Today I finally got to fly in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s PBY 5A Canso. I’ve been waiting for her to become available for flights for a few years now. I’ve always loved the PBY 5A and have dreamed about flying in one for years.
Weather delayed my flight a bit as a few rain cells moved through the area. It was pretty windy on the ground which promised some rougher air up above but I’d learned from my flight on the Lancaster and had popped a couple of Gravol prior to the flight. Though with the engines on the wing above the airframe, there’s no exhaust leaking back into the fuselage.
First off the take off is something else. When they set those Twin Wasp Radials to full power, the sound of them goes right through you and the plane fairly leaps into the air. I was surprised to see the pilot and copilot’s controls are shock mounted so they bounce around a lot. I thought I had video but the CF card on my 7D mk2 pooched when I tried to upload the data. I thought I had the cards set for dual recoding but apparently I only had the CF card set to record video. I still have my head cam footage and as soon as I edit it, I’ll post it up.
The flight was not quite as rough as the ride in the Lanc but it was pretty bouncy. The aircraft feels pretty nimble as it seems to pivot around the center support under the wing. The pilot remarked later when we were on the ground that he really had to be on top of the rudder.
The flight might only have been 20 minutes but it was time well spent in a fantastic aircraft. My pilot had just flown back from Bejing. Yesterday he was piloting a 777 with fly by wire and CRT screens telling you everything you need to know. Today he stepped back in time to 1944, what a rush that must be for him as well.
I’m moving back the release of Devil’s Ante to September to fine tune some of the bits of the book before release. Thanks for your patience…