the F-104 of many NATO allies. We can't thank the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada enough for their support. Also we want to publicly thank along with the Museum, Pat English and Shawn Romas for their help.
Pictures below show the work crew who moved the parts from the RAMWC storage facility to the Canadian Starfighter Museum hangar and some of the items we acquired.
We are just about done with the detailing of the wings, horizontal stabilizer and tail area. The roundels and RCAF/703 will be added to the wings soon. The main fuselage detailing is completed so we are now ready to move on to the restoration of the cockpit. This April we will attach the wings and horizontal stabilizer to the airframe. The photos below show some of the detailing that we have added to make the aircraft look as it did during its operational life with the RCAF. We will also be applying the NAS screw types on the panels as they were done originally
We have begun the detailing of the wings and horizontal stabilizer in preparation for installation to the aircraft. The " NO STEP " for the tops of the flaps and ailerons will be applied shortly followed by the roundels. The RCAF/703 will be placed under the wings on the appropriate sides. We have the navigation wingtip lighting wires to run and they will mate up to the wires that are already inside the main fuselage and attached to the batteries. We are excited here at the museum because by mid-April we should be attaching the wings and horizontal stabilizer which will complete the airframe. Once this is accomplished the wing to fuselage fillet strips will be worked on and the cockpit will start to go together. Stay tuned for more updates.
We moved the newly painted wings, horizontal stabilizer, pitot boom and other parts back over to the Museum hangar this afternoon. Now that they are safely back in our hangar we can get busy with other projects and this Spring we will be able to apply the insignia and then install them on the aircraft. They looked stunning in the natural light of the outdoors and one can imagine how good they will look when they are on the airframe. Our project will finally look like a complete CF-104 Starfighter once again.
The painting of the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizer along with various access panels and the pitot boom is now completed. It is a significant milestone in the restoration process and we are elated to be at this point. The restoration of CF-104 Starfighter #12703 is now in the 75% complete range and the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming much brighter. The parts will be moved back to the Museum Hangar later this week. The application of the roundels and RCAF/703 on the wings will be started when the weather warms up this Spring along with the addition of the stencil detailing. A special thank you goes out to Dan Robinson for painting the parts and to Jeff Blonjeaux for his help and to the staff of MB Aero in St. Andrews Airport for the use of their Paint Spray Booth.
The wings and horizontal stabilizer were moved over to the paint shop this morning. MB Aero located at St. Andrews Airport donated the use of their downdraft paint booth and we have secured the services of Dan Robinson who is a former Air Canada aircraft painter to perform the work. We are very pleased to have the parts moved and ready to paint after many months of waiting to have this job done so that we can move forward with the restoration. The wings will be painted the actual RCAF 513-101 designated white on the top surfaces and the RCAF 501-108 designated grey on the bottom surfaces. The horizontal stabilizer will be painted with the RCAF 513-101 designated white on both top and bottom surfaces. Once the painting is completed we will add the roundels and the RCAF/703 under the wings prior to attaching them to the aircraft. Updates on the progress will be posted here in the near future so keep watching the website Museum News.
The crew on this move were Al Holmberg, Eric Groth, Gary Crawford and Steve Pajot.
Feb. 01, 2017
Our work is a little more limited in the Winter months so we have been working on the finishing touches to the navigational lights and continue to work on the cockpit. The C2 ejection seat is just about completed with the seat rocket to be installed shortly. The seat motor is operational and we will have it working so that you can adjust the seat height as required. There is a photo of the ejection seat below. The wings and horizontal stabilizer are still not in the paint shop and is becoming a point of frustration for us as we intend to install them in the Spring to keep the restoration on track. This will be resolved soon.
We continue to detail the aircraft painting and work on the ejection seat rails headbox. The wings and stabilizer have still not been brought over to the paint shop but we hope they will get there soon. Unfortunately we will have to transport them now in the snow and cold winds but the paint shop is just not ready to accept them at this time.
There are a few thumbnail photos of more of the detailing to the fuselage in the form of painting the numbered stencils on the various panels which identify them as per the RCAF Engineering Orders Manual.
It is our intention to have 12703 look 100% operational as it did in 1966. To that end we have been busy applying all the details of stenciling for the various panels on the airframe. The RCAF roundels for this period were the small maple leaf style along with the new Canadian Flag in place of the old ensign. We have done our research and the aircraft is accurate to this time period. There were always some slight variations as aircraft went at different times through the process of completing the fleet changes but in 1966 virtually all CF-104 aircraft were painted this way.
For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to visit the Museum and see the aircraft we have put photographs here of some of the stenciling details that have been placed on the aircraft to give you a better idea of the extent to which we are going to restore this great aircraft back to its proper look.
The wings and horizontal stabilizer should be in the paint shop next week if all goes as planned. We hope to have them on the airframe in the Spring of 2017. The cockpit should also be completed by Summer or Fall and 12703 will then be fully restored. The next order of business would be arranging the interior of the hangar with our displays along with the CF-104 OFTT, J-79 engine, Vinten Camera Pod and a full size reproduction of the B28 RE nuclear device. The Grand Opening and Roll Out of CF-104 #12703 will be announced later next year. If you are in the Winnipeg area please feel free to contact us for a personal tour of our restoration in progress.
Mike and Val Kaehler of Comox B.C. dropped by the Museum for a visit this afternoon along with Richard Wishart of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mike was an Aircraft Technician with the CAF working on the J-79 engine and is still quite taken with the Starfighter to this day. He worked as one of the last technicians on the CF-104 at 1 CAG Baden-Soellingen, Germany. Val Kaehler appears to also be fond of the CF-104 and of her time spent in Germany. Mike has a very good memory and was able to explain a lot of things to his wife and Richard while walking around the aircraft. Seeing the aircraft again brings back many memories and helps to transport people back in time which of course is part of our goal here at the Canadian Starfighter Museum.
Ken Mowbray and his wife dropped in for a visit along with a few relatives today. He said he specifically wanted to see an old friend.....CF-104 #12703. Ken flew the CF-104 in 1 Wing Marville, France and later 1 Wing Lahr, West Germany from 1965 to 1969. He has several hours logged flying 703 which also includes a Mach 2 run in the aircraft. It was very interesting to listen to some of his flying stories and experiences with the CF-104. He explained a lot of the operations and technicalities of the Starfighter to his family which gave them a better understanding of what he was doing while serving with the RCAF and based in Europe during the Cold War era. It is exactly this kind of interaction that makes our efforts in restoring the aircraft and setting up the museum worthwhile.
While we are waiting for our time slot to have the wings and horizontal stabilizer taken over to the paint shop we have been concentrating our efforts on the finer details of the restoration. The aircraft has been getting much of the instructional stencils applied and the camera pod has had the cam locks and dzuz fasteners cleaned and reinstalled. Instructional stencils will be applied to the camera pod within a few days. We have also been working on the B28 RE replica thermonuclear bomb and detailing it to make it as realistic as possible for the Cold War display. There are still some stencils to be applied to it yet but it is now almost complete. We also have plans to make a much better moveable stand in the future for displaying it with the aircraft.
We would again like to thank Mr. John Mallory of 3D Custom Foam Inc. for his kind donation of the B28 RE structure and support for our museum. It is greatly appreciated !
The matt black strip around the cockpit was painted today along with many more access panel stencils. Pictured below are photos of the matt black area around the cockpit and a sample of the stenciling that is being applied to the airframe.
The nose cone has now been painted and was attached to the airframe today in order to mark the continuation of the matt black anti-glare paint around the cockpit area. Pictured is the port and starboard sides with the newly applied RCAF insignia and some of the access panel instructional stencils.
The crew today consisted of Gary Crawford, Eric Groth, Al Holmberg, Darryl Pajot and Steve Pajot. Our wings and horizontal stabilizer are next to head over to the paintshop hopefully in a few weeks time. Jerry Pilizow of Aero Coats at St. Andrews Airport did a beautiful job on the nose cone.
Our CF-104 had the port side insignia applied today. Working on the crew was Al Holmberg, Darryl Pajot and Steve Pajot. It was a full days work but the end result speaks for itself. 12703 is back in the paint scheme she wore in 1966 while based in 1 Wing, Marville, France. We will have the starboard side done on Wednesday Sept. 7th and will paint on more of the stenciling for the various access panels. The nose cone should be ready by then and so the matt black anti-glare nose and cockpit side stripes can be painted.
