In 1945 Brintnell formed Northwest Industries Ltd. at Edmonton and took over the facilities of Aircraft Repair, he also obtained the manufacturing rights for the Bellanca 31-55 Senior Skyrocket, and the Bellanca 60-76 Aircruiser, but no Bellanca Aircruisers were made in Canada.
The Bellanca 31-42 Senior Pacemaker and 31-55 Senior Skyrocket were introduced in 1935 as developments of the successful Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker and CH-400 Skyrocket and followed the same general design and type of construction. (The Canadian-made Senior Skyrockets, have been frequently, and erroneously, referred to as Skyrockets, a name previously assigned to the Bellanca CH-400.)
For postwar Canadian production wing flaps were introduced and the original Senior Skyrocket's long narrow ailerons had to be altered to short, wide-chord ailerons to give a reasonable flap span. The cabin was given a more rugged interior to make it more suitable for bush flying, and quickly removable seats were installed. This model was designated 31-55A. A later model, the
31-55B, was developed, with larger cabin doors and the cabin floor extended aft 38 in (96 cm).
Powered by a 600 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, the Canadian prototype, c/n 4 CF-DCH, was first flown, on skis, on February 28, 1946, at Edmonton by Stanley Ransom McMillan, and was shortly flown to the Bellanca factory in Delaware for modification approval since its original approval was under ATC 565. It was soon found that the wing flaps interfered with the cabin door opening when left in the down position, and the door design had to be modified.
All thirteen Senior Skyrockets, almost twice the American production of seven, were sold originally to mineral exploration or bush flying companies in Canada where they gave good service. As seaplanes they operated on Edo 55-7170A floats. Production stopped in 1949 with a slow-down in mineral exploration. Production in Canada and USA:
Bellanca 31-55A Senior Skyrocket.
CF-DOI c/n 1
CF-DCF c/n 2
CF-DCE c/n 3, converted to 31-55B November 1955
CF-DCH c/n 4, converted to 31-55B April 1948
CF-DCG c/n 5
CF-DCI c/n 6
CF-DOF c/n 7 (later to USA as N328E)
CF-DOH c/n 8
CF-DOG c/n 9
CF-DOJ c/n 10
CF-EQP c/n 11
The sole surviving Senior Skyrocket, CF-DCH, is held by the Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin.
(Reportedly CF-DCE was at the Canadian Museum of Flight in Vancouver in 1982.)
Bellanca 31-55B Senior Skyrocket.
CF-EQR c/n 13
CF-EQQ c/n 16
The c/n 12, 14, and 15 were not completed.
Bellanca 31-55 Senior Skyrocket
NC14700 c/n 806
NC14701 c/n 807
NC14761 c/n 808
NC15015 c/n 809
NC15016 c/n 810
NC15300 c/n 811
NC15953 c/n 812
XB-AAZ c/n 813
XH-TAB c/n 815
The following specifications refer to the Canadian-built Senior Skyrockets powered by a 600 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-S3H1 or R-1340-AN-1 Wasp engine:
Span: 50 ft 6 in (15.40 m)
Length: 27 ft 8 in (8.43 m)
Height: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Wing area: 311 sq.ft (28.89 sq.m)
Empty weight, 31-55A: 3,940 lb (1,805 kg)
Empty weight, 31-55B: 4,047 lb (1,836 kg)
Loaded weight: 6,450 lb (2,926 kg)
Max speed: 178 mph (287 kmh) at 5,000 ft (1,524 m)
Cruise speed: 160 mph (258 kmh) at 9,400 ft (2,865 m)
Climb: 950 ft (290 m)/min
Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)."