The aircraft was the F-11 Husky and incorporated a number of features which were to make it popular with its users. The rear fuselage was upswept which permitted a large rear door for loading long articles, including canoes, and making it possible when used as a seaplane to heel the Husky onto a beach and unload the cargo without getting one's feet wet. There were also large side doors for conventional loading.
The rudder was interchangeable with the elevators and the flaps and the left and right ailerons were also interchangeable. A high aspect ratio wing with slotted flaps was chosen for good performance. The fuel tanks, like the
DHC-2's which followed, were located in the fuselage for accessibility. Accommodation was provided for two pilots, and eight passengers could be seated on bench seats or up to seven in individual chairs.
An intended tricycle undercarriage and a cantilever float chassis were never developed. The fuselage and the fin and tailplane were of aluminum stressed-skin construction. The wing was an all-metal structure but fabric covered aft of the front spar on the upper surface and between the spars on the lower surface. The flaps, and control surfaces were of fabric-covered metal construction.
Powered by a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. the F-11-1 prototype,
CF-BQC, was first flown on 14 June, 1946, from the St. Lawrence at Longueuil by A.M. McKenzie. For that flight only, small rectangular fins were mounted at each tailplane tip. Only twelve Huskies were made because Fairchild Aircraft went out of business due to the bankruptcy of its subsidiary, Fairchild Industries Ltd, which had been started to make prefabricated houses.
The Husky's users thought very well of it, although it was underpowered. Nickel Belt Airways initially bought the design rights which were later acquired by Boreal Airways. Neither company used the rights which were then acquired by Husky Aircraft of Vancouver. Husky Aircraft designed a 550 hp Alvis Leonides 503/8 or 514/880 installation with a three-blade propeller and this was fitted on CF-EIM by Vancouver Aircraft Sales. Redesignated F-11-2, CF-EIM-X (the 'X' was temporary) was first flown by A. M. McKenzie, then vice president of Husky Aircraft at Vancouver, on 6 July, 1956.
Peter Carbin remarks: "My father, Orval W. Carbin, flew this airplane after he was discharged from the RCAF. He served in WW II as crew chief in a Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.II. He learned to fly in a Tiger Moth and also flew the Avro Anson. After his bush flying experience in Northern Canada he became employed at Avro Canada where he worked on the Arrow. He eventually moved to the USA where he passed away. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knew my father during his time in the RCAF."
F-11-2 proved to be a most popular aircraft and the type saw most of its service in British Columbia.