The web site provides this excellent summary of the Argus aircraft.
The Canadian-built, Canadair CL-28 Argus was a unique hybrid that employed the wings, tail surfaces and undercarriage of the British designed Britannia transport, married to a completely new unpressurized fuselage of Canadian design and equipped with different, but American-designed engines.

Work on the CL-28 began in April 1954 and at the time it was the largest aircraft built in Canada. The first CL-28 came off the assembly line on December 21, 1956, flew on March 28 1957. It was delivered to the RCAF in September 1957 where it was designated the CP-107. Thirty three were originally delivered and all played out their service life in a maritime role. The Argus entered service with the RCAF in 1958.

Argus was delivered in two variants:

Argus Mk 1 was fitted with the American APS-20 radar in a chin-mounted radome. (13 built)
Argus Mk 2 was fitted with a British ASV-21 radar in a chin-mounted radome. (20 built)

Other than the radar, there were no differences in nav, comms, or additional ESM antennae above the fuselage between the Mark 1 and 2. All aircraft underwent the same modification programs at the same time. The only aircraft that was 'different' was the bird that Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MP&EU) used for project trials and evaluations, and generally speaking that equipment was installed on a temporary basis.  The blister on top of the aircraft just behind the cockpit was intended for the ESM DF antenna but never installed.

The Argus replaced the Neptune aircraft types previously flown in maritime roles and eventually the Argus itself was to be replaced by the CP-140 Aurora aircraft in 1981.

In a scene that was repeated thousands of times, artist Captain Geoff Bennett of 404 Squadron, Greenwood N.S captures an Argus just at the moment prior to the start of engines. Depicted are the fire extinguisher man, the ground man fiddling with his intercom cord and the sergeant standing in a supervisory pose. (From Sentinel Magazine, May 1968)
Manufacturer: Canadair license-built version of Bristol Britannia.
Entered service : Sept 1957.  405 Squadron was the first to convert from the Neptune to the Canadair Argus in 1958. 404 Squadron converted to the Argus the following year. In May 1961, 415 Squadron was reactivated at Summerside, PEI end began flying the Argus on North Atlantic anti-submarine patrols.

Last year delivery:  1961. S/N #33 was stricken off strength in 1982.

Crew: A standard crew was 16:  3 pilots, 2 flight engineers, 3 navs and 8 radio operators (RO's) but this could vary.  The number of RO's frequently got whittled down due to lack of personnel and sometimes crew would have to be borrowed if somebody was sick or on leave.  There were seats for 25 which got used if the aircraft was going on a deployment (typically 10 ground crew). The mid-section rest area could be configured to carry cargo or seats. Originally, four bunks were stacked, 2 either side of the isle, with an open space behind and between the over-wing escape hatches. Sometimes the number of crew could vary depending on the Squadron manning situation. Frequently, the Argus flew with only 6 RO's, occasionally with 4 Navs (one under training), and then there might be a check pilot/FE/Nav/RO along for annual recertification purposes.

Each 'trade' took each station in rotation, with "crew rest" being one of the "stations".  So the pilots might do 2 hours in the left seat, 2 hours in the right, and 2 hours off.  The Navs (navigators) would do 2 hours at Routine Nav (the long-range navigation position), 2 at TacNav (the Tactical Navigation position) while the RO's 1 hour at each station followed by 2 off.

Radio operators manned the Nose, Radio, Radar, ESM, JEZ (Jezebell), Acoustics (2 stations) and "ASW" - the aft compartment where all the ASW stores were kept as well as the two lookout positions and operated the hand-held cameras (Hultcher 7 and 11 inch cameras, later a Konica).  Usually there were more stations than people since people moved about depending on whether the Argus was in the search or localization/attack mode.  After the Canadian Forces Unification (1968), the RO classification was dropped in favour of the navy's non-commissioned sensor operators (the name changed to Airborne Systems Operators or ASOps).  There was huge debate over the efficacy of having officers versus NCOs as the Passive Acoustic Operator.

