Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 4: The Second World War, Canadian Vickers (Northrop) Delta

Canadian Warplanes of the Second World War, Canadian Vickers (Northrop) Delta

Data current to 8 Dec 2018.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1-: CVA 260-1026)

Canadian Vickers (Northrop) Delta Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 675), Vancouver, British Columbia, ca 1939.

Canadian Vickers (Northrop) Delta Mk. I (3), (Serial Nos. 667-669), Mk. II (17), (Serial Nos. 670-677, 682-690), for a total of 20 aircraft.  Flown by RCAF No. 8, No. 119 and No. 120 Squadrons.

Canada selected the Delta for use as a photographic survey aircraft for use by the RCAF in 1935.  They were built by Canadian Vickers Ltd under license.  One aircraft, the last Delta built by Northrop, was supplied as a part assembled pattern to Canadian Vickers, first flying on 16 August 1936 and being delivered to the RCAF on 1 September that year.  It was followed by a further 19 aircraft built wholly by Canadian Vickers, production continuing until October 1940.  The Northrop Delta was the first all-metal, stressed-skin aircraft built in Canada.

The Deltas, which were capable of being operated from wheeled, ski or float undercarriages, proved capable survey aircraft, well suited to operations in the North of Canada, but in August 1939, when the outbreak of the Second World War loomed, Canada found itself short of coastal patrol aircraft, and the Deltas were diverted to this role, being fitted with floats and carrying out long anti-submarine missions.  The Deltas were less successful as patrol floatplanes, as they were damaged by ocean swell and by salt water corrosion, and they were forced to revert to landplane use after two months.  The Delta was withdrawn from operations in late 1941, and was then used as instructional airframes in training schools.  (Wikipedia)

 

Northrop Delta, RCAF (Serial No. 667), first Canadian built Delta, 1936.  (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Northrop Delta, RCAF (Serial No. 675), initially posted to No. 8 Sqn, Rockcliffe, Ontario, in 1938.  675 later flew with No. 120 Sqn from RCAF Stations Sea Island and Patricia Bay, BC, from May 1940 to July 1941, coded "MX*C".  It served with No. 13 (OT) Sqn, RCAF Station Patricia Bay, BC, 1941.  (RCAF Photo)

Northrop Delta Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 667).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199776)

Northrop Delta Mk. I (Serial No. 668), 17 Aug 1937.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3577534)

Northrop Delta Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 667).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199775)

Northrop Delta Mk. IIs, RCAF (Serial Nos. 677 and 675), Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 678), No. 8 Squadron, Aug 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203455)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 675).  (RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 675).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545976)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 671) on skis, 2 Feb 1938.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199777)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF cockpit, 12 Apr 1937.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199774)

Northrop Delta interior with Very Pistol.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581151)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 676), 26 Aug 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199778)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 671), Aug 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642471)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 673) on skis, Apr 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581148)

Two of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s pre-war members lost their lives in crash on the early afternoon of 14 September 1939, in a low valley near Beaverbrook Lake, New Brunswick.  The crash site was not discovered until 10 July 1958.  The pilot of Northrop Delta (Serial No. 673) was Warrant Officer James Edgerton “Ted” Doan of Ottawa and aircraft mechanic Corporal David Alexander Rennie of Ottawa.  In their attempt to get to Sydney, Nova Scotia for anti-submarine duties, they became the first of many Canadian casualties of the Second World War to die on Canadian soil.  The fuselage of this aircraft is now with the Canada Air and Space Museum in Ottawa. 

A detailed story concerning this crash may be viewed on the Vintage Wings of Canada web page here: http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/573/Lost-in-the-Wilderness.aspx.

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 673) on skis, Apr 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581176)

Northrop Delta Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 673) on skis, Apr 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581175)

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1-: CVA 260-1022)

Canadian Vickers (Northrop) Delta Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 675), with a Hawker Hurricane, Vancouver, British Columbia, ca 1939.