Giant Canadian Forces aircraft taking the long road to new home in Ontario
The Canadian Armed Forces is moving a dismantled CP-140 Aurora from Halifax to Trenton, Ont. It will eventually be displayed at the National Air Force Museum of Canada. (@CanadianForces/Twitter)
HALIFAX -- A dismantled military aircraft is making its way from Nova Scotia to Ontario, using highways instead of the airways in its relocation.
The wingless giant -- a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft -- is heading from a holding facility in Halifax to Trenton, Ont., where it will be housed in the National Air Force Museum of Canada.
A spokeswoman for the military said the plane's fuselage, which is being carried on a massive flatbed trailer, was expected to pass north of Montreal on Thursday.
The aircraft, with distinct Royal Canadian Air Force markings, was based at 14 Wing in Greenwood, N.S., and was to be transported mostly along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Defence officials are asking motorists to watch for the wide load. The fuselage takes up two traffic lanes.
They expect the fuselage to arrive in Trenton on Friday, while the wings will likely get there next week.
The aircraft, which will be reassembled in Trenton, was withdrawn from use in the RCAF fleet in 2015.
The first Aurora aircraft were introduced in 1980.
Fourteen other Auroras are based at 19 Wing in Comox, B.C., and 14 Wing in Greenwood. With a range of 7,400 kilometres, they are used primarily for anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance, search-and-rescue, disaster relief and reconnaissance.
Previous missions have also included combatting illegal immigration, illegal fishing, pollution and drug trafficking.
Typically, the plane can remain in the air for 12 hours, but some have stayed aloft for 17 hours.
"With its latest upgrades, the CP-140 is able to detect and destroy the latest generation of stealth submarines," the Canadian Forces says on its website.
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the four-engine turboprop aircraft is 36 metres long, has a wingspan of 30 metres and weighs more than 27,000 kilograms.
The federal government is in the process of modernizing the remaining fleet, which includes the installation of new sensors and "mission systems," as well as new wings and horizontal stabilizers. The plan is to extend the life of the CP-140 to 2030.
About $5 billion has been set aside to replace the Aurora with a new fleet of aircraft, the first of which is expected to be delivered by 2032.