ACP-165, the NATO Brevity Codeword bible defines a Playboy as Tactical Air Coordinator - Airborne.  A fixed wing maritime patrol a/c capable of both search and attack was a Pelican.  A sonar equipped helo was a Dipper;  a radar fitted dipping helo was a Big Dipper, a weapon carrying helo was a Pony.  A destroyer was a CowboyMother is the helo's parent ship, Father, the TACAN. , Bloodhound was a torpedo.

Power Plant: Four 3,700 hp.. Wright R-3350 (TC18EA1) Turbo Compound 18 cylinder engines
Electrical generators : Four, 40 KVA paralleled generators. Any two can supply the maximum electrical load of the Argus of 1957.

Propellors: Curtis Wright, electric, three bladed, 15 ft 6 in diameter.

Fuel capacity: 7,188 Imp gallons of 115/145 octane aviation gasoline. This is the equivalent of flying from Newfoundland to Ireland and back plus a diversion of 500 miles to an alternate airport.

Performance: Max Speed: 288 mph (463 km/h)

Cruising Speed: 180 to 186 knots. The Argus flew a minimum fuel consumption profile almost always. They  even carried an extra meal in sealed cartons in case the a/c was over a target ordered to remain until PLE - prudent limit of endurance.

Service Ceiling: 24,200 ft (7,376 m) Range: 4,420 nm (8,190 km). Crew comment: "Bottled Oxygen and the masks smelled worse than the camera/radar hoods !"

Endurance: Originally patrols were 24 hours then they dropped to 18 hours and then to 16 hours due to budgetary constrains. Eventually patrols dropped to as little as 12 hours at which point it was self defeating because the transit time was greater than the ONSTA (on station) time.

Weights: Empty: 81,000 lbs (36,744 kg) Gross: 157,000 lbs (71,215 kg) [4].  There was also a panier (basket-like device) that could be installed in the forward bomb bay (center of gravity considerations) to carry cargo. If Squadrons deployed to the Bermuda or Puerto Rico training areas it was not unusual to "fill up" the mid-rest area with extra passengers or cargo such as sonobuoys or spare parts.

Dimensions: Wing Span:142 ft 31/2 in (43.38 m) Fuselage Length:128 ft 3 in (39.09 m) Height:36 ft 8 ½ in (11.2m) With its exceptional range, endurance and state of the art electronics, the Argus was the envy of Canada's NATO allies.

Armament: Two 18 ft bomb bays, each capable of accommodating 4,000 lbs of stores including homing torpedoes. Also provisions for carrying two Bullpup missiles under the outer wing as well as two, 2.75 inch folding fin rocket pods, one carried between No. 2 engine and fuselage and one between no. 3 engine and fuselage. The torpedo drop height was  300 feet ASL at 180 knots maximum.

Aircraft characteristic: The airfoils were free floating with control tabs to set the desired control movement. Nose wheel steering began loosing effectiveness at around 65 knots and the airfoils didn't have a very positive influence at speeds below 80-85 knots.  As a consequence the cross-wind limits were pretty low, something like 15 knots at 90 degrees. It was policy on 415 Squadron to carry two torpedo bodies (Mk 36?) filled with sand unless there were weapons or the panier installed. The extra weight on the nose gear was an insurance policy.
Cost:  $5,513,00

argus_dimensions_s.jpg argus_grnd_clearance_s.jpg
Argus dimensions. Argus ground clearances.
Click to enlarge. Extracts from  EO 05-120A-1, dated November 1970. (Courtesy of  Bill Griffith, VE3WGX)


Each of those Curtis Wright 3600 BHP engines had three 'power recovery turbines' -  one in each exhaust stack. These were free clutched to the crankshaft so at cruise power there was little if any power contribution.  At takeoff power setting they were contributed 100 BHP each!  They were lubricated by pumping oil into the bearing, which is why many Argus photos have large areas of soot all over the engine nacelles and wing. Even in the days when health-related safety rules were non existent, one was not allowed in the "mid-rest" area over the wings during takeoffs because the noise level was above the threshold of pain.  Ian Snow lived in a small apartment in downtown Summerside several miles from the run-up area at the north end of the runway. He says "In the early morning hours I had a tea cup that would rattle in it's saucer when the Engineer was doing his power checks".