Al Holmberg was our photographer so he unfortunately does not appear in the pictures. Kneeling by the port side of the aircraft is Steve Pajot and Darryl Pajot.
The exterior lighting is finished except for the wing tip lights which will be done after the wings are installed on the fuselage. Al Holmberg and myself spent a few days getting the landing lights hooked up and operational. We would like to thank Thomas Groth, owner of Winnipeg HID Lighting, for donating the landing lights. We spent many hours looking for appropriate lights for 703 but were having problems locating what we wanted. Thomas was able to find the perfect lighting solution for the project.
The tail hydraulic panels returned from the paint shop and were temporarily installed on the fin. They will have to be removed when we attach the horizontal stabilizer onto the tail. Placing them on the aircraft was the best way to get them off the shop floor and keep them from being damaged.
The nose cone is just about finished at the paint shop and we should have it by next week. Jerry Pilizow of Aero Coats Ltd. in St. Andrews Airport is doing a beautiful job. The wings and horizontal stabilizer are now next in line to be painted. All the initial overhaul and preparatory work is now starting to pay off as we begin to assemble 703 back into a complete aircraft once again. Keep watching our site for further updates.
The tail navigation lights were hooked up by Al Holmberg today. All nav. lights now work except for the wing tip lights which are wired and ready to go once the wings are installed on the aircraft. The wires have been run to the cockpit for instrument lighting and the nose and main gear lights are also wired and ready. We are in the process of finding suitable landing gear lighting at this time. Al was a Radar tech with the RCAF and worked on 12703 in the early 1960's in Cold lake. Alberta. We are lucky to have his services as a volunteer to do the electronics.
More stenciling was accomplished on the tail area with more yet to come. We were fortunate to acquire a stencil cutting machine so this will make the task much easier and less expensive in the long run to make the instructional writing on the aircraft.
Our Starfighter is really starting to take shape now that we have installed the tail cone and vertical fin. It was a tough job especially when we do not have the proper ground maintenance equipment. It was a perfect sunny day though the winds started to come up later. We had to be very mindful of what we were doing and take all precautions so that no one was injured and the aircraft was not damaged in any way. Our mission was accomplished without any mishaps and we are extremely pleased with the end results. Museum volunteers for this installation were Al Holmberg, Russ Johnson, Gary Crawford, Eric Groth and Steve Pajot. The pictures were taken by Al Holmberg.
Next on our agenda is to hook up all the navigation tail lights and apply the proper stencils to the tail area. The nose cone is still in the paint shop but we hope to have it soon so that we can place the roundels and the RCAF/703 markings on the sides along with the various instruction and emergency signage. The wings and horizontal stabilizer are ready for the paint shop. We may have more large parts to install if they are done in a timely fashion. Keep watching our website for more updates.
The tail assembly had the Canadian Flag and the aircraft serial number applied today. It is nice to see the colours being added to the aircraft. Soon we will have the tail cone attached to the airframe and then the tail assembly will be next. We are working on getting some extra weight forward on the nose to keep the aircraft in balance.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the day we took delivery of CF-104 Starfighter #12703 on July 30, 2014. It has been a lot of work to get to where we currently are in the restoration but it is turning out to be a top notch job. Eric Groth and I were able to complete the drag chute door installation today. The drag chute door is a new unit and we had to have the hinge brackets manufactured by Veracity Machining here in St. Andrews. A little ingenuity and planning made the install go very well. The door works and ratchets up locking into position as it should. We are now very close to attaching the tail cone assembly onto the airframe. Al Holmberg is working hard on getting thr J-79 engine cleaned up for display as well as working on the lighting systems.
We were very pleased to have Ron Swaisland and his wife Judy Cameron visit the museum today. Both are retired Air Canada pilots and Ron flew the CF-104 with 417, 421 and 430 Squadrons accumulating over 800 hours flying time on the Starfighter. Ron was based at 1 Wing Lahr, West Germany in 1969 and flew our aircraft CF-104 #12703.
I am always pleased to see how much the people who flew or worked on the aircraft consider their time with the 104 as among the best years of their lives. There is no doubt that the Starfighter was and still is one of the greatest military aircraft ever produced. It was a true thoroughbred which captured the imagination and hearts of those who were associated with it. We hope to keep that memory alive and to pay tribute to those of you who flew and maintained the 104. Thank you Ron and Judy for coming out and enjoying this aircraft with us !
It was a historic day at the Canadian Starfighter Museum hangar as our CF-104 was officially designated RCAF SERIAL NO. 703 once again. The stencil has been applied to the port side of the canopy as was done originally. While in Danish service the aircraft was given the serial number 704 since they already had a 703 in service. The last time our CF-104 wore the RCAF designated serial number of 703 was in 1972 just prior to being sold to the Royal Danish Air Force. We are very pleased to have her back wearing the original RCAF serial number 703.
Three thumbnail pictures below show 1. The RCAF SERIAL NO. 703 stencil
2. LIFT HERE stencil on the starboard side of the canopy
3. The original data plate that was on the aircraft.
We applied the 4 ATAF ( Allied Tactical Air Force ) 1966 Tactical Weapons Team decal to the starboard intake today and finished up some of the wiring for the navigation lights. The aircraft is beginning to take shape as more details are added to the airframe. There is still a lot of work to be done yet but once finished it will look like a line serviceable aircraft...but will she fly ? !
RCAF CF-104 #12703 is once again officially a 1 Wing aircraft ! The heraldic 1 Wing crest was applied today and some of the painting has also been accomplished. Our CF-104 is destined to be displayed as a 1966 example of the CF-104 Starfighter based out of 1 Wing Marville, France. 703 later was based out of Lahr, West Germany when 1 Wing was moved in 1967.The 1 Wing crest has the Latin motto "Pro Pace Armati" which translates to "Armed for Peace". As the weeks go on we will be adding more insignia to the aircraft so keep watching the website for further updates.
July 02, 2016
We have the aircraft completely polished and we are ready to begin adding the markings and insignia.The red fuel markings and turbine wheel stripe are painted on the aircraft. Once the nose cone is painted at the paint shop and we can temporarily attach it to the airframe we will get the entire matt black anti-glare painted around the cockpit area. This will then allow us the opportunity to add the roundels, RCAF and 703 markings on both sides of the fuselage. All the instructional boxes will also be added along with the ejection seat red triangles.
We have the wiring run throughout the airframe in preparation for the navigation lights and cockpit lighting. The bulbs were changed up to LED lights which last longer and will not run as hot.
Stay tuned for further updates in the coming weeks !
Parts are finally moving to the paint shop ! The nose cone and a few tail section panels are in the paint shop now with the wings to follow shortly. The nose was loaded up and taken to the paint shop by truck ( photo attachment below ). We purchased all the paint for the aircraft from our aircraft paint supplier and they were matched to the actual RCAF specified paint codes.
The aircraft came to us without the drag chute door which must have been robbed from the aircraft by the RDAF for use on another Starfighter. I have seen pictures of our CF-104 when removed from service in Denmark and the drag chute door was not in place. We were able to find a serviceable new "old stock" door through Steve Alex at Jet Spares Inc. so we had it shipped up to us. Eric Groth and I cut and fit the new door and are installing it on the tail cone. It is quite the process to make fit properly and restore the mechanism along with manufacturing new hinge brackets. It's working out very well and once completed we should be able to attach the tail cone to the main airframe over the engine.
We are now about 75% completed with the final polishing of the fuselage and will start applying the RCAF insignia soon. Pictured below is Al Holmberg polishing the fuselage on the starboard side. He has virtually polished all the fillet panels for the wings and the tail and is also wiring the aircraft for the navigation lights as well as the cockpit lighting.
Check back on this website soon for more updates on the restoration of CF-104 #12703.
June 15, 2016
The final buffing and polishing is almost done....a few more weeks and it will be completed. The ejection seat headbox removal is underway as seen in the picture below. The Danish Air Force altered the original designed headbox to accommodate the Martin-Baker ejection seat. It is our task to install an original unused headbox to bring 703 back to RCAF standards and install the proper C2 ejection seat. This is actually the final update to make 12703 a proper Canadair CF-104 Starfighter once again.
