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The “Mako Shark” CT-133 Silver Star was purchased as surplus in 2005. It is currently part of the Waterloo Warbirds fleet. Eric Dumigan Photo
Imagine yourself in a Russian MiG-15 Cold War fighter jet pulling several Gs, or a twin-tail British de Havilland Vampire jet with a heritage that dates back to the Second World War. Dream no longer, as Waterloo Warbirds in Ontario is offering flight experiences in four classic military jet aircraft this summer.
Based at the Region of Waterloo International Airport, Waterloo Warbirds was founded in 2014 and currently operates a Canadair-built CT-133 Silver Star, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 UTI, de Havilland DH-115 Vampire, Aero L-29 Delphin and a Yakovlev Yak-52. The fleet is meticulously maintained by a dedicated group of Waterloo Warbirds volunteers who are overseen by the professional maintenance staff at Flite Line Services. They regularly participate in airshows, documentaries and a host of other community projects.
Waterloo Warbirds was founded in 2014. Its fleet of classic military aircraft regularly participates in airshows. Eric Dumigan Photo
The CT-133 Silver Star flew in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces as serial number 133577. It was purchased as surplus in 2005 and flew privately in Canada in 2010. The airframe has become known as the “Mako Shark” as it is painted to represent the striking “Silver Shark” that was flown by the CAF’s VU32 in 1992. The original design of the Silver Star dates back to the P-80 Shooting Star built by Lockheed Aircraft at the end of World War Two. Designated the CL-30, Canadair built 656 T-33s under license from Lockheed.
The Vampire DH-115 Mk55 is a two-seat trainer version of the of the single-seat Vampire jets flown by the RCAF between 1946-1958. Waterloo Warbirds’ Vampire was built for the Swiss Air Force in 1958 and is the only Vampire currently flying in Canada. The two-seat MiG-15 UTI flew with the Polish Air Force and was converted from a single-seater fighter. Flite Line Services is finishing importing the aircraft to Canada where it will fly as C-FMVN. The Aero L-29 was built in Czechoslovakia and became the standard fighter-trainer for Eastern Block Countries during the 70s and 80s. Waterloo Warbirds’ L-29 is powered by an upgraded Rolls Royce Viper turbojet engine which increases its overall performance. The Yak-52 is the only propeller driven aircraft in the fleet.
Waterloo Warbirds will appear at several airshows in Ontario and the Northeastern U.S. this summer and will be holding regular fly-days at Waterloo. For details on memberships, flights and fly days, check the Waterloo Warbirds website at www.waterloowarbirds.com or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest news and photos.