William Longhurst served in Ferry Command during the Second World War, and afterwards became a successful test pilot for Canadair.
William “Bill” Longhurst did two operational tours with RAF Coastal Command during the war before transferring to Ferry Command. On July 1st, 1943, Longhurst successfully achieved a ferry flight between Montreal (Quebec) and Prestwick (UK) in command of a C-47, towing a Waco CG-4A glider overseas! For this unusual achievement, Longhurst and the gilder crew received the Air Force Cross. In 1948, he became a test pilot for Canadair in Montreal. Longhurst was appointed chief test pilot in 1953.
Until 1971, he made most first flights of Canadair’s aircraft, including: CL13 (Sabre 2, 3, 5, 6), CL30 (T-33AN production Silver Star), CL28 (CP-107 Argus Mk1), CL-66C (Canadair 540), CL44-6 (CC-106 Yukon), CL-44D4 (“Swing-tail”), CL-226, also the revolutionary tilt-wing CL-84 and the famous CL-215 Water Bomber.
To underline his contribution to the CL-28 Argus development, a twenty-dollar coin was issued in 1998 by the Royal Canadian Mint displaying a cameo of Longhurst. He went back to school at Concordia University, earning at the age of 61 a major degree in biology and a minor degree in computer science. He then engaged in cancer research.
Born: 1919, SK