Earlier this week we had visitors from the United Kingdom stop by the museum for a tour. About 25 or more people arrived wearing green fluorescent vests with " U.K. Aviation Enthusiast " printed across the back and carrying camera equipment around their necks.They were on a tour of Canadian airports planned for this Spring/Summer and were pleased to have the opportunity to see a retired RCAF CF-104 Starfighter being restored at St. Andrews Airport. Unfortunately I was by myself at the time and did not have my camera with me so I could not take any photos.
We are getting excited at the possibility of placing the RCAF insignia on the fuselage. This will really change the look of the project and once the wings come back from the paint shop we will apply the roundels, RCAF and number to them. Then the wings should be ready to install and she will be an airplane once again.
June 09, 2016
Sgt. Ron Anderson came by the museum hangar today to see our "restoration in progress" of CF-104 12703. Ron also came bearing donations for us to display at the museum. Several 104 related badges and some very nice personal photos of the CF-104 on the line at 1 CAG Baden-Soellingen, Germany. Ron was a line service tech based at 1 CAG in 1980 with 421 Squadron. One truly unique artifact that Ron donated was the 421 Sqn. banner that hung on the line service operations door in central dispersal at 1 CAG. It would be very interesting to see a photo of that door during the period with the banner attached. Ron, like many who worked on or flew the 104, had an obvious affection for the aircraft and we talked for sometime about the operational and technical aspects of the CF-104. He was quite happy about the fact that another CF-104 will be restored and on display for future generations to view.
We should have the wings and horizontal stabilizer in the paint shop next week if all goes as planned. Once completed the RCAF insignia will begin to be placed on the fuselage and we should be able to start getting some of the aircraft put back together ! Currently we are starting the final polish of the airframe but with limited manpower the process is a slow one.
Please view the thumbnail photos below to see Ron Anderson and the 421 Sqn. banner.
May 08, 2016
The intakes are completed and turned out remarkably well. We will turn our attention now to the tail cone unit and hope in the meantime that the wings, horizontal stabilizer and nose cone get into the paint shop soon as we would like to get the wings attached to the airframe. The tail cone would be next after the wings are attached and we will need to put some weight up front to keep the aircraft in balance. It is getting close to the point of putting on the RCAF insignia so keep checking here occasionally to see 12703 take shape !
We were off to a slow start this year since the weather would not co-operate with us but we are on track now. Work has started with the restoration of the insides of the engine intakes . We had a bit of corrosion inside the intakes likely due to water brought in by the North Sea while 703 sat as a gate guard in front of Aalborg Air Base in Denmark for around a year. She sat on her own landing gear on a cement pad and I believe pointed against the prevailing winds allowing them to drive the salty moist air into the intakes. Most of the corrosion was light but there were a few areas that made it necessary to cut out inside panels and replace them with new aluminum. Now that that has been accomplished we will repaint the inside of the intakes silver once again and also repaint the openings and shock cones with matt black. We do not have the volunteer base up to the level we had last year but we are still managing. This of course makes the process somewhat slower to accomplish the various tasks required to get the aircraft completed in the time frame we had hoped.
We are still waiting for our time slot to get the wings, horizontal stabilizer and nose cone into the paint shop here in St. Andrews Airport. Once we have them painted we can get on with attaching the larger components onto the aircraft. I am sure we will get some help with this major task when the time comes.
It is nice to see that we still have visitors coming in from time to time to view the aircraft and see the restoration in progress. If you are in the area please drop in for a tour or if you are so inclined you can volunteer your services to help us complete the aircraft.
We are ready for paint ! The wings, horizontal stab.,nose cone, pitot boom and vertical tail panels are completed. All we need now is the okay to get the parts into the paint shop. If we can accomplish this before years end we will have met our goals for this year's work.
We also were able to get the J-79 engine installed into the airframe. We will require a special bracket along the spine of the aircraft to hold the engine at it's proper attitude. This will be something for our machinist at Veracity Machining to look at as am am sure Ron can come up with something to accomplish the task. We added some weight into the electronics bay area to offset the extra weight of the engine. Once the nose and cockpit are installed the aircraft should be balanced.
There are some thumbnail photos below of the engine installation and a few " retro" photos that appear to be right out of the 1960's. Interesting to see some of them in the black and white format. The people involved in the installation are pictured throughout the photos....Russ Johnson, Gary Crawford, Eric Groth, Al Holmberg and Steve Pajot.
It was a beautiful autumn day in Southern Manitoba and a perfect day to take a drive out to the Canadian Starfighter Museum in an antique or classic automobile. The Manitoba Classic and Antique Automobile Club did just that and were given a tour of the museum's "work in progress". Many of the members have done a fantastic job restoring their vehicles and were quite impressed to see the restoration of a classic jet fighter. Judging by the many questions we received and answered they were very knowledgeable on the process required to accomplish this kind of work. It was very enjoyable for the museum members and myself to help the visitors better understand the RCAF involvement in NATO and the Cold War while also helping them gain a clearer understanding of Canada's fastest fighter aircraft and the role it played in keeping the peace during those tense times. I think they all left with a greater feeling of pride for our Canadian service personnel.
Photo attachments below taken by George Penner.
September 05, 2015
Our RCAF CF-104 1960's era crew entry ladder is now completed. It will help to make a complete and accurate display and be functional as well. We are on target with this year's work so we look forward to next year when we will begin attaching the major components to the airframe. Work is on going presently and we are still hopeful to have the wings and horizontal stabilizer painted this Fall.
See the attached photo of the crew entry ladder below.
August 29, 2015
We wish to welcome a couple of new volunteers to the Canadian Starfighter Museum. It is great to have a few more people out to help with the restoration of 12703. Al Holmberg is a retired RCAF Radar and Avionics Technician who actually worked on 12703 in the early days with CEPE at Cold Lake, Alberta. He brings with him a great source of knowledge and enthusiasm to our operations. Jeff Blonjeaux is a DOT certified Structures Mechanic employed by Keystone Air Service based at St. Andrews Airport. Jeff is very meticulous with his work and we know he will do the job correctly and help us bring 12703 back to it's former condition as a line serviceable CF-104 Starfighter. Thank you two for your support and help as it is appreciated very much. If there are others who would like to join in and get involved please contact us at the Museum as we would love to have you and we can put you to work right away !
August 22, 2015
Major Dudley Larsen USAF ( retired ) paid us a visit today at the Canadian Starfighter Museum. Dudley was an exchange officer based in Cold Lake, Alberta and flew CF-104 Starfighters with 417 TAC F OT Squadron. He was in Cold Lake when 417 Sqn. stood down and CF-104 training operations ended. Dudley was also fortunate enough to fly a CF-104D across the pond from Cold Lake, Alberta to 1 CAG Baden-Soellingen, Germany during Operation Star Leap. He has many fond memories of his tour in Cold Lake and in fact calls it the highlight of his flying career. He has nothing but admiration for Canadians and felt that the RCAF had some of the best military pilots in the world. Flying the CF-104 Starfighter was another one of the top accomplishments during his flying career and he felt extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity. The USAF did not have them for a long period of time and many USAF pilots to this day feel they missed out on flying one of the finest military aircraft ever produced. The CF-104 OFTT ( Operational Flight and Tactics Trainer ) which was used by 417 Sqn, brought back quite a few memories as well and he was happy to be see it once again.
Dudley has donated some of his CF-104 books and manuals to the museum and while he was here today picked up a blue golf shirt which he had pre-ordered a few months ago with his CF-104 name tag and original CANADA/CF 104 emblem embroidered on it.
We were happy to meet Dudley and show him our restoration project and the museum in general. It is one of the great benefits of having this museum to be able to talk with people like Dudley about the CF-104 and to listen to all the great memories that it brings back. The CF-104 Starfighter has had an enormous impact on the lives of so many people and through the museum we hope that this will continue for years to come.
