• 1970-hero
    1970

    The Entrepreneur: Barry Lapointe Establishes Kelowna Flightcraft

    Show Description
    Barry's passion for aviation led him from Pilot and AME to an industry recognized titan who was not afraid to seize or create unique opportunities.
  • 1971-hero
    1971

    The Early Years

    Show Description
    Barry's friend, Jim Rogers came on board in '71 and helped build Kelowna Flightcraft's maintenance and flight operations capabilities through the years.
  • 1974-hero
    1974

    Flight Operations Launches

    Show Description
    Bureaucratic roadblocks led Barry to purchase an existing flight operations company in order to gain access to the passenger and cargo markets.
  • 1977-hero
    1977

    Purolator Takes Flight

    Show Description
    A late night phone call led Kelowna Flightcraft to a long-term partnership with Purolator, delivering overnight cargo from coast to coast.
  • 1979-hero
    1979

    The Convair Love Affair

    Show Description

    Thundering Annie kicked off a 40+ year association with the venerable Convair aircraft, with KF eventually owning the type certificate and providing global support.

  • 1984-hero
    1984

    Buckle Up for Departure

    Show Description
    As Flight Operations grew, KF seized niche opportunities in the passenger market, providing services domestically and internationally.  
  • 1987-hero
    1987

    Engineering and Training

    Show Description
    Kelowna Flightcraft developed Engineering and Training capabilities in-house to better support our growing operations.
  • 1988-hero
    1988

    DND Service for Canada

    Show Description
    Military support was the perfect long-term compliment to civilian maintenance operations.

  • 1989-hero
    1989

    Aircraft Modifications

    Show Description
    Structural and Avionic Modifications set Kelowna Flightcraft apart from the competition.
  • 1993-hero
    1993

    Aircraft Sales and Leasing

    Show Description
    From Cessna 180's to DC10's, Barry has been buying, leasing and selling aircraft & major components to customers around the world.
  • 1995-hero
    1995

    Opening Our Hamilton Base

    Show Description
    Responding to Purolator's growing overnight cargo market, Barry and Jim open a purpose-built hangar and offices in Hamilton, Ontario.
  • 1996-hero
    1996

    Greyhound Air Takes Off

    Show Description

    After numerous false starts, Canada’s first ultra-low-cost airline—Greyhound—finally takes flight, only to be abruptly shut down one year later.

  • 2000-hero
    2000

    Local Roots, Global Reach

    Show Description
    Kelowna Flightcraft staff have travelled the world to support our customers.
  • 2002-hero
    2002

    The Aircraft of KF

    Show Description
    Kelowna Flightcraft has owned, operated and leased hundreds of aircraft over the years. Here are some examples…
  • 2005-hero
    2005

    The Big Deal: RCAF Pilot Training

    Show Description

    In a David vs Goliath competition, KF is awarded the RCAF 22-year, $1.8 billion dollar Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program over the incumbent, Bombardier.

  • 2006-hero
    2006

    Building Capacity and Capabilities

    Show Description
    Since 2006, KF has doubled its aircraft maintenance capabilities in Kelowna and Hamilton with new facilities and services.
  • 2008-hero
    2008

    Widebody Aspirations

    Show Description
    The DC-10-30F was introduced on short notice to support Canada Post.
  • 2012-hero
    2012

    WestJet Has Landed

    Show Description
    Kelowna Flightcraft was awarded a nose-to-tail Structural Maintenance Visit program leading to long term services for the whole WestJet family.
  • 2015-hero
    2015

    Refocus & Rebrand

    Show Description
    Kelowna Flightcraft pivots from Flight Operations to Maintenance and Engineering to replace the lost air cargo work and rebrands to KF Aerospace.
  • 2019-hero
    2019

    Widebody Aspirations: The Sequel

    Show Description
    A huge 75,000 sq. ft widebody hangar opens in Hamilton, ON and a partnership with Mohawk College for AME training leads to a third hangar.
  • 2020-hero
    2020

    Happy 50th Birthday!

