At the end of the Great War, many aircraft designers were faced with new possibilities. Fledgling firms which produced materials and airplanes for the war effort now had a wonderful future of opportunity before them. Air travel was in its infancy and air cargo shipping had become an ever-growing part of daily life. To this end, many new aircraft building companies and corporations joined in on exploring this aviation gold mine.
Among these was Conwing Aircraft Corporation. Founded just before the start of the Great War, Conwing originally served in creating war aircraft and components for them. After the war ended, Conwing revamped its assembly factories and began making commercial aircraft to supply the burgeoning aeronautics market.
Conwing's designers realized that the public was yearning for cargo and passenger craft, but could not decide which would be more profitable to build. Due to the discontinuation of Conwing's war contract, the company's profits would slowly diminish, and everyone at Conwing knew that their next venture would have to be a big success in order to keep them in business.
But the question was, what type of plane would people want — a plane to transport people from place to place, or one that could transport goods to and from those people? The answer — the Conwing L-16 seaplane.
Designed just after the end of the War, the Conwing L-16 was one of the first "multi-purpose" aircraft, serving as either a cargo or passenger transport, or both. Designed with a roomy hull and all the features available at that time, the L-16 was the plane to end all planes.
The Conwing L-16 became one of the greatest successes in the history of the aviation industry. Sales of the aircraft flew through the roof in the first week alone. Flyers everywhere loved the Conwing L-16: it was well-equipped enough for pilots who demanded the latest features, but affordable enough for pilots who demanded fair pricing. In addition, the construction of the plane lent itself to virtually limitless upgrades and modifications, especially to the engines and controls.
For the next decade the Conwing was a plane unchallenged by almost any other cargo plane. Even newer and more modern aircraft could not compete with the L-16's ease of use and efficiency in flight and cargo hauling. However, legends do grow older as time passes, and Conwing L-16s decreased in sales as more advanced aircraft began showing up on the market. Even an all-purpose aircraft could not compete with newer, more specialized planes.
Today the Conwing is all but extinct. Despite this fact, dozens of dedicated L-16 pilots love their craft and have taken great pains in preserving this plane's long, rich heritage. A few Conwing pilots have made names for themselves in the air cargo business, and one or two in particular have even attained hero status in their own customized Conwing L-16s.