Today we received our full scale replica of the B 28 RE Nuclear Bomb that was carried by the CF-104 Starfighter during the height of the Cold Wart Era. The replica was manufactured by 3D Custom Foam Inc. located in British Columbia and headed by Mr. John Mallory. John very kindly offered to make two such replica B 28 RE bombs. One for our museum and one for a museum in Calgary, Alberta. It was a most generous donation and we are very appreciative and feel quite fortunate to have acquired one for the Canadian Starfighter Museum to display along side our CF-104. John wanted to give something back to the people who sacrificed so much to keep the peace during the Cold War. It is a most noble and admirable gesture on his part and I know that those of you who served in the RCAF/CAF during those times can be proud of your efforts as they are recognized by many fellow Canadians.
I would also like to make mention to the efforts of Eric Mold, a former CF-104 pilot, who actually got the ball rolling on this project and along with his son Amery Mold painted the finished replicas and had them crated and shipped to the respective museums. Excellent job gentlemen ! We are grateful to you for what you have done.
We plan on making a stand to display the B 28 RE which will then be able to be rolled up along side or under the aircraft for display. We also have an original Vinten Camera Pod which is restored and ready to display on a stand along side the CF-104. It is now possible to display the CF-104 Super Starfighter in both the Nuclear Strike and Reconnaissance roles. It is also very satisfying to know that we can tell the complete story of the RCAF involvement in the Cold War and display the weaponry and the aircraft that were used.
Once again a special thank you to Mr. John Mallory of 3D Custom Foam Inc. and to Eric and Amery Mold.
July 21, 2015
We were very pleased to host one of Canada's premier CF-104 pilots yesterday at the Museum...the Honorable Laurie Hawn MP and his wife Judy. They had dropped by to see the restoration of CF-104 #12703. It was great to show them our progress and how we envision the Museum in the future. It isn't hard to see that Laurie has a very special place in this heart for the CF-104. It was also interesting to me as years ago I would see Laurie come through Winnipeg on one of his flights across Canada in the CF-104 and he would take me out to see the aircraft on the ramp. I could never get enough of getting out to see the aircraft and to sit in the cockpit. The last time this happened Laurie flew 104744 into Winnipeg and this was the number of the 10 foot aluminum detailed CF-104 model that my Father, brother and I had built. it was also the last time I would see that aircraft as it was lost in an accident shortly after up in Cold Lake. This CF-104 model is on display at the National Air Force Museum in Trenton, Ontario. It was also a different experience for me now to be bringing Laurie out to see the CF-104.
The visit obviously brought back fond memories for Laurie and his wife. In the cockpit of the 417 Sqn. CF-104 OFTT from Cold Lake, AB. Laurie looked and felt right at home going through the various gauges,panels and switches as he had done so many times before. He was ready to go flying once again !
I would like to thank Laurie for helping to keep the dream alive for me over the years and especially for inviting me into his home up in Cold Lake when I was a guest of 417 Squadron for a weeks visit. That was the last time that I flew the CF-104 OFTT that now resides in the CSM hangar. Great memories of a great aircraft and great people who flew and maintained them.
The Canadian Starfighter Museum is pleased to have received the original 18" x 36"acrylic painting of " A Marville- ous CF-104 Starfighter" donated by artist Marc Magee of Trenton. Ontario. Marc is a very accomplished artist specializing in the painting of Navy ships and aircraft. He paints "Canadian History on Canvas" and his eye for detail is exceptional. This particular painting is of RCAF CF-104 #12703 being made ready for a reconnaissance mission out of 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France in 1966. We are very appreciative and extremely honoured to have had this painting donated to the CSM where it will be displayed with pride.
Marc will be producing 200 limited edition prints numbered 700 through to 900 in a 10" x 20" size and offering them for sale at a cost of $55 Cdn. If you are interested in purchasing one of his prints you can contact him at:
Please view the thumbnail photo of "A Marville-ous CF-104 Starfighter" below and click on it to enlarge the picture.
June 20, 2015
The Canadian Starfighter Museum was happy to arrange a tour for members of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association ( COPA ) who were at St. Andrew's Airport today attending the 2015 National Annual General Meeting.
It was our pleasure to show the CF-104 Starfighter restoration work and to share the history of the aircraft and it's role during the Cold War Era. We were able to answer questions that were very pilot and mechanic specific since many of the COPA members were pilots and aircraft home-builders. I believe that they were very impressed with the CF-104 aircraft and the role that the RCAF played in NATO during the Starfighter's service life. A greater appreciation for Canada's part in defending the Free World during the tense times of the Cold War was evident.
It was a good day for us as we always enjoy showing the aircraft and talking to the public. The break in our work schedule was a welcome diversion. Please view the attachment photos below.
June 06, 2015
We have been busy working on the aircraft now that the weather has been much nicer in Winnipeg. The wings have had the surface corrosion removed and now they need to be acid washed to neutralize any remaining corrosion before we apply the metal filler to the deeper areas. Once this is completed they can be sent off to the paint shop.We will store them until we are ready to attach the wings to the fuselage. The horizontal stabilizer is the next project where the same procedure will be followed to get it ready for paint. The nose cone is also ready for paint and will be sent out shortly.
We made a wing platform to hold the wings in the horizontal position so that we can work on them for filling and sanding. The thumbnail photo shows volunteers Eric Groth, Russ Johnson and Gary Crawford standing by the completed wing platform which now holds one of the wings. The wing can be moved around now and will make the work much easier.
Our crew access ladder has been welded where required by the "Welding Wizard" and soda blasted by "Canadian Soda Blasters Ltd. " from Selkirk, Manitoba. It is also now ready to be sent out to the paint shop where we will have it painted yellow.
The engine needs to be gone through before we install it on the aircraft and the tail cone will then be put into place. Our vertical fin had a panel which was beyond repair so we are currently making a new piece to fit. There certainly is no shortage of work in this restoration and we have been doing it all with only Eric, Gary , Russ and myself. I think we are making tremendous progress and with any luck 703 will start going together by this Autumn or early next Spring. Please feel free to drop by any time to see the restoration and if you are so inclined we can also find work for you to do if you would like to help out.
We have been working hard on getting the aircraft brought back to RCAF standards and making 12703 a true CF-104 Super Starfighter once again. The aft top fuselage red beacon light which was installed by the Royal Danish Air Force has been removed and the proper panel put into place. Also we have had the forward windscreen top panel which was modified by the RDAF to hold the Infra-red gun sight restored back to the original CF-104 configuration.
The thumbnail pictures below show the before and after photos of the restored nose area. The nose panel required cutting out the bulge on the panel and inserting a new piece of aluminium then having it welded in place. We then were able to grind it smooth and polish the panel back to a shine. The expert welding was done by Shane Elliot who operates and owns "Welding Wizard" in Grosse Isle, Manitoba. Shane is an ex-Air Canada Heavy Maintenance employee and we had worked together before the closing of the overhaul facilities in Winnipeg. He is a D.O.T. certified welder and earned his name on this project. The welding job made it quite easy for us to grind and polish the panel back to it's original form.
Our crew access ladder is also having some welding done on it where there was some damage. Once we have it back we will have the ladder and the under wing pylons soda blasted to remove the paint. The ladder will be painted in RCAF ground equipment yellow and the pylons will be polished to a shine like the fuselage of the aircraft.
March 07, 2015
We had a great afternoon visit with Pete DeSmedt who is a former RCAF CF-104 Starfighter pilot and Commanding Officer of 439 "Tiger" Squadron. We heard many good stories and learned more valuable information about the operational service life of the aircraft. It is very rewarding for us at the museum to talk with people like Pete DeSmedt and to know that our efforts are of value to others besides ourselves. Our love for the aircraft drives us to restore it but to see it bring back fond memories to those who flew, maintained and served on air bases that operated the CF-104 make it all worthwhile. Pete also picked up his CANADA/CF 104 blue golf shirts with the CF-104 name tags today. He had one made for himself and one for his wife Barbara. The funds raised by selling these shirts will help us get the wings and the tail slab painted this summer.
We hope to see more people out at the Canadian Starfighter Museum this year. Please check the website for our contact number and email address to arrange a tour.
March 02, 2015
I have been rather negligent over the winter months in updating the Museum News section of the website so I thought that March 2nd would be an appropriate time to do so being that it is now the 29th anniversary of the CF-104 Close-Out which was held on this day at 1CAG Baden-Soellingen, Germany in 1986.
