HIGH FLIGHT ENTERPRISES LTD. _________________________________________________
Book Reviews & Testimonials
A Tradition of Excellence – Canada’s Airshow Team Heritage
Second Edition Testimonials
? Amazing stuff, Dan, and congratulations hardly begin to give you the recognition you deserve for this accomplishment. It is magnificent all the way. Your first 27 pages (of the updated section) just blow me away.
August 4, 2007
? I would like to congratulate you on your book release … Great job! The book is interesting and filled with
September 8, 2007
? We've received our book and WOW!! It is definitely going to be one of the most enjoyable reads and keepsakes in our household. My husband is a helicopter pilot and an avid aviation buff. I haven't seen him since the book arrived but know he's hunkered down somewhere in the house. He'll surface every once in a while to show me some pictures and very excitedly explain what he just read. The detail, the history, the pictures! Thanks for sharing this remarkable, well written, well researched documentation of Canadian aerobatics history.
Vicki & Phil Clay
October 5, 2007
? It is a tome of extraordinary information, well written and presented … it is one of my treasures…
October 17, 2007
? Wow, what a book!
October 16, 2007
? Great book – fantastic value!
Hong Kong, Peoples Republic of China
December 13, 2007
? It is a very attractive book and I am impressed by the way it provides a wide-ranging history of military aviation in Canada, from a different perspective… Congratulations on your excellent book!
Editor, The Canadian Aerophilatelist
March 31, 2008
? I received my second book many weeks ago and can't tell you how thrilled I am to have it. Thanks for taking the time to personalize it for me... The book is truly outstanding and is a prized possession for me. My
hat is off to both of you for such a wonderful accomplishment.
Langley, British Columbia
April 16, 2008
? This is a memento that will stay in our family for generations. This is truly fantastic. I know writing
can be both so rewarding and so difficult so my hats off to you.
Radio-Canada, Montreal, Quebec
September 25, 2008
? Wow, beautiful with elegant illustration. I will take some time to digest the subject material. Thanks for the
Dr. Charles E. Hawtrey, MD
University of Iowa,
Iowa City, USA
October 24, 2008
Please see additional 29 pages of reviews and testimonials below:
The following book reviews and testimonial messages were received following the publication of the first edition of A Tradition of Excellence – Canada’s Airshow Team Heritage:
? This is not just a splendid book, it is a spectacular one … It can only be described as a labour of love, a fastidiously researched and profusely illustrated account of the history of Canadian air force and navy aerobatic teams over the years …
Dr. James A. Boutilier
Professor of Military History
Veritas Magazine, RMC Club of Canada
? Canada’s Aviation Blockbuster of the Year – A Spectacular Presentation …
? The quality of Dempsey‟s book lives up to the Snowbirds‟ tradition of excellence… A monumental book sure to gladden the heart of any aircraft buff…
Victoria Times Colonist
? Magnificent…Clearly a labour of love…
Mary Lou Finlay
As it Happens - CBC Radio
? For aviation enthusiasts, nothing matches the thrill of an airshow: the precision flying, the daring aerobatic manoeuvres and the powerful machinery have drawn thousands of people to Canada's airshows for over 80 years. Of course, the Snowbirds are a household name, but their excellence is drawn from a long tradition of other Canadian teams, from the RCAF's Blue Devils, Golden Hawks and the Golden Centennaires. Former Snowbird Lieutenant Colonel Dan Dempsey's thorough compilation of the history of Canadian air military and civilian teams is collected in 700 pages that are rich in detail of text and enlivened with 1,700 fabulous photographs that make this hefty book a page turner as well as a collector's item …
The Globe and Mail
? It’s a wonderful book … a gap in our history now superbly covered. A Tradition of Excellence is a well-researched, well-written, beautifully illustrated book to delight all those who have, over the past 70 years, thrilled to the flawless aerial ballets at countless airshows. For older readers, it will bring back some stirring memories of fast, noisy aircraft doing incredible things close to the ground. For younger readers, it will be an opportunity to delve into the past to see how the air force established those traditions of airshow excellence …
? Outstanding…Highly recommended to our listeners…
Sterling Faux, Corus Radio Network
? This book is unarguably the definitive history of Canada’s airshow demonstration teams … Dempsey
has left no stone unturned researching this book, and the collective stories are all backed up with hundreds of gorgeous illustrations and photographs … This book goes a long way towards promoting the continued tradition of aerial demonstration in Canadian aviation and is an essential addition to the library of any Canadian aviation aficionado …
? This book was well publicized before hand and a long time coming, but the lengthy gestation period was worth the wait and the results are spectacular. It weighs in at over eight pounds, so strengthen your coffee table.
The author is an ex Snowbirds leader and obviously a devotee of excellence in the publishing field as well. The book is well researched, reads well, and is replete with quality images. Photos and avart illustrations abound. For example, there are over two dozen repros of works by nine CAAA members alone, many in large scale format, and an exceptionally fine set of colour profiles by Peter Mossman (some 42, covering 14 pages).
