About Chris Falconar, Dipl. AeEng.,
AME M&S, EAA 2083 Designee 266
Falconar’s first encounter with the Flying Flea was
seeing a HM14 at the popular Eaton’s department store in Montreal in 1935. His dad even gave him a model to build. As he grew up, model plane building and
flying were his major hobby.
After High School in the Montreal area, Chris worked in the aviation
industry and learned manufacturing skills of sheet metal and toolmaking. He joined the Montreal Soaring Council and became
a glider pilot. During this time he met
and befriended aeronautical engineer, Georges Jacquenin
who did the translations for HM360 plans and manuals for the HM290.
Chris Falconar went to Calgary, Alberta
and studied aeronautical engineering, graduating in 1953. He then worked as an aircraft maintenance
engineer (AME) for Spartan Air Services Ltd., then the largest aerial survey
company in the world. This experience
took him all over Canada
including the west and the arctic where he had to keep aircraft operational at
remote airstrips in the bug infested heat of summer to –500 F in winter.
In 1956 he left
Spartan and went to France
as a crew member for the Canadian Team to the World Soaring Championships. There he met many aviation notables including
Charles Fauvel, Wolf Hirth,
Hanna Reisch, and Karel Dlouy. He met several French amateur aircraft
builders and saw their projects. After
the soaring meet, he toured Europe and many
Returning to Canada,
Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) manager, Bill Pepler,
persuaded Chris to start a Chapter of EAA in Edmonton, Alberta,
his destination. On the way west he
stopped in Milwaukee
and met Paul Pobereqny and family, including young
Tom. He journeyed to Oshkosh and had a flight with Steve Wittman.
Indeed EAA Capter 30 was established in Edmonton.
He also started the Edmonton Soaring Club. Both are still flourishing today. Chris is a life member of each.
He pursued more
studies in aircraft maintenance and earned a coveted Category B which
authorized him to sign out aircraft after a major repair, modification and
manufacture. He established Falconar
Aircraft Ltd. Which did mostly aircraft maintenance, mod design and
installations. Always interested in
small aircraft, Georges Jacquenin got him sales
rights to the Mignet Flying Fleas. In 1958 he flew to the EAA convention at Milwaukee and met Frank
Easton whose friend flew a Flea to the convention.
During the 60’s,
Falconar Aircraft Ltd. sold many plans, kits and supplies for Fleas and other
amateur built aircraft. In 193, the
Little Demon (VW) engine was developed to the specifications of the Indonesian
government. They used it in a little 2-seat
tandem aircraft. Since then a number of
engines were built and his book “Propeller conversions for VW Engines” sold
In 1966 Chris Falconar’s close friend Jack Johnson built and flew the
first Flea in the Edmonton
area. He racked up many flying hours in
it. Alas, one day a grass fire consumed
the poor little Flea.
He developed the
remarkable HIPEC® coating
system. He had Lincoln Cloth
approved (Canadian counterpart of Ceconite). Falconar Aircraft was sold in 1971 to pay off
debts and raise his boys. Chris still
worked for it designing the SAL 2/3 Mustang fighter replica.
He left the company
in 1973 and free-lanced with his AME license.
He brought up his boys, got involved in community, Boy Scouts, kids
hockey, skiing, real estate and some travel.
He rebuilt an Ercoupe, designed folding wings
for it and flew it to Oshkosh
In 1985 Falconar Aviation Ltd. was established. FAL bought A & B Sales which had acquired
many of the plans originals from the original Falconar Aircraft Ltd. in
1971. Chris Falconar became president of
Hirth Engines International. HEI conducted testing and sales of Hirth Engines and installation packages sold throughout the
world. He wrote manuals for Hirth installation and operation. The company fell victim to a lawsuit that
destroyed it. Falconar
Aviation Ltd. was destroyed in a vandal attack in 1994. In 1995 Falconar Avia Inc. emerged and carried on the
activities of sales, research and engineering.
Plans and kits for
the Flying Fleas are being upgraded with the use of Delrin
bearings and the HIPEC® finishing
system for fabric covering. The HIPEC® secures fabric to
structure without laborious, ugly rib stitching and taping. Chris Falconar directed the $30,000 program
to prove the system.
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updated Feb 12, 2017