An Argus of 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron made history in October 1959 with a 7,355-kilometre non-stop flight from Hawaii to North Bay, Ont. The endurance record for an Argus is held by 415 Squadron . It was something like 32 hours and  45 minutes.  It was the crew (who had come back from an operational flight and decided to see just how long they could stretch it before the fuel gave out. The story was that the engineer dripped the tanks and there was still more than two hours worth before the a/c would have reached legal minima thus forcing a landing.

There were 12 stations in each of two bomb bays. All stations could take the Mk-54 depth charges (normal pattern a stick of 8 charges ideally at a 45 degree angle to the target's heading).  The 4 centre-line stations could take the Mk-44 torpedo (cloverleaf pattern of 4 around the target) or 2 Mk 46 per bomb bay due to their length (one torpedo at a time).

The small, flat pane of glass in the forward observer's position was electrically heated.  It became very interesting when St Elmo's fire would start to dance along the metal straps that held the plastic blister in place. When the observer's seat was in the "Nose" position the observer is out in the open.  There is a console on the starboard bulkhead which had the intercom, and a pushbutton for launching "retro". This was a pneumatic gun that fired a 2.5 inch diameter, 14 inch or so long smoke marker. It was fired backwards, out of the aft fuselage at 180 knots. Since the forward speed of the aircraft cancelled out Retro's backward speed, the marker fell straight down. Also in the vicinity of the console was a control for the sono homer and an compass card with two pointers.

CP-107 Argus Mk 2 #732 on display at the RCAF Museum in Trenton, Ontario as seen in September 2008. Many antennas have been removed from the lower aft fuselage so they would not be a safety hazard for visitors. The landing gear oleo's are also collapsed, otherwise the aircraft  would normally be standing 2 or more feet higher than it is in this picture. Click on photo to enlarge. This aircraft is fitted with the ASV-21 radar as evidenced by the smaller chin radome.   Photo by Jerry Proc)

With such a huge proliferation of electronics aboard the Argus, and changing over time, it is very difficult to compile exact fits for particular eras.  The gear listed in the table may NOT have been all fitted simultaneously but when known, the various pieces of gear of identical function are listed chronologically.


The LF radio receiver was incorporated into the BID-580 device. On the Argus, a rectangular patch antenna, about 8 or 9 inches by  12 or so inches and 3/4 to and inch thick was used for LF reception. It was mounted under the rear fuselage behind the sono tube launcher.


Early photos of an Argus show  a 12" deep, black, painted horizontal stripe across the tail fin.  That was actually an insulator and the top half of the fin was a "fin cap" antenna which could operate from 2 to 30 MHz .  Attached to it was the CU-351 antenna tuner which limited operation to 20 MHz. The CU-351 was mounted up in the tail and  to it, was attached an ARC 505 (Collins 618T) SSB radio.  This was the primary HF SSB radio.

The Argus also had two long wire antennas that ran from the area of the props and up to the tail. One of the long wires was attached to a CU-351 tuner and a back-up HF radio installed at the radio position on the starboard side, just aft of the Flight Engineer's station. That radio was the AN/ARC 38 and was used on CW/AM.  It was rumoured that some operators carried a piece of coax which would allow the ARC 38 radio to be patched to the fin cap antenna in case the primary radio failed. The second long wire was used by the Routine Navigator for the Loran 'A' receiver. There was a Fin Cap/Wire switch at the Routine Nav station for selecting which antenna to be used for Loran.

Ian Snow, VA3QT, who flew aboard the Argus also reports that: " We had a crystal controlled aeronautical transceiver on the Argus.  I remember switching boxes mid-Atlantic because the Europeans had a different band and the frequencies were different.  The antenna was a "spike" on the roof  behind the perspex blister on top, just behind the cockpit.

There were two sets of sono-buoy receivers located in the back of the Argus.  The antennas were mounted on the bottom near the sono shoots and were controlled by the acoustics operator(s) in the back of the aircraft.

The Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) system was a combination of equipment types. It wasn't very good as a wide-band search sensor but was pretty good for analysis of a target signal.  There was a rotating directional antenna under the aircraft and several band-specific antennas mounted in long narrow blisters on the aircraft sides.

When I got to the Argus we had a piece of kit called SARAH for DF'ing 243.0 MHz.  It had a B(?) scope and two Yagi antennas mounted either side of the nose.  We would con the pilot to turn left/right keeping the two radio returns balanced on the scope.  It was sort of a  <|> presentation.  Later, that was replaced by a new piece of kit that was plugged into the sonobuoy homing system antenna.  That antenna was a rotatable rhombic antenna under the nose and one of the needles on the compass display was used to present the bearing

In the late 1960's, the Consol navigation system was used occasionally whenever the navigators couldn't get a Loran or astro (overcast) fix.  Consol operated  on the principal of counting Morse dots and dashes. The navigator only needed  an ordinary radio receiver tunable to 300 kHz in order to use the system.. He heard a series of dots slowly merging into a steady tone and then becoming a series of dashes (or -dashes becoming dots). He simply had to count how many dots or dashes he could hear before the steady tone and then plot his position line on a suitably overprinted map. There were multiple ambiguities in the system since there was no inherent way of distinguishing between one lobe and another. Out in our operational areas, the reception was usually poor and  the transition from dots to a steady tone (or vice versa) was  very difficult to detect. More than once, I recall Gord Forbes getting the whole crew to listen to the transmission, get a count from everybody, and use the average for his position".


ARC-552 UHF transmitter/receiver fitted.


There was RATT and crypto in the Argus. The NESTOR system was a total disaster After a while, the radio ops discovered that the problem was mostly due to the narrow bandwidth of the ARC-552 radio.  Basically, if you couldn't see the other aircraft, you couldn't talk to it.  The upgrade to Vinson and the migration to modern radios eventually fixed the situation. A RATT printer was a relatively small piece of kit about the size of the typical dot matrix printer of the 80's.

Tour the various crew positions
Detailed listing of electronics.

Miscellaneous Photos


EXTERNAL FEATURES - Click On Image To Enlarge

argus_interest_points_s.jpg Argus points of interest. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
argus_mk1_nose_101_4651_s.jpg Argus Mk 1 #717 at the Greenwood Aviation Museum. This view shows the APS-20 radome, the observer's seat within the perspex observation dome and the gull-wing shaped ILS antenna above the cockpit. In spite of all the detection equipment aboard the Argus, nearly 50% of surface contacts were made by visual observation.  (Photo used with permission. Mac's Naval Photography) 
argus_asv21c_s.jpg Argus Mk 2 #732 at Trenton. The British ASV-21C radome is somewhat smaller than the APS-20 radome.. 
argus_aps20_principal_parts_s.jpg AN/APS-20 principal parts. Not all of these were used in the Argus. Can anyone identify the other components? Contact: (Photo courtesy

The APS20 had a host of operator controls that allowed the display to be manipulated. Most importantly, the receiver's gain could be reduced to reduce sea return and  the output power could also be decreased as the a/c homed the submarine, This disguised  the fact that the a/c was in fact closing.  By the time the signal reached the danger level on the sub's ESM equipment (preset for the given radar with the assumed power output) the Argus could get close enough so that the pilots or nose observer could see the snort on the submarine.

argus_mk1_mad_101_4644_s.jpg The detecting head for MAD as found on Argus Mk 1 #717. To prevent damage to the boom, the takeoff angle was limited to 9 degrees.  (Photo used with permission. Mac's Naval Photography) 

Eventually the submarine community developed quite sophisticated methods of  'zeroing out'  this signature. This included building the boats inside metal construction halls, degaussing the hulls to reduce any inherent signature, and using electronic countermeasures.  Eventually submarines could dive to such a depth as not to be detectable at all.

