In search of the bushplanes of North America, I made a roadtrip through Northwest Ontario. I did not get to fly in any, as the season had all but closed down. Maybe next time. The good thing was I found most planes at home.
Beech Expeditor 3NM (Beech 18), CF-WUH (cn A-872 / CA-222)
Jeff Rankin-Lowe added the following remarks to the above:
This Beech Expeditor does not sit in a river or a lake, but rather in a garden-shaped pond... without any water! It sits on the Trans Canada Highway through town, next to a modest shopping plaza. It does not carry a registration nor any markings, but seems to be in pretty good shape.
One can see the remarkable difference in weather, from one day to the next.
|The Beechcraft Model 18, or "Twin Beech", as it was better known, is a 6-11 place, twin-engine, low-wing, conventional-gear aircraft that was manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas.
By the late 1930s, the winds of war had blown across Europe. Beechcraft management knew the company would be called upon to help the allied cause and they bet the future on increased production facilities and a new design dubbed the Model 18.
The design was mainly conventional for the time, including twin radial engines, all-metal semi-monocoque construction with fabric covered control surfaces and "taildragger" undercarriage, while less common were the twin tail fins.
Early production aircraft were either powered by two 300 hp (225 kW) Jacobs L6s or 260kW (350hp) Wright R-760Es. The 450 hp (295 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior became the definitive engine from the prewar C18S onwards.
The Beech 18 prototype first flew on 15 January 1937
Construction of the Beechcraft Model 18 ended in 1970 with the last Model 18 built going to Japan Airlines. Beechcraft set a record that still stands today for longest continuous production of a piston engine aircraft. Through the years, 32 variations of the basic design had flown, over 200 improvement modification kits were developed, and almost 8,000 aircraft had been built.
It has been on display here since 1994, but I would appreciate if someone could relate its operational history to me.
'Photo Frenzy' wrote me:
'The aircraft was built from parts of three planes and erected here on false floats in 1995, the work being done by Ken Rosche and Richard Hulina.
The original plane - CA-222 3NM - was built in 1952 and assigned to the Royal Canadian Air Force. While the Beech 18 was never intended to be used for the "budget-conscious" pilot, because the two P&W 985 radial engines will consume close to a barrel of fuel per hour, it is capable of being a perfect, no-frills, bush plane. Twin Beech aircraft will cruise at speeds close to 200mph on wheels and 145mph on floats, and can haul 8 people.'
|Next we went to the Seaplane base of Ignace, on the outskirts of town heading west on the Trans Canada Highway. What a splendid weather!|
|C-GZBR started its career with delivery on 30Oct58, with tailnumber 57-6167, to the USAF. Type designation L-20.
Its military career over, it was stored at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona for the period 21Jun72 to 13May75.
A civilian career got under way for this Beaver as N47032 when it went to a school in Grand Rapids,MI but as yet I have no date of this event.
It was imported to Canada in 1978 and was registered as C-GZBR for Ignace Airways Ltd, Ignace,ONT. on 29Apr88.
JP Airline Fleets (2007) quotes a previous identity, before C-GZBR, as N434GR.
The fleet of Ignace Airways consists of 3 aircraft: DHC-2 C-GZBR, DHC-3 C-FAPR and Cessna U206C Super Skywagon CF-TTL. The latter was in repairs somewhere, in a hangar, had some damage to it.
|DHC-3 Otter construction number 31 was the last of the first batch of six of ten DHC-3 delivered to the Royal
Norwegian Air Force. The batch of six were delivered in
crates by ship and formally handed over on 2nd March 1954.
This Otter took serial 5331 and code O-AG. The Otter originally joined the Communications Flight at Jarlsberg Air Base in July '54, moving to Gardermoen Air Base in November '54. In May 1955 it joined the Communications Flight at Bodo Air Base in northern Norway. C/n 31 was also deployed to the Antarctic on "Operation Penguin" from Oct1958 until Mar59.
After its exploits in the Antarctic, it was reassembled at the Horten Marine Base and joined 7192 Stotteving (Support Flight) at Orland Air Base in May 1959.
Its military career came to an end in june 1967 and it was struck off charge, having flown 4,177 hours in Air Force service.
As with all the other Royal Norwegian Air Force Otters, it was handed over to Halle & Peterson, Oslo the DHC agents in Norway for disposal. The Otter was sold to Wideroes Flyveselskap A/S to whom it was registered LN-LMM on 22nd June '67. For the next four years, the Otter flew on Wideroes scheduled services linking the remote communities of northern Norway, until replaced by the Twin Otter. LN-LMM was one of the last three Otters flown by Wideroes, all three of which were sold to Laurentian Air Services Ltd of Ottawa.
LN-LMM became CF-APR. By this stage of its career, LN-LMM's total airframe time had risen to 8,150 hours. The Bill of Sale for all three aircraft is dated 19th October 1971. The three Otters were shipped back to Canada and re-assembled at Laurentian's Ottawa base.
All three Otters entered service with Laurentian Air Services, which was a large operator of the DHC-3. Over the years, it operated 14 Otters. Although based at Ottawa, most of the company's flying was done in Quebec and Labrador.
CF-APR continued in service with Laurentian until sold in 1977 to Bearskin Lake Air Services Ltd of Big Trout Lake, Ontario, the registration by that stage having been changed to C-FAPR. It was to fly for this operator for the next 8 years, one incident being recorded, on 19th December 1979 at the aircraft's base at Big Trout Lake, where the outside air temperature was a sharp -20C. An extract from the report: "Prior to commencing take-off from the ice strip, the pilot selected an abort point. On take-off the aircraft passed the selected point, but the pilot continued, thinking that the aircraft would soon lift off. The Otter did become airborne but the gear struck a pile of snow. The pilot continued and landed at a land strip to inspect the damage".
.In April 1988 the Otter was sold to Ignace Airways Ltd of Ignace, Ontario, being re-registered in August 1996 to Ignace Airways (1996) Ltd.
C-FAPR supports fly-in fishing camps during the summer months.
Source: DHC-3 Otter by Karl E. Hayes
Truly a picture postcard setting
Next we went to the airport of Ignace, further out of town heading west on the Trans Canada Highway.
According to my information there are/were a few surviving Noorduyn Norseman airframes at/near the airport, someone is working on. See one on Airliners. net by Alain Rioux.
www.huronair.com has a page stating "Mr. GORDON H. HUGHES of NORTHLAND AIRCRAFT SERVICE, IGNACE ONT., him being foremost expert in Norseman Restoration...
A 2008 report by Sander Raaphorst in Verenigde Vleugels (a Dutch magazine) provided following details-
Norseman C-FKAS is unique in a way that its linnen fabric cover was replaced by aluminum sheetmetal.
In Oct.2016 I found reference that CF-GSR had gone to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum of Mount Hope,ONT.
Thanks to Ignace Airways for their kind hospitality.
Ignace Airways a.k.a. Ignace Outpost Ltd
The Roads Goes On...Forever :