Article: MacDonald Bros. Aircraft

  • Image of outside of MacDonald Brothers shop, Winnipeg, c. 1950s

    March, 1953, Aircraft and Airport

    The diversified production program at MacDonald Bros. Aircraft Limited has included aircraft overhaul for the RCAF and manufacturing work subcontracted from principal aircraft concerns in Eastern Canada. Commencing with the production of seaplane floats in the depression era of the 1930’s, expanding as a military aircraft contractor in World War II, successfully overcoming the problems of the re-conversion period, and now participating in developments in the turbojet field as well as overhaul work on modern aircraft, MacDonald Bros. has gained recognition as a permanent unit of Canada’s aircraft industry.

    The plant is located at Winnipeg’s Stevenson Airport and, during 1952, the number of employees increased to over 1,000, with productive floor space exceeding 200,000 square feet. Expanded activity is primarily due to a continuous program of airframe conversion and overhaul of Beech Expeditors and F-51 Mustangs, plus accelerated production of welded stainless steel assemblies for turbojet and reciprocating aero engines.

    Airframe Overhaul and Conversion

    The MacDonald Bros. plant is approved as a Beech certified service station in Canada and, during the past four years, the company has undertaken major overhaul of C-45 Expeditors, and this work is continuing. In addition, a quantity of C-45 Expeditors is being converted to D-18S trainers for use as navigation and pilot trainers. Work on Mustangs has included modification and weatherization for Canadian operations.

    Mustang and Mitchell Spares

    Supplementary to the airframe overhaul program, the company is manufacturing quantities of Mustang and Mitchell spare parts for the RCAF under license from North American Aviation Inc.

    Electronic Equipment

    A feature of modification work on both Mustang and Beech aircraft is the replacement of existing radio communication equipment with units of modern design. In addition to this work on airborne units, the electronic department carries out overhaul of RCAF ground station communication equipment, consisting of transmitting and receiving apparatus.

    Edo Floats

    The history of the company dates back 22 years, when it was first incorporated for the purpose of manufacturing all-metal seaplane floats under license from Edo Corporation of New York. Float production has been continuous since that time and over 750 installations have been made. Current production is largely for the Beaver and the Otter.

    Stainless Steel Components

    Manufacture of precision turbojet components for high-temperature application is currently being carried out under contract from Avro Canada and Rolls-Royce of Canada. This work involves the production from stainless steel of the exhaust portion of the Avro Orenda, and the exhaust unit for Rolls-Royce Nenes. Other stainless steel components are being built for piston-type engines, including the exhaust tail pipe assembly for the Beaver, and exhaust stacks and shrouds for Mustang and Mitchell aircraft. A 15,000-square-foot plant extension has recently been added to take care of the increased volume of stainless steel welded assemblies.

    Image of outside of MacDonald Brothers shop, Winnipeg, c. 1950s

    This article originally appeared in the March, 1953 edition of Aircraft and Airport magazine.

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