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My JN-4 Canuck Project

By Peter Petrov, EAA 876835

February 2020 - The JN-4 Canuck was the first mass-produced aircraft in Canada. The company that built it, Canadian Aeroplanes Limited, was very short-lived. It achieved a significant production goal, which put it in first place at one point in the aviation industry in North America. After the Armistice, Canadian Aeroplanes Limited was closed and apparently forgotten, never deeply recorded or studied. We don't have many Canucks in Canada, and none in flying condition.


This is a series of pictures of the original Canadian Aeroplanes Limited factory.





Another important fact is that most of the pilots on this continent at that time were learning to fly on this same bird. I have registered the same corporation again and am trying to build the airplane from original drawings (which took years to accumulate from different sources). I believe this airplane has the biggest place in Canadian aviation history!


Canuck radiator.

Here are a few notes about my JN4 project:

No time frame to build the aircraft. No such goal from the very beginning. I have a shop to run first, building high-end custom furniture in Toronto.

The Curtiss OX-5 engine comes from a friend of mine in British Columbia. We are helping each other, and he decided that it will be put to a good use. I still need many replacement parts, and there is too much corrosion on some of the steel parts.


OX-5 engine with cylinders removed.

Following the original drawings for construction. There is a Canuck in Ottawa that is half uncovered, so I was allowed to visit and study the structure, and I'm very thankful. Also, there are few Canucks flying the U.S. I was lucky to visit the owner of one. He is still helping with a lot of information.


JN-4 Canuck wing parts.

Additionally, I have partially built and assembled the lower wing for the Fokker D.VII for the Great War Flying Museum. It returned to the sky last October. I have built parts for three more private Fokker D.VIIs. I also built from scratch a set of wings and a center section for a full-scale S.E.5a with an original Hispano-Suiza engine and instruments, which will fly soon for a U.S. customer. I am working on some other World War I research projects and building parts for another private project. The wings of a second full-scale S.E.5a are on the table now.

I was born in Bulgaria and learned to fly on Zlin-526F, though I'm not a licensed pilot in Canada. I have worked on L-29, L-39, MiG-17, MiG-21, Zlins, Wilgas, gliders … but that experience is not recognized in Canada!

You can see more work here: canadianaeroplaneslimited.com  |  instagram.com/pcustomdesigninc

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