Two aircraft pioneers, Archibald S. Barkley and U.S. Commander Harold B. Grow, formed the Barkley-Grow Aircraft Corporation in 1936 to build an eight seat twin engine transport with a non-retractable undercarriage, the T8P-1 (Transport, 8 passengers, Model 1) first flown in 1937. The Canadian Car & Foundry Company of Montreal negotiated worldwide marketing rights outside of the United States and brought seven of the eleven planes produced between 1937 and 1940 into Canada. The aircraft was the only plane to use a unique patented multi-spar wing.

Grant McConachie, who later became president of Canadian Pacific Airlines, saw the plane as the answer to replacing his diverse fleet operating as Yukon Southern Air Transport. He arranged for three T8Ps at a price of $1.00 down and $1000 per month, none of which was ever paid. The arrival of CF-BLV, the Yukon Queen, brought the first twin engined all metal aircraft to operate in Canadas north. It was also the first in Canada to have two-way radio communication, radio direction finding and an uniformed crew. Flying from the Yukon to Vancouver required a stop in Fort St. John to change over from skis to wheels which lead to the innovation of skis which could be mounted under the wheels and tires making a quicker conversion.

Another famous Barkley Grow, The Explorer, was flown on floats by Admiral Byrd on his 1939 expedition to establish the land coast line of the Antarctic. In The Explorer he charted 900 miles of coastline and 150,000 square miles of previously unexplored territory.

Although the excellent design of the T8P was recognized it could not compete with the more established Beech and Lockheed companies which had comparable airplanes but with retractable undercarriages. In a hostile takeover the company was acquired by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company and absorbed into the parent company Vultee (now General Dynamics).

 

 
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