30 July 2017.  The Index for CF-EQA/C-FQA to CF-EUZ/C-FEUZ has been added.

More of the same with one odd exception; the CF-ET range which appears to have been allotted out of sequence and to The T. Eaton Co Ltd. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find documented proof of this allotment, though all only four registrations of this range were issued in 1946, and all four were for this Company, or for a family member. But why would this famous retail empire require a range of 26 registrations?

At the time of the last update we fully expected to have loaded the remaining CF-E marks by the end of this month.  Unfortunately, the laptop died!  It took a while to get a new one at which time we were persuaded to install Open Office.  Whatever its good points, however, it couldn’t do the job, so it was replaced by Microsoft Office, which brings to now.  And in two days we are taking our annual, month-long trip to visit relatives and friends all across Canada.  See you in September.


9 July 2017.  The Index for CF-EKA/C-FKA to CF-EPZ/C-FEPZ has been added. Information is up to the end of April 2017. [The previous update (below) was in error, though the Registration page had the correct range!]

These CF-E allotments continued the post-war optimism that returning military pilots would be buying their own private aircraft. But by the CF-EO range the wave had begun to break. Fleet 80 production had collapsed, and when Leavens Bros Air Services (LBAS) took over their production the Fleet registration marks were re-reserved to LBAS. However, by the time LBAS started to deliver their Fleet 80s they decided to opt for more “modern” marks, so only a few CF-EO registrations were used before the original “old” marks were replaced by the more “modern” ones. In the meantime the Department of Transport had conducted a major cleanup of the “deadwood” registrations, freeing up a large chunk of the CF-EO range which was re-re-reserved for Vancouver’s-U-Fly Ltd who were quite happy to allot these “old” marks to their imported Cessnas.


30 June 2017.  The Index for CF-EAA/C-FEA to CF-EHZ/C-FEHZ has been added.

There is some confusion over the range CF-ECR/CF-EDU which was reserved for Curtiss-Reid Flying Service Ltd. CF-ECR/CF-ECZ were allotted to Republic RC-3 Seabees, CF-EDA/CF-EDL to Stinson 108s and CF-EDM/CF-EDU were not (originally) taken up. However, in the original register the ntu marks show as “RC-3 [crossed out] Stinson 108”. It would therefore appear that the original range (CF-ECR/CF-EDU) were for Seabees, but with CF-EDA the remaining marks in this range were switched to the Stinson 108. Later, CF-EDM/CF-EDN was re-used by Curtiss-Reid Flying Service Ltd for two Douglas C-54s.

Happy Canada Day – our 150th birthday!


15 June 2017.  The Index for CF-CXA/C-FCXA to CF-CZZ/C-FCZZ has been added. The CF-CX. and CF-CY. ranges handled the Chipmunks for the flying clubs, while the CF-CZ. range was one final reservation for Canadian Pacific Air Lines. Now we can start work on the CF-E.. series!

Thanks to Ian Macdonald the problem with CF-CUQ has been solved.


5 June 2017.  The Index for CF-CSA/C-FCSA to CF-CWZ/C-FCWZ has been added.

The CF-CS., CF-CT. And CF-CV. ranges continue the allocation of aircraft to the flying clubs. The CF-CU. range was an additional reservation for Canadian Pacific Air Lines, while the CF-CW. range was subject to the mysterious “W as a second letter” constraint.

There is a slight problem with the Douglas DC-6B CF-CUQ; although it left the CCAR on three occasions before its untimely end, no known registrations have been found for the first two times.  Anybody have any ideas?


4 May 2017.  There were a number of obstacles on the road last month, including a couple of detours, so this update is rather thin. The Index for CF-CPA/C-FCPA to CF-CRZ/C-FCRZ has been added, plus the Tiger Moths in the range CF-CKA/CF-CKZ (which were dropped from the last update at the last moment).

