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CF-100 Mk. 3D dual-control trainer page 2

Story by “turbo” tarling

The control column was the divided type, the entire column moving fore and aft for the elevators; the top half, left and right for the ailerons and tilted 11° to the right to avoid obscuring the compass! This was a very sensible arrangement in a rather narrow cockpit and proof that RCAF pilots could adapt to anything.

The rear cockpit control column was definitely low-budget–besides being canted to the right, it resembled the handle of a baseball bat and was neatly wound with string to provide a better grip.

Trim tab controls were typical–that is, for piston aircraft; they were all manually-controlled by wheels. After the sensitive, finger-tip adjustment electric trim of the T‑33, it was disappointing to revert to this positively archaic system in the CF-100. But, in actual fact, the manual trim was easy to use and very effective; the Mk. 3 could easily be trimmed to fly hands-off with a bit of practice.

The two-piece framed canopy lacked the aesthetic appeal of the goldfish bowl, one-piece bubble canopy of the T-33, F-86 Sabre and CF-100 Mk. 4 and 5. It was manually cranked fore and aft by the pilot and locked by latches. These were duplicated on the outside, and the groundcrew would confirm that they were engaged before pulling the chocks.

Visibility from the front cockpit was excellent, but from the rear, limited: to the side by big Orenda engines and to the front by the pilot’s Martin-Baker seat and the windscreen mounted behind it. With considerable stretching and weaving from side to side, instructors could cope with the limited view during the day, but at night there was too much reflection and distortion from the rear windscreen. In the interest of self-preservation they had it removed for night flying, preferring to risk the discomfort of a breezy cockpit in the unlikely event of canopy loss.

The Mk. 3D lacked other features we later took for granted on CF-100s, namely, nose-wheel steering, Maxaret anti-skid brakes, autopilot, electric yaw damper, electric trim, and an electrically-operated canopy. Although aged beyond its years, and simplistic almost to a fault, the 3D was still an agile, impressive performer and a delight to fly. |

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