CF-FHB the very first Beaver !

Our National Treasure.

Photo: Neil Aird © 1995
C-FFHB shortly after arrival at Rockcliffe.
Photo: Geoff McDonell © August 1980
C-FFHB near the end of her active life with NORCANAIR.
Photo: E.C.M.S. © October 1979 - Aird Archives
C-FFHB at La Ronge, SK.
Photo: John Kimberley © 13 November 1977 - Kenneth I. Swartz Collection
CF-FHB at Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo: Roger Braithwaite © 20 June 1970 - Adrian M. Balch Collection
CF-FHB at Calgary, Alberta.
Photo: George Kent © 1975
CF-FHB at Victoria Lake.
Photo: John Davids © Date unknown - Bob Cameron Collection
CF-FHB with Pacific Western Airlines.
Photo: Dave Robertson © Greg Robertson Collection
CF-FHB in early ski package promo image.
Photo: de Havilland Canada © Date unknown
CF-FHB-X kicks up some dust at Downsview.
Photo: de Havilland Canada - Bombardier © 16 August 1947 (Print #59)
Photo: de Havilland Canada © 16 August 1947 (Print 65)




Entries preceded by dates are from Department of Transport files.

26-Jun-1947 Temporary Authority by letter to DHC to operate CF-FHB for test and experimental purposes only, valid until 26-Sep-1947

• CF-FHB-X. First Flight 16-Aug-1947 at Downsview, ON. Pilot Russ Bannock.

Note: Registration initials represent the Beaver’s senior designer, F. H. Buller.

29-Sep-1947 Temporary authority (above) extended to 25-Nov-1947 and then eventually up to 22-Jun-1948.

• CF-FHB Re registered 06-Jan-1948.

• CF-FHB Sold to Central British Columbia Airways Ltd., Prince George. BC. 11-May-1948.

19-May-1948 Application for Registration by Central British Columbia Airways Ltd., Vancouver, BC.

31-May-1948 Test flown for C of A by George Neal.

01-Jun-1948 Temporary Authority by letter to Central British Columbia Airways to operate as a Commercial aircraft.

01-Jun-1948 Certificate of Registration  #7232 issued to Central British Columbia Airways Ltd (date ‘entered on the Register of Canada, C of R document prepared and dated 30-Aug-48)

25-Jun-1948 Certificate of Airworthiness #2814 issued (date valid, C of A document prepared and dated 30-Aug-48).

19-Aug-1948  Central British Columbia Airways advise that new set of wings complete with ailerons and flaps supplied by DHC installed due to cracks in the bulb angle formers running longitudinally in the wings which were spot welded to the outer skin. DHC identified faulty spot welding technique. 

23-Apr-1951 Central British Columbia Airways drawing for alteration to cargo dropping hatch approved. (From 18” circular to 18” x 21” rectangular).

Accident: Stewart, BC. 28-Feb-1953. Aircraft damaged when operating as ski-plane. Attempted take-off from unsuitable temporary strip, hit snowdrift after it veered sharply to port. Substantial damage to tail cone, stabiliser and elevators. No injuries suffered by pilot Ian MacLaren Watt. Flown to Prince George for repairs which were completed by 25-Apr-1953.

• CF-FHB Pacific Western Airlines Ltd., Vancouver, BC. May-1953 when PWA was formed with Central BC taking over several smaller operators.

21-Jul-1953 Owner name on Certificate of Registration and Certificate of Airworthiness amended to Pacific Western Airlines Ltd., Vancouver, BC.

Accident: Stewart BC. 06-Mar-1954. While attempting to take off on skis on a temporary airstrip the aircraft swerved off the runway onto rough ground. Substantial damage to rear of fuselage which was bent upwards approximately 18in forward at a 45deg angle. Tail and ski damaged. Shipped to Vancouver for repair.

26-Mar-1954 Seaplane gross weight amended to 5,090 lb due ventral fin modification (Ventral fin model 2/970)

04-May-1960 Dept of Transport approves use of Bradley Arctic Wheels 4.5 X 20-10 on CF- FHB.

02-Mar-1962 Bill of Sale, Pacific Western Airlines Ltd., to Northward Aviation Ltd.

Note: Late 1960s - Operated on Edo 58-4580 floats.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration #36071 issued to Northward Aviation Ltd., Edmonton, AB. 08-Mar-1966 Operated between 1967 and 1968.

