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William and James Lobet of Lille, France designed and built the prototype Ganagobie which was powered by a 1930 Clerget engine of 16 hp. Their goal was to produce a small, inexpensive, easy-to-build wood and fabric airplane that could carry one person aloft with minimum power. The Lobet brothers chose the unusual diamond cross-cut fuselage because it gave the pilot adequate room while allowing light, simple construction.

The fuselage was constructed of a basically wooden structure consisting of spruce longerons and plywood covering. A steel tube engine mounting frame and wing root cabane structure were also installed. The wings were built of wooden spars and ribs with non-structural plywood or aluminum leading edges and fabric covering.

In 1955, a Canadian aeronautical engineer, Gorge Jacquemin, enlarged the design to accommodate the surplus target drone McCullough engines and larger pilots. Plans for the Ganagobie were distributed by Falconar Aircraft based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hayden L. Shafor acquired a set of the enlarged plans and built his own Ganagobie, which he flew for the first time in 1980. With the exception of wheels, engine, and instruments, Shafor’s Ganagobie was built entirely from “scratch.” He chose a 48 hp Nelson H-63-CP 2 cycle engine to power the airplane. The craftsmanship on the airplane was excellent and the Ganagobie flew nicely and was easy to handle.

Hayden Shafor donated his Ganagobie to the EAA AirVenture Museum in 1981.


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