Welcome to the TBM Avengers Archive supported by the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (located near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). You will find detailed information about Grumman Avenger Aircraft used by Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, as well as information regarding Avengers which have been used in New Brunswick in aerial application programs from other parts of Canada and the USA.
This is a history of Forest Protection Limited’s association with some 88 TBM Avenger aircraft used in the spruce budworm aerial spray program, primarily in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. This text is based on my own Web site of the same name and has been compiled from many sources. From the late 1950s to the early 1980s, Avengers were contracted by FPL from all over the United States and Canada. FPL purchased many of those same Avengers in the establishment of its own fleet, which at one time had the most working Avengers flying at any one time in the World. Although FPL’s Avengers were gradually replaced by the AT803, they continued to be used as fire bombers well into the 2000s. The last Avenger left FPL in 2012.
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I’ve just updated Don Henry’s 2008 list of TBM pilots and the years they flew for aerial pest control and for firebombing, up to 2010. This is still a work on progress, so stay tuned. I’ve added some images as well.
Still to come are updates to U.S. companies.
I’ve just revised the Other Canadian air spray companies page. This includes Several New Brunswick companies (Miramichi, Maritime, JD Irving) and two from Ontario: Norfolk and Hicks and Lawrence. I’m going to tackle the U.S. companies next — wish me luck!
Besides Skyway and Conair, the other great pair of Canadian companies was Wheeler Airlines, which morphed into Wheeler-Northland and then Evergreen. I have separated this group from the Other Canadian Companies page and updated its content. Let me know what you think. Again, this is still a work in progress and represents what I know at the moment.
I have just updated the page describing the history of Skyway Air Services and its successor, Conair Aviation, two British Columbia companies that played a large part in the history of TBM Avengers that operated in New Brunswick. However, details are sketchy, and sometimes the only evidence — and some of it is conflicting — comes from a photocopied newspaper article and brief mentions in reports and published material. The information in this page needs some verification, and I need some feedback on this effort. So far, this is just my opinion based on what little I have gleaned from various sources.
I’ve just added a new page on the military origins of the Avengers that flew in New Brunswick. Edits and revisions continue on the remaining pages. Further news: I’ve recently joined the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS), so I am looking forward to receiving their publications.
During the past couple of weeks I have been revising the individual aircraft entries, tightening up and consolidating the text, and adding a few more images, based on submissions from several contacts. The next few weeks will see some additional pages, such as beefed up company information and a page on the origins of our Avengers with the Royal Canadian Navy. Stay tuned!
C-FIMR TBM #23 left FPL for the last time around 1 PM on July 26, on her way to the museum at Shearwater AFB. Dave Wilson came out of retirement to fly her away. The media was there, so you will be able to find some news shots and clips. FIMR took off, circled and did a flyby before heading out.