The CF-CP and CF-CR ranges were allotted for the use of Canadian Pacific Air Lines. At the time it was the responsibility of the airline to inform the Department of which aircraft had been allotted to which registration. Canadian Pacific Air Lines, naturally, used the CF-CP range repeatedly, and it was often necessary for the Department to re-issue reservations for the registrations vacant at that time. Later, around the 1964, the Department took over the responsibility for matching an aircraft to a registration, and the resulting reservations reflected aircraft on order by Canadian Pacific Air Lines. Despite this close watch a couple of registrations were allotted for non Canadian Pacific Air Lines aircraft; CF-CPA in 1965 for a Beech C18S for La Cie Photographic Aerienne Ltee, and CF-CRB for an Aeronca that Mike Hackman planned to import but which was not taken up. In addition, Canadian Pacific Air Lines agreed to give up the use of a further two of their registrations; CF-CPL for Canadian Packers Ltd, and CF-CPW for Canadian Pratt & Whitney (but registered to United Aircraft of Canada).

Use of the CF-CQ range only started in early 1970. There are two references to “CF-CQA to CF-CQZ not to be used” but no reason is given. Googling indicates that this initial prohibition was due to the use of the code “CQ” in morse and radio communications.

The website has now been up for a year, during which there have been some 3,900 Registration Requests which is gratifying, considering the somewhat limited amount of data available.

Many thanks to everyone for your support.


31 March 2017.  This month the Index for CF-CKA/C-FCKA to CF-COZ/C-FCOZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from our own research. Information is up to the end of December 2016.

The range CF-CMA/CF-CNZ was allotted to the Department of Munitions & Supply, and started off with three Avro York aircraft which were looked at because the type was a dedicated transport version of the Lancaster. However, Trans Canada Air Lines (the operators of the Canadian Government Trans-Atlantic Air Service (CGTAS)) rejected the type. Next, chronologically, were the Lancasters for the CGTAS which started at CF-CMS – obviously a “fixed” registration. The remaining 40 registrations in this range were not allotted until mid 1954 for Chipmunk production which never materialized.

Two blocks of Details have been loaded. The first is the range CF-CFM/CF-CHF which were allotted to aircraft supplied to the Flying Clubs for elementary training of RCAF personnel under a little-known agreement signed in early 1939.  The other block is for the Tiger Moths in the range CF-CKA/CF-CKZ (less CF-CKF which is still current). [Just noticed some problems with the second block; hope to upload it next week.]

This is the last of the monthly updates.  From now on we propose to update the website as and when available material (either Index or Details) is ready.


28 February 2017.  This month the Index for CF-CFA/C-FCFA to CF-CJZ/C-FCJZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from the John Ellis Register, augmented by our own research.

The range CF-CFM/CF-CHF is a particularly interesting one and highlights the work that the flying clubs (and later the commercial schools) performed in elementary training of RCAF pupils, both before and during the setting up of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Because our interpretation is somewhat different from how John Ellis saw things, we have not used his detail data. Unfortunately, because it has been a short month, plus other problems, we have been unable to complete our version in time for this update.

31 January 2017.  This month the Index for CF-CAA/C-FCAA to CF-CEZ/C-FCEZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from the John Ellis Register, augmented by our own research. Information is up to end of November 2016. This is less than the usual amount of data, but I’ve found that my original schedule was too ambitious, too stressful.

The CF-C series was (initially) reserved for “Light Aeroplane Clubs”, and, like the early CF-A series, pre-War documentation can be very untidy. Among other problems, it appears that certain files have been culled of documents prior to 1930 or later. Also, the method of recording CofA renewals is, at best, ambiguous.

Subsequent to the above reservation, the range CF-CCA/CF-CCZ was reserved for the aircraft of the Controller of Civil Aviation, who continued to use this range even after the Civil Aviation Board became the Department of Transport in November 1936. Post-War, the range CF-CAA/CF-CAZ was reserved for the Department of Transport (Civil Aviation).

31 December 2016.  This month the Index for CF-BSA/C-FBSA to CF-BZZ/C-FBZZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from the John Ellis Register, augmented by our own research. Information is up to end of October 2016.

The initial allotments of these registrations were mainly during the war and the early post-European-war period when things were a bit chaotic. The Department of Transport was badly under-staffed and the market in surplus RCAF aircraft was active and, consequently, some of the documentation is lacking. Nevertheless, there are plenty of interesting tidbits.

