Canadian Aerospace Artists Association





The 1917 Hoffar H-1 - by Colin E. Bowley

The 1917 Hoffar H-1 - by Colin E. Bowley

One of the earliest aviation achievements in British Columbia involved the boat-building brothers James and Henry Hoffar, who were born in Vancouver in the late 1800's.

In 1914 they became seriously interested in flying. In 1912 the British magazine 'Flight' had published a series of articles about the Avro Biplane and, using these articles as a guide, the brothers decided they would build their own seaplane.

The aircraft was designated the Hoffar H-1. It was constructed of Ash and Spruce, fabric covered, and braced with piano wire. Power was provided by a Roberts 6X boat engine, a six cylinder, water-cooled, two cycle engine, rated at 75 horsepower.

By the summer of 1917 the H-1 could often be seen taxiing or flying around the Burrard Inlet and Coal Harbour. On one occasion it was reported to have reached an altitude of 2000 feet, and it also claimed to be the first airplane to fly over downtown Vancouver.

The life of the H-1 unfortunately was to be a very short one, and by the end of the year it was deteriorating so badly that after saving the engine and the propeller, the rest of the aircraft was scrapped and the remains were 'buried at sea'.

16 x 24 inches, Acrylic

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