Tyko is back, this time with his take on RCAF Aerobatic Teams. If you’d like to meet Tyko, he volunteers on Thursdays.
This is the first article in a 10 piece project. This article is about the first RCAF aerobatic team, the Siskins. They were formed in 1929 in connection with the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the first successful non-stop trans-Atlantic flight accomplished by Alcock and Brown in a twin engine Vickers Vimy, the team flew Armstrong-Whitworth Siskins IIIA’s, with most performances containing three of the biplanes. The Siskins retired in 1932 due to the Great Depression.
The Blue Devils Aerial Demonstration Team flew the De Havilland Vampire from 1949 to 1951. The unit was the RCAF’s first post war team, and belonged to the RCAF’s first jet fighter squadron, 410 Fighter Squadron. The Blue Devils team originally consisted of three Vampires but a fourth member was later added to perform a solo act. Thereafter a sixth aircraft was added and the Blue Devils performed all over North America and they became the RCAF’s official aerial demonstration team. The Blue Devils were disbanded in 1950 and its crew were posted to different squadrons and the Vampire was retired in favour of the Canadair Sabre. The team did however, reform on 8th August 1951 for air show commitments, the last air show was completed on 19 August 1951. The Blue devils performed 45 shows across the US and Canada.