The Modern Era (1970 - )
From 1970 on, as the economy grew, civilian and recreational aviation became more popular. Aerospace industries in British Columbia developed new and innovative products. Victoria based Viking Air has become known world wide for its fixed winged aircraft manufacturing and repair services. Flying schools, flying clubs and even home built aircraft organizations had also gained in popularity by this time. On display at the BC Aviation Museum is one of only three Trigull amphibious aircraft built in Victoria by the Trident Company. Also on display are several examples of homebuilt aircraft.
Like many enthusiasts, Burt Rutan draws strange-looking aircraft; but he builds them and they work – well. The “Quickie” was designed in 1977 by Rutan, T. Jewett and G. Sheehan. It has a foam core covered in glass fibre and weighs only 250 lbs. The innovative “canard” layout (tail first) makes it stall-proof. The engine is a 25 hp Onan built to power lawnmowers. Our example was built in Victoria in 1978 by Fran Benton, and was donated to the Museum in 1995.
Schreder “Airmate” HP 11-A
Richard Schreder of Bryan, Ohio designed this single-seat high performance sailplane in the early 1960s. The prototype flew in 1962 in time for the US Nationals in which Mr. Schreder placed third and made the longest flight. A total of 42 were subsequently built. with many variations and modifications.
Our example was completed in 1969 and was flown competitively by Horst Dahlem of Saskatoon. It was donated to the BCAM by Mr. Dahlem in August 2008 after a distinguished period of competitive gliding. With its 52 ft. span, this sailplane is dramatically displayed against the south wall of the Henderson Hangar.
In the early 1970’s a programme was launched at Patricia Bay to build an updated design for an amphibious sport plane. Ultimately the company “went under”. Viking Aviation has provided us with one of the prototypes of this locally significant aircraft.