ROSS MAHON COLLECTION
No. 4042. Boeing Canada C-204 Thunderbird
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Boeing Canada C-204 Thunderbird

08/31/2015. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Model 204 was a redesignation by Boeing, Seattle, USA, of unbuilt B-1Es given a new model number to indicate that they were a 1929 design rather than a direct development of the B-1 of 1919. Outwardly, it was indistinguishable from the B-1E but had an increase in capacity to five seats. Five 204s were started but only the first two were completed at the factory, one as 204 (c/n 1076, NC874E) and the other as 204A (c/n 1077, NC875E). A third, using the previously-assigned factory c/n 1078 and civil registration NC876E, was completed by a private owner who bought a complete set of parts from the factory; a sort of do-it-yourself project.

The Model 204A, the second factory-built 204, was completed as a specially appointed personal air-taxi to the special order of William "Bill" E. Boeing, fitted with dual controls and a number of deluxe features and equipment. Later, under the ownership of Percy Barnes, it flew mail on a privately-owned Seattle-Victoria airmail service similar to that flown by the original B-1.

The first type to be produced by the newly formed Boeing Aircraft of Canada Ltd. was a slightly modified version of the Seattle-designed Boeing 204, the last of a family of single-engined pusher flying-boats developed by the Boeing Airplane Co. Five of their predecessors (B-1D/B-1E) had been imported by Western Canada Airways Ltd and used primarily for fishery patrols along the British Columbia coast. Almost certainly this influenced taking the decision to build the type in Canada.

Manufacturing started in the summer of 1929 with jigs and tools imported from the parent company. Some changes were incorporated and the Canadian version was designated Model C-204 to indicate the difference. It was also named Thunderbird and became the first Boeing type to be named. The changes were:

Created March 19, 2005