30-Apr 1968 Bill of Sale, Northward Aviation Ltd., to B & B Aviation Ltd., Edmonton, AB., $17,000.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration #44476 issued to B & B Aviation Ltd., Edmonton, AB.

05-Jun-1968 Lease Agreement between B. & B. Aviation and Laurentian Air Services, lease 01-Jun-1968 to 30-Sep-1968.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration #44476 issued to Laurentian Air Services Ltd., under lease from B & B Aviation, 24-Jun-1968 (lease to 30-Sep-1968).

01-May-1969 Lease Agreement between B. & B. Aviation and North Canada Air (Norcanair), lease 01-May-1969 to 30-Apr-1970.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration (C of Rs no longer numbered) re-issued to North Canada Air Ltd., (Norcanair) Prince Albert, SK., under lease from B. & B. Aviation, 08-May-1969 (lease to 30-Apr-1970).

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration re-issued 26-Jun-1970 to Gateway Aviation Ltd., Richmond, BC., during lease from B. & B. Aviation.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration re-issued to B. & B. Aviation Ltd., Edmonton, AB. 14-Oct-1970.

15-May-1971 Lease Agreement between B. & B. Aviation Ltd and North Canada Air, lease 15-May-1971 to 15-Sep-1971.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration re-issued to North Canada Air Ltd., leased from B. & B. Aviation 19-MAY-71.

13 Apr 1972 Bill of Sale, B & B Aviation Ltd., to North Canada Air Ltd., $28,000.

15-Apr-1972 Bill of Sale, North Canada Air Ltd., to a partnership of A. Aaron, I. Macleod, J. B. Lloyd and J.A. Pool of Prince Albert, SK., for lease back to North Canada Air 15-Apr-1972 to 15-Oct-1972, later extended.

24-Apr-1972-Application for Registration by North Canada Air Ltd.

• CF-FHB Certificate of Registration issued to North Canada Air Ltd (Norcanair) 04-May-1972.

• C-FFHB Registration repainted Feb-1975.

28-Jan-1977 North Canada Air advises Dept of Transport that aircraft identity plate stolen, DHC to supply a modern replacement.

01-Mar-1978 Ownership passes to North Canada Air, no Bill of Sale of the file.

29-Jul-1980 Bill of Sale, North Canada Air to National Museum of Science and Technology, $69,865.

• CF-FHB National Aeronautical Collection, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, ON. Arrived, piloted by George Neal and re-registered 29-Jul-1980.

20-Aug-1980 Regional Office advise Ottawa that FHB permanently withdrawn from use.

• CF-FHB Cancelled from CCAR, 25-Aug-1980.

• CF-FHB Canada Aviation & Space Museum, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, ON.

Note: Aircraft has had three sets of wings, current set are from CF-HEP c/n 69, installed 1967.

A summary of the total hours flown since new.

06-Jul-1949  640 hours.

03-Jul-1950  1,027 hours.

13-Jun-1951  1,459 hours.

27-May-1952  3,196 hours.

14-Jan-1953  3,427 hours.

08-Jan-1954  4,185 hours.

03-Feb-1955  5,189 hours.

No data for 1956.

21-Jun-1957  6,859 hours.

05-Jan-1959   8,152 hours.

30-Dec-1959  8,747 hours.

29-Dec-1960  9,331 hours.

10-Jan-1962  9,826 hours.

18-Dec-1962  10,190 hours.

29-Jan-1964  10,697 hours.

14-May-1965  11,009 hours.

12-May-1966  11,489 hours.

01-Aug-1966  11,688 hours.

19-May-1967  11,942 hours.

28-May-1968  12,224 hours.

15-Apr-1969  13,327 hours.

21-Mar-1971  13,625 hours.

25-Mar-1972  13,979 hours.

13-Mar-1973  14,676 hours.

04-Mar-1974  15,291 hours.

03-Apr-1975  15,897 hours.

22-Mar-1976  16,373 hours.

15-Apr-1977  16,854 hours.

07-Apr-1978  17,405 hours.

09-Apr-1979  17,772 hours.

12-Mar-1980  18,233 hours.

Preserved in Museum

Neil's Interview with test pilot Russ Bannock at his home in Toronto.

Neil Aird © 23 February 1993

Photo CF-FHB page for model makers.