Needless to say we are moving a little slower over the winter months but nevertheless progress is still being made on the restoration of CF-104 #12703. I have placed a few thumbnail photos below which show a few things we have been working on. The C2 seat survival kit has been put together for our CF-104 so once the rest of the seat is finished it can go together. It will still be a while before the seat is placed in the aircraft cockpit though. One of the other photos shows the ejection seat rail support box unit which will be inserted into place to replace the unit which came with the aircraft and was modified by the Danish Air Force to fit the Martin-Baker ejection seat. We need to get 703 back to it's original condition by placing this new support box into place and secured properly to the ejection seat rails which then will hold the C2 seat and have it looking as it did in RCAF service.
In keeping with having the aircraft restored as it was in RCAF service we will also install the extra fuel tank that was put in place of where the gun ammo container was positioned in other F-104 aircraft versions. Since we were involved in the Nuclear Strike/Recce role it was felt that Canada would not require the M-61 cannon and instead it would carry an extra 101 Imp. Gallon fuel cell instead. We have also been able to find and purchase the aft top J-79 locking pin which we were missing. This will now allow us to install the engine this summer. Lastly we have a mint unused drag chute door assembly which again we were missing with 12703......I seem to have misplaced that picture unfortunately.
Our CANADA/CF 104 navy blue golf shirts with the CF-104 name tags have proved to be a success and this will allow us the funds to do some painting on the aircraft ! Everything cost money and lots of time and effort but we are continuing to move forward. Thank you to our volunteers and to you for your continued support.
A few weeks ago Captain Tom Henry, 441 Squadron (retired) and his brother from Winnipeg dropped by the Canadian Starfighter Museum for a visit. It was good to see Tom again as the last time we had seen each other was at the CF-104 Close-Out , 1 CAG Baden-Soellingen, Germany in 1986. He was very pleased to see the CF-104 Starfighter taking shape and to once again sit in the CF-104 OFTT which I am sure brought back many fond memories. Tom was kind enough to donate a few items to the museum for our various displays which will help us to tell the complete story of the CF-104 and the roll that the RCAF played in both NATO and the Cold War Era.
We have had several retired CF-104 pilots and RCAF personnel come out to see the Canadian Starfighter Museum and it has been our pleasure to show them the aircraft and some of the displays. It makes our hard work in restoring the aircraft and building the museum very rewarding. Please feel free to call and arrange a visit while we continue to restore 12703. You are always welcome !
Santa arrived early this year at the Canadian Starfighter Museum complete with snow falling and the delivery of a special present. It appears that Santa also goes by the name of Robin Sipe of S & S Turbine Services Ltd, Fort St. John, B.C.. This very generous donation is greatly appreciated by the Canadian Starfighter Museum and we can not thank Robin Sipe enough for donating it to us so that we can display the CF-104 aircraft along with an example of the engine that powered it to the viewing public. The J-79 engine was a unique engine type in it's day as was the Starfighter itself both high tech/ cutting edge and revolutionary in it's design. To have one here now to display on a stand that was built by S & S Turbine Services Ltd. staff is truly a magnificent gift. Thank you again Robin Sipe and S & S Turbine Services Ltd !!
I would also like to make mention of the St. Andrew's Airport Maintenance Department for their help and to Harry Albert for his expert forklift operating skills. We could not have accomplished the task of off loading the engine without them.
Museum member Eric Groth and myself had an opportunity to travel to Markham, Ontario in October to acquire a few needed parts for our CF-104 aircraft. Al Rubin is President of Wings of Flight based at the Markham Airport CNUB and he also operates the Canadian Air, Sea and Land Museum. He agreed to let us take a few needed parts from one of his ABDR CF-104D aircraft that are on his airfield. In it's former RCAF life the CF-104D that we were able to extract some parts from was serial number 12644. The CSM had some spare parts from our project that we were able to trade with Al Rubin so that he can perhaps restore one of his aircraft eventually. Al is very knowledgeable about various aircraft and we had a very interesting day with him and enjoyed it very much. I wish to thank Al for his help and kindness.
Please see the thumbnail pictures below. Click on them to make the photos larger.
Oct. 03, 2014
The landing gear is now finished with the exception of a few small details. The gear doors are installed and rigged and the landing lights are now installed on the nose and on the main gear. Attention is now shifted to the underside ventral fin and arrestor hook assembly. These need to be installed prior to installation of the engine which I have been informed is due to arrive within a week.
More photos are posted as thumbnails below ......just click on a photo to enlarge. Keep checking back as we are advancing in the restoration and I will post more pictures as new things happen.
The polishing of the main fuselage is now complete. The cockpit access hatch, nose cone band, R/H main landing gear doors and vertical tail fin are all that is left to polish to complete the entire aircraft.
We are still working on the wings and nose cone and hope to get them painted if not late this year then early next year. No sign of our J-79 engine yet but hopefully that will arrive soon.
Keep watching for further updates.
The port side of the aircraft is now completely polished as is the starboard side from the aft end up to the intakes. We should have the rest of the aircraft fuselage completed in two to three weeks time.
The wings will now require some filling and sanding before they are ready to paint and then we will move on to the tail section. We continue to have visitors dropping in for a visit while we are restoring the CF-104 and we are happy to show them around and answer all questions. If you want to see the work in progress by all means stop by.
Allan Holmberg, who is a retired RCAF aircraft technician, came by last week and it was a pleasant surprise for those of us who are restoring the aircraft. Al worked on 12703 in the early 1960's with CEPE up in Cold Lake, Alberta. This was when the first five CF-104 Starfighter's were being evaluated by the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment and the famous publicity picture of the CF-104 Starfighter "Royal Flush" was taken.
Please keep checking in from time to time for further updates on our progress !
Work has started on the wings which needed some corrosion removed and then an acid wash. After we are satisfied that the corrosion has been properly taken care of we will use an aluminium filler and feather out any divots in the wings prior to applying paint.
Polishing continues at a slow pace at the moment as we only have one person doing the work. We have had offers to help out but none have shown up. If there are any people out there that live in the Winnipeg area and that would like to volunteer to help you would be most welcomed and appreciated for your efforts.
Pictures show Gary Crawford at the wing grinding out corroded areas and Steve Pajot under the belly polishing the aluminium to a shine. The aircraft is approximately 75% polished as seen in the photo taken from above. We still hope to have the fuselage polishing completed by this Fall and also the wings ready to paint.
The Canadian Starfighter Museum had another visit this month by my brother Darryl Pajot who came out from Frankford, Ontario just a few mintues North of CFB Trenton. Darryl is a retired RCAF C-130 Hercules pilot and SkyService A-320 pilot who also helped build the detailed 10 foot aluminium CF-104 Starfighter model which is on display at the National Air Force Museum in Trenton. Ontario. The model was built by my father, brother and myself back in the early 1970's and was used by the RCAF in air shows, recruiting drives and various other displays over the years before being placed on permanent loan at the RCAF Museum which is now known as the National Air Force Museum.
Darryl has also flown in the CF-104 Starfighter and has had a long association with the aircraft and 417 TAC F OT Squadron like myself.
We put him to work polishing our CF-104 Starfighter and he now has an appreciation of the work involved to get 12703 back to display condition. Darryl has been a member of the Canadian Starfighter Museum from day one and it was good to have him out to view and work on the aircraft.
June 20, 2014
The Museum had a three day visit by Norm MacSween. Norm was a key player in the acquisition of CF-104 #12703 by helping organize the Save Our Starfighter campaign and with out his help I am sure that the museum would never have been fortunate enough to obtain the aircraft. He was also an RCAF CF-104 pilot with 427 Squadron flying the Starfighter in both 3 (F) Wing and 4 (F) Wing Germany.
Norm had not seen the aircraft since it's arrival at St. Andrews Airport which is home to the Canadian Starfighter Museum. The visit was his first opportunity to see the fruit of his labour and we put him to work polishing as you can see in one of the photos below. Also Norm was able to fly the newly manufactured CF-104 OFTT- PC that the museum has devised. In the photo of Norm in the cockpit you can see him flying over the Capo Frasca Range in Sardinia where RCAF CF-104 pilot's of 1 Air Division honed their skills in the art of bombing. Our OFTT uses superior graphics to the original CF-104 OFTT combined with a true to life working control stick, throttle, rudder pedals, panels, switches and a motor that allows the feel of movement when seated in the ejection seat. It may have been many decades since Norm last flew the CF-104 Starfighter but he was right at home with in minutes after the simulator was started up and flying like it was only yesterday. It is our hope that one day we can marry up this simulation with the actual CF-104 OFTT from Cold Lake, Alberta that we now have on display at the museum. What a unique thrill it would be for a museum visitor to learn about the Cold War and Canada's involvement using the CF-104 Starfighter as well as to view the many artefacts along with the actual aircraft on display and the CF-104 OFTT that every pilot trained on and then to have an opportunity to try and pilot the Starfighter themselves !
