K.Molson, H.Taylor Canadian Aircraft since 1909 (Putnam)
Hoffar H-2 and H-3
Following the scrapping of the successful H-1 seaplane the Hoffar brothers built two flying-boats, designed by Henry Hoffar as the H-2 and H-3. Unfortunately very little is known about these aircraft.
The H-2 was a three-bay equal-span biplane with ailerons on each wing. It had two seats and was powered by the Roberts 6X engine and propeller which had been used in the H-1.
Writing many years later, Henry Hoffar stated that the H-2 was flying in 1917 and the H-3 in 1918 but there is evidence that this was not true.
During the construction of the H-2 the British Columbia Forestry Department became interested in it for forest patrol and agreed to charter the aircraft after the Hoffars had completed about an hour’s test flying. So after it was launched on 3 September, 1918, James Hoffar took off from the Immigration Wharf, climbed to 5,000 ft and circled over Hollyburn Mountain for an hour, and terminated the flight with a perfect alighting, his first in a flying-boat.
The Forestry Department took over the flying-boat immediately after the flight and on the following day their pilot, Lt Victor A. Bishop, set off on a flight in the H-2. The engine stopped and the machine entered a spin and crashed into a house on Brute Street in Vancouver. The pilot suffered only minor injuries but the H-2 was a total wreck.
Soon after this, work was begun on the H-3 which, from the meagre details that can be seen in a photograph of the wrecked H-2, seems to have been merely a refined and more powerful version of the H-2. It was a two-seat flying-boat with equal-span wings and ailerons on each, powered by a six-cylinder water-cooled Hall-Scott L-5-a engine of 150 hp.
The life of the H-3 was also short for it struck a deadhead during take off for a projected flight to Victoria, with both Hoffars on board. The aircraft was a total loss but the Hoffars suffered only minor injuries.
Henry Hoffar has written that both Edward Hubbard and W. E. Boeing saw the H-3 and that some of its structural detail design was embodied in the later Boeing flying-boats.
The span of the H-2 was 34 ft (10-36 m) but no other details of these flying-boats have been traced.