Sic Itur ad Astra, a Chronological History of Canadian Civil and Military Aviation on the 100th Anniversary of the RCAF, Volume 2, 1946 to 2024
Sic Itur ad Astra,
a Chronological History of Canadian Civil and Military Aviation on the 100th Anniversary of the RCAF
Volume 2, 1946 to 2024
(Artwork by Peter J. Robichaud)
'Alouettes Lightning & Hornet'. Illustration depicting the McDonnell Douglas CF-188 Hornet and it's replacement, the Lockheed Martin CF-35 Lightning II, both of No. 425 Alouette Squadron, RCAF. This painting was commissioned by CF-118 pilot Captain A. Cirlan who presented it to the Squadron as a departure gift upon his posting.
Publication scheduled for fall 2023
Of all the pieces of technology humans have invented over the millenia, few capture the imagination more completely than aircraft. We know with certainty that “Soaring like an eagle” mesmerized dreamers and schemers alike long before Icarus is supposed to have glued his wings together and taken to the air. Moreover, the very idea of flight, the notion of “Being as free as a bird!” has come down to us as a metaphor for unbridled liberty.
Canadians have been no less smitten by dreams of flight: of slipping, in John Gillespie Magee’s famous words, “the surly bonds of Earth,” and chasing “the shouting winds … through footless halls of air….” As Hal Skaarup points out, early pioneers of flight did well to skip along a few metres above the ground. But it was not long before brave souls in open cockpits were gliding through canyons in the clouds thousands of feet above the warmth and safety of the earth.
Hal Skaarup’s exhaustive compilation of Canadian flying accomplishments and the aircraft used to achieve those feats captures much of the wonder of flight, and the role Canada played in conquering the sky. The detail in Sic Itur ad Astra: a Chronological History of Canadian Civil and Military Aviation on the 100thAnniversary of the RCAF is unsurpassed and so too is the photo coverage. No one has done more to record and document the aircraft which have served in Canada’s Armed Forces than Hal. Few airframes, few serial or service numbers, and fewer still – if any –“Marks” of aircraft types with a Canadian connection have escaped him. The marvellous collection of photographs compiled here tell the story in their own right, while Hal’s authoritative annotations provide the detail. Buffs and professionals, young and old, will find much here to peak their interest and please their eye.
So sit back, drink it all in and let your imagination soar where generations of Canadians have carried the dream aloft, through “wind swept heights with easy grace/Where never lark or eagle flew .…”
Professor Emeritus, UNB
Former HCol 403 Sqn, RCAF
 John Gillespie Magee, High Flight