The narrative runs from the earliest days of the RCAF up to the present, and much of the knowledgeable commentary is provided by airmen who were part of the numerous teams, and by the solo performers as well. This gives the reader a rare insight into the technical and highly professional side of demonstration flying; it also conveys equally well the immense pride these people took in their work and the emotions of patriotism and camaraderie that inspired them and which still stir memories of what was for many “the best years of our lives”.
The book was printed by Friesens of Manitoba, and apparently no expense was spared in the production standards. While the price of this opulent offering is necessarily high, it definitely delivers full value for the
cost. And, hey, what keen aviation artist wouldn‟t gladly forsake a night of fine wining and dining with a companion just to have such a volume in his/her library?
In a year of outstanding aviation books, this one stands out most strongly – but don‟t waste time in obtaining
one, because it is not likely to ever be found on a „remainders‟ table and is surely destined to become a
Don Connolly - Aerial Views
Canadian Aviation Artists‟ Association
? Rich in spectacular photography, wonderful illustrations, and detailed research, the book is exceptional in every way. It’s a collector’s item for young and old alike … It’s no exaggeration to say that Dempsey has done a flawless job in his first book. His enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism shine through on every page. He finishes with an eloquent appeal for the preservation of the Snowbirds and the replacement of the 1960s-vintage Tutors with new aircraft … The book is an
excellent investment. It will provide many hours of enjoyment and a new appreciation of why the Snowbirds and their predecessors should justifiably be regarded as national treasures.
The Hamilton Spectator
A Tradition of Excellence
Canada's Airshow Team Heritage
Canada has had a long and proud tradition
associated with its military precision aerobatics
teams, which began over 80 years ago. In
1919, WW I flying ace LCol. William Barker
lead the first public display of formation flying in
Toronto using "war trophy" Fokker D. VII's.
Today, Canada's Snowbirds continue to amaze
millions of spectators around the world in their
9-ship formation of CT-114 Tutors. This new
book, entitled A Tradition of Excellence, brings
that history to life as it explores the past.
Daniel V. Dempsey, who is uniquely qualified
to undertake such a massive task, writes this
extensive work. He flew with The Snowbirds in
1980 and 1981 as Snowbird 9, one of the
team's two solos. He would go on to lead the
team in 1989 and 1990 through their 20th
anniversary and 1000th official performance.
The book has taken almost six years to
complete and is the first work to completely detail scores of Canadian military demonstration teams. To ensure total historical accuracy sources were contacted throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Countless hours were spent gathering photos, locating and
interviewing dozens of former team members about their experiences.
The hard cover book, published by High Flight Enterprises, is printed on thick, high quality
glossy paper. Slightly more than 700 pages are lavishly illustrated with over 1700 black and white and color photographs, many never before seen. Photos abound of F-86's, CF-101s,
CF-104's and CF-5's just to name a few. Peter Mossman, an illustrator from Toronto, Canada, provides the color profiles for 42 different aircraft near the books center section. The profiles are superbly done, depicting each aircraft in their highly polished state, as would be the norm for an airshow aircraft. Many of the aerial manoeuvres are illustrated
from such famous groups as the Golden Hawks and Golden Centennaires. Various Snowbird formations have been flown through the years, with each being shown in overhead views. The book includes complete photo coverage of all prints currently completed.
This book is a perfect blend of photography and text. The author gives a history of each group chronicled with photos of pilots, groundcrew, squadron crests, patches and aircraft. I am sure that this book will offer months of pleasurable reading as there is so much information supplied to the reader. It contains an extensive listing of each of Canada's military airshow teams. Information includes the years and aircraft flown with serial number, base location and each pilot with their assigned positions. Of course, praise is also given to the ground crews that have kept the Snowbirds flying throughout the years with a listing of
each of their names and the duties they performed.
I feel confident stating that this book has resulted in the most complete history ever written on Canada's airshow teams. For anyone interested in Canada's flying history or military precision aerobatics in general, this high quality book as an absolute must for your reference library. I highly recommend it without hesitation. Modellers will find the color photos and side
profiles extremely helpful. Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Dan Dempsey is to be complimented
for undertaking such a huge task and writing a book in what I am sure is a true labour of
? Mark Proulx 2002
? Fabulous … Two days of skimming and now I've got to start reading. I can't imagine the time & effort this has taken. The finest aviation book I've seen … Congratulations, many times over.
Comox, British Columbia
25 Oct 2002
? What a monster!!! I'm overwhelmed, she's a thing of beauty …
James W. Jones
28 Oct 2002
? Received the "package" today. In a word: WOW!!!
28 Oct 2002
? The book is truly magnificent!! Congratulations once again on the wonderful achievement
represented in “A Tradition of Excellence.”
F.R. Sutherland, LGen (Ret’d)
30 Oct 2002
? I'm totally blown away at the whole book … Brilliant effort!