argus_searchlight_s.jpg Searchlight - 70 million candlepower. It was mounted in a pod on the starboard wing near #4 engine and was remotely controlled by the co-pilot. Because it was a carbon-arc lamp,  that meant it could not be turned on except when airborne or the Plexiglas would melt from the heat. It operated from an AC power source in the Argus. 1.5 nm was considered to be the maximum range at which a snorkel could be detected using the searchlight. It wasn't used much during exercises with subs since the searchlight would almost blind the person using the periscope and that would get the sub's COs VERY excited. (Canadian Forces photo) 

This 1/5th scale model made of wood  and covered with copper mesh was built to assess radio performance particularly the isolated fin aerial. That's the location of the H.F. aerial which is isolated in the top portion of the tail. The Argus is said to have had no less than 41 aerials. (Photo courtesy Flight Archive)
This is how the fin antenna was implemented. The black portion is an insulator. (Photo from Sentinel Magazine, May 1968)

For additional photos of crew positions, please select this link at the Greenwood Aviation Museum .



The APS-20 duplexer was interesting.  It sat on top of the antenna unit.  The horizontal piece to the right of the curved waveguide had 20 or so crystal rods tuned to the radar frequency.  There was a waveguide from the transmitter that was horizontally polarized  which would blast the transmit pulse right through the crystals and out the antenna.  The much weaker reflected signal would be rotated 90 degrees by the crystals and depart via a vertically polarized waveguide to the receiver.  This technique allowed for a significant degree of isolation between the transmitter and receiver.

In APS-20E display photo, the four large knobs were used for adjusting the placement of the PPI origin and the origin of the cursor.  It was possible to scale the presentation down to a very small area and by offsetting the PPI origin the operator could get a very detailed look at the returned target of interest.  This was very useful for getting an accurate fix from a point of land or decoding the IFF returns.  The ability to offset the cursor origin meant that one could easily do homings to a point offset from some reference point . An example of this would be to drop a sono at a certain range and bearing from a ship for example.

The Argus has two "LDG" compass systems.  These were a variant of the J2 gyro and were the epitome of that technology era.  When the Argus flew into an area of magnetic uncertainty (such as Arctic patrols) the navs would put the gyro into grid mode; i.e. the gyro was pointed into free space and left to run rather than try to torque it to maintain magnetic north or true north.  At some point the convergence of the longitude lines or the angle rate to Mag north becomes too great to torque the gyro reliably.  (One time, navigator Gord Forbes set up a grid trip from Summerside PEI to Roosevelt Roads [2] Puerto Rico.  Since Rosy is almost dead south of Summerside, he set the gyro so the compass card read due north.  Nothing like messing with the pilot's minds for a little light entertainment).

Sonobuoys operate in the band 162 to 174 MHz. They transmit in FM with a +/- 105 KHz deviation, This wide band deviation is necessary to obtain the great dynamic range (46 db) of the sonobuoy listening system.


Chris Charland recalls that the  Radio Officer's position was located on the starboard side behind the Flight Engineers position. The R/O sat across from the Routine Navigator (port side). You got a nice view of  No. 3 engine. It was the only crew position seat that faced backwards on  the Argus. All others were forward or side facing. The Beam Lookout positions seats were on tracks allowing the movement forwards and backwards. The seat also could swivel.

The term 'Radio Op' is a misnomer. The aircrew position was actually that of Radio Officer. This aircrew position was eliminated in late 1960s. Most R/Os who chose to stay in the Air Force were cross-trained either as pilots or navigators.  As a  result of the elimination of the aircrew position, the enlisted position of 'Observer' was formed".

Dave Fletcher says "We had two ARC-38 transceivers initially and then replaced one with a Collins ARC-505 SSB set. We had the portable KL-7 encryption device, which was positioned in the open space to the left of the keyboard in the photo".

 Dave Nimmo, VE1NN, reports that "in the mid 1960's, one of the ARC-38s was replaced with a Collins 618T which was 100 watts on CW, AM, SSB, and Data. That was our introduction to SSB and the start of the trickle of gear which led to the capability of having on-line encryption. The 618T was not a popular replacement  in our radio suite at the time because it did not have full break-in plus there was no  control/adjustment for receiver pitch (no BFO). It was not as friendly on CW as the ARC-38 was. You might as well say it was useless on CW because of the way we used  "break-in" on military radio circuits".

