Comox Heritage Aircraft and Vehicle Technical Library has a New Home:
After years of having our technical manuals for both our aircraft and ground vehicles, stored in boxes, filing cabinets, sea containers and lockers, they have finally found a new home. The team has taken over part of the upstairs storage area in building 268. The storage area was empty of unused items and cleaned up. The team tracked down all the manuals and got them sorted, labeled and put on shelving.
With the manuals all in one place, the team can now use them to repair the aircraft and ground vehicles and procure the parts needed for repairs. To help the team we have colour coded the manuals a different colours for each aircraft and vehicle. This will also assist in keeping the books in order as it will be easier for the team to return them to there proper place and order.
One other advantage of our new library for the team and personnel at the main library will be able to find the info on our aircraft and vehicles for people who are researching and writing articles. A number of people have asked for info and diagrams, which we can now provide much easier when they are doing their research.
The difficult part on working on old aircraft and vehicles is that often they were never worked on by our volunteers, either due to the age of the displayed item or the luck of the draw in military postings that decide what you work on over a career. What gives us the ability to overcome the lack of experience on a particular item is our library of CFTOs, or Canadian Forces Technical Orders. Some of our books predate the CFTOs with an assortment of wartime Army publications and TOs (Technical Orders) for vehicles, or in the case of aircraft like the Dakota or Vampire the books provided by their manufacturer. Whatever the source of the books it takes a diligent effort by a librarian to keep the books organized and in good condition, not as easy as it sounds.
We started with a collection of boxes, tubs, and loose books in no particular order and in condition ranging from very good indeed to very poor indeed. Years of neglect were evident and the TOs were sometimes simply collections of pages stuffed into a binder or folder. Fortunately we had a volunteer who missed a meeting and was volunteered into the job of librarian. Actually Keith decided on his own the mess was unacceptable for our use and the potential for loss of pages or even books was offensive to him personally and he took on the project to create a library for our use in building 268. Note our library in building 268 is completely separate from the library in the main museum building, which is itself a world leader in its organization and volume of books and other reference material on Canadian military aviation.
This is our librarian, Keith. Notice the colour coded books. His office is a small cubby space in building 268 at the airpark. What kind of books does he have other than the CFTOs you see here?
Assorted information packages, memorandums, notes from aircrew and technicians, student handbooks from decades ago.
School manuals such as this one from the RCAF Central Navigator School on Armament Systems
Ever wonder how aircraft get painted? There are reference sheets for each aircraft type that specify each and every marking and colour used on a Canadian military aircraft.
These photos show what the pages look like inside. Each aircraft has dozens of pages detailing what and how to paint the aircraft and its markings. Here are only some of the pages for the aircraft. The interesting thing is all the diagrams are in black and white. The details of the individual markings are printed on main sheets, which the refinishing techs have to know in order to use the correct shades of each colour, the correct size and type of font. There is a lot of information to take in before starting the actual paintwork or creating stencils.
This gives you an idea of what Keith looks after in our library for use in the airpark. And also these can be made available to view in the heritage building at the airpark for anyone researching information on a specific aircraft. In fact the Wing has already used Keith’s library to research the CF-101 Voodoo in order to do some work on the one guarding the entrance to the base!