The Queen Bee model engine range was the only series of model engines to be produced on Canada's West Coast. The engines were manufactured between 1945 and 1950 by Salonen Brothers Tool & Engineering Works of 4569 West Tenth Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia. The main protagonist of the Queen Bee venture was Al Salonen, who was a skilled toolmaker and active model flier in the Vancouver area. The engines were manufactured in relatively small numbers to very high standards.
The Queen Bee range successively included plain bearing crankshaft front rotary valve (FRV) spark ignition units in nominal .24 and .29 cuin displacements. Beginning in early 1948, a glow-plug version of the Queen Bee 29 was also produced. In addition, there were a very few examples of a twin ball-race FRV .60 cuin. racing model which was constructed in prototype form in both spark and glowplug versions. However, these latter units never advanced to series production status. Finally, a small handful of diesel units was reportedly made, although none of these have apparently survived.
The full story of the Queen Bee range will be covered in a forthcoming article which will appear in due course on this website.