Artist/Maker/Manufacturer/Founder: de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd.
Earliest Production Date and Latest Production Date: 1947
Dimension: Height: 310 cm, Width: 1460 cm, Length: 990 cm
Accession # ; 1980.0775.001
Institution Name: Canadian Aviation Museum
Copyright: Canadian Aviation Museum
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd began the preliminary design of the Beaver in 1945; the prototype of which is on display at the Canada Aviation Museum. This particular Beaver was first flown in 1947 and was still in use by a Northern operator when the museum purchased it in 1980. The registration number of this Beaver, CF-FHB, is no accident: FHB are the initials of Fred H. Buller, who played a pivotal role in the Beaver’s design. Buller, originally a sailboat designer, later studied aeronautical engineering and stated that: “After all, what is an aircraft wing, if not a sail turned on its side?” The Beaver is a Canadian success story: it is one of the most produced Canadian designed aircraft. Almost 1700 single-engine Beavers were produced and a few hundred remain operational today. In 1987 the Engineering Centennial Board included the Beaver on the list of the top ten Canadian engineering achievements of the twentieth century. Punch Dickins, one of Canada’s early bush pilots and the first to reach Canada’s western Arctic coast by air, was hired by de Havilland Canada to poll bush pilots, therefore affecting the Beaver’s final design. Those consulted wanted a powerful, durable, rugged, easily accessible aircraft with short-takeoff-and-landing qualities. Pilots also sought a versatile aircraft with interchangeable landing gears so they could deliver goods year-round regardless of geography and weather conditions. In 2006, Vancouver’s Viking Air Ltd. purchased the type certificates for most de Havilland Canada’s designs from Bombardier Aerospace, obtaining the exclusive rights to rebuild and manufacture new Beavers.
AVIATION AND THE CANADIAN CONSCIOUSNESS
M.A. Art History, Concordia University
Bush planes have an important place in Canada’s national narrative. Their historical significance has been well …
This essay was written by an M.A. student in a Museum Practice seminar in the Department of Art History, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University. The seminar was taught by Dr. Loren Lerner with the assistance of Dina Vescio, a M.A. graduate of the program.
Bush Planes #146, 1947
2009. Colour photograph. Dimensions variable.
Chris Boyne completed his undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in 2006 …
This artwork, inspired by the national treasure, was created by a student artist in the Department of Studio Arts (Photography) under the supervision of Marisa Portolese, Assistant Professor in Studio Arts (Photography), Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University.