The Fleet 80 Canuck was originally a homebuilt designed by Robert Noury. Fleet bought the design rights as WW II ended in order to transition from war time production to a peace time market. The homebuilt prototype was tested by Borden Fawcett (my first instructor!) and subsequent testing at Fleet was done by Tommy Williams. A tandem version was to be offered, but only the side by side entered production. The Canuck was also offered with Fleet skis and floats.
Two hundred and twenty-five Canucks were eventually built. Fleet 80ís were active in most flying schools across Canada and a whole generation of pilots got their start in this roomy, easy handling and forgiving trainer. The last ones were assembled by Leavenís Bros. who had bought up parts and the rights after Fleet encountered financial difficulties from the post war aviation boom, which never materialized. Original price was $3869.25 plus $247.63 tax.
The Canuck is a very robust airframe, stressed to +7/-6 gís. For many years a Canuck held the world altitude record for its class, at over 18,000 feet. Used mainly as a trainer in the early years, some are still active in that role. Approximately eighty are left on the civil register.
C-FEOH was assembled in early 1953 and was operated until 1966 by Central Airways at Toronto Island Airport. It was sold to the Edmonton flying Club where it continued as trainer until 1986. During that time it trained many pilots (twenty-five that I know of) who are now senior (or retired) pilots at Air Canada. Many of these pilots got their first jobs as instructors in C-FEOH and have now risen to supervisory positions on B-747-400ís and A-340ís.
C-FEOH was the first Canuck to be converted to the Continental O-200 by EFC in 1971. Last recover was in 1973 with Razorback after the aircraft was written off, and last repainting was in 1980 at the Edmonton Flying Club. (During one six year period, EOH was in ten reportable accidents). Total time on airframe is now over 22,000 hours.
C-FEOH is now in semi-retirement, where she flies off the grass at Lyncrest, near Winnipeg, Manitoba.