Pictures : 1. Steve Pajot, Russ Johnson and Norm MacSween
2. Norm MacSween in the cockpit of the CF-104 OFTT- PC
3. Norm MacSween helping polish CF-104 #12703
The Canadian Starfighter Museum was happy to host the Winnipeg Austin Healey Club for a tour of the museum today. The club has a number of members who own classic British automobiles which they have restored to pristine display condition. It was interesting to have these classic cars meet a classic jet fighter like the CF-104 Starfighter. Many of the cars were from the same era as the CF-104 dating in and around the late 1950's to early and mid 1960's period. The owners had first hand experience in restoration work and the process involved in bringing older vehicles to display condition.
A special "thank you" goes out to Richard Chamberlin for organizing the club tour with the Canadian Starfighter Museum. We enjoyed hosting the Austin Healey membership and I am sure that they were all pleased with the event.
May 31, 2014
The nose wheel strut and wheel assembly have been installed on the aircraft so 12703 is back standing on it's own again. We now are able tow the aircraft outside for polishing and take it back into the hangar every night. Eric Groth and myself spent the entire day out at the hangar preparing, assembling, servicing and installing the nose gear assembly but the effort certainly paid off well.
Please check back for more updates in the coming weeks.
May 28, 2014
The Canadian Starfighter Museum was very please to host Chris McLean and his son Scott for their visit today and to show them the progress made with the restoration of CF-104 12703. I believe they were very thrilled to see the many artifacts, the CF-104 OFTT and the actual CF-104 aircraft. Chris was a major contributor to the " Save Our Starfighter " campaign and received his official membership certificate with the visit. Chris and Scott were flying their RV6 aircraft on a cross country flight across Canada and arranged to view the museum on the stop at St. Andrew's Airport.
It was interesting to see Chris, the ex-CF-104 pilot and father, share his experiences and appreciation for the CF-104 with his son Scott.
I hope to see more people out to visit the museum in the future so if you are coming to Winnipeg, Manitoba or passing through at some point please give us a telephone call or send an email to arrange a tour. We would be happy to see you.
May 24, 2014
We are on schedule with the nose gear restoration. The oleo has been checked and it is working properly. This is not the original oleo strut that was on 703 when we received the aircraft as that particular nose gear strut was U/S and not possible to restore at all. We did get another nose gear strut and oleo with the aircraft that was able to be made serviceable. It requires only servicing with oil and nitrogen and a little paint to be made ready to install on the aircraft.
The nose wheel well is under going restoration at this time. We have removed the corrosion and/or neutralized it so that the wheel well area can be painted prior to the gear strut installation.
Also, the nose gear doors have been polished back to bare aluminum because at this time it is far easier to work on while the nose gear is out. The rest of the fuselage polishing will take place once the aircraft is back on all it's landing gear and can be rolled outside. You can view pictures of the nose wheel well and gear doors below. When the next report is made I hope to be able to tell you that the aircraft is indeed back on it's landing gear and that we have undertaken the restoration of the main landing gear forward doors as well as the fuselage polishing.
Thank you to all those who have donated or contributed to our CF-104 Starfighter restoration project !
April 26, 2014
The winter was long and cold here in Manitoba and very little was accomplished on the project unfortunately. The hangar heating bill last year was far too high and it was decided that this year we were going to keep the heat down to 5 degrees C . We are low on funds and we need to conserve money to pay for the painting of the aircraft and a few other airframe parts that we need to complete 12703. The good news is that spring has arrived and with it warmer weather. The push is on again to get as much accomplished during the warmer months of spring and summer.
We had a drag chute door purchased from Classicjets Inc. in Germany but a year has passed and we still do not have the door that we bought. It is imperative that we get the door to finish off the tail section so we are attempting to locate another drag chute door. I do not know whether or not we can recover our funds for this purchase as no correspondence has been made back to us in that regard. We will however try to recover something as we can ill afford to lose money with this project.
The first order of the day is to get the nose gear back on the aircraft so we can tow the aircraft in and out of the hangar for polishing. We hope to get the wings restored this year and begin on the upper tail area.
Also we are hoping to receive the J-79 engine from S & S Turbines sometime this spring as it will make a fantastic display with the CF-104 Starfighter. It will be one of the outstanding donations made to the museum and a most interesting display.
We certainly hope to receive more visitors over the summer as we continue to restore 12703. If you are making your way across Canada and going through Winnipeg please do give me a phone call or email me and let me know so we can arrange your visit.
Stay tuned for more updates and photographs over the coming months !
The weather in Manitoba has gone down into the sub-zero temperatures and with the holiday season upon us the restoration process has slowed down.
The nose gear assembly was removed and the various parts disassembled and cleaned. A newer nose wheel strut is being restored and will be put on 703 as the old strut that came with the aircraft was in poor shape and not considered salvageable. We have a brand new nose wheel tire ready once the hubs are painted and reassembled. The nose wheel well will be restored over the winter months and we hope to have the aircraft back on all three wheels by Spring.
There are some photo attachment widgets below ......just click on the widget to enlarge the photo.
We have acquired the proper RCAF CF-104 crew entry ladder. It will need a few repairs and paint to finish for display. Also we were able to find a couple of dust covers for the main gear wheels as seen in one of the photos.
The remainder of the fuselage polishing and wings are slated for 2014 as well as accepting delivery of the J-79 engine.
The Canadian Starfighter Museum wishes to extend to all our donors,contributors and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !
Retired CF-104 Starfighter pilot Jim Maurstad made a visit to the Canadian Starfighter Museum on Saturday October 26th. We showed him our progress in the restoration of CF-104 #12703 and the completed CF-104 OFTT ( Operational Flight and Tactics Trainer ). He brought with him some memorabilia to donate to the museum for display. They were all excellent artifacts which will be of great use in helping us to tell the CF-104 story. We are very appreciative of Jim's donations to the CSM.
It was a pleasure to have Jim here to relate some of his stories about the CF-104 Starfighter and it's operations in RCAF service. It's obvious that Jim has many good memories and a strong affection for the aircraft. This is one thing that we have found common amongst the many CF-104 pilot's with which we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with.
Jim thanked the Canadian Starfighter Museum for helping to preserve the rich history of the RCAF CF-104, it's pilot's and maintenance crews. It's what makes the hard work of restoring the aircraft and building up the museum so rewarding. I hope that we have many more visits from Jim and other former CF-104 pilots in the future !
Also on Staurday we had a very talented artist and former Canadian Forces Senior Avionics Technician visit the Canadian Starfighter Museum. His name is Brian Venables and he painted a very detailed and exceptional picture of 104735 with LCol. Adamson in the cockpit. LCol Adamson was the last Squadron Commmander of 441 TAC Fighter Squadron during the CF-104 era. The painting portrays 104735 in the start up proceedure just prior to leading the "Last Starfighter Mass Flypast" on March 1, 1986 at the CF-104 Close-Out in 1 CAG, CFB Baden-Soellingen, West Germany. Brian presented us with a professionally framed print of this painting to display at the museum. Thank you Brian for your kind donation ! www.bc-venables-graphixx.com
Oct. 19, 2013
The main landing gear has been assembled and the aircraft is off jacks and on the ground.There is still a lot of work to do to get the landing gear to displayable condition but the major work is now completed. The hydraulic rams and liquid spring shocks are in place and other main gear linkages have been installed. We need to attach the brake lines and later the landing gear doors. Currently only two main gear doors, one forward and one aft, are restored. We're waiting for a set of hinges to arrive to attach them. Our next project is to replace the nose gear landing strut and refurbish the wheel well and doors. It would be good to have all the landing gear work completed before the Spring of 2014 as then we could finish the exterior skin polishing and hopefully get started on the wing assemblies.
