Aircraft were often homemade, small and flimsy. The machines
were made of spare parts found around the workshops of aviation
enthusiasts, and consisted of wings made of wood with cotton
stretched over them, kitchen chairs with the legs sawed off, and
motorcycle motors without the power to effectively fly.
Albertans kept up with the developments in aviation, and
there was a general interest in seeing new powered biplanes fly
at summer fairs. After reading about the design of aircraft,
Reginald Hunt from Edmonton built one and flew it for
thirty-five minutes on Labour Day, 1909. A year later he flew
his biplane at the exhibition, crash landing into a fence. He
stopped working on aircraft because there was no financial
support for the effort.
Early Flights In Alberta (Part 1), The Underwood Brothers of Stettler
In March 1913, Joseph Simmer of Calgary completed two months
of training in an air school in Chicago before building his own
Curtiss-type biplane. He hoped to start a flying school, and
give some exhibitions of flight. Simmer was successful in
showing his ability to fly, but was unable to set up the school.
Although public interest in aviation was high, there were not
enough people willing to sign up to pursue developments in this
new area professionally.