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Fokker F-28-1000 Passenger Jet Fuselage and Wings Came Through Town

To say seeing a Fokker F-28-1000 Passenger jet fuselage and wings coming through town was a bit of a head turner, is an understatement!

Many of you will have seen the huge aircraft that made it’s way through Kindersley on Tuesday, October 12th, so to answer some of your questions, we caught up with Rik Barry – Chairman of the Time Air Historical Society, who shared with us why the Time Air Historical Society decided to transport this aircraft to Alberta.

Can you tell me the significance of the plane that was recently transferred through Kindersley.

The aircraft type is a rare Dutch-designed 65 seat Passenger Jet, that was produced by Fokker, of the Netherlands. It was manufactured from 1969 to 1987, with only 241 being produced. It was the first successful Regional Jet-sized aircraft. None of these F-28-1000’s have been preserved in the Netherlands, and the Time Air Historical Society will have the only one that will be able to be toured both outside and in, WORLD WIDE.

The FOKKER F-28-1000 that went through Kindersley is C-GYCR, which is privately owned by one of our Board members. It is also the test vehicle for disassembly and reassembly (by an amateur crew, which was successful). A total of three are coming back to Alberta: The Society’s C-FTAV, and the two separate privately owned aircraft C-GYCR and C-GTIZ.

Why did you decide to restore this plane?

Our Fokker F-28-1000, C-FTAV, is serial number 11106. It was the Silver (25th) Anniversary aircraft for Time Air. C-FTAV was the only aircraft of the F-28-1000 fleet that wore a highly polished aluminum fuselage (all others were fully painted). Time Air amassed approximately 35 of the type, and was the largest operator world wide of this version of the F-28.

What other ones are you currently restoring?

Currently, we are in the process of bringing back 4 different aircraft types back to Lethbridge, from four locations across North America. ALL aircraft were at one time operated by Time Air:

-Fokker F-28-1000, C-FTAV, as mentioned above. Located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

– DeHavilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, serial number 21, CF-QHC. This aircraft was the first larger aircraft used by the company, seating 19 people. It is one of the most iconic Canadian-built aircraft, recognized around the world for its durability, practicality (it can land on tires/skis/pontoons), and longevity. This aircraft, prior to being leased by Time Air, was the 1967 DeHavilland Demonstrator aircraft of the type. Located in Springbank, Alberta (just outside of Calgary)

-SHORTS (Ireland) SD3-30, serial number SH3007, C-GTAV. This unique “boxcar-looking” aircraft is also very rare. Only 141 were built. Time Air was the WORLD LAUNCH AIRLINE (First to fly the type), and operated the first three of the 30 seat production models off the assembly line. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

-Convair CV580. Built in 1956, this is our oldest aircraft. It was originally built as a piston-engined aircraft. It was converted to Turboprop power in 1968. This 50 seat airliner flew with 3 different USA carriers, and then was a corporate/business configured aircraft through two owners. The unique story for this aircraft, is that it was the Dominos Pizza corporate aircraft, before being converted back to passenger service by Time Air. It even had the 1980’s Domino’s ‘Noid character on the side of the plane. We also had donated back to us a Dominos corporate logo wooden sign, that was taken out when converted back to a Passenger plane. We will be putting that sign back inside the aircraft. The aircraft will be repainted in Time Air’s last independant red tail livery, rather than the Dominos livery with Time Air titles.

Can you tell me about the Time Air Historical Society and what it is you do?

TAHS’s mandate is to preserve the memory of Time Air. A short version: The airline became the largest regional airline in Canada, prior to its name change. To the end, before being purchased by Air Canada, it was legally known as “Time Air dba Canadi>n Regional”. Time Air purchased (Saskatoon based) Norcan Air in 1987. With the purchase, Time Air acquired its first jet aircraft, the Fokker F-28-1000. The airline flew many unique aircraft types over the 25 years of being Time Air, and many are very rare types. Of the four aircraft we currently own: the Fokker, SHORTS , and Convair will only be one of two (of each type) displayed world wide, and the only ones that will be fully accessible to the general public. We have a total of 12 different aircraft types, and 14 in total.

It should be noted that TAHS is working with the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum and Learning Centre to put together the story of Norcan Air. That history will stay in Saskatchewan, with our entity only telling the story of the takeover. Both places will cross-promote each other, long term.

Can you tell me about the museum where the plane will be?

The Museum is hoping to be partially located in the former Trans-Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada) hangar in Lethbridge, Alberta. The Lethbridge hangar is only one of two across Canada of the original MAIN LINE hubs. The second is in Moncton, NB. The Moncton example has been heavily renovated, while the Lethbridge hangar is virtually untouched. We will be seeking National Historic Site designation for this building. This was the original mainline hub in Alberta, for the airline’s trans-continental service. The Lethbridge to Vancouver route was considered the safest way to fly to the Coast, and stayed that way until after WWII, when Calgary became the hub. We are also working to acquire a former TCA/Air Canada Vickers Viscount, located in Texas. This will allow us to tell the story of TCA/Air Canada operations in Alberta.

With this extended role, we will become part of the larger umbrella, to be known as “SAAM” – Southern Alberta Aviation Museum. As well as the Air Canada and Time Air story, we will also tell the role of BCATP (British Commonwealth Air Training Program) in Lethbridge, International air travel, with the story of Western Airlines (long part of Delta), and the Lethbridge Flying Club.

You mentioned you are hoping to start a GoFundMe campaign, can you tell me about that?

Our main fundraising platform, while we work toward full Charity status. The purpose of this campaign is to cover the costs of bringing the Fokker F-28-1000 back to Lethbridge. This requires two large scale cranes (50 ton and 28 ton) at each end for lifting – the smaller will come from Saskatoon, as the company now has experience on moving this unique cargo…; a large contingent of pilot vehicles; a convoy of two to three semi trailer trucks; planning expenses; utility expenses (many power lines have to be moved, as the height is almost 26 feet tall); accommodation as required for work crews, fuel, etc. Although we will receive some financial assistance from the various companies, this is still a large expense for our small Not for Profit Society.

Here is the gofundme link: https://gofund.me/d0af17a3

All Photo Credit: Time Air Historical Society

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