This is also the series in which the prohibition of “W as a second letter” came into effect. Although the explanation for this has yet to be determined, it appeared around 1930. It applied only to those registrations which consisted of a two-character nationality mark and a three-character registration, so much of the rest of the world was not affected. The two countries that appear to have been most affected were Canada and Brazil. We have been unable to find even a hint in the Canadian archives as to the rationale for this prohibition, but (thanks to Phil Yeadon) Brazil actually included this prohibition in their published air regulations. Now it is just a matter of making the appropriate contact!

In Canada this prohibition lasted until around 1958; the CF-K series included the CF-KW range in the correct chronological order. After that, the previously unalloted W registrations were gradually used up, starting with the CF-J series and working its way back to the CF-BW range, the task finishing in the early 1970’s.

Best wishes to everyone for 2017 (Canada’s 150th birthday!).

30 November 2016.  [Oops! I appear to failed to update this page with the November System Update message!]

This month the Index for CF-BKA/C-FBKA to CF-BRZ/C-FBRZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from the John Ellis Register, augmented by our own research.

The most interesting finds are those marks actually issued as “call signs” for use with radio-equipped aircraft, and which were not painted on the aircraft. In addition to those noted by John Ellis (CF-BPL/CF-BPO and CF-BPY/CF-BQD) there was an earlier allotment, CF-BMJ/CF-BMM.  But the most intriguing allotment of a call sign was CF-BRM to Fairchild FC2-W2 G-CARM.


7 November 2016.  All known (!) problems have been fixed and we are back in business.

The major update is in the Index data – the addition of a row showing a registration reservation (to a person/organization), before such a reservation was allotted to an actual aircraft. Up until the mid 1950’s it was the responsibility of the organization to make the allotment and to inform the Department of Transport. After that date, the Department took over the responsibility for allotting the next registration from a reservation range, informing the organization of what to paint on their aircraft (see the FAT. Series of North American AA-1 registrations).

However, for the pre-1950’s that allotment information had been in long lost company files. In order to give some consistent idea of timing we have adopted the following system. For aircraft assembled/built in Canada we have used the date of the Factory Release (where available in Department of Transport files) and shown the subsequent id as “released”.  For aircraft imported we have used the date of the CofA for Export and shown the subsequent id as ‘imported”.  If neither of these documents are available then we have used the date of the first CofR and shown the subsequent id as “registered”.


1 November 2016.  Unfortunately, “Murphy’s Law” has now raised its head!

Having updated both the Index and the Detail files, when we came to check that everything was in place we found that under certain conditions clicking on the Details Available icon on the Index screen either led to nothing showing on the Detail screen or it pulled up the wrong set of details. The problem was a programming error in the website which had not been detected earlier because of the relative simplicity of the first data up-loaded. I hasten to add that the new data followed the original specifications exactly.

I have not yet heard from the website people as to when this problem will be fixed. Hopefully it will be only a matter of days.

Many thanks for your patience.


1 October 2016.  The problem with the non-appearing dates in italics had a straight-forward solution.

The problem of the reservation ranges also had a straight-forward solution, although they have needed a fair amount of additional research. Unfortunately, I failed to appreciate that changes to the Index had also to be reflected in the Details. As a result we were unable to complete all the changes by the end of September, and have put off re-implementing the Registration Search menu until the end of October. This should allow us time to make all the necessary changes without undue haste, and keep any errors down to a minimum.

9 September 2016. “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men ......”! We have decided that it is necessary to temporarily deactivate the Registration Search menu in order to correct a couple of problems.

In designing the Index screen we attempted to keep things as simple as possible – just one row per registration. To help achieve this, we used the first date column for two purposes; (1) the date the marks were allotted (if known), in normal type, or (2) the first date of registration, in italics. All the input was prepared on this basis. However, we failed to notice (very embarrassingly) that when the website was implemented the dates in italics appeared on the website in normal type. Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution to this problem which we are currently working on.
The second problem results from the same one registration/one row philosophy. Certain companies (manufacturers, dealers, airlines) have had a range of marks “reserved” for their use for future aircraft. As each aircraft is built or bought the next available mark in their range is allotted to that aircraft. By trying to push a round peg into a square hole we produced some odd results; a mark “allotted” to an aircraft which would not be built or bought until several years later. We are now modifying the data (by inserting an additional row) to solve this problem. Fortunately, most of these situations are easily identified, though some will require re-investigation to get them straight.
We apologize to all those who, in good faith, have used what is currently tainted data in their own research.
31 July 2016.  There’s always a learning curve! Earlier this week, when checking out the website, I found that all the Detail records for the FD.. series had been missing since the last update. Somehow I had deleted them from the production file. More curiously, nobody seems to have emailed me. However, when I tried the email access from the Contact Us screen it was a disaster; the robot feature came into play and I was unable to answer the test correctly! The robot box has now been removed. If you have tried to contact us and failed, I do apologize for your frustration.