    Show Description
    KF staff celebrated the 50th anniversary of this very successful company on March 25, 2020.
  • 2022-hero
    2022

    The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence

    Show Description
    Coming in 2022 is a state-of-the-art aviation themed exhibition and conference centre in Kelowna, BC.
    • 1970-2
      Barry started flying at the age of 16 and has since logged over 18,000 flying hours (fixed and rotary wing).
    • 1970-1
      Barry established Kelowna Flightcraft on March 25th, 1970, pictured here is his handmade sign and his dog Drum.
    • 1970-3a
      On September 8, 1976 Barry was flying the Vernon Tigers lacrosse team home from the National Championship in his DC3 when he was forced to make an emergency landing, saving everyone on board.
    • 1970-4
      As part of "Odyssey 86" Barry flew a DC-3 around the world, a milestone adventure that took him to Hawaii, South America, Europe, the Middle East and back.
    • 1970-5
      An AME - M graduate of BCIT, Lapointe was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology in 1999.
    • 1970-6
      In 2015, Barry was appointed to the Order of BC; a civilian honour for merit in the province of British Columbia.
    • 1970-7
      On May 16, 2019 Barry was appointed to Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.
    • 1971-1
      Jim Rogers was Barry's former supervisor at Harrison Airways before joining him as business partner at KF.
    • 1971-2
      In the first years of the business, Barry and Jim bought and sold more than 70 aircraft.
    • 1971-3
      A look at KF's first hangar facility, which stands today as the Administration Building 3.
    • 1971-4

      Maintaining aircraft has always been a part of our DNA at KF.

    • 1974-1
      KF has been continuously providing air operations since 1974 with a high level of reliability for passengers, cargo and VIP clients.
    • 1974-2
      KF has operated passenger aircraft since 1984 including for InterCity Air, Greyhound, Sunwing as well as fishing lodge charters.
    • 1974-3
      KF's cargo operations took flight in 1977 and continue to this day, supporting the BC Feeder Network.
    • 1974 - 4
      KF has been providing executive flight services for over 20 years.
    • 1974-5
      Among its many in-house capabilities, KF operates its own aircrew and dispatch center.
    • 1977-1
      In 1977, KF started out flying small aircraft like the Aero and Jet Commanders for Purolator, carrying about 1,500 lbs of freight.
    • 1977-2
      Eventually the Jet Commanders were moved to a regional role and the Convair took over Purolator's mainline of cross Canada freight.
    • 1977-3
      Over our first 15 years, KF worked with Purolator to grow into a fleet of B727-200’s capable of carrying 54,000 lbs of freight.
    • Barry was instrumental in the development of air regulations to support the growth of overnight air cargo services; and was the key proponent of establishing a cargo hub in Hamilton to support the eastern network.
    • 1977-5
      In 1995 Barry took an equity position in Purolator to help fund their growth.
    • 1977-4
      At its peak in 2014, KF was operating 12 B727's and five Convair 580's. They carried over one million pounds of freight per night across Canada to 16 destinations with a 99% reliability rate.
    • 1977-7
      Today, KF supports Purolator's BC Feeder Network.
    • 1979-1

      The Convair CV-580 is a turbo-prop variant of the Convair CV-340/440 series which were manufactured between 1952 and 1958. The CV-580 turbo-prop conversion took place from 1959 to 1969.

