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  • CC-106 Yukon / CL-44-6
  • CP-107 Argus / CL-28
  • CT-114 Tutor / CL-41

  • Canadair CL-28 / CP-107 Argus
  • Canadair CL-41 / CT-114 Tutor
  • Canadair CL-44 / CC-106 Yukon
  • Canadair CL-65 / CRJ
  • Canadair CL-84 / CX-131
  • Canadair CL-215
  • Canadair CL-415
  • Canadair CL-300 Challenger

  • Canadair CL-600 Challenger
  • Canadair CL-601 Challenger
  • Canadair CL-604 Challenger
  • Canadair CL-605 Challenger
  • Canadair CL-850 Challenger
  • Global 5000 / Global Express XRS
  • Bombardier CRJ100
  • Bombardier CRJ200
  • Bombardier CRJ700
  • Bombardier CRJ900
  • Bombardier CRJ900
  • Bombardier CRJ1000

  • Bombardier CSeries

  • Canadair is a company that started as a "bucket shop" producing aircraft designed by other manufacturers and ended as a world leader in the design and manufacture of business jets and regional airliners. Canadair Ltd had its origins in the aircraft division of Canadian Vickers Ltd, formed in 1923. It was purchased by Canadians in 1927 and during WWII produced the Canso, a long-range flying boat used for maritime patrol. By World War II, Vickers was heavily committed to producing naval ships for allied fleets and in 1944, pressure of business compelled Canadian Vickers to ask the government to relieve it of its management responsibilities regarding the Cartierville plant. Ottawa agreed and entered into a management contract with Canadair Limited, a new company founded by a small group of former senior Canadian Vickers personnel headed by Benjamin W. Franklin.

    On October 3, 1944, Canadair was created to focus on building and designing airplanes in order to take over Vicker's aviation activities. On November 4, 1944, a group led by Benjamin W. Franklin, took over the management of the Cartierville plant in Montreal from Canadian Vickers, their former employers. Franklin's new company, Canadair Limited, had contracted with the Canadian government to assume the aircraft design and manufacturing activities previously undertaken by Canadian Vickers.

    As World War II concluded in 1945, the aircraft firm Canadair Ltd., which was owned by the Canadian government, began to weaken and the Canadian government put it up for sale. At the same time, the American submarine builder Electric Boat had plenty of capital but had nothing to buy and nothing to build. With no work, its workforce had shrunk from 13,000 to 4,000. Electric Boat Corporation bought the company for $10 million in 1946, a purchase that is still seen as one of the greatest bargains in the history of aviation. Even by the Canadian government's calculations, the factory alone was worth more than $22 million without including the value of the planes being built or the spare parts on location.

    Electric Boat formed General Dynamics Corp in 1952 and Canadair became a subsidiary. When Electric Boat purchased Canadair, its production line and inventory systems were in disorder. To start the process of returning Canadair to profitability, Hopkins installed Canadian-born mass-production specialist H. Oliver West as president. West's performance was remarkable. He reformed the inventory system and production lines, and soon their "North Stars," modified Douglas DC-4 airplanes, began to roll into service for Trans Canadian Airline (TCA). The turnaround was so remarkable that Canada Pacific and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) placed new orders that were filled sometimes eight months in advance.

    In January 1948, Thomas Finletter, who chaired the Air Policy Commission under President Harry S. Truman, issued a national air policy report titled "Survival in the Air Age." The report stated the need for a large peacetime Air Force, and coupled with the detonation of an atomic bomb by the Soviets, led to a surge in military work, especially in aviation. This surge in military work occurred in Canada as well as in the United States, and Canadair won numerous contracts to build fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

    These contracts included a fleet of long-range Argus reconnaissance transports, two military versions of the civilian Britannia passenger plane, and the North American Aviation F-86 Sabre Jets, which flew in the Korean War. Between 1950 and 1958, 1,815 Sabre Jets were built.

    On 13 September 1951, Canadair signed a license agreement with Lockheed to build T-33, a two-seat jet trainer, aircraft for the RCAF. The Canadair built version known internally as the CL-30 (and as the T-33ANX by Lockheed and the USAF) was to be powered by an uprated Nene 10 engine licensed by Rolls Royce and supplied by Orenda Ltd. Once in production, the aircraft were designated T-33 Silver Star Mk 3 by the RCAF.

    In the late 1950s, the Canadian government had a clear need for a supersonic replacement for the Sabre Mk.6 in RCAF service. Since the Canadian government wanted equipment to be fitted that was specific to RCAF requirements, it opted to manufacture the aircraft under license in a Canadian factory rather than to buy the aircraft outright from Lockheed. On August 14, it was announced that Canadair of Montreal had been selected to manufacture 200 aircraft for the RCAF under license from Lockheed. The Canadian-built Starfighter was initially designated CF-111 by the RCAF, but this was later changed to CF-104. They were designated CL-90 by the Canadair factory.

    Canadair produced over 4000 primarily military aircraft, including versions of American-designed fighters Sabre (1949-58), Starfighter (1961-86) and Freedom Fighter. It also produced 2 trainers for the RCAF, the T-33 Silver Star (1952-58) and Tutor (1960-66) and the CANADAIR CL-28 ARGUS, a maritime patrol aircraft.

    In 1976, General Dynamics sold the struggling division Canadair back to the Canadian government for $38 million.

    In 1982, the Federal Government began looking for a buyer for Canadair, one of two aircraft manufacturers the Government owned. On 18 August 1986, the Government announced that Bombardier was the successful bidder for Canadair. At the time, Canadair produced the Dash 8 turboprop line of aircraft, Learjets and the Challenger corporate jet. Within months, Canadair received a large injection of capital, while receiving authorization to begin development of a modernized CL-215 water bomber. The company also received continued support for the CL-600 series Challenger, which was still experiencing marketing problems due to uncertainty over ownership.

    As a part of Bombardier's Aerospace Group, Canadair now produces various versions of the CANADAIR CHALLENGER executive jet, the CANADAIR CL-215 and CL-415 waterbombers, Canadair Regional Jet and 2 unmanned airborne surveillance systems, and is a partner in the Global Express commuter jet. It operates out of 3 production facilities located at St Laurent, Qu, and at Dorval and Mirbel airports near Montral.

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    Page last modified: 02-10-2017 18:47:07 ZULU