COMING SOON: a new book, The Tutor Knights by John Charles Corrigan

9-5-2023, 4:02 pm: The 65th anniversary of the Red Knight's first official performance, which took place over the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto ON during the 12th annual Canadian International Air Show.

11-1-2022: Stand by for a major announcement!

6-23-2022: The Red Knight was formally inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame as the 2020 winner of the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence.
 
Bill Fraser, (1962 Alternate Red Knight and 1963 Red Knight), accepted the award on behalf of all Red Knight personnel, their families and friends at the Induction Ceremony held on June 23, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta.
 
Bill Fraser's Acceptance Speech:
 
To the crowd:
In accepting this award it is my privilege to act and speak for all Red Knight personnel; the administrators, the publicists and the commentators, the crewmen and the pilots. Would all those people please stand.
 
To the Hall Representative:
We are all very honoured and proud that the Red Knight has been selected for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame – Belt of Orion Award for Excellence. Well done everyone. Sit please.
 
To the crowd:
Ladies and gentlemen, hello. I am very happy to be here tonight for this ceremony. I am Bill Fraser. I was Red Knight number five, in 1962 & 63. One out of seventeen pilots.
 
The Red Knight was a single aircraft aerobatic display. Our shows were designed to be flown close to centre stage, to always be in view of the crowd. There were a lot of G forces involved with those tight loops and turns. But, at the same time, smooth flying was emphasized over yank and bank to make it look easy. All the maneuvers demonstrated both the capabilities of the aircraft and the skill of the air force pilots.
 
We thrilled and entertained hundreds of thousands of people during our displays. We flew shows across Canada from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, to Powell River, B.C., from the Bahamas to Alaska and in many other American States. Then on the ground we were ambassadors; to the mayors of towns and to the kids in sick children’s hospitals. We met many dignitaries and celebrities and hoped they would remember the Red Knight. At major air shows we often were the opening act for the teams; the Golden Hawks, the Golden Centennaires. Usually we performed after the team had taken off and was away from the display area warming up. But our forte was flying show at smaller out of the way places where some of the spectators may never have seen an aircraft flying up close before, let alone a red one doing aerobatics.
 
Flying the Red Knight required dedication. We put in many long days, flying a practice routine after a day of instructing. And during the show season we were away from home days at a time. Our wives deserved much credit for supporting us. They were at home, running the house, raising the children and living with that small extra fear of a black staff car pulling into the driveway.
 
On a personal note, and every Red Knight could tell their own stories:
I was the back up Red Knight to Dave Barker in 1962 and did a few shows on my own. Then I was the Red Knight in 1963. Regretfully, very shortly into that year’s show season I was transferred out of Training Command on the direct orders of a two star general officer to be his exec assistant in Europe. Bud Morin had been my back up and he became the second Red Knight that year. Tragically, Bud was killed in a crash and his back up, Wayne MacLellan, became the third Red Knight for 1963.
 
Over time I flew with five other Red Knight – Roy Windover was my career manager when I was in Europe and when he came over we flew a T-Bird around France. Dave Barker, Bud Morin, Wayne MacLellan and I were all instructors at Portage. Tex Deagnon and I were both instructors and OCs at the air force’s Instrument Check Pilot School, and ex Air Force, we flew Lear jets together in Calgary. My son Collin was also at Calgary on our Lears. It was his first jet aircraft. He says, “I learned a lot about flying from the two of you. Thanks Tex! Thanks Dad!” He is now a retired airline captain with several large jet airliners on his license.
 
My helmet did every one of my Red Knight practices and every show. After I retired from the air force, it was just around all the time. When my wife and I downsized to senior’s living, Collin was good enough to store it in an old trunk in his garage in Keremeos, B.C. While he was based in Toronto the garage caught fire. To put it out, the fire department bull dozed the building into a pile and soaked it. Collin’s wife, Celia, dug in the pile of wet ashes and found the trunk. The helmet had survived! I am giving it to the Hall. I hope they have the same good luck keeping it safe.
 
