The Old Snowplane
By: George W. Hanson
Ever since I was a small boy, I had a
desire to have a snowplane. When I was about 8 years old, I remembered
our Doctor used to get around in one in the wintertime.
(Courtesy of East Central Connection)
One day about three years ago, I was sitting in the
coffee shop, I was talking about a snowplane to my wife. A fellow
sitting behind us got up to leave, and he asked me, if I wanted to come
to his farm up by St. Front, he had the remains of a snowplane in his
yard. One Sunday about 2 weeks later we went up there. We went to
Maurice Pylatuke’s farm and he told me about another snowplane in
the bush on land he owned. His son took us up to the old farm yard and
that is where I found this snowplane.
Maurice was ill at the time, but he told me if I
wanted to restore it I could have the old snowplane. It stayed there
for 2 years and in the fall of 2007, I phoned Maurice’s son and
asked if I could still get the snowplane. He said I sure could.
I enlisted the help of a friend, Wally Stratton, and
we went up to cut it out of the bush. Maurice has passed away now, but
his son Kelly is on the farm. He lifted it out of the bush with his
front end loader.
Wally and I went the following day with my trailer
and brought it home. We put it in my shop to start working on it.
I’ve done some research on its past, and found
that it was built in Korte’s Garage in Muenster. There were six
built there. This one had an aircraft motor on it at the time.
We spent from November to March working on the
project. We built new skiis for it, sanded it down and repainted it.
The frame and body were in good shape. We put in new flooring and a new
interior lining in it and reupholstered the seats. Our biggest
challenge was finding a propellor for it, and after many inquiries we
finally ended up making a propellor for it ourselves. We worked on
cutting and shaping for about four days plus. We tried to find a
suitable motor for it, couldn’t find a reasonably priced aircraft
motor, so we went with a swather motor, inline six cylinder. It could
have a bit more horsepower for the propellor we have, but it
doesn’t do to bad, about 50+ kph.
We ran into a few stumbling
blocks with it, but we enlisted the help of Wes Koenders, between the
three of us we got some pretty good results. Wes got us help in the
carburator and gas field, so we ended up with about 400 rpm on the
With spring catching up to us we had to park it for
the summer. We have some modifications to do this summer but by fall it
will be ready to go again.
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