Haliburton's CF100 is reborn 0
They did it.
The campaigning for money is over and the iconic CF100 fighter plane is ready to be reborn.
On Monday, July 30, the fencing was erected around the pedestal of the historical monument to prepare the painting, which is expected to take four weeks.
Project coordinator for the restoration project Chester Howse, who has done this work on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion Haliburton branch 129, was raised up in the scissor lift to see the work and was ecstatic everything is moving forward.
“It’s been a long haul and I’m so happy we’re at this point … we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
More than a year has passed since the campaign was started to save the iconic warplane located besides the locomotive, facing Head Lake in Haliburton.
Howse has worked for the Legion, seeking financial support for the cause from organizations and the community.
Initially the campaign goal was $89,000, but the end total was reduced “considerably” when the option to keep the plane on the podium while it is painted was offered.
This option was made possible by the Haliburton based company Kashaga Paint and Barrie based Heritage Metal Restoration. Howse said it’s nice to know he can support a local company with such an important project for the community.
Operations manager Alex Bell, who has lived here for 12 years and is married to company president and local Cathy Barnett, is proud to be given this opportunity.
“It’s pretty exciting to tell you the truth,” he said. “It has been part of Haliburton for a long time. It’s nice to see that we’re able to restore the CF100 and the locomotive in the same year, getting them all looking great.”
The two companies have worked together for the past 10 years. Heritage Metal Restoration, Bell said, has done similar work with a jet at Camp Borden, tanks there and the boats for the coast guard. Kashaga Paint regularly restores log wooden homes.
This CF100 job will include 10 workers for a three-phase (blasting of paint preparation, adding a barrier primer, and finish painting with an electrostatic charged sprayer, using a two-part polyurethane paint, which is used on jets) effort expected to be completed in about three to four weeks. An artist will be used for the finer details.
Bell said the company is working with the Ministry of Environment to adhere to proper practices. With more than 40 years of painting experience, he said it should last at least 10 years. Howse said it’s recommended the plane should be power washed every other year.
Through the week, just before painting, Howse was busy with research to ensure the plane’s look is accurate. During the interview with the Echo, he was waiting on questions sent to the curator of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope, located in the Hamilton region.
A ceremony for the plane will be held to acknowledge the support by the people and the community who made this project possible. If all goes as planned it is tentatively scheduled close to the Labour Day weekend. He wants to include veterans and other dignitaries.
There have been many fundraising events such as concerts and, most recently, a golf tournament at the Pinestone Resort in July.
Echo archives reveal this particular plane had served with the 413 Squadron, the Tusker Squadron, identified by the painted elephant on the engine covers. Due to its most recent painting several years ago, the squadron numbers are no longer visible. The two-seater Avro CF100, also known as the Canuck, was in service during the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s.
- with files from Echo archives