The Snowbirds, The Canadian Armed Forces Air Demonstration Squadron, performing across Canada. The film portrays the role and close associations among all members of the air and ground crews, which are essential to safe and impressive demonstrations.
This documentary is about Bob Diemert of Carman, Manitoba, and his dream of building the world's next great fighter plane. His worldwide reputation as a genius at restoring "warbirds" enables him to finance his dream. The Defender is a lively, sometimes wild and funny, tale about a remarkable, modern-day folk hero.
For more background information about this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short 1956 documentary shows how the Royal Canadian Air Force fulfills its primary role of maintaining constant vigilance and providing a blanket of aerial defense. It illustrates the combat readiness and shows how, in the event of an attack, warnings would be flashed to National Defence headquarters in eastern Canada and to Continental Defense headquarters in the United States.
Canada's progress in jet aviation is seen in relation to that of other countries. Aerial exhibitions show the performance of jet aircraft produced by countries foremost in the field, particularly Britain's Comet and her Sapphire-powered jet fighter, American stratojet bombers and Russia's fast-climbing MiG-15. At Canadair we see production of the Royal Canadian Air Force Sabre jets; at the Avro plant the Jetliner transport and the sleek, black night fighter CF-100. The film concludes with glimpses of aircraft of the future.
This feature documentary follows the development of Canadair's super-executive jet. A totally new type of aircraft, it is faster, cheaper to fly, and more comfortable than any other business jet. Would it make it off the drawing board and into the air? The film captures the spirit of the Canadian air transport industry and its attempt to compete with its American counterparts.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short from 1953 takes us on a guided tour of a northern Canadian radar defense post. There, Squadron Leader Bill Lee of the Royal Canadian Air Force discusses the station’s operations, revealing the little-known role of these isolated posts scattered across Canada’s Arctic.
This documentary short tells the story of the conception, construction and testing of the largest Canadian aircraft of its time - the Canadair Argus. A marine reconnaissance aircraft, the Argus was designed and manufactured by Canadair for the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force. In its early years, it was reputedly the finest anti-submarine patrol bomber in the world.
A small prairie town has few secrets but in Balgonie, Saskatchewan, Bill Gibson had one. Each night, when most folks were home asleep, Bill was busy in his workshop. You see, Bill had a dream. He was building a flying machine. This short puppet animation tells his story.
The NFB's 27th Oscar®-nominated film.
Director Bill Mason's short film focuses on his friend and fellow filmmaker, Blake James. In his never-ending quest for freedom, Blake pilots his own plane. This film is Mason's view of his friend as a "hobo of the skies," but it is also an adventure that beckons the viewer to come along for the ride.
Ages 11 to 17
Diversity - Identity
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Technology Education - Society and Technology
An excellent introduction to RCAF 431 Squadron, better known as the Snowbirds. This film can be used in connection with a discussion of the discipline and skill of the pilots, and modern technology (machine as an extension of man's will). This film can also be used as part of a study on Canadian symbols and national identity. Students can research other Canadian symbols and present them to the class through traditional or electronic media.