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Leading Edge: Wings’ new fit and finish

Some years really do seem to fly by faster than others. It feels like just yesterday that the Canadian aviation community was preparing for the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. That was 12 months ago.

November 19, 2009  By Stacy Bradshaw

Some years really do seem to fly by faster than others. It feels like just yesterday that the Canadian aviation community was preparing for the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. That was 12 months ago. In spite of the economic situation, we were all in a state of excited expectation about the promise of 2009. Wings magazine was firmly committed to celebrating, reporting and supporting all of the stories and events of the year that was to come.


We undertook a determined leadership role by initiating a number of important projects. In January, we launched a dedicated “100 Years of Powered Flight in Canada” website that continues to feature articles and events dedicated to our aviation history. We also followed the progress of the AEA 2005 Silver Dart replica project and were there when the first test flights took place on a bitter cold February day in Hamilton, Ont.; and then later in the month, covered the anniversary event in Baddeck, N.S.

We introduced a new “100 Years” department in Wings magazine in order to feature some of the stories and upcoming events in our print publication throughout the year. In May, we published a special supplement on the 100th Year anniversary, written by renowned Canadian aviation historian and Wings columnist Peter Pigott, with a special introduction by long-standing Wings writer Raymond Canon. The feedback we received on this project was extremely gratifying.

Not only is 2009 the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of Wings magazine. Incredibly, Wings has covered, reflected, inspired and sometimes led the cause of aviation in this country for half a century now. We have grown and responded to the times as aviation has evolved at its breakneck pace. I was reminded of the almost unfathomable technological changes in aviation at last summer’s CBAA annual trade show and convention in Montreal. On the last day of the convention, Bombardier sponsored a luncheon event with Eugene Cernan as guest speaker. Astronaut Eugene Cernan is the last man to have walked on the moon (Apollo 17) back in 1972.


Cernan’s incredibly inspirational presentation had me and everyone else in the room riveted. He showed us photographs, told us stories, and tried to explain the magic of what it was like to have actually walked on the lunar surface. At one point in all of this, I glanced off to the right of the stage and my eyes fixed on the bamboo and canvas construction of the Silver Dart replica. How incredible – from the first flights of the beautiful but awkward flying machines of the Wright brothers and the AEA, to landing and walking on the moon – in 60 years! There certainly has been a lot to keep up with.

Now with most of the anniversary celebrations behind us, we are winding up 2009 with a bang by launching our new-look Wings magazine NextGen design.

The process began earlier in the year when our publishing team began working with award-winning magazine designer Janice Van Eck. Our goal in redesigning the magazine was to carefully examine what was working from our readers’ point of view and maintain or improve on it. Anything that seemed to need an overhaul, was overhauled. We relied heavily on all of the feedback that our audience consistently provides.

The new Wings magazine is better organized and easier to read than ever before. We have created a fresh look with modern fonts and colours. Each department, column and feature has been revamped to allow us to present our editorial content with more visual impact.

Thanks to our new design, we are now able to publish more content per issue without increasing the size of the magazine. We are also expanding our coverage in interesting ways. We will be featuring more articles on Canadian airports, our military and the aerospace industry.

We have added two new columns, one by Peter Pigott, who will focus on events and stories in and around the Ottawa area, and one by Brian Dunn, who will now do analysis on the airline industry.

Another exciting element is our new guest column page. Starting with this issue, we will be featuring opinion articles written by influential members of the aviation community. There is all this and much more to discover in our new-look Wings magazine. We hope you enjoy it.

Your feedback on our new design or any other issue is always welcome. Please contact me at

5 TOP DATA BURSTS in this issue

1. Olympic security will likely translate into $360,000 per athlete in 2010 (pg. 62). 2. Dornier will do its Seastar final assembly in Canada (pg. 10). 3. Canadian airports are paying nearly $300 million annually in “rent” directly to the federal government (pg.13). 4. Garmin has introduced touchscreen technology for light turbine flightdecks (pg.10). 5. Melatonin will shift the circadian rhythm forward (pg. 44).



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