One glitch appeared as we began to go over the Engineering Orders on how to assemble the main gear when we found that we were missing both two way bushings that connect the main hydraulic ram and the web drag strut. The only alternative we had was to have them machined and we were very fortunate to be introduced to Ron Rueckert who owns and operates " Veracity Machining" based in St. Andrew's, Manitoba. His expertise and love of aircraft made him the perfect choice to get the job done. The work was perfect and the two way bushings fell into place along with all the other landing gear parts making the assembly job quite an easy process. We had excellent help from Museum members and workers Eric Groth, Gary Crawford, Russ Johnson and myself, Steve Pajot. Thumbnail photos are attached here so you can click on them for larger pictures.
We are indebted to Ron Rueckert and his staff at Veracity Machining for their exceptional work and kind donation in machining us the two way bushings for our main landing gear. Special mention should also be made of Rick McGurk who owns and operates "Universal Aero Engines" in St. Andrew's, Manitoba for introducing us to Ron at "Veracity Machining" and for allowing us to use his facitlities which includes the sandblasting machines to help us restore aircraft 12703.
The Canadian Starfighter Museum was offered an amazing donation of a complete J-79 engine for display and a made up aft engine assembly for insertion into the airframe of CF-104 #12703.
The complete engine is due to arrive in the Spring of 2014 while the made up aft assembly arrived this afternoon.
The donation is being made by Mr. Robin Sipe of S & S Turbine Services Ltd. Canada's primier gas turbine service and overhaul facility based out of Fort St. John, British Columbia. We are indebted to Mr. Sipe for both his generosity and support of the Canadian Starfighter Museum.
This will create a very interesting display of both the CF-104 Starfighter and the J-79 engine which powered the aircraft. It was decided that the fully complete engine should remain on a stand for the viewing public to admire. The CF-104 Starfighter display aircraft will have what will appear to be an operatable engine installed when looking up the tail pipe and will make the aircraft look airworthy and ready to fly. The weight of this engine mock up is around 800 pounds as opposed to the complete engine which weighs in at 3700 pounds.
We are estatic and would like to thank Mr. Robin Sipe for allowing us to make the Canadian Starfighter Museum the most complete CF-104 museum in the world.
( Click on the thumbnail photos below to enlargen the pictures. )
Sept 03, 2013
The main landing gear is nearly complete and the L/H wheel well is now ready for us to begin to restore and then install the main hydraulic ram and the liquid shock assembly. The wheels can go on as soon as we find and purchase the hardware to attach the brakes to the landing gear leg. The hydraulic rams and liquid shocks are disassembled and are being cleaned for reassembly. They will also need to be painted.
Picture thumbnails have been added to this update so that you can see the quality and standard to which we are restoring the aircraft. Click on each thumbnail to enlarge the photograph. Please note that the large red and rusted metal pieces on the main landing gear legs were made by the Danish Air Force to replace the main hydraulic rams and liquid springs and hold the landing gear in place. We are replacing them with the proper assemblies once we have overhauled them.
All the hydraulic lines are cleaned and left in natural stainless steel. The fittings are also being left unpainted so that the overall appearance of the gear system looks completely functional. This all takes a great deal of time and patience but in the end it will be well worth the effort.
Once the aircraft is back on it's wheels we can then begin polishing the remainder of the main fuselage skin.
Great News! Our Canadian Starfighter Museum Golf Shirts are ready. You can order them anytime. All the information is on this website under the heading " Store" along with a picture of the golf shirt. All profits from the sale of these shirts will go directly to the restoration of CF-104 Starfighter 12703. We are in need of funds to buy the decals and to paint the aircraft. Any help is appreciated. Buying a shirt, a Cold Warrior Book or some decals will support the museum with this project.
The aircraft is now on jacks as we restore the main landing gear and wheel wells. The tires we received from the Starfighters Team were cleaned and refurbished along with the brakes then installed on the newly restored rims. The ventral fin was polished and the arrestor hook stripped and painted. The next step is to polish all the main gear doors and paint the insides then overhaul the main hydraulic rams and liquid spring oleo shocks. When all is complete we will put the main gear back together and install the tires. The hope is to have this done in the next month so that we can continue and hopefully finish the main fuselage skin polishing. We require the gear to be done so that we can roll it outside to polish.
The Alberta Aviation Museum had it's Roll-Out of their restored Dutch TF-104 as the "Ghost of 104651 " and myself and fellow CSM member, Gary Crawford, made our way out to support them. It was great to see a CF-104D of 417 TAC F OT Squadron ready for public display. The Museum did a very nice job in presenting the aircraft. Many people were on hand to witness the Roll-Out and there were some ex-RCAF CF-104 pilots in attendance as well. Congratulations to the Alberta Aviation Museum !
It will likely be a few more years before the Canadian Starfighter Museum can have the Roll-Out of 12703. Our aircraft is in need of more restoration work than the TF-104 Starfighter and we have substantially less volunteers to help. We are a small Museum with less funding than other museums but we are determined to get the job done.
We have made up some Canadian Starfighter Museum Golf Shirts with the CSM logo on the left chest and the option of adding personal names to the right chest. The shirts for Museum staff were done in white while the shirts to be sold are in Navy Blue like the old 1960's RCAF flight suits with the CSM logo and optional personalized names added. When we receive the first two samples we will picture one on the website under the Gift Shop heading and the price will then be listed. We hope you will like them enough to purchase one as the profits will all go to the restoration and painting of 12703.
There is so much work to do and so many issues I could talk about but I really have to get back to work on the aircraft.....until next time...
It's been quite a few months since I updated this website but being that it's still winter here in Winnipeg not too much can get done on the restoration. Nevertheless we have still manged to do work on the aircraft and slowly but surely many smaller items are being completed.
We were able to acquire the missing landing gear parts that did not come with the aircraft. We now have all the parts to complete both the main landing gear and the nose landing gear. The Starfighter's Team form Florida generously donated some used main wheel tires to put on 12703 as the tires that came with her were in poor shape and would not hold air. The tires we received from the Starfighters Team are unfortunately also in poor shape esthetically but hopefully they will hold air. We did however get a brand new nosewheel tire when we purchased the aircraft. I managed to clean up the brakes and once a good coat of silver paint is put on them they will look brand new.
We are still in dire need of the ejection seat rails which again did not come with the aircraft. We have a few sources but nothing has materialized yet and if we don't get a set we will not be able to mount the C2 ejection seat in the aircraft. This would be very unfortunate and would make for a poor display. I am still trying very hard to find a set so let's hope someone or some organization out there will help us.
We intend to finish the exterior polishing of the aircraft this Spring when we can take it outside again. A friend of the Museum from Germany is sending us out an overhauled drag chute door and some avionics containers this week but it may take a while to get to Winnipeg as the box is quite heavy and expensive to send. I will be compiling a list of the organizations and individuals who have helped us find and acquire the parts that we have needed later this year for all to see.
We have also been fortunate to obtain the large J-79 locking pins in anticipation of receiving an engine sometime in the Spring. I will reveal the donor later this year as well.
Please keep checking the website for updates and send me an email if you have any questions, suggestions or donations. I hope some of you can make it out to see the restoration in progress this year....it is a monumental task to restore a CF-104 Starfighter but it is going to be well worth the effort !
Good news for the Canadian Starfighter Museum ! We were finally able to locate and acquire a Starfighter crew boarding ladder. We made a trade for the Starfighter ladder with a T-33 ladder we had found. The ladder requires some minor restoration and a coat of new yellow paint. It will make an excellent addition to the complete CF-104 display.
Winter will be settling into southern Manitoba this weekend and will effectively stop the restoration and polishing of the exterior aluminum fuselage skin until next Spring. The process needed to be done outdoors because the fine dust would otherwise get into every place imaginable inside the hangar. We will now put our efforts into the smaller parts of the aircraft over the winter months. The cockpit will also be started but we are not able to put the ejection seat into the aircraft since we did not get the ejection seat rails we had hoped to have with the purchase of the aircraft. We have another option to obtain a set of rails but that is currently on hold.
This November 11th we would ask all Canadians to remember the sacrifices made by the many men and women of the combined services in not only both World Wars and the Korean conflict but also the Cold War and those serving members on current assignments.
