|Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, February 25, 2002 - by: Gerald Crawford
|A friend of ours, Jim Steadman, found this machine somewhere
and fixed it up. He sometimes drives it around the lake. His information is that
it was owned by Dr. Silver, of Hudson Bay, years ago, but he doesn't know who built
Editor's Note: I am so glad to know that the snowplane is not just
some relic of the past. On Friday Wayne Lorch, son of Karl E. Lorch,
the manufacturer from Spy Hill who built so many of these machines, phoned
me as he was trying to find out about the machine we had in the story on snowplanes on Tuesday.
Wayne was there and told me that he had visited the Fudge factory in Moosomin
and that like his father's production, much of it was sold to Canadian and US military
contracts. The reason his dad had set up the factory in North Dakota was to fill
the US contract for the machines.
I had said that I thought the Fudge machines were slightly bigger an Wayne explained
that those his father built and those manufactured by Fudge were about the same size
and that my impression of size was most likely related to the size I was at the time
and that is what I had assumed as well.
The one here in Tisdale is fitted with a Continental Engine but Wayne said
that of the more than 640 machines his father built, some had Lycoming engines,
some Franklins, inline six cylinder Gypsy Major and even some with
small radial aircraft engines. Most were only two or three seat machines like the
one shown in the Tuesday article but he has one with a 260hp Lycombing engine that
is more than a third larger and seats four people.
But as mentioned in the original story the vast majority of these machines that whirled
around were one-off contraptions built as farm shop projects. My father mentioned
that a garage owner in Wawota, Wes Lamb, had built one and Wayne said that
throughout North America there were all kinds of these machines made. Careful examination
of Gerald Crawford's picture shown here shows that this machine is powered by a conventional
automobile engine and uses a hefty drive belt to power the propeller.
If you have a picture or story about a snowplane send it along as this is a piece of
history that needs to be preserved.