Article: 1934 – State-of-the-art Radio Installed on CF-ARM

  • Image of Junkers, CF-ARM outside museum

    Spring, 2017, Altitude

    “Complete radio telegraph transmitting and receiving equipment was installed in one of the largest single-engined freight aeroplanes in the world today, the Junkers JU-52, frequently termed “The Flying Box Car,” on account of its tremendous pay load capacity.”

    The above quotation is from the August, 1934, edition of the Canadian Mining Journal. The magazine was so impressed with this installation of state-of-the-art equipment in CF-ARM that it devoted almost a whole page to a description of the equipment and its impressive broadcast range.

    The magazine said that the radio/telegraph equipment was a joint project of Canadian Airways Limited and Northern Electric Company, Limited.

    The equipment consisted of a short-wave telegraph transmitter mounted in a special rack that minimized the vibrations caused by the operation of the airplane. It also featured a unique “knee snap” telegraph key and the radio was configured so that it could operate on a wide range of frequencies. “The equipment is extremely light in weight and represents quite a departure from the more conventional types of aircraft equipment used for telephone communication.”

    The mining journal article continued: “While the equipment is very compact and of small dimensions, field strength tests recently made indicate that this is no serious handicap in so far as transmission range is concerned…. a series of actual communication tests were run, and the results proved highly satisfactory.” With CF-ARM sitting on a ramp in Winnipeg, a radio operator could communicate with Canadian Airways’ bases in northern Manitoba as well as company bases in northern Alberta, roughly 1,800 miles distant.

    The author of the mining journal story concluded by saying that CF-ARM “is a big factor in the life of those pioneers of the new northland from which so much of our present mineral wealth comes. It carries all manner of freight into and out of the north through all weather, and this installation of man’s newest scientific ally is certain to reduce the hazards of aerial navigation as well as to increase the usefulness of the service this great argosy renders the companies and individuals who search for the riches of the earth.”

    This article originally appeared in the Spring, 2017 edition of Altitude.

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