Sabre Mark IV


Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. It was a subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers, then a nationalized corporation until privatized in 1986, and became the core of Bombardier Aerospace.

Canadair's origins lie in the foundation of a manufacturing centre for Canadian Vickers in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Laurent, at Cartierville Airport. Canadair Plant One is still there, although the airport no longer exists.

Absorbing the Canadian Vickers Ltd. operations, Canadair was created on 11 November 1944 as a separate entity by the government of Canada as a manufacturer of patrol PBY Canso flying boats for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Benjamin W. Franklin became its first president. Besides the ongoing PBY contract, a development contract to produce a new variant of the Douglas DC-4 transport, was still in effect. The new Canadair DC-4M powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines emerged in 1946 as the "Northstar."

In the immediate postwar era, Canadair bought the "work in progress" on the existing Douglas DC-3/C-47 series. In 1946, the Electric Boat Company bought a controlling interest in Canadair. The two companies merged to form General Dynamics (GD) in 1952. In 1954, GD purchased Convair and reorganised Canadair as its Canadian subsidiary.

In 1976, the Canadian government acquired Canadair Ltd. from US based General Dynamics. It remained a federal crown corporation until 1986 when, having experienced record losses during its development of the Challenger business jet, the Mulroney government sold it to Bombardier Inc. It became the core of Bombardier Aerospace.

As part of Bombardier, Canadair lives on in the series of business jets or regional jets known as "RJ Series" or CRJs. More recently the branding has been dropped, and new projects from all of Bombardier's various aircraft divisions are now known simply as Bombardier Aerospace.

Canadair has a record of several aviation firsts. The CL-44D, based on the Bristol Britannia, was the first design that allowed access by swinging the entire rear fuselage. The CL-89 and CL-289 were the first surveillance drones to be put into service in several countries' armed forces. The CL-84 was the first VTOL aircraft that rotated the wings to achieve vertical lift-off (tiltwing). The CL-215 was the first purposed-designed water bomber.


Model Name Type Crew Passengers Launch dates Notes
CL-1 Canadair CL-1 Flying boat First flight: License-built variant of the Consolidated Model 28-5 (PBV-1A or Canso A and OA-10A-VI)
C-4 & C-5 North Star Cargo aircraft/Airliner 2 or 3 52 First flight: 1946
First del'y: 1948
License-built variant of the Douglas DC-4
CL-13 Sabre Fighter aircraft 1 0 First flight: 1950
First del'y: 1950
License-built North American F-86 Sabre
CL-28 Argus Marine Reconnaissance up to 15* First flight: 1957
First del'y: 1960
Variant of the Bristol Britannia; *normal flights also included a reserve crew of four
CL-30 Shooting Star Trainer (aircraft) / ECM / Communication 1 or 2 0 First flight: 1952
First del'y: 1952
License-built Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
CL-41G -5
Trainer (aircraft) 2 0 Launch date: 1960
First flight: 1962
First del'y: 1966
CL-43 Twin-engine logistics concept aircraft Never built, but later influenced the design for the CL-204 (later as CL-215); based on PBV-1 Canso (PBY-1 Catalina) with two R-1340 engines
CL-44 the Forty-Four
CC-106 Yukon
Military transport aircraft/Cargo aircraft 9 134 Launch date: 1959
CL-45 ASW concept helicopter 1954 Never built; joint effort with Hiller Aircraft and was to use three T38-GE2 engines
CL-52 Bomber 1956 A USAF Boeing B-47B was loaned to the RCAF and turned over to Canadair to test the Orenda Iroquois PS-13 engine for the Avro Arrow project. After the Arrow was cancelled the aircraft was returned to the U.S.
CL-60 Trainer/Transport aircraft 1 / 2 3 / 12 1952 Beech T-36 fuselage and final assembly; program cancelled in 1953
CL-61 RAT (Remote Articulated Track) Armored personnel carrier 1959 Prototypes for the CL-70
CL-66 Cosmopolitan Transport aircraft 2 52 First flight: 1959 Modified Convair CV-540
CL-70 RAT (Remote Articulated Track) Armored personnel carrier 1959 Prototypes for the CL-91 Dynatrac
CL-84 Dynavert Vertical/Short Takeoff/landing Experimental aircraft 2 up to 15 combat troops Launch date: 1960
First flight: 1965
Late 1960s - No production aircraft
CL-89 & CL-289 Surveillance Drone none 0 First flight: 1964
First del'y: 1969
CL-90 Starfighter Strike fighter / Trainer (aircraft) 1 or 2 0 First flight: 1961
First del'y: 1962
License-built Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
CL-91 Dynatrac Armored Personnel Carrier 1960s  
CL-204 Water bomber 1962 Concept led to production of the CL-215
CL-210 Satellite antenna n/a n/a 1965 Installed at Shirleys Bay, Ontario
CL-212 Air cushion vehicle 1964-1967 Development transferred to General Dynamics Electric Boat
CL-213 Fisher All-terrain vehicle 1 1 1963-1964  
CL-215 Scooper Water Bomber 2 up to 18 passengers (utility version) First flight: 1967
First del'y:1969
CL-218 Transit bus 1 45 1965-1966 License-built Flxible New Look bus
CL-219 CF-5 (CF-116 Freedom Fighter) Strike fighter / Fighter bomber 1 or 2 0 First flight: 1968 License-built Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter
CL-225 Satellite antenna n/a n/a 1965 Installed at Lac-Bouchette, Quebec
CL-227 Sentinel Remote control drone none 0 First flight: 1980
CL-251 Subcontract n/a n/a 1971-1975 Wing panels and other components for the Dassault Mercure airliner
CL-252 1972 Modification of two Lockheed L-188 Electra airliners for Environment Canada ice patrols
CL-257 Subcontract n/a n/a 1973-1985 Fuselage sections for the Boeing 747SP
CL-281 Subcontract n/a n/a 1977-1994 Components for the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora and P-3C Orion
CL-415 Superscooper Water Bomber 2 1 on jump seat, 8 on bench seats First flight: 1993
First del'y: 1994
CC-144 Challenger Business jet 2 8 to 19 First flight: 1980
First del'y: 1986

Source: Wikipedia