This superb walk-round has been specially taken for SEAWINGS by a dedicated flying boat enthusiast and our prolific correspondent, Louis Emond from Quebec, Canada. This is the only example of the type anywhere in the world, on display at the Canada Aviation Museum. The Museum example, G-CAAC, includes parts from the airplane that performed the first-ever "bush flight" in 1919. Manufactured in 1918, it ended up in the hands of the Canadian Government, and was presented to the St. Maurice Fire Protective Association. On September 2, 1922, it crashed into Lake Foss, Ontario, where it remained until 1968. A salvage operation was mounted, and the hull and many of the fittings were retrieved. The hull was preserved as found, and a new hull was constructed at the museum. There is a very good book describing in detail this 'restoration', however, as yet there is no 1/72 scale kit. Oh, how I wish.....

Grateful thanks go to Louis for taking the time and trouble to visit and take this quality gallery.

Curtiss HS-2L 22.jpeg (47865 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 21.jpeg (63089 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 19.jpeg (62336 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 20.jpeg (65449 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 18.jpeg (73024 bytes)
Curtiss HS-2L 16.jpeg (61290 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 13.jpeg (48652 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 14.jpeg (61275 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 2.jpeg (53058 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 9.jpeg (50043 bytes)
Curtiss HS-2L 23.jpeg (50003 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 8.jpeg (52049 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 3.jpeg (62952 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 4.jpeg (58064 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 24.jpeg (58049 bytes)
Curtiss HS-2L 17.jpeg (83438 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 6.jpeg (79575 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 15.jpeg (63087 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 10.jpeg (66456 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L 11.jpeg (42434 bytes)
Curtiss HS-2L 12.jpeg (46734 bytes) Curtiss HS-2L wreck.jpeg (66245 bytes)  

Our Canadian correspondent, Alex Norton, also recently visited Canada’s National Aviation and Space Museum at the old Rockcliffe flying boat base and airport to see the Curtiss HS-2L on display there, which is a reconstruction located beside the hull of the original that this reconstruction represents.

Whilst there, he found the museum website had this to say about the ‘boat:

"This is the only complete HS-2L in the world. It is a reconstruction of G-CAAC La Vigilance, which belonged to Laurentide Air Service Limited, the world’s first bush- flying company. The original La Vigilance was the company’s first aircraft; it was built in 1918 and made the first bush flight in Canada in 1919. That same year Stuart Graham, Canada’s first professional bush pilot and a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, began his civilian career in La Vigilance, and his wife Madge Graham, became the first Canadian woman to participate in flight when she accompanied him between Nova Scotia and Quebec.

On September 2, 1922 La Vigilance crashed into Foss Lake, Ontario, where it remained until 1967, when Donald Campbell of Kapuskasing reported the location of the wreck at the bottom of the lake. The hull, along with metal parts and fittings from the aircraft, was retrieved by the Museum during a salvage operation between 1968 and 1969. The original hull was preserved separately and is displayed next to the reconstructed aircraft, which was built using parts from three different HS-2Ls. Restoration of this HS-2L lasted from 1970 until 1986 making it the largest and longest restoration project the Museum has undertaken.”

Ken Molson & A.J. Shortt wrote 'The Curtiss HS Flying Boats' and the museum published it in the mid-90s. The US Naval Institute Press either co-published it or re-published it. Molson also wrote about the HS-2L in the Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.

There is also a pdf available about it on the Canadian Aviation & Space Museum’s website which can be downloaded from: www.aviation.technomuses.ca/assets/pdf/e_HS-2L.pdf

As usual, my grateful thanks goes to Alex for a superb walk-round image collection. That's another museum I can cross off my 'must visit' list; for this HS-2L forget it, for with these images we have all just been there! Thanks, Alex.

Now, where is that 1/72 scale kit?