About Chris Falconar, Dipl. AeEng., AME M&S, EAA 2083 Designee 266



 Chris Falconar’s first encounter with the Flying Flea was seeing a HM14 at the popular Eaton’s department store in Montreal in 1935.  His dad even gave him a model to build.  As he grew up, model plane building and flying were his major hobby.


After High School in the Montreal area, Chris worked in the aviation industry and learned manufacturing skills of sheet metal and toolmaking.  He joined the Montreal Soaring Council and became a glider pilot.  During this time he met and befriended aeronautical engineer, Georges Jacquenin who did the translations for HM360 plans and manuals for the HM290.


Chris Falconar went to Calgary, Alberta and studied aeronautical engineering, graduating in 1953.  He then worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) for Spartan Air Services Ltd., then the largest aerial survey company in the world.  This experience took him all over Canada including the west and the arctic where he had to keep aircraft operational at remote airstrips in the bug infested heat of summer to –500 F in winter.


In 1956 he left Spartan and went to France as a crew member for the Canadian Team to the World Soaring Championships.  There he met many aviation notables including Charles Fauvel, Wolf Hirth, Hanna Reisch, and Karel Dlouy.  He met several French amateur aircraft builders and saw their projects.  After the soaring meet, he toured Europe and many aviation centers.


Returning to Canada, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) manager, Bill Pepler, persuaded Chris to start a Chapter of EAA in Edmonton, Alberta, his destination.  On the way west he stopped in Milwaukee and met Paul Pobereqny and family, including young Tom.  He journeyed to Oshkosh and had a flight with Steve Wittman.


Indeed EAA Capter 30 was established in Edmonton.  He also started the Edmonton Soaring Club.  Both are still flourishing today.  Chris is a life member of each. 


He pursued more studies in aircraft maintenance and earned a coveted Category B which authorized him to sign out aircraft after a major repair, modification and manufacture.  He established Falconar Aircraft Ltd. Which did mostly aircraft maintenance, mod design and installations.  Always interested in small aircraft, Georges Jacquenin got him sales rights to the Mignet Flying Fleas.  In 1958 he flew to the EAA convention at Milwaukee and met Frank Easton whose friend flew a Flea to the convention.


During the 60’s, Falconar Aircraft Ltd. sold many plans, kits and supplies for Fleas and other amateur built aircraft.  In 193, the Little Demon (VW) engine was developed to the specifications of the Indonesian government.  They used it in a little 2-seat tandem aircraft.  Since then a number of engines were built and his book “Propeller conversions for VW Engines” sold many copies.


In 1966 Chris Falconar’s close friend Jack Johnson built and flew the first Flea in the Edmonton area.  He racked up many flying hours in it.  Alas, one day a grass fire consumed the poor little Flea.


He developed the remarkable HIPEC® coating system.  He had Lincoln Cloth approved (Canadian counterpart of Ceconite).  Falconar Aircraft was sold in 1971 to pay off debts and raise his boys.  Chris still worked for it designing the SAL 2/3 Mustang fighter replica.


He left the company in 1973 and free-lanced with his AME license.  He brought up his boys, got involved in community, Boy Scouts, kids hockey, skiing, real estate and some travel.  He rebuilt an Ercoupe, designed folding wings for it and flew it to Oshkosh in 1985.


In 1985 Falconar Aviation Ltd. was established.  FAL bought A & B Sales which had acquired many of the plans originals from the original Falconar Aircraft Ltd. in 1971.  Chris Falconar became president of Hirth Engines International.  HEI conducted testing and sales of Hirth Engines and installation packages sold throughout the world.  He wrote manuals for Hirth installation and operation.  The company fell victim to a lawsuit that destroyed it.  Falconar Aviation Ltd. was destroyed in a vandal attack in 1994.  In 1995 Falconar Avia Inc. emerged and carried on the activities of sales, research and engineering.


Plans and kits for the Flying Fleas are being upgraded with the use of Delrin bearings and the HIPEC® finishing system for fabric covering.  The HIPEC® secures fabric to structure without laborious, ugly rib stitching and taping.  Chris Falconar directed the $30,000 program to prove the system.





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Last updated Feb 12, 2017