This month the Index for CF-BAA/C-FBAA to CF-BJZ/C-FBJZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from the John Ellis Register, with a small number of additions. Data up to May 2016 has been included for all Index entries.

By the way, don’t think that once data has been added that it’s cast in concrete. There are constant corrections, whether because of typos or new information. For example, check the Index for FAQR; there is more data on the Minikin, plus a previously undetected homebuilt.

Please note that due to vacations there will not be an update at the end of this August.


3 July 2016.  Apologies for the delay in this update. Last Thursday my computer got in a snit and refused to have anything to do with the internet. The next day being Canada Day, followed by a long weekend, no computer guru was available until Monday afternoon! Today, more by sheer luck (“I wonder what would happen if I did this?”), I managed to outwit the computer and found a way to get back on the internet.

The Index for CF-AKA/C-FAKA to CF-AZZ/C-FAZZ has been added, plus appropriate Details from the John Ellis Register, with a small number of additions. Data up to April 2016 has been included for all Index entries.

Those who have a copy of the John Ellis Register may be interested in some additional information for the registrations Ellis noted as “Not allotted”; CF-AHB, ‘AKK, ‘APP, ‘ARS, ‘ART, ‘ASS and ‘ATC.

For those with an interest in the early Canadair Challenger, check out the Alcan registration C-FAAL. Presumably, the troubles that Canadair were experiencing allowed Alcan to get an earlier slot in the production.

If there are any film buffs, please check out CF-ATB and ‘ATC; which film was being made?


31 May 2016. There will now be a regular monthly update to the data.  Data will be reloaded during the evening (Canadian time) of the last day of the month.

The Index for CF-AAA/C-FAAA to CF-AJZ/C-FAJZ has been added, plus appropriate details from the John Ellis Register. Over time these histories will be updated. Data up to February 2016 has been included for all Index entries.

Unlike the post-Second World War files, the pre-War ones are not nearly as tidy.  Among other problems, it appears that certain files have been culled of documents prior to 1930 or later.  Also, there is very little data on allocation dates and deletion dates, and in the latter case we have used the final accident date (in italics) where there is no other data.

The following additional data and corrections to the Index have been forwarded to us; many thanks.

CF-DGB (2)      PA-28   si added

CF-DGM (1)     J3          del date corrected

CF-DGN (1)      J3          del date corrected

CF-DIE (4)        PA-28   msn corrected

CF-DJY (1)       RC-3     si updated

CF-DNJ (2)       J3          pi & si added, msn corrected

C-FDNY (1)      J3          del date updated

CF-DOC (1)      J3          msn corrected

CF-DOI (4)       PA-31   date regd corrected

CF-DNS (2)       H369    msn corrected

CF-DRY (1)      J3          del date corrected

CF-DSB (1)       J3          si updated

CF-DYJ (1)       RC-3     pi corrected

CF-DZK (2)      AC100  pi corrected


18 May 2016.  We have not made as much progress as we would have liked as we have been concentrating on the proposed Photo Galleries.  We will, however, be scheduling updates and corrections on a monthly basis, as of the last day of each month.


30 April 2016.  Here is our first, modest offering: CF-DAA/C-FDAA to C-FDZZ/C-FDZZ. The Index is complete up to Jan 2016. However, due to a last-minute decision to make certain changes in the presentation of some elements in the individual histories (Details), there are fewer such histories loaded than anticipated (FDAA to FDGZ). We will upgrade and load the remaining histories that we have as soon as possible. 

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