Air Enthusiast 1995-09
R.Grant - Splashing and Spitting
Buhls frequently dropped into Wawa to refuel for spring trips further north. CF-OAR had float settings altered on August 20,1936, to improve performance. Pilot W M Emery claimed that the longest time with full load to 1,000ft took five minutes instead of the usual seven. DH.60 Moth floatplane in the background.
Seven other Buhls besides the OPAS-built examples flew in Canada. Assembled in 1928 and in service with Cherry Red Airline Ltd of Prince Albert, Sask, CF-AAY lasted only from April until October before being destroyed in a forced landing.
Buhl CF-OAQ utilised four large lengths of tubing to join the two wings. Combined with drag of flying wires, float braces and struts, it is no surprise that RCAF/DND pilots pronounced the test aircraft a marginal performer during trials in Ottawa.
No OPAS Buhl Airsedan flew on wheels. This unmodified CA-6 model was exported to Canada and flew either for Cherry Red Airline Ltd or Brooks Airways in Saskatchewan and Alberta. It carries the factory issue non-curved rudder and standard lower wing.
Buhl paint schemes varied but at Biscotasing, CF-OAS sported an all yellow design. The third Buhl produced in Sault Sainte Marie, it was sold in 1948 to an operator in Armstrong, north of Lake Nipigon. Scrapped by 1951, parts existed in Red Lake until the mid-1950s.
Buhl CF-OAQ was the first OPAS-built machine; Although engine power and make varied throughout its career, RCAF Warrant Officer A A Rabnett of Ottawa tested CF-OAQ with a 320hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp, Jr on November 4,1935.