The early pioneering years of aviation in Alberta were marked by
the efforts of individuals who sought the thrill of the new
invention of flight, often building their own aircraft, and
discovering on their own how to fly. The story of these early
pioneers was amazing in the success they had and the way they
were able to experiment with few injuries.
Among these early pioneers were the Underwood brothers who
invented an unique aircraft that took to the sky without a
motor. The two teenage enthusiasts, J. Earle Young and Alf
Lauder were able to fly into the sky in their large kite that
was pulled from behind a car. In 1911, William Wallace Gibson
arrived in Alberta to test fly a successful aircraft made with
many wings and the first aircraft engine ever produced in
Other important Canadian aviation pioneers included Alexander
Graham Bell who invented the telephone, made many contributions
to the early development of flight, and brought the first
powered aircraft, the
Silver Dart, to Canada.
Other pioneers arrived to give demonstrations of flight in
the province when they flew kite-like biplanes. These pioneers
included Dider Masson. Others like Tom Blakely and Frank Ellis
experimented with their tiny Curtiss
Golden Flyer outside
Between 1916 and 1918, the American aviator, Katherine
Stinson arrived in Alberta to demonstrate unforgettable stunts
at summer fairs. She was available to deliver the first airmail
between Calgary and Edmonton.
In 1919, Ted Reynolds built his own airplane and used a motor
from a Model T Ford to fly it. He later played an important role
in the history of flying in Alberta, restoring and flying the
Curtiss JN 4 known as the "City of Edmonton".
||A photograph of sister ships 1926 -
1941 US Mail DC3 and Los Angeles Western Air Express,
Douglas World Cruiser. Presented to Captain James Bell
for service rendered.