Canadair CAF Challenger Pictures

Walkaround, and inside photos of various Canadair Challenger series aircraft, primarily in CAF operation.

These photos provide a great companion to modellers building the excellent Leading Edge Models resin kits of these aircraft, and in fact, most of the photos shown were used in the development of the kits.

Our thanks to Dave Koss, of Leading Edge Models, Scott Hemsley and David Askett for allowing us to use their photos.

NOTE: Click on the photos for a larger view

All the CE-144 & CC-144 Challenger 600's, are currently serving with 434 Sqn., based at CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia. The following pictures depict both types.

This is a close-up of a CE-144 Challenger (Electronic Warfare), ser.no. 144607 - affectionately known as "Sparky" - due to a lightning strike & the resulting 'show'. All the CE-144's at Greenwood are finished in a cam scheme of med. grey (FS35237) over lt.ghost grey (FS36375) & all are extremely weathered, no doubt, due in part to the maritime flying conditions.

However, note the darker greys on the forward fuselage. This is actually reminiscent of the original dk.grey (FS36173) as applied to these aircraft when in service with 414 Sqn. The nose cap itself is FS21673 grey. Also of noteworthy attention, for modellers, is the condition of the windscreen framing & the fact that the side panels of the windscreen are 'amber' tinted. Landing gear legs & wheel hubs, are a gloss white. Nose well & doors interior are aluminum.

Note: according to official paint specs, the colours were supposed to be FS35237 over FS36375 (same as the CF-18), from the beginning, but going from personal slide collections and observation, initially, the CE-144's (when attached to 414 Sqn.), were painted in the same colours as the CP-140 Aurora, FS36173 over FS36375)". -- Scott Hemsley

For an example of a 414 Sqn. scheme, you can check out Scott's Challenger model.

Photo by: Dave Koss

Almost a complete profile of ``Sparky.''

Other dissimilar panels are the front and rear cowling panels - a grey not unlike the forward fuselage. Note the squadron ``Bluenose'' tail band, a tradition that transcends the squadron's Canadair Sabre's, CF-5's and now the Challenger. Probably the only well-maintained bit of paint on the aircraft. Says something for Squadron Pride, I guess. All leading edges - wings, cowlings, fin & stabilizers, are polished.

Just a general note. The photos taken of ``Sparky,'' by Dave Koss, are the subject of Leading Edge's 1/72 Challenger 600, kit.

Photo by: Dave Koss

One of thew other CE-144 kit options, is this one. At the time the photo was taken (a recent `Maple Flag'), it was the only CE-144 equipped with a belly radome (included in the kit).

From this shot, one can notice the finish is weathered, but not to the patchwork appearance of "Sparky". It does, however, have the same FS21673 nose cap. Also note the shape of the cowlings.

Photo by: Dave Koss

Another shot of ``Sparky'' - starboard side, this time.

Photo by: Dave Koss

This view of the cockpit interior, shows the circuit panel, a portion of the cabin door frame, a section of the cockpit roof (that tan portion), and the top of the right-hand seat.... just to give you a fair idea of the colour scheme.

Photo by: Dave Koss

Another view of the cockpit - this time through the cockpit door. Note the tan `carpeting' around the center console. This also covers the floor and runs up the side consoles.

Photo by: Dave Koss

Yet another cockpit view. Things to note, are the carpeting on the side consoles, clipboard on the pilot's yoke, ground steering wheel, the headphones and seats, plus the med grey of the instrument panel, side consoles and cockpit walls.

Photo by: Dave Koss

A view of the main wheel well, looking from the center of the fuselage, outboard (main gear retracts toward the fuselage center). Specifically, this is the portion of the well that accommodates the tire. The black `brush' around the perimeter, is just that, a `brush'. In photo #16, you'll notice the 'brush' is also on the main landing gear doors, in such a way, that when the wheels are retracted, this `brush' encompasses the exposed tire, thus acting as a seal. Usually, this portion of the wells, are an aluminum colour.

Photo by: Dave Koss

A view from the back! This a/c can be identified as a CE-144 by the presence of the CHAFF dispenser (triangular shape on the fuselage bottom, directly below the `Bluenose'), and the two aft-facing sensors (one per side, just under the rudder.

