Found Aircraft

Found Aircraft

Found Aircraft Canada is an aircraft manufacturer based in Parry Sound, Ontario. Found originally formed in 1946 to produce a new bush plane design, the FBA-1, but entered production in 1964 with the Found FBA-2. The original company ceased production of the FBA-2 in 1967. In 1994 the company re-formed, and starting in 1997 the FBA-2 re-entered production as the FBA-2C1 "Bush Hawk" and FBA-2C2 "Bush Hawk-XP", the only all-metal bush planes currently in production.

Two new and improved models are currently being developed for the private pilot market. Both will be built under their [http://www.expeditionaircraft.com Expedition Aircraft] brand, launched in 2007. The two models (the E350 and the E350XC) will be offered on both tricycle and conventional gear. The E350 is being marketed as a Cessna 206 competitor, featuring higher performance, four doors, and STOL performance.

History

In 1946, Found Brothers Aviation was established by Nathan K. (Bud) Found and his brother Micky, to design and build the FBA-1 aircraft. The design was based on experience gained from bush operations north of Edmonton, and down the McKenzie River to the Arctic coast. It was designed to operate on wheels, tundra tires, skis and floats and to withstand the rugged use encountered in the undeveloped regions of Canada’s bush country. The FBA-1 first flew in 1949 and was used as a proof of concept aircraft. [ [http://www.foundair.com/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=6 Found Aircraft, A Brief History] ]

Design refinements were started in 1950 for the FBA-2. Due to limited funds, progress was slow and this aircraft, with a tricycle landing gear, first flew in 1959. This flight demonstrated the aircraft’s excellent handling qualities and, as a result, John David Eaton (of Eaton's Department Stores) purchased two aircraft for Georgian Bay Airways in Parry Sound. Mr. Eaton also ended up being the major investor behind the development of the FBA-2C production model. Certification in Canada and the United States was obtained in 1964, with production starting that year.

Unfortunately, the company had difficulty producing the hand-made aircraft in a profitable manner and production ceased in 1967, after only twenty-seven examples had been produced. During the following thirty years, the FBA-2C developed a legendary reputation as a safe, rugged, reliable, and economical aircraft. Nine FBA-2C's remain flying in Canada today, some having over 13,000 hours of operation. [ [http://irap-pari.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/innovation/found_e.html Found Aircraft, A Canadian legend gets a new lease on life] ]

The Centennial 100 was developed as an improved version of the Found FBA-2 in 1966-67. Only five were built.

In 1994, N.K. (Bud) Found regained control to the rights of the aircraft. In 1996, these rights were then transferred to Found Aircraft Development. This company, and its wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary, Found Aircraft Canada, were established to develop and produce the FBA-2C1 Bush Hawk, essentially a minor update to the original in order to comply with new regulations. In 1997, Transport Canada reinstated the FBA-2C's type certificate. After two years of redevelopment work to the design, the Bush Hawk was certified in Canada in March 1999 and the United States in March 2000.

References

External links

* [http://www.foundair.com Found Aircraft Canada Inc. Web site]

Notable Facts

The [http://www.torontoaerospacemuseum.com/home.html Toronto Aerospace Museum] at Downsview Airport in Toronto, Ontario has the FBA-2A prototype in their collection.

The [http://www.aviation.technomuses.ca/collections/artifacts/aircraft/FoundFBA-2C.shtml Canadian Aviation Museum] at the Rockcliffe Airport in Ottawa, Ontario has serial #4 of the FBA-2C in their collection.

Found Aircraft's largest customer to date is the [http://www.doi.gov/ U.S. Department of the Interior] which uses the aircraft mainly in its [http://www.fws.gov/ U.S. Fish & Wildlife] division in Alaska.


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