This aircraft has a place in history as the first new plane ordered by the Canadian Air Force (which became the Royal Canadian Air Force April 1, 1924) and as the first production aircraft built in Canada. The Air Force in these early days carried out what are now regarded as civilian duties of fire detection, fire suppression and photography resulting in the pilots to be described as bush pilots in uniform. These bush operations, however, gave the personnel a variety and depth of experience unmatched in any other Air Force as well as experience in the use of aircraft in new and innovative ways. 

The CAF wanted an ideal flying boat for Canadian conditions and outlined their requirements as: an ability to withstand more wear and tear than a wartime machine, ability to land on snow and ice, an efficient hydroplaning bottom, good carrying space, ability to take off from fresh water 3000 ft. above sea level, an oil and water system capable of efficient operation at air temperatures from minus 60F to plus 100F and to be powered by the Rolls Royce Eagle V11 which they had in good supply as an Imperial Gift. In addition to the requirements of the aircraft the government wanted to use its development to create a Canadian aircraft industry. The calling for tenders and the awarding of the contract became a national and international controversy but eventually Canadian Vickers was chosen. 

The parent company in England had produced a Viking Mark I in 1919 as their first attempt at designing a water based plane. The prototype crashed December 18, 1919 killing the pilot, Sir John Alcock, of Atlantic crossing fame. Various modifications were made resulting in the Mark IV that went into production in 1921 to 1923. During that period a total of 24 Vikings were sold to the Japanese, French, Argentine and U.S. navies as well as some examples for various military and civilian customers. One of these customers was Laurentide Air Services whih purchased G-CAEB. ...

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