The following is an explanation of the writing on the picture:

    Dave's writing on the picture (the ``nitpicker's'' term) is directed at me, to get my goat, and not intended to imply any more than that!,

    The '600 APU outlet is located in an identical position as the `601, but on the opposite side. Since the Leading Edge kit uses a common fuselage halves, this was the only mod I needed to perform.

    -- Scott Hemsley

Photo by: Dave Koss

NOT a CE-144, but another one of 434 Sqn.'s stable of CC-144 Challenger aircraft.

Like the CE-144, these CC-144 are Challenger 600's, but minus any EW fit. The mission of these aircraft are transport and fishery patrol duties. It was a 434 Sqn. CC-144 that was seconded to 412 Sqn., for use in the Gulf War.

Noteworthy is the finish on the 434 Sqn. non-EW, CC-144's - a pristine overall FS21673 grey finish. This scheme boasts contrasting FS26118 (gloss `Gunship-grey') markings.

This is becoming the standard finish for Canadian Armed Forces transport aircraft.

Also note the engine cowling - with the opened `thrust reverser' (at least that's the crews' term). This particular aircraft was photographed at CFB Trenton.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Fin details of a CE-144. Also in view is one of the rear-facing warning sensors (below the rudder). Note the natural metal leading edge on the fin and stabilizers. For those who incorporate extra details, on their kits, such as navigation lights, the Challengers have two, clear lights, at the rear. One at the base of the rudder on the extreme tip of the fuselage, and the other one above the top of the rudder, on the tip of the fin.

Note the almost total absence of panel lines. The Challengers are a very smooth aircraft.

Photo by: Dave Koss

Another profile view of a 434 Sqn. Challenger, but a CC-144.

The light blue that appears as a fairing on the aft fuselage is NOT a part of the aircraft, but rather a vendor's stall. The photo was taken at a past London International Airshow (early morning), London, Ontario.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

At last, an engine close-up.

This particular engine belongs to a 434 Sqn. CC-144, but it still applies to the CE-144's. The interior of the front of the engine is a bright silver colour, as is `the bullet', but not nearly as bright/polished as those leading edges! Those `polished' leading edges seem to be the norm on all the Challengers I've observed in CAF service. Check out the characteristic `inverted egg shape' of the Challenger 600 engines.

One can also see one of the fin blade antenna(each side), immediately above the flag. These are common on all Challengers. Also visible, below the engine cowling, is the APU exhaust. This is situated further aft, on the 600, than the Challenger 601's. In the previous photo, one can just make it out, coming out of the shadow, below the aft portion of the cowling.

One item we haven't been able to show as yet, is the white vertical antenna at the base of the fin, immediately above the navigation light.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

More fin detail, and again on a CC-144. More apparent is the clear nav light on the base at the fin. The early morning sun, on the gloss paint, is obscuring the fin tip mounted nav light.

The angle of this shot also offers a good view as to the precise location of the APU exhaust on the CC-144 and the CE-144.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Close-up of the nose wheel. The CE-144's, in the two-tone cam, have been seen with gloss white gear and nose wheel hubs (main wheel hubs are FS36375, as per the undersides).

This particular example is from one of the squadrons' CC-144 aircraft. Note that the gear leg and nose wheel hub is a pale grey colour. This scheme of overall FS21673, would have the main well hubs finished in the same colour.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Profile close-up of the starboard main gear on a CC-144 (overall FS21673). Note the `brush' on the curved portion of the gear door, adjacent to the tire (see photo #8 for further clarification) and the `rope wheel chock,' on the port landing gear. The red item, visible, is the tip of a ``Remove Before Flight'' tag.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Close-up of the nose cap. Note the lenses for the dual taxi-lights. This style of nose-cap is on all the CC-144's and has been retro-fitted to all of 434 Sqn.'s CE-144 aircraft. All caps are painted FS21673.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Close-up of the starboard wing-tip navigation light(s). The winglet is just out-of-frame. That `vertical object' is just a ``Remove Before Flight'' tag on the trailing edge.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Head-on view of a CC-144's starboard main gear. Note the angle of the gear door in relation to the landing gear and ground.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Close-up if the aft end of a CC-144. Noteworthy items include, cowling details - opened trust reverser and interior colour of the aft section of the cowl; location of the APU exhaust; the squadron fin stripe only extends to the polished metal leading edge and finally, the normally pristine `gloss' finish is now weathered to a flat appearance.

Photo by: Scott Hemsley

Cockpit shot taken in a Bluenose squadron Challenger.

Photo by: David Askett