| Martin Haworth|
Saw the pictures of the Reynold's Museum's JN4Can on your web site and thought I would drop you a line. I don't know if you have the history of this aircraft, but I can give you a quick over view if you don't.
The aircraft is actually the third JN4Can to bear the name "Edmonton". The first was purchased by subscrition by the people of Edmonton, Alberta and donated to the Royal Flying Corps, Canada for use as a trainer. This was written off in training by hamfisted students and replaced by a new aircraft, also named "Edmonton" in recognition of that city's original subscription. This aircraft followed the fate of the first and was replaced by the current aircraft. At war's end, an Edmonton real estate developer (who's name escapes me at the moment) bought the aircraft from the Canadian Government and donated it back to the City of Edmonton.
The City, at a loss as to what to do with an airplane, finally leased the aircraft to May Airplanes Limited for the sum of $25.00 per month. This company was owned by Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame inductee "Wop" May and his brother Court. (Wop May, as well as being an important figure in Canada's aviation history, has the distinction of being the man the Red Baron was trying to make his 81st victim when he was in turn shot down. The Canadians and the Austrtalins are still fighting over who actually shot down the Red Baron, so I will remain diplomatically neutral on this point.) On June 7, 1919, George Gorman, a May Airplanes employee made the first commercial flight in Western Canada delivering copies of the Edmonton Journal newspaper to the town of Wetaskiwin, Alberta by air. The aircraft also recieved the first commercail registration in Canada, C-AAI.
May Airplanes operated the JN4 until 1924 when it was returned to the City of Edmonton. (This is what the offical histories say, but infact the aircraft had seen hard service and was baddly in need of a complete overhaul which the Mays were unable to afford and which the City of Edmonton was unwillng to subsidise. May Airplanes was also very shakey financially and the city in effect reposesed the JN4.) The aircraft remained in storage until 1926 when it was purchased by Peter Lenbekmo. A half share in the airplane was traded to Ted Reynolds of Wetaskiwin in exhcange for an overhauled OX5 engine. Lenbekmo's wife, however, took a very dim view of aviation and Peter was forced to trade his share of the aircraft to Reynolds for a Star motor car in 1928. Ted Reynolds completed the overahul of the Canuck and flew it regularly until 1931 when it was again placed in storage. the aircraft has remained in the Reynolds family ever since.
In 1980 the JN4Can was given a complete ground up restoration, with a view to repair and preservation rather than replacement, and returned to airworthy condition. It is approximately 80% original as it sits today and one of the most historially important aircraft in any Canadian aviation museum.
02/14/2001 @ 15:56 [ref: 1614]