The name WACO is synonymous with classic antique biplanes throughout North America. Three partners calling themselves the Weaver Airplane Company (hence the acronym WACO), formed the company in Troy, Ohio in 1923. By 1929 WACO was the largest producer of commercial and general aviation aircraft in the U.S. In Canada, the WACOs were used extensively in the '30s and '40s for barnstorming, air ambulance work, recreational flying and general freight-carrying duties. The first air ambulance in western Canada was a QC-6 operated by Speers Airways, Regina in 1936. In 1934, the first model...Read More
In 1907, Toronto engineering classmates Frederick "Casey" Baldwin and John A.D. McCurdy inspired the great inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, with tales of flight. Bell, through his association with the pioneering aircraft visionary Dr. S. P. Langley, had a keen theoretical interest in flight research. The Wright Brothers had become household names, as had the Brazilian, Santos Dumont and the Frenchmen, Louis Bleriot and Henri Farman. The inventive in many countries were planning enthusiastically about the prospects for powered flight.
At the urging of (and with funding of $35,000)...Read More
The original three Ansons were designed as a six passenger commercial aircraft, the first of which flew in January, 1935. In 1936, the design was then modified for Royal Air Force use on general reconnaissance and transport particularly coastal patrol where is earned the nickname "Faithful Annie". Popular as a trainer, early in the Second World War the Anson was selected as the standard twin-engined aircrew (pilots, navigators and bomb aimers) trainer for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
The first Ansons (Mark I) were shipped disassembled from England to be reassembled...Read More
The first jet combat aircraft designed and built in Canada was the two-seat Avro CF-100. The project was started in 1946 with the first prototype flown on January 19th, 1950. Ten pre-production Mk.lls were followed by 70 Mk.lll production versions. On October 11, 1952, the prototype of the second operational variant appeared. The Mk.lV first flew with improved avionics and armament, plus more powerful engines. The last version was the Mk.V with a further increase in power. The RCAF accepted a total of 692 CF-100s and further 53 (all MK.V) were sold to Belgium. Officially the speed of CF-...Read More
The Lancaster was a direct development of Avro’s unsuccessful Vulture-powered Manchester twin-engined bomber. The first four-engined Merlin-powered Lancaster flew on January 9, 1941.The 4-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber makes its operational debut laying mines and the first bombing raid on Essen followed one week later. The Lancaster Mk.I, fitted with Merlin XX engines, remained the only version in service throughout 1942 and 1943.
While known to thousands of Canadian airmen who served with Bomber Command, the Lancaster will probably remain best known for its part in the famous...Read More
The aircraft is a twin engine, all metal, low wing transport with a heated cabin arranged for six passengers and a crew of two. The first model was rolled out in April 1937 by Barkley-Grow Corporation of Detroit, Michigan and was tested by famous racing pilot, Lee Gehlback.
A tribute to the Barkley's versatility was the fact that the aircraft could be operated on wheels, skis or floats depending on the season and conditions. One example was used to attempt the first non-stop flight from New York to Lima, Peru in 1939. Another was used by Admiral Byrd on his third Antarctic...Read More
The Beechcraft Expeditor was designed by Walter Beech as a commercial aircraft in 1936 and is one of the most successful aircraft designs in aviation history! During the Second World War it was used as a military transport and as a trainer. It remained in production until 1969 as a popular executive and civilian transport plane. It operated in Canada’s north, both on wheels and on floats.
Prairie Airways of Moose Jaw was the world’s first commercial operator of the Beech 18, taking delivery of CF-BKN, a Jacob’s powered version, in July 1938.
The post-war RCAF had a...Read More
Built by the Bell Aircraft Corporation, the first prototype flew on December 8, 1945. This was the first helicopter to use the amazing high visibility ‘goldfish bowl’ style canopy. On March 8, 1946 the Model 47 was awarded the world’s first helicopter type certification by the US Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). Bell built more than 4,000 47s between 1945 and 1974. Augusta Bell of Italy license built over 1200, Kawasaki of Japan, 239 and Westland of the UK, 239.
In 1949, a Bell 47 set altitude record of 18,500 ft and speed record of 153.9 mph. In the late 1940’s a Bell 47 was...Read More
Cessna Aircraft of Wichita, Kansas built the Cessna AGwagon in 1965 as one of the first purpose-built airplanes for seeding and aerial application of herbicides and pesticides. Prior to this most spray planes were converted from other uses, such as was done with Stearman and Tiger Moth trainers after the Second World War.
Aerial application is one of the most demanding types of flying and potentially hazardous as well. For effective spraying the pilot must fly within ten feet of the ground while avoiding power lines, cables, towers and any other hazards sticking up from the...Read More
The Cherokee II glider, designed by Stanley A. Hall, was introduced in 1956 specifically for amateur construction from plans. The entire airframe is made of wood and is covered in fabric. Upper surface spoilers control the glide path and the landing gear is fixed. Many examples vary in detail as home builders modified them to suit their own ideas, needs and desires.
Designer Stanley Hall had a lifelong passion for gliders; having designed no less than 10 different machines, he also contributed hundreds of articles to sailplane publications. Hall was called in to analyze a number of...Read More