Ian Snow recalls an Argus test aircraft. "Argus #729 was the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit's aircraft and had a lot of one-off equipment installed.  One was and ILS system and the antenna was perched up over the pilots just as you'd expect.  The SARAH antennas were still on it -- a two element yagi, vertically polarized, mounted just below and behind the pilot's windows.

I remember when MP&EU was conducting a trial of an early Litton inertial navigation platform.  They flew from Summerside (P.E.I.) to Valkenburg in the Netherlands and wrote a letter to Litton about how they were so impressed with an error of only 1.5 nm on landing.  Litton wrote back asking where they parked the aircraft, and pointed out that the published coordinates in the GPH 206 where some 1.5 nm away from where they'd parked.  The actual error was something much, much less."

The Argus was involved in two fatal crashes, both in March, 12 years apart. Just before midnight, March 23, 1965, during night training on anti-submarine warfare exercises 95 kilometres north of Puerto Rico, an Argus of 404 Squadron flew over HMS Alcide. Then submariners saw the glow of a crash reflected in the sky. All 15 crew and one scientific advisor aboard were killed. No official explanation of the crash was given.

Twelve years later, March 31, 1977, a 415 Squadron Argus developed engine problems and had to shut down one engine about 650 kilometres out and head for an emergency landing at CFB Summerside, P.E.I., arriving in a thunderstorm. The pilot was a local who tried to avoid the control tower and the school behind it. He veered downwind and lost height, hit a snowbank and lost another engine. The pilot tried to get aloft, but hit an aircraft sitting on the ground, and began spilling fuel, which ignited. A ball of fire followed the Argus, which landed on its belly and split open. The survivors escaped through this opening. Three of the 16 crew were killed and 11 were injured.


From a submitter who wishes to remain anonymous:

"It was a normal dark damp morning in the early 60’s, in the middle of a typical Annapolis Valley Winter as we lumbered down the runway to the distinctive heavy roar of the Argus under wet power. We made sure the high powered APS-20 radar was left on standby as the wheels cranked up into the wells…. no point in having the manager of the Kingston CIBC bank make yet another early morning trip into the branch. Both he and the local RCMP were starting to lose their sense of humour, having the two megawatts peak power of the APS-20 yet again tripping the security system at the bank.   We were heavy and full of fuel with loaded bomb bays.  We had been tasked via a “green” from Maritime Command Headquarters. This was one of 10 or 12 trips per month, designated to carry a full weapons load. We briefed at 0400 hours for the normal 18 hour “green”…take off at 0600 hours, over Omega and On Task at sunrise.

As a communicator and amateur radio operator I was looking forward to this trip.  We had just started the Argus communications upgrade program, replacing one of the two Collins ARC-38 HF transceivers (CW and AM only) with a Collins 618T giving us the added capabilities of radio-teletype and single sideband.  This aircraft had one of the first 618Ts to be installed. Once we were settled in to the routine of the flight, I set up watch with Halifax Military on CW while I played with the 618T on single sideband (SSB).  SSB was relatively new to the air world but we amateurs had been using it for some time to give us vastly improved ranges on voice transmissions.

The 618T receiver was both sensitive and selective.  Where could I go to try it out?  Halifax Military had already given me a “Loud and clear” on SSB. I tuned down into the middle of the 20-meter amateur phone band. Lots of signals, from all over, the band was open.  Tuning 14.180 kHz, the bottom of the 20-meter “DX window” I heard a very strong UA3 calling “CQ North Africa” using SSB.  I went back to him using my VE1xx amateur call, (identifying me only as a Canadian amateur located somewhere in the Maritime Provinces).

I apologized for calling him (as he was looking for North Africa) but lied, saying I had just put up a new antenna and could he give me a quick signal check!  “No problem Gary,” he says and tells me I am “Loud and Clear.” He congratulated me on my new antenna and told me he was about 8 kilometers north of city center in Moscow!

I quickly thanked him for the signal check and departed the frequency. I was shaking a little as I realized I had just communicated directly with Moscow while out on an  operational patrol in the middle of the cold war and sitting on top of a whole bunch of  weapons, supposedly with “Ivan’s” name on them!

