Beautifully engraved certificate from the Colonial Aircraft Corporation
no later than 1969. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a bird. This item has the printed signatures of the company’s vice-president, Herbert P Lindbad and treasurer and is
over 34 years old.
Lake Aircraft with bases in Laconia New Hampshire, Kissimmee Florida and Stanford Maine, is currently the world’s only manufacturer of certified single engine flying boats. Although largely unknown by the public, the people at Lake Aircraft have been building flying boats for over half a century. It all began in 1946 when David B. Thurston and Herbert P Lindbad founded the Colonial Aircraft Corporation. Previously the two talented engineers had been working for the Grumman Aircraft Company on the successful Grumman Goose and Widgeon amphibian twins. They also worked on a lesser-known aircraft, the G-65 tadpole, that flew for the first time in 1944. The Tadpole was a single engine two-seater flying boat that was geared towards the private and business market. Before proving it’s self to the top executives at Grumman the Tadpole program got scrapped, much to the dismay of Thurston and Herbert. They were both a firm believer of a marker for such an aircraft and driven by this belief they left Grumman and set up shop for them selves.
Their first aircraft was the three-seater Colonial Skimmer. This aircraft with a now characteristic pylon mounted engine on top of the fuselage, first flew in the summer of 1948. Colonial eventually built 42 Skimmers of which 18 were Skimmer two’s which had four seats.
Lindbad almost redesigned the Skimmer from the ground up, before re-introducing it as the LA-4 in 1959. Three years later, Lake was bought by Consolidated Aeronautics Inc. who split Lake up in two divisions. On one side was Aerofab Inc, that was to built the aircraft in Stanford, Maine and on the other side was the Lake Aircraft Division that was to take care of the sale and service of the aircraft.
In 1979, Armand Rivard bought both divisions and has been building Lakes of various shapes and sizes ever since.