Item – Thèses Canada

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Cronin, Marionne Helena.
Flying the Northern frontier :the Mackenzie River District and the emergence of the Canadian bush plane, 1929-1937.
Ph. D. -- University of Toronto, 2006
Ottawa :Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada,[2010]
5 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
This thesis examines the emergence of the Canadian bush plane in the context of Canadian Airways' operations in the Mackenzie River District during the years 1929-1937, focusing on the interaction between technology and its wider context. Using this 5-year history as its central focus, the dissertation explores the process of adaptation and modification that follows technology transfer, arguing that Canadian aircraft designers created the bush plane in response to users' experience with the aircraft in the context of local use conditions and practices. By focusing on the interaction between technology and use context, the thesis offers a glimpse into the process of technology transfer and adaptation, while also highlighting the importance of technology's users in injecting knowledge about the technology's interaction with its environment into the construction of new designs. It also brings into sharp relief geography's central role in shaping a technology, raising interesting questions about the nature of national styles of technology. Chapter 1 introduces the bush plane as a central figure in Canadian inter-war history, situating its emergence in relation to larger issues in the history of technology and history of aviation. Chapters 2 and 3 describe the development of Canadian bush flying in response to the conditions confronting the nation between 1919 and 1929, along with the technical developments that allowed Canadians to acquire experience with northern aviation. Chapter 4 analyses Western Canada Airways' decision to establish its Mackenzie service, the conditions that influenced the selection of its fleet, the aircraft's response to this new environment, and the airline's role in adapting the aircraft to suit northern operating conditions. Chapter 5 explores the dialogue between technology and context, tracing the aircraft's impact on the north and the airline's response to those changes. Chapter 6 explains how these events culminated in the creation of indigenous Canadian bush planes that integrated user knowledge and responded to northern bush flying conditions. The final chapter offers a glimpse of the bush plane's development in the post-war era, providing an analysis of the relationship between technology and geography and the notion of national styles of technology.