Article: The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd.

  • Image of de Havilland Tiger Moth at Toronto, Ontario plant, c 1930s

    March, 1929, The de Havilland Gazette

    The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited was incorporated in March, 1928, when Mr. R. A. Loader, late assistant business manager of the English de Havilland Company, came out to Canada to organise the Company. Within a few days of incorporation of the Company, an aerodrome – which has been described as the best in the vicinity of Toronto and one of the best in Eastern Canada – had been chosen, and by the first week in April, a hangar had been erected and additional warehouse accommodations close at hand was secured.

    By the end of April, production was in full swing and the first Moth produced (from sets of parts manufactured in England) was the one presented to the Toronto Flying Club by Sir Charles Wakefield. Then followed several machines for private owners and one for Dominion Airways of Vancouver. As early as the middle of May, production reached four weekly to cope with an order of twenty Moths placed by the Controller of Civil Aviation for the equipment of the Canadian Flying Clubs, and this rate continued until the slackening of the flying season in October.

    Moths were supplied in quantity to the Royal Canadian Air Force, International Airways, Aircraft Limited, Great Western Airways Limited, and other concerns operating flying schools. A number were delivered to mining companies operating in Northern Ontario and Quebec, where aeroplanes are the only practical means of transport. So successful did those machines prove that it seems likely that in 1929 the Moth will be the standard vehicle of the up-to-date prospector. Private ownership increased rapidly during 1928 and there is every indication that a further steady increase will occur in 1929.

    The Company has established a very efficient service station where a large stock of spare parts is kept. A repair and overhaul branch is also in operation. The extension at an early date of these services to other important centres in the Dominion is contemplated.

    During 1928, from April 17 to December 31, the Company’s machines on test, demonstration and instructional work flew over 450 hours, equivalent to 35,000 miles, without a single breakage or injury to personnel. During the course of demonstrations, the Company’s machines have covered a large portion of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec either as landplanes or seaplanes and a programme of flights of this nature is constantly being carried out.

    A special school was established in June at the request of the Department of National Defence to undertake the training of Flying Club Instructors. This School, in charge of Mr. E. Leigh Capreol, a Canadian, the Chief Pilot of the Company, was a great success and no less than eight pilots trained obtained their commercial licenses and are now doing well with the organisations which they joined. Mr. Capreol has also taught a number of other pilots ab initiro several of whom now own Moths.

    Image of de Havilland Tiger Moth at Toronto, Ontario plant, c 1930s

    This article originally appeared in the March, 1929 edition of the de Havilland Gazette.

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