Since its creation in 1924, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has evolved into a storied national institution, one that has played a pivotal role in our nation’s history and in the skies above. Building on the foundations laid by Canadian pilots in the First World War, the fledgling RCAF first distinguished itself through its civil air operations, pioneering the use of aircraft for fighting forest fires and contributing to the mapping of Canada. When Canada’s Air Force stepped onto the world’s stage during the Second World War, the RCAF quickly made a name for itself at home and abroad, propelled forward by the war and peacetime contributions of its members.
Whether participating in air defence, Arctic patrols, NATO training, humanitarian flights, natural disaster relief, peacekeeping operations or search-and-rescue efforts or even providing space power support to the Canadian Armed Forces, Canada’s Air Force continues to defend Canada’s air space, saving lives, helping people at home and abroad, and serving Canada.
The 2024 Fine Silver Proof Dollar honours the RCAF’s history and legacy during its centennial year (“1924-2024”), and this seven-piece set contains an exclusive version of the collector coin. Instead of traditional (yellow) gold plating, an application of rose gold adds colour to the RCAF roundel’s maple leaf and the rim on the coin’s reverse.
Designed by Canadian artist Jason Bouwman, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s history and aviation fleet are represented by four significant aircraft (from left to right): the De Havilland DH-82C Tiger Moth symbolizes the RCAF’s early years; the McDonnell Douglas CF-188 Hornet represents its fighter fleet; the Lockheed CC-130 Hercules represents its fixed-wing aircraft fleet; and the Boeing Vertol CH-147 Chinook, its helicopter fleet. Three of the aircraft leave a contrail behind that begin to form the RCAF tartan, however, all four aircraft are connected to the Royal Canadian Air Force roundel, with the skyborne maple leaf (centre) representing Canada’s Air Force. The RCAF’s future and its space division are represented by the planets and orbital rings, with the two outermost rings running across the maple leaf to represent the centennial years “1924” and “2024” (and all that has been achieved between these centennial dates); the stars honour the RCAF’s current inspirational motto, Sic Itur ad Astra (“Such is the pathway to the stars”). At the bottom, the flaming parrot tulip (representing “Rescue”) is one of four tulip bulb types specially selected to commemorate the RCAF’s Centennial in gardens across Canada and at the Canadian Tulip Festival in 2024. The obverse features the effigy of His Majesty King Charles III by Canadian artist Steven Rosati.