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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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The Edmonton Aircraft Company

May Airplanes Ltd.

May-Gorman Airplanes Ltd.

McCall Aero Corporation

Yukon Southern Air Transport

Canadian Airways Ltd.

Difficult To Make Money

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Difficult To Make Money

"Wop" May became the first to land an aircraft at VikingWhen many military pilots returned from the First World War, they worked to establish a civil aviation industry. But laying the foundations for such an industry proved a challenge as there was no clear vision of what it would do. Air service was more informal in the beginning, with aviators covering a wide range of tasks such as providing demonstrations during the summer fairs, transporting cargo, rescuing those lost in remote regions, delivering the mail, and carrying passengers.

When a need was found for more established commercial air services, like in the Peace River region, other former war pilots created companies and immediately initiated tough competition. Added to these challenges was the fact that it remained expensive to keep aircraft in the air.

Added to these difficulties was the economic depression of the 1930s that reduced the amount of activities for aviation companies in Alberta. The supply of surplus aircraft and parts that was available right after the war was exhausted and replacements were expensive. Fewer communities could afford to pay for demonstrations during the summer fairs, and few passengers were found.

It was becoming more and more difficult to make a living in this flight-related business during these early decades of aviation in Canada.

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