Fonds LAW - Bill Law fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Bill Law fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00420 LAW

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  • 1930, 1951-1972, 1992 (Creation)
    Law, Bill

Physical description area

Physical description

1.28 m of textual records and technical drawings

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

William Law is an Aviation Engineer who first acquired his private pilot’s license in 1947. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University in 1950. He began his career at Spartan Air Service also in 1950. He was eventually promoted to Manager, Research and Engineering Division, where he was responsible for modifying aircraft for Spartan’s aerial surveys. In 1957 he moved to de Havilland Aircraft of Canada as Special Projects and Senior Research Engineer. His three areas of focus at de Havilland were: the measurement and analysis of aircraft noise; the design and testing of wind tunnel and ditching models; and, the design of high flotation undercarriages and the operation of aircraft from unprepared terrain. Law moved to the Ontario Ministry of Transport in 1972 where he was Chief, Civil Aeronautics Research and Special Projects. He was responsible for research and investigation in support of planning and development of the civil air transportation system in Ontario. It seems as though Law retired in 1976, but continued to work as a consultant for the Ministry through his company Bill Law Consulting Services. He was employed by the Ministry of Transportation as Principal Aviation Engineer, providing expertise for the Minister’s evaluation of major federal aviation initiatives that would have an impact on the province.

Custodial history

Donated to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in 1992.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Law’s files on the design of oversize tires for operations from unprepared terrain. Law investigated the use of these tires on J-3, Beaver, Otter, Twin Otter, Caribou and Buffalo aircraft. The files include correspondence, reports, technical drawings, and notes on the investigations and research Law undertook while at De Havilland, especially when he was working with Weldy Phipps on the further application of his design of oversize tires. The fonds is arranged into three series: LAW-1 Curriculum vitae and miscellaneous documents; LAW-2 deHavilland (and some Phipps) files; and, LAW-3 Weldy Phipps Studies (Oversize Tires).

Notes area

Physical condition

The records are in relatively good condition. Technical drawings are folded into the files and may be fragile. They should be unfolded with care. Most drawings are blueline prints and have yellowed or faded. Some documents are thermal copies that have darkened over time. Further preventative preservation work (rehousing) is needed.

Immediate source of acquisition


The original arrangement of the donor has been maintained with the exception of the creation of series LAW-1. The documents and drawings in this series were added to the boxes in 1992 at the time of donation or were loose outside the numbered files. In the original file list provided by the donor, series LAW-2 and LAW-3 were called Section A and Section B. There is a large gap in the numbering of the files which skip from file 41 to file 100. It is assumed that Law did not donate his files 42 to 99 because they were related to other matters.

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The original file list provided by donor is available upon request.

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General note

Related Materials: The CASM Archives also preserves a collection of aerial photography from Spartan Air Service.

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Written and entered by Adele Torrance, 2018. French editing by Céline Mongeau, Larocque Linguistic Services, 2018-10.

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