       

    • 1979-2
      Convair aircraft enabled many of KF's early ventures into passenger service.
    • 1979-3
      Over the years KF has extensively modified Convair aircraft creating aerial fire tankers and cargo freighters with large cargo doors.
    • 1979-4
      KF created the CV5800 by extending the aircraft's fuselage by over 14 feet. Between 1991 and 2009 we completed six CV5800 fuselage extensions or "stretches." All continue to operate today, including one in our own fleet for the BC Feeder Network.
    • 1979-6
      By 1989 KF added its Hangar 4 or "stretch hangar," purpose-built for the CV5800 fuselage extension program. By 2017 the hangar was expanded to accommodate aircraft as large as a B757.
    • 1979-5
      The Convair 580 has been an excellent aerial forest fire fighting tool, used across Western Canada, Australia and the US for over 20 years and is capable of carrying nearly 8,000 litres of fire retardant. Our joint venture partner, Conair continues to operate Convair tankers as part of their aerial firefighting fleet. 
    • KF purchased the Convair Type Certificate in 2001, allowing KF to provide engineering, technical support and parts support to the worldwide fleet.
    • 1979-7
      KF also worked on the Cosmopolitan military variant of the Convair for the RCAF.
    • 1984-1
      In 1984, KF launched its first low-cost airline Inter-City Air, servicing Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops and Vancouver. After a short yet highly successful run, the airline was purchased by Time Air.
    • 1984-3
      From 1996-1997 KF operated Greyhound Air passenger service with a fleet of six B727's.
    • 1984-6
      KF operated charters to fishing lodges located in destinations such as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake until 2007.
    • 1984-4
      In 2002, KF operated B727 passenger service for Columbus Air, with flights from Montreal to Florida, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
    • 1984-5
      KF was the airline behind the Sunwing brand for its first three winter seasons (2003 to 2005), providing the aircraft, the flight crew and flight attendants.
    • 1984-7
      Over the years KF provided ad hoc charter passenger services using DC3's, Convair 580s and B727's affectionately named The Big Yellow Taxi and Leaving on a Jet Plane, servicing Southern US and Caribbean destinations.
    • 1989 (1)
      KF was granted Design Approval Organization (DAO) status by Transport Canada in 2005.
    • Canada's Department of National Defence recognized KF's Design Approval Organization (RDAO) status in 2013.
    • KF has held Approved Training Organization (ATO) status since 2002, and has grown to now offer 29 type courses.
    • KF invests heavily in employee training and development, providing leadership, supervisory, health and safety, and operations training.
    • 1989 (3)
      KF partners with Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC and Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario to provide training space and support for AME diploma programs.
    • 1988-1
      In 1988 KF provided avionics upgrades to the Canadair CC109 Cosmopolitans.
    • 1988-2
      In 1995 KF's South Hangar was purpose built to accommodate an upgrade program for the Canadian CT-133 Jet Trainers.
    • 1988-3
      KF also completed avionics upgrades on T33's for the Bolivian Air Force.
    • 1988-4
      In 2005, KF was the successful bidder for Canada's Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program, becoming the training support partner for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Southport, MB. 
    • 1988-5
      In March 2009 KF Aerospace was assigned the contract to complete extended life cycle support (maintenance and engineering) for the RCAF fleet of DHC-5 (CC-115) Buffalo and the DHC-6 (CC-138) Twin Otter and their components. 
    • 1989-1
      KF has completed 28 passenger to freighter (PTF) conversions on Convair 580's, B727's and B737's, and six CV580 to CV5800 fuselage extensions. Today, KF is an AEI Authorized Conversion Centre and a PEMCO Authorized Conversion Centre. 
    • 1989-2
      A combination of engineering design, avionics dealership, wire harness manufacturing and install services allows KF to complete major avionics upgrades on any aircraft.
    • 1989-3
      KF has installed hundreds of fuel saving winglets on B727's, B737's, and B757's, setting the world record for the fastest B757 installation time.
    • 1989-4
