Project Genesis

The author initially wanted to locate information for the Piper he had taken his first flight to detail the model he was building.  He started his research by entering the pilot’s surname and realized that his first flight was not in a Piper J-3C Cub. He located a picture of CF-FIZ, a Piper PA-11 and the name of the pilot’s widow, who still lived in Cloyne, ON. The author established contact with her and discovered that CF-FIZ was a leased aircraft.  She told him that her husband bought CF-HOC in 1955. It was very likely the PA-11 that the author flew in and was reproducing a 1:5th scale replica.

The author was surprised to hear the story of how her husband and brother-in-law learned to fly in Hamilton, ON and bought a Piper Cub from the associated factory. Despite the fact the author was born, raised and educated in Hamilton, he was totally unaware there was an aircraft factory that sold civilian aircraft. More research was in order.

The author was able to find a picture taken outside the Cub Aircraft Corporation Ltd. factory in 1938 on Wikipedia 1). The Cub Aircraft factory was located on Adams Street.

Cub Aircraft Canada c.1938. Adams Street, Hamilton, Ontario. (L-R) Don Andrews, Benny Keeler, Harold Humphreys, Ed Kenyon, Bert Duffin, Jack Hyslop, Al Andrew, Nick Nicholson, Mac Galbraith, R.L. Gibson – President, McGurk, Neil Christiansen.

The author realized that very little was known about the existence of Cub Aircraft in Hamilton and what was printed was very sparse.  The author discovered that 150 Cub Aircraft were manufactured as unique Canadian variations of the Piper Cub and decided he would focus on these aircraft.

At this point the author assumed the actual Cub Aircraft flight training was conducted at Mount Hope, 11km south of Hamilton.  Mt. Hope was part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) during World War II.  After the war Mt. Hope was the base for RCAF Station Hamilton until it closed in 1964.  Mount Hope Airport is now known as the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and the home of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.  It was at this airport that the author attended many airshows, from the 1950s until today.  

The author discovered that Hamilton did have a smaller municipal airport, within the city limits.  The Hamilton Municipal Airport, opened in 1929, was the home of the Hamilton Aero Club and used by the RCAF during the 1930s.  Cub Aircraft established a flying school at this airport and eventually built a new factory at this location.

The author started to look for specific details on the Internet.  He was able to e-mail the previous owner of a Hamilton built Cub Aircraft who suggested reading Canadian aviation publications, but once again, only a few paragraphs were allocated to the Cub Aircraft company and aircraft manufactured.  The lack of detailed information and pictures of the 150 aircraft built in Hamilton, became the genesis of this project.

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References   [ + ]

1. Public domain with permission by Darryl Schustyk