ISBN 0-9687817-0-5


A Tradition of Excellence is now in print and publication will take place in October 2002. The book comprises 734 pages and over 1,700 photographs depicting Canada’s airshow teams from 1919 to present.

Publishing Details


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) D.V. Dempsey, CD

Consulting Editor

Vic Johnson (Editor Airforce Magazine, Ottawa, Ontario)

Design and Layout

Aerographics Creative Services Inc., Ottawa, Ontario


High Flight Enterprises Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia

Principal Distributor

Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ontario


Friesens Corporation, Altona, Manitoba


Finished page 9 1/8 x 12 inch coffee table format printed in full colour on 88 lb Garda Gloss stock; 734 pages, over 1,700 photographs and paintings

Contributing Photographers

Include Bill and Nancy Johnson, Ed and Alice Drader, Rafe Tomsett, Larry Milberry, John McQuarrie, Vic Johnson, Jerry Davidson, Bob McIntyre, Ron Miller, Mike Valenti, Jerry Vernon, Garry Cotter, Russ Heinl, Rick Radell, Doyle Buehler, Katsu Tokunaga, Graham Wragg, Mike Reyno, Bob Brown, Bill Petro, Rae Simpson, William Gilson, among others

Contributing Artists

Include Canadians Robert Bradford, Don Connolly, Geoff Bennett, Graham Wragg, Charles Kadin, Paul Tuttle, Robert Dallabona, Paul Seguna, John Rutherford, Dale Cline, Rich Thistle, William Perry, Yvette Moore, Carrie Friend, R.L. Whitcomb, Tom Sinclair, Colin Latta, Robert Bailey and American William S. Phillips.

Aircraft Profiles

Peter Mossman, Toronto, Ontario

Publication Date

October 2002

Book Outline

Title Page

Copyright Page/Credits


Table of Contents

Foreword LGen F.R. Sutherland CMM, CD – Honorary Colonel 431 (AD) Squadron

Introduction & Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 The New Adventure

The Silver Dart 1909
Pioneers & Barnstormers 1910-1931
Barker Exhibition Team 1919 CNE
The RCAF Siskins 1929-1934

Chapter 2 Post-War Exhibitions

From Seafires to Sea Furies 1946-1949
Centralia Harvard Team 1948-1950
The Mustang Teams 1947-1952
The Easy Aces 1951-1952
Meteor Jet Demos 1945-1946
CFS Vampire Team 1948
The Blue Devils 1949-1951

Chapter 3 Jet Teams of the Fabulous Fifties

The Silver Stars 1952-1954
431 Sqn Aerobatic Team 1954
Operation Prairie Pacific 1954
The Lancers 1955
The Air Div teams (Europe) 1952-1956
410, 441, 439 Sqn Aerobatic Teams
1 (F) Wing Aerobatic Team
3 (F) Wing Fireballs
2 (F) Wing Sky Lancers
4 (F) Wing Sky Lancers
VF 870 Aerobatic Team 1956-1957
The RCN Grey Ghosts 1958-1959

Chapter 4 The RCAF Golden Hawks 1959-1964

Chapter 5 And The Show Goes On

The Red Knight 1958-1969
The Gimli Smokers 1959-1964
The Golden Gigolos 1959
The Bald Eagles 1959-1960
The Red Ravens 1961-1962
The Goldilocks 1962-1964
The Red Herring 1966-1971

Chapter 6 Canada’s Centennial Aerobatic Team

The Golden Centennaires 1967

Chapter 7 The Motivators

T-33 Teams
1 FTS Formation Team
Red Herrings/Tracer Reds
Silver Stars
Black Knights
Musket Gold
Rotary Wing Teams
Hillers, Dragonflies and Hummingbirds FIS Vikings
Canadian Air Force Heritage Flight
Canadian Forces Parachute Demonstration Team – The SkyHawks

Chapter 8 Aerial Artistry

42 original artist profiles of Canadian airshow team aircraft

Chapter 9 The Fast Movers

CF-101 Voodoo Teams
CF-104 Starfighter Teams
CF-5 Teams & Solo Demo Pilots
CF-18 Solo Demo Pilots

Chapter 10 Canadian Classics

A pictorial salute to the "weekend warrior," large formation flypasts and

Canada’s most famous civilian performers
Chapter 11 The Snowbirds – Canada’s Aerial Ambassadors
Celebrating 32 years – 1971-2002

Chapter 12 A Tradition of Excellence

The world’s G-8 aerobatic teams
The future of the Snowbirds


Glossary & Selected Bibliography

Annex Canada’s Military Airshow Teams

– the only comprehensive list of teams and personnel ever compiled in Canada