      KF has designed, manufactured and installed hundreds of IFE (In Flight Entertainment) and LOPA (Layout of Passenger Accommodations) changes for customers around the world.
    • 1989-5
      KF has developed the engineering and skills required for complex modifications and repairs, including, passenger and freighter combination aircraft, auxiliary fuel tanks and experimental aircraft modifications. In 2014 KF completed the world’s first B737-300 Class F Combi/Freighter/Passenger aircraft. 
    • 1993-1
      KF has bought, sold and leased dozens of Convair 580 and 5800 passenger and cargo aircraft to customers around the world.
    • 1993-2
      KF has sold and leased passenger and cargo B727's and 737's around the world.
    • 1993-3
      Knight Leasing, an associated company of KF Aerospace, is an Irish leasing and aircraft management platform. 
    • 1995-1
      The majority of KF's fleet maintenance for Purolator took place at its Hamilton Base.
    • 1995-2
      For a brief period, Hamilton was an eastern hub for the Greyhound Air passenger operations.
    • 1995-3
      The Hamilton facility is capable of widebody aircraft work, including the DC-10-30F.
    • 1995-4
      At the peak of KF's service for Purolator and Canada Post, the Hamilton facility was home to nine cargo aircraft, including the Boeing 727 and DC-10-30F.
    • 1995-5
      In 2019 KF added a 2nd hangar in Hamilton capable of housing multiple widebody aircraft.
    • 1996-1
      KF was providing airline services for the Greyhound Bus company, who cheekily advertised its ultra-low-cost domestic airfares.
    • 1996-2
      The unique network had all passengers travelling through Winnipeg en route to their final destination.
    • Sadly, after a year of operations, Greyhound Bus Lines was purchased and the new owner terminated the airline service.
    • 1996-4
      KF was able to convert the B727 passenger aircraft to freighter configuration to support overnight cargo business for Purolator.
    • 2000-1
      Europe:
      KF staff have travelled extensively throughout Russia and Europe, including Sweden, Norway, Ukraine, Portugal and Germany. From 2015 to 2016 KF operated cargo services between Brussels and Toronto.
    • 2000-2
      Russia:
      From 1999 to 2007 our staff installed 10 KF avionics upgrade packages for Kazan Helicopters.
    • 2000-3
      Africa:
      KF has made many trips to countries such as Namibia, Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Mozambique and Nigeria to sell, lease and repair aircraft.
    • 2000-4
      Asia:
      From 1996 to 1998 KF operated a base in Cebu, Philippines to support FedEx cargo operations, flying primarily between Subic Bay and Cebu.
    • 2000-5
      USA: 
      KF staff have visited and worked in nearly every state in the US.
    • 2000-6
      Australia and New Zealand:
      Various maintenance and modification projects, aircraft sales and leases have taken KF staff to Australia and New Zealand over the years.
    • 2000-7
      South America:
      From 2015 to 2018 KF Cargo destinations included Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Argentina.
    • 2002-10
      The Grob 120a is a high performance aerobatic aircraft designed for pilot training, and was introduced in 2006 as an ab-initio military pilot trainer for Canada's Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program. There are 14 operating in Southport, MB.
    • 2002-11
      The King Air C90B is the multi-engine military aircraft trainer introduced in 2005 for Canada's Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program. There are seven operating in Southport, MB.
    • 2002-1
      A fleet of five DC-10's were owned by KF with two flying at any time between 2008-2018, domestically for Canada Post, internationally for KF Cargo and Solar Air Cargo throughout Europe and South America.
    • 2002-2
      KF was the first Canadian operator of the B737-800 NG, supporting Sunwing from 2003-2005 by flying vacation travelers from Montreal or Toronto to a variety of Caribbean destinations.
    • 2002-3
      Up to 14 B727 freighters were operated from 1987 to 2015 as the backbone of the Purolator mainline operations. Up to six 727 passenger aircraft were operated from 1995 to 2007.
    • 2002-4
      The Convair has been the longest operating aircraft in the KF fleet, introduced to service in 1979. It has supported passenger and freighter operations ever since.
    • 2002-5
      Barry and Jim bought two DHC-4 Caribou aircraft in the mid 80's for air cargo operations in Northern BC.
    • 2002-6
