The name “Bolingbroke” was originally applied to the long-nosed version of the UK’s Bristol “Blenheim” light bomber, but was subsequently used to designate all Canadian licence-built aircraft of this type.

The “Blenheim” was the fastest combat aircraft of its day, owing its origins to a mid-1930s executive aircraft! The British Air Ministry soon ordered a bomber version and it was produced in large numbers, including licence production of 676 by Fairchild at Longueil, Quebec. Unfortunately it was approaching obsolescence by the outbreak of the Second World War, but it continued to be widely deployed.

The Pacific Coast of Canada saw them used for patrol and training, and a number were based at Patricia Bay. Our “Bolingbroke” is actually parts of two, one of which was found in pieces on a farm on Salt Spring Island. The fuselage was not salvageable, so one was acquired in Manitoba. With the help of a “Go-BC Grant” volunteers restored the hybrid aircraft by 1996, and it was painted in the colours of #3 Operational Training Unit which had been based at Patricia Bay during the War.