Welland Phipps

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Welland Wilfred "Weldy" "Angayuroluk" Phipps (born: July 23, 1922 - died: October 22, 1996) was a Canadian military pilot and prisoner of war during World War II, a pioneer bush pilot, inventor and a territorial level politician.

World War II[edit]

Phipps joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and became a fighter pilot in World War II. He was shot down and became a Prisoner of War for 2 years. He succeeded in making an escape from his POW Camp.[1]


Phipps moved to the Northwest Territories after returning home from the war. In 1953 and founded a business called Atlas Aviation. He invented a new type of balloon tundra tire — as possibly an "improved" version of American Alvin J. Musselman's earlier invention of a similar one in 1929/1930 — that allows an aircraft to land safely on Tundra. The type of tire is known as the Weldy Special.[1] Atlas Aviation introduced the first regular scheduled airline service to Canada's most northern communities.[2] He retired from his aviation career in 1972.

Phipps delivered supplies to a number of notable arctic expeditions, including Ralph Plaisted in 1967 and 1968.

The Canadian aviation community recognized Phipps many achievements in aviation. He has earned him numerous recognitions, including the Canadian Order of Flight, Order of Polaris and being inducted to the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.[3] He was also awarded the Trans Canada McKee Trophy twice for excellence in aviation.[1]

Political career[edit]

Phipps was elected to the Northwest Territories Legislature to the High Arctic electoral district in the 1970 Northwest Territories general election. He served a single term in office before retiring in 1975.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Richard Gleeson (November 6, 1996). "A life of adventure ends". Northern News Service. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  2. ^ John Amagoalik (November 8, 1996). "My Little Corner of Canada Whiskey Whiskey Papa". Nunatisaq News. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  3. ^ "P Members". Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
Preceded by
New District
MLA High Arctic
Succeeded by
Ludy Pudluk