About an hour later the skipper asks me how the new radio is working. Hmmm…. will he understand?…I go for it…”Pretty good” says I, “we’re loud and clear on the two radio checks I’ve done…. one with Halifax Military and one with Moscow!”

Argus engines weren't quiet, but the silence from the cockpit was deafening…pilots never did have much of a sense of humour".


The last Argus flight occurred on 10 November 1980 by an aircraft from 405 Squadron thus bringing to a close,  the long history of the "Venerable Argus". The "birds" that were scrapped were stripped clean and when flown from Greenwood to Summerside (for interim storage and the site of the actual scrapping) the pilots were flying visually and had a radio package on a piece of plywood strapped down to the floor.

In 1999, Canada Post issued a series of stamps featuring Canadian aircraft. The Argus was one of them. (Image provided by Bert Campbell).
Ian Snow recals the end of an era. "My own "last story" revolves around the Shearwater Colours Parade and Squadrons HT406, HS443, HS423 and VU-32.  The fifth Sqn - MR880 - had moved to Summerside PEI by the time. I was the Escort Officer who brought the 443 colour from NDHQ to Shearwater before the ceremony.  since MP415 was ensconced at Greenwood.  There was a mass parade including a planned flypast of several aircraft flown out of Shearwater over the years.  At that point most of the Greenwood Argus had been stripped of whatever was being salvaged and had been flown to Summerside for disposal.  It was generally understood on the rumour mill that they were pretty much down to the last Argus.

The parade was fantastic, and the flypast was underway.  But oh, off in the distance, was the faint whisper of a sound only an Argus crewmember would recognize -- a powered climb.  Quietly, and I'm sure all of us ex-Argus folks were praying that the ZX crew would do what any red-blooded air force type would do.  Faintly the old girl continued to climb and the bearing was shifting right as she headed eastward somewhere north of Halifax International airport. The bearing steadied and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who began pondering how far I could turn my head without making it obvious.  The old girl was definitely approaching, the engines were still at full power and a few guests in the bleachers were beginning to recognize the sound and were looking for the aircraft.  Closer, and now distinctly audible, the excitement began to build in the ranks; where was it, would it overfly, how fast, how low?  The engine noise continued to build; no doubt about it, this one was going to be fast and low.  IT WAS.  One pass down the east side of the inner ramp just behind the parade, minimum altitude, maximum speed, finishing with a full-power climb.  And off they went to Summerside. Never knew who the pilots and FE were, or even the side number."


[1] Dripping- A fuel measuring system on the Argus was a tube that extended from the bottom of the wing up through to the top of the fuel tank.  The Flight Engineer would lower the tube until fuel spilled over the top (only an ounce or so), indicating the fuel level in the tank.

[2] Roosevelt Roads Naval Station acquired the sobriquet of "Roosey" pronounced as  "Rosy".

[3] By Bert Campbell

[4] The widely publicised 148,000 lbs was in the initial press releases. It is confirmed that between 1963 to1979, it was 157,000 pounds.


The webmaster's gratitude is extended to Ian R. Snow RCAF/CF Ret'd who provided much of the material which appears in this document and ample guidance with its development. Acknowledgments are also extended to Bert Campbell and Bryan Nelson of the Greenwood Aviation Museum for their assistance. .

Credits and References:

2) Ian Snow  RCAF/CF retired.<va3qt-4(at)>
3) Flight Archive
4) Greenwood Military Aviation Museum
6) Mark 1 vs Mk 2
7) Mac's Naval Photography
9) Bill Griffith VE3WGX <ve3wgx2(at)>
10) Bert Campbell <navigator1(at)> 5,000 Argus Hours - Radio Officer/Navigator
11) Bryan Nelson, Greenwood Military Aviation Museum. <gmam001(at)>
12) Extracts from  EO 05-120A-1, dated November 1970.
13) Paul Muller  <paul(at)>
15) David C. Fletcher <dcf(at)>
16) Argus fatalities

Back to Table of Contents
Mar 28/19