Gibson’s Landing, British Columbia
30 Oct 2002
? I received my copy this afternoon and have been scanning through it for the past two hours. It's
going to take a lot of reading … It was well worth the wait. Please accept my congratulations on a
Abbotsford, British Columbia
28 Oct 2002
? Let me add to, what I am sure, are the many congratulatory messages on your achievement. It really is a magnificent book. It should be compulsory reading for today‟s Air Force so they can appreciate what a tradition they have to live up to & realize what it was like to serve in the heyday … Once again,
congratulations on a wonderful achievement.
Comox, British Columbia
26 Oct 2002
? Great job Dan! I'm going to have to bring it home from work before I get fired. My boss keeps catching me reading it. I can't stop. I'm sure you are glad it's over but it's obvious from the final product that it was a labour of love.
Comox, British Columbia
28 Oct 2002
? Congratulations, it is a magnificent piece of work - I love it. I can almost smell my cockpit again when looking at all those pictures; and so many that I have never seen before. This is going to give me many happy hours of perusing. It was worth the wait.
Royston, British Columbia
29 Oct 2002
? All I can say is "Wow" ... I knew it was going to be good but this masterpiece is wonderful by each and every standard. It's such a superb effort ... in keeping with your own "tradition of excellence" BZ!
Col Terry Leversedge
1 Nov 2002
? The book is fantastic beyond my wildest dreams. The depth of the material and wonderful story told is something you must truly be commended for. Never have I seen such a complete work on such a complex subject … How you managed to do such a great job while still maintaining your
flight schedule is beyond me … Kudos, kudos, kudos on your magnificent work.
1 Nov 2002
? I received my copy of your book in excellent condition. What can I say? You must be feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment. Really well done!
3 Nov 2002
? Just wanted to send a note to let you know that I received the book and what a book it is. You have done a fantastic job and should be very proud, it will be something I treasure forever …
4 Nov 2002
? Received my copy a couple of hours ago and haven't been able to put it down. It is superb. Even with the rave pre-publication comments I had received from people such as Dave O'Malley, it is still more than I expected. You can be justifiably proud of your work.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
4 Nov 2002
? Wow! What a fantastic book … It took a few evenings just to work through the pictures. Now I am starting on the narrative. It is obvious so far that it was a labour of love for you.
5 Nov 2002
? We received your book today. We dropped everything and sat down to leaf through it and before we knew it 2 hours had passed. It is absolutely awesome ... the pictures are fabulous …
What a monumental achievement ... You and Ruth must be so proud of this valuable resource which you have so cleverly and beautifully put together. Every aviation enthusiast must have this marvellous book. Congratulations …
Rich & Jay Thistle
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
5 Nov 2002
? Have received and reviewed what can only be described as the most fantastic tome of aviation history that I have had the privilege to own. I attended a mess dinner last night at the RCAF Mess and it was the topic of discussion from the top down.
6 Nov 2002
? You have done an outstanding, fantastic, incredible job on the book. I can't believe the amount of research you must have done. When did you find time to do anything else in 7 years? You must have needed a huge staff as proof readers, layouts etc. (I'm sure your wife must have been a part of this work). There are so many names of old jocks I have known. Sure brings back a lot of memories of the good times and achievements. I never realized there were so many aero and demo teams in existence over the years … Again congratulations on a magnificent job. There will be a lot of reading and reminiscing this winter. Thanks for the memories …
Red Deer, Alberta, 6 Nov 2002
? Words fail me … You have set a new standard Dan. There is NOTHING like this in existence.
Anywhere. Period … Please accept my most sincere congratulations on an absolutely magnificent accomplishment.
Christopher J. Terry, President & CEO
Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation
8 November 2002
? Congratulations Dan - A truly magnificent book.
White Rock, British Columbia
9 Nov 2002
? I just want to thank you for inviting me to the book launch. It was a most interesting and enjoyable gathering. I also want to thank you for your generous recognition of Canadian Naval Aviation. Over the years we have been kind of the poor country cousin so it was gratifying to be acknowledged. I joined the RCAF in '42; switched to the RN Fleet Air Arm in the early spring of '45 and finally to Canadian Naval Aviation in Sep '45, so my loyalties are widespread … Your book is truly a masterpiece and I trust that it will meet with the high commercial success that it deserves. BRAVO ZULU!
10 Nov 2002
? I picked up my book the other day. I have one word for it: magnificent! You‟ve done a wonderful job of organizing a huge amount of visual and textual data that grabs your attention and won‟t let you go. Your extensive use of personal, „original source‟ accounts combined with
dazzling photographs breathe real life into the histories, while your clear prose masterfully stitches it all together … A Tradition of Excellence establishes a new benchmark in Canadian
John H. Laidler
11 Nov 2002
? Congratulations on the book. What a wonderful collection of pictures, words and stories … great work.
12 Nov 2002
? I am continually delighted with the photos you've unearthed. It's an incredible piece of work …
Chilliwack, British Columbia
15 Nov 2002