report by: René Vallée
As LGen Michael Hood, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, took to the podium to address the Bisons–members of 429 Transport Squadron–on parade, aircraft engines roared outside the hangar. That’s the nature of the business at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont. On Nov. 7, 2017, 429 Squadron, one of the wing’s busiest squadrons, celebrated its 75th birthday – 75 years of being a global leader in aviation and embodying the most important Canadian values.The squadron celebrated with a variety of events to mark the anniversary, to which current and former Bisons were invited.
In an ongoing initiative to mark 2017 as their 75th year as a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron, 429 Transport Squadron, located at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, unveiled a tail art design created and painted by its own members on May 25, 2017. The winning was by design by Stephen Rodych, a Boeing Canada Field Service Technical Representative supporting the CC-177 Globemaster III in Trenton, Ontario. His design won the popular vote amongst the squadron and his design was approved by RCAF leadership for the anniversary tribute.The design features a bison, which also appears at the centre of the squadron’s crest. Squadron members are also nicknamed “Bisons”. This tribute, painted by 429 Squadron’s own aircraft structures technicians Master Corporal Shawn O’Hara, Corporal Jacob Abusow and Corporal Steven Leblanc, commemorates the squadron’s 75th anniversary and also marks the 10th anniversary of the CC-177 Globemaster III fleet in Canada.
8 Wing Trenton has been home base to 429 Transport Squadron (TS) since 1990 and has performed a wide range of air transport roles on behalf of Canada – everything from delivering humanitarian aid to disaster zones around the world to ferrying supplies to Canadian troops in Afghanistan.429 TS has flown a variety of aircraft throughout its history, although the massive CC-177 Globemaster III is the only airframe the squadron flies today.The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) began using the giant airlifter within days of receiving the first Globemaster in the summer of 2007 and crews have been busy ever since delivering on their mission – to develop and maintain a globally responsive capability that enables the Canadian Forces to reliably impact all theatres of operations with relevance and unlimited reach.No wonder 429 TS are proud of their new aircraft and what it can do on behalf of Canada and Canadians – the Globemaster can fly twice as fast and in half the time of the aircraft formerly used by the squadron – the CC-130 Hercules.
The CC-177 Globemaster III transports troops, cargo and oversized combat equipment from coast to coast and around the world. Its ability to fly long distances and land in remote airfields makes it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.Rapid, reliable and flexible, the strategic and tactical CC-177 is equipped with advanced digital avionics. It has a maximum range of approximately 5,500 nautical miles and can carry up to 72, 727 kilograms. Its four engines (Pratt & Whitney 2040 series) can produce 18, 343 kilograms of thrust.To illustrate the power of these aircraft, one CC-177 can haul three CH-146 Griffon helicopters with refuelling tanks, one Leopard 2 tank, or as many as 102 paratroopers.Canada’s five CC-177 Globemaster III strategic airlifters were delivered between 2007-2015. Only 12 days after entering service with the Canadian Forces, Canada’s first CC-177 delivered 30,000 kilograms of emergency relief supplies to the people of Jamaica in the wake of Hurricane Dean.
Echoing like thunder, a fleet of Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft took to the skies on Nov. 7 to help commemorate 429 Transport Squadron’s 75th anniversary. Amongst those taking part in the special flypast at 8 Wing Trenton was a Second World War Avro Lancaster from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. Not far behind it a series of CC-130H Hercules and the squadron’s current aircraft, the CC-177 Globemaster, could also be seen flying overhead.“It was fantastic,” said the celebrated squadron’s commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt.-Col.) Bryce Graham. “Bringing the Lancaster here was a demonstration of the wide variety of aircraft that have supported and been a part of the squadron over the past 75 years.”The ‘Bison’ as the transport squadron is also known as, have a rich history of supporting the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Globalairpower would like to thank all CFB Trenton and specially the 429 Squadron staff to have permited this report be made in outstanding conditions.