“Per ardua ad astra” and Tiger Moth N9151

Per ardua ad astra” is a Latin phrase meaning “through adversity to the stars”. Wikipedia says it was the Royal Canadian Air Force’s motto until 1968, when it was changed to “sic itur ad astra”, a similar phrase meaning “such is the pathway to the stars”.

Either way, the original is now permanently entered into The Log Book Project by the hand of Tiger Moth N9151 owner/operator Byron Reynolds.


Ably assisted by his son Ted, Byron took The Log Book up for 35 minutes on 10 June 2022, some 77 years 2 months and 6 days after Cyril Devaux flew the same plane in the UK on 6 April 1945 – also for 35 minutes. Byron, now in his early 70s was not even alive when Devaux flew it in 1945.

Byron said the main challenge was cooperation from the weather. He explained that airfields in England during the 40s were large grassy fields, so it was a simple matter of pointing into the wind in any direction for takeoff. The Reynolds live and operate out of Wetaskiwin, where the concrete airstrip is at the mercy of crosswinds which I understand have been fierce lately. Thankfully a favorable window presented itself and the dream became a reality.

With a Gopro fastened to his helmet, and the Log Book safely stowed, Byron took flight against a glorious steel blue sky. Ted edited the footage beautifully and generously shared with us the video embedded at the bottom of this post.

We are floored by the phenomenal and gracious facilitation by these two gentlemen whose family represent the extensive and rich flying legacy of Alberta, Canada.

In the recently released Top Gun, Tom Cruise’s Maverick starts out piloting a futuristic aircraft up to Mach 10, or ten times the speed of sound – over 7,600 mph. I’m informed our true current capabilities are somewhere around Mach 5, closer to 3,800 mph. (I’m a huge TG fan and Lars will correct me if any of my flight data is incorrect so read on in confidence).

At any rate, the cruising speed of a Tiger Moth is 85 mph so Byron’s flight was just a tad more leisurely. The significance of what he and Ted accomplished by carrying all our signatories – and their stories – up in the antique Tiger Moth, is in my humble opinion, every bit as significant as achieving Mach 5 and beyond. Per ardua ad astra indeed!

About Lars McKie 73 Articles
An ordinary Swede with a passion for history and just grateful to be given the chance to participate and contribute to the project.

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