In 1962, when Dave and I toured a children’s hospital in the States in our red flying suits, he was a marvel! Dave got down to the kid’s level and visited with them, played and signed autographs. The tour took about twice as long as programmed. Is Dave Jr here? Be proud of your dad!
 
I did a show at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. NORAD had an F-102 Squadron there with an RAF pilot on exchange. He took me on an F-102 flight and that evening we were live on the local TV station talking flying. Departing Elmendorf our compass failed so we went visual to Whitehouse and called home base Portage la Prairie for help. As we were delayed, an extra show was authorized at Whitehorse that afternoon. When it arrived, Wayne MacLellan was flying the rescue aircraft with a new compass and the instrument technician to install it.
 
I did one show over RCAF Station Ramore, a Radar Unit with a few personnel in the Northern Ontario bush. We based out of a small civilian airfield nearby. We arrived the afternoon before and towed the aircraft to parking with a pickup truck and a rope around the nose oleo. Next day, after the show, we topped off the fuel with AV gas – no jet fuel was available. Did a not recommended start on aircraft batteries and pressed on to the next venue. It was quite satisfying to be able to operate in those “out of the way” conditions.
 
And, if after one of those out of the way performances, one child looked up and said, “Daddy, when I grow up I want to be a pilot”, that perhaps was the Red Knight’s real contribution to aviation in Canada. Thank you.
 

9-7-2018: The Jet Aircraft Museum's Red Knight T-33 makes it first public appearance at Air Show London. (Photo credit: Simon B Pont)
Watch the Video

8-26-2018: CTV News London's report on the Red Knight's first flight

8-26-2018: The Jet Aircraft Museum's Red Knight T-33 makes it first flight.

8-24-2018: The Jet Aircraft Museum's Red Knight T-33
receives its Certificate of Airworthiness after Inspection by Transport Canada's Inspector.

7-11-2018: The Red Knight by John Charles Corrigan now available at Lighthouse Books
65 Main St., Brighton, ON, (613) 475-1269. The book is also available at Avworld, 195 Carlingview Dr., Etobicoke, ON, (416) 674-5959 and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 9280 Airport Rd, Mount Hope, ON, (905) 679-4183. Don't live close to one of these retailers! Ask you local book store to order a copy for you.

6-23-2018: 'The Red Knight Media Kit' Released
The Red Knight Media Kit has been released and is now available. See What's In It

6-23-2018: Canada Day - The Red Knight e-Book Giveaway
This is your chance to receive a free e-Book versions of The Red Knight by John Charles Corrigan. Be one of the first 10 people to Contact the Author and receive an iTunes promo code for a complimentary copy of The Red Knight for your cell phone, tablet or computer. (Please, only one promo code per person.)

6-6-2018: Jet Aircraft Museum (JAM) in London, Ontario
The JET AIRCRAFT MUSEUM (JAM) exists to create and maintain a dynamic and living history of the modern age Royal Canadian Air Force and to provide permanent honour for those valiant Canadian men and women who flew these aircraft with distinction in periods of war, peace, and peace keeping. In short, our mission is to “Preserve, Educate, and Soar”. The museum recently restored CT-133 Silver Star 21573 in Red Knight colours. While preparing to have the aircraft certified as airworthy by Transport Canada they did an engine run up.

12-15-2017: Airforce Magazine
Airforce Magazine is a quarterly Royal Canadian Air Force Association (RCAFA) publication, designed for an aviation-minded readership. Crafted primarily by the association’s members, Airforce Magazine promotes the involvement of youth in aviation activities, the preservation of Canada’s proud air force heritage, and the advocacy of topical issues, particularly those related to the Canadian Forces and Canada’s air power. Airforce appeals to every generation – young and old; every aerospace community – civil and military, technician and crewmember; and covers every horizon – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Airforce is Canada’s air power heritage voice. The Red Knight by John Charles Corrigan was reviewed by BGen (Ret) T.F.J. "Terry" Leversedge in Vol 41 No 3 of Airforce Magazine. Read the Review

11-30-2017: Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews is an American book review magazine published on the 1st and 15th of each month. Every year they review over 7,000 titles. See what Kirkus Reviews said about The Red Knight by John Charles Corrigan Read the Review