      KF operated a Grumman Gulfstream (a twin-turboprop business aircraft) converted for air cargo operations with Purolator in the mid-80's. The aircraft was previously owned by the Bee Gees.
    • 2002-7
      KF operated the DC-3 in its cargo operations for Air Canada and Purolator from 1989 to 1999.
    • 2002-8
      KF operated two Jet Commanders, a Westwind 1124 operated for Western Star (1995-2005) and an Astra for Mission Hill Wines (2005-2010).
    • 2002-9
      KF owned and operated up to five Aero Commander aircraft from the late 70's to early 80's for both passenger charters and cargo. KF used this aircraft for forestry patrols, passenger and executive transport.
    • 2005-1
      Supporting Canada's Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program until 2027 in Southport, Manitoba, KF trains over 300 military pilots for the RCAF annually, including 165 ab-initio, 34 multi-engine and 57 rotary wing.
    • 2005-2
      KF established a turnkey operation with new aircraft, facilities, training devices and courseware to satisfy the rigorous training requirements of the RCAF.
    • 2005-3
      KF provides 42 aircraft across four fleets for flight training, including the the Grob G120A for Primary and Basic training, the King Air C-90B for Advanced Multi-Engine training, and the Bell-206 Jet Ranger and Bell-412 to support Advanced Rotary Wing Training.
    • 2005-4
      KF and its partners provide ground school and simulator instruction on six simulators.
    • 2005-5
      SkyAlyne was formed in 2018 by Canadian aviation and defence leaders CAE and KF Aerospace to provide a home-grown solution for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Future Aircrew Training Program (FAcT). FAcT will replace the current RCAF pilot training program in 2027. 
    • 2006-1
      Our Kelowna Base has grown to 9 buildings, 12 lines of narrow body maintenance and modifications, and a wide variety of shops support capabilities.
    • 2006-2
      Composites Shop
    • 2006-3
      Machine Shop
    • 2006-4
      Component and Landing Gear Overhaul
    • 2006-5
      Aircraft Painting
    • 2006-7
      Structures Shop
    • 2006-8
      Avionics Shop
    • 2006-6
      Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
    • 2006-9
      Plating and Heat Treating
    • 2008 (1)
      KF introduced three DC-10's into operation for Canada Post in less than 6 months in September 2008. The operation grew to five aircraft and operated eight years before the work was awarded to a competitor in 2015.
    • 2008 (2)
      KF Cargo operated until 2016 providing international deliveries to Brussels, Belgium and global charter destinations including Moscow, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Iraq and Switzerland.
    • 2008 (3)
      KF operated into South America for Solar Air Cargo until September 2018, including destinations like Venezuela, Colombia and Peru.
    • 2012-1
      In 2001 KF welcomed its first WestJet aircraft for maintenance.
    • 2012-2
      In May of 2012, KF was awarded a single line of the WestJet Structural Maintenance Visit (SMV) program.
    • 2012-3
      KF provides a range of engineering and design work for WestJet modifications including scimitar winglet installations, cabin Wi-Fi installations (with live TV De-mod) and LOPA changes.
    • 2012-4
      KF was awarded a 13-year maintenance contract with WestJet in 2018.
    • 2012-5
      KF helped Swoop prepare its fleet for service, providing the aircraft maintenance, Layout of Passenger Accommodations (LOPA) and livery painting.
    • 2012-6
      Today, KF supports the entire WestJet family including Encore and Swoop.
    • 2015-1
      KF has adapted its brand identity throughout the years to reflect its evolving capabilities.
    • 2015-2
      In 2015 we rebranded to KF Aerospace to better encompass our breadth of services (maintenance, engineering, flight operations, aircraft leasing, defence services) for the global marketplace we serve.
    • 2019-1
      On February 15th, 2019 KF broke ground on construction of a $40-million expansion that included a wide-body hangar facility and a dedicated facility for Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON.
    • 2019-2
      We welcomed the first customers to our new 75,000 sq. ft hangar in Hamilton on November 21, 2019. The hangar is capable of housing a Boeing 777 or an Airbus A350.
    • 2019-3
      Construction of the Mohawk Aviation Campus is anticipated to complete in August 2020, with room for over 300-students.
    • 2020-1
       
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