The restoration has been underway for a few months now. We first needed to inventory our parts and wash and degrease the aircraft before we could start work. Stands were made to get the wings and tail section off the hangar floor and neatly put away until the time comes to start work on them.
We have been busy polishing the aluminum skin to bring back it's natural look as it was in the early years of service life with the RCAF. It is quite a task to bring back the shine and at this point we have only two people doing the polishing work. We are looking for volunteers to come out and help with this work.
We ran into a few snags which was cause for some concern but we are in the process of ironing them out. Also we ended up paying over $2500 in GST tax as the Canadian Government wanted their share when it crossed the border to come home. We had thought that being a non profit museum we would be exempt but apparently this is not the case. This now leaves us without the funds to paint the wings and horizontal stabilator or to get the Canadian insignia and other markings made to put on the fuselage when our polishing is complete.
On a good note, we have the possibility to acquire a J-79 engine to fit into our CF-104. Previously we had only the tailpipe and nozzle to put into the aircraft for the display. We will update you with the details and the company who is donating the engine as it develops.
The Starfighter's Air Demonstration Team who are based in Florida and operate three ex-RCAF CF-104's has graciously offered to send us a set of good used CF-104 main gear tires as the main gear tires that came with 703 are very old and in poor condition. They will not hold air for any length of time so it is imperative that we get a set of tires that can hold air and that are in reasonable condition for display.
Updated pictures below..............
July 30, 2012
CF-104 Starfighter #12703 arrived at the Canadian Starfighter Museum hangar and was unloaded today with the aid of many volunteers. The event went very smoothly with no mishaps to either people or to the aircraft. Any problems were dealt with by discussion and brainstorming among the workers and once the plan was decided it was carried out very professionally with safety being of the utmost importance. We can not thank the volunteers enough for their dedication and hard work. The operation was a total success !
Now the restoration begins.........
Please view the following pictures.
"The Unloading Crew": Left to right
Mark Bosman, Tony Iblasin, Greg Andrews, Gary Crawford, Russ Johnson, Steve Pajot,
Thomas Groth, Eric Groth, Herb Penny, Warren Zuk.
The time is now near for CF-104 Starfighter #12703 to be repatriated back to Canada.The aircraft is being loaded and made ready for transport to the Canadian Starfighter Museum at St. Andrew's Airport, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
We are expecting it to arrive July 30,2012 and all the arrangements have been made for it's entry into Canada. The U.S. State Department approved the export of 703 from the United States of America to Canada and we have the paperwork in hand.
The Museum is still searching for a CF-104 crew entry ladder so if anyone has any knowledge of a ladder we would be very appreciative to find out where we can acquire one.We have tried Crown Assets, CFS Mountainview, CFB Winnipeg and CFB Cold Lake but to date we have had no luck in finding a surplus crew entry ladder for our CF-104. It's hard to imagine that they have all disappeared. Someone must know where a few of them went but we have yet to find that person.
We are very anxious to get the restoration underway and we thank the many people who have helped us with this project. Please keep checking the website for future updates and we hope to see you at the Museum in the future !
We have finally received news that the US State Department will have our paperwork complete on July 9, 2012. The transportation company, which is based in the United States, will have the flatbed trailer sent out to be loaded and we should be ready to roll on or about July 21,2012. We expect delivery of 12703 on either July 25th or 26th at the Museum hangar.
It is now our job to have the customs broker in Canada arrange the import with Canada Customs at the border port of entry once we have copies of the US State Dept. authorization papers. We also will now secure a boom truck to lift the aircraft off the flatbed safely. There will be volunteers on hand to help move all the many parts that will come with the main fuselage and we have acquired the use of a forklift to aid our efforts.
We will have pictures of the arrival and unloading of 12703 put on the website after the job is complete so stay tuned to our website for the updates and photographs.
It has been a while since I wrote any news about CF-104 12703 on the website. It was decided to leave the aircraft in the USA in it's hangar space until the end of Winter because we were afraid that moving it may cause corrosion to the aluminum if it were transported over the salted roads.
This Spring we were set to start the transfer when it was brought to our attention that the U.S. State Department had misplaced our application to export 12703 to Canada. We have since made a new application and it has been accepted so we must wait for the final authorization. Once we have this authorization we will begin the process of getting the Starfighter up to Winnipeg. There are several things we need to accomplish such as getting the paperwork set up with our broker and arranging a crane to off load the aircraft when it arrives at our hangar.
We have also been actively looking for a CF-104 crew entry ladder for the display. I have been in contact with CFB Cold Lake and Base Commander Col. Laroche who has graciously agreed to look into finding a ladder for the Canadian Starfighter Museum. We are very hopeful that we can acquire a CF-104 crew entry ladder.
There is the possibility of acquiring a Vinten Camera Pod for 12703. This would be a very nice extra since 703 was, after leaving Cold Lake, based in 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France and later 1 (F) Wing lahr, Germany in the Recce role. The cost has not yet been determined on this venture but we are presently in talks with the party who has the pod. We would very much like to pick up a set of wing tip tanks and a centreline rack ( this is also required to mount the camera pod ) but we have not located any at this time and we are not finacially able to fund them since the cost of tranporting 703 is a little more than we had expected and I personally can't afford them. I have spent several thousands of dollars from my personal account on parts that we needed to complete the aircraft less the tip tanks and and happy to say that we now have all the necessary parts to complete our Starfighter. I also recently lost my job along with 2600 our people at Air Canada/Aveos due to the company selling the Maintenance Division. It was a typical scenario of corporate greed and cost cutting by relieving itself of workers salaries and pensions while boosting management bonuses. The repercussions may be such that it will be likened to the shutting down of the CF-105 Avro Arrow program by the Canadian Government of the time many years ago. The Canadian aviation industry may once again find it difficult to recover from the loss of skilled technicians who will have to go south of the border to find work or leave the aerospace trade all together.
The positive side to this, if there is one, is that I can devote more time to the restoration of 12703 for the museum.
CF-104 Starfighter 12703 was recently stripped of it's Danish paint scheme by a newer process called Soda Blasting. This system is much like sand blasting but uses a soda based material that will not harm the aluminum surface. It also gets the paint out of all the small hard to get at areas that the traditional paste strippers can't get without the aid of brushes and pick tools.
During the stripping process evidence of the old RCAF roundels,letters and aircraft number were found. It will take a lot of polishing and buffing to bring back the finish though it will likely never look factory new again. It is still our hope to put 12703 back into the early RCAF markings. Once the tail cone arrives from Denmark it will also be stripped and then we will bring the entire aircraft back to Canada for it's restoration at the Canadian Starfighter Museum hangar. There is much work to be done but it will be a labour of love and we hope to see many of you who have helped make this happen show up at the hangar. It will be on display as a "restoration in progress". Thank you to all contributors !
CF-104 #12703 ( R-704 in Danish markings ) is pictured being taken out of the container after being shipped from Denmark to Bangor, Maine USA. We have arranged to have the aircraft soda blasted to remove the olive drab paint as this will save us hundreds of hours stripping the aircraft using the old process of applying toxic paint stripper.
The final details of our purchase have been moving rather slower than anticipated but we do have progess happening. We have deciced to have the aircraft stripped of it's Danish paint scheme to the bare natural aluminum. If the aluminum is in good enough condition we hope to put 12703 back into it's original RCAF " Srtaight Flush " finish. Also, when the aircraft was originally sent from Denmark they found that there was not enough room to ship the tail section with the rest of the airframe so the tail section is being sent over now. We do not want to accept the aircraft unless it is complete and it can be stripped and shipped as one complete unit. So we are now hoping to have this done before the snow begins to fly here in Manitoba, Canada. The odds may be against us but we will try our best to have the aircraft brought up here as soon as possible. If this can not happen then the aircraft will be stored where it is in the USA and we will bring it home in the early spring. Obviously, we're eager to get the restoration underway but weather is now the limiting factor. We had anticipated that the tail section would have been sent earlier.
On the positive side we have secured the purchase of 12703 and it is now only these details remaining. The acquistion of this special CF-104 Starfighter will make the Canadian Starfighter Museum the most complete museum dedicated to the CF-104. I will keep updating this site as things progress.