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CT-114 / CL-41 Tutor

The Canadair CL-41 CT-114 Tutor Jet was an RCAF Canadian Forces trainer. These aircraft served in this role for more than three decades and became the best known version of the design.

In 1956 Canadair, on its own initiative, undertook an ambitious plan to design an airplane from concept to finished product. Canadair called the new airplane the CL-41 Tutor, to emphasize its pilot training role. The CL-41 Tutor was financed by the developer, because at first the Canadian government did not have an interest in this jet training aircraft for basic training of pilots.

Canadairs challenge was to design an airplane that excelled in the training role. According to Ron Pickler and Larry Mulberry in their 1995 history, "Canadair: The First 50 Years", a primary challenge was to design an aircraft with forgiving spin characteristics, because it is vital that a pilot learn why an aircraft spins and how to recover from an unplanned spin, a training airplane must be able to get into a spin easily, and always spin predictably, and be able to recover easily.

The CT-114 Tutor is a conventional all-metal, low-wing, single-engine, turbojet airplane designed for training pilots. It has side-by-side ejection seats for instructor and student in a pressurized and air conditioned cockpit. Most of the services are electrically operated, but the landing gear, wing flaps, speed brakes, nose wheel steering and wheel brakes are hydraulically operated. The Tutor was certified for Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) conditions and is equipped with instrumentation for navigation, instrument and night flying instruction. The CT-114 is powered by a single Orenda J-85 CAN-40 turbojet with 2,950 lbs of thrust, providing the airplane with a service ceiling of 42,200 feet and a fuel range of 2.5 hours.

It is quite similar to the British BAC Jet Provost and Americas Cessna T-37 Tweet, but unlike the two jet engines that power the T-37, the CT-114 has a single Orenda J85-CAN-40 turboje. The CT-114 also has a T tail design with the horizontal tailplane being mounted at the top of the vertical tail.

Two prototypes with turbojet engines Pratt & Whitney JT12A-5 with a thrust of 10.68 kN were built. The first of them took off on January 13, 1960. Once it became convinced that the CL-41 Tutor would meet its requirements for a jet trainer, the Royal Canadian Air Force placed an order for 190 airplanes in September 1961. The RCAF gave its Tutors the model designation of CT-114. The CL-41 Tutor made its prototype debut flight in 1960, and the first production Tutor was completed at Canadairs Montreal factory and delivered to the RCAF in December 1963. The RCAF took delivery of its final Tutor, known affectionately as "Toot" in RCAF and CF use, in September 1966. One other variant was developed, the CL-41R which was fitted with an F-104 Starfighter nose as a proposed electronic systems trainer for future RCAF CF-104 pilots. The R model never went into production.

In 1966, Malaysia placed an order for twenty CL-41G-5s, armed and configured for the light ground attack or counter-insurgency (COIN) role. Called the Tebuan ("Wasp") by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, these aircraft served in Malaysia for twenty years before being replaced by Aeromacchi MB-339As.

The CT-114 in its trainer role was designed to the needs of both the beginner and the advanced student. The Tutor had a performance that ranges from a stalling speed of 70 knots thus being a safe slow machine for the early training stages, to a maximum level speed of 416 knots (Mach .72) at 20,000 feetwhich is fast enough to provide the advanced student with experience in the effects of compressibility and training in high-speed navigation.

Safety features included an automatic escape system which permits ejection at zero altitude and 90 knots; a bird-proof windshield; longitudinal beams incorporated in the lower fuselage which provide the cockpit area with strength capable of resisting vertical crash loads of up to 8G; a seating installation capable of withstanding crash loads of 32G; and fuselage-mounted, crash-resistant fuel cells located near the centre of gravity so that the aircraft has consistent spin and recovery characteristics in all fuel weights.

During the early stages of design, there was considerable discussion whether the instructor and student should be positioned in tandem or side-by-side; the side-by-side configuration was ultimately chosen. The side-by-side seating configuration provided an ideal and efficient instructional environment the student would sit on the left side of the cockpit with the instructor occupying the right seat. The obvious advantages to this seating arrangement permitted the instructor to effortlessly observe and assess the students actions and reactions during all phases of training, and the student could learn by directly observing the actions of the instructor. All flying controls and basic flight instruments were duplicated, and unobstructed vision was available to each pilot under all conditions.

A long wheel base and wide-track landing gear was provided for in the initial design to provide good directional stability during take-off, landing and taxiing, an important consideration for the inexperienced student pilot. The Tutor crew accessed the cockpit via a jettisonable, rear-sliding, multi-framed canopy, and sat upon the same type of ejection seats used in the F-86 Sabre. This trainer was to provide the student with all he needed to operate the Canadair-built Sabre; all instruments and controls on both sides of the cockpit were similar to those fitted in the famed RCAF day fighter.

CT-114 Tutors served as the RCAFs primary jet trainer for almost four decades until 2000, when they were replaced by the CT-156 Harvard IIs (built by Raytheon) and CT-155 Hawks (built by British Aerospace Systems). Canadian Armed Forces operated all standard CT-114 Tutor trainers in natural metal finish with red and black nose, wing and tail patches with varying codes and markings.

In 1967, 10 Tutors were modified for use as a formation aerobatic aircraft by the RCAF (and later the unified Canadian Forces) display team, the Golden Centennaires to celebrate Canada's Centennial year. The Tutors were modified for aerobatic service in the late 1960s, with the addition of smoke generating devices, a bright paint scheme to enhance the spectator experience, and engine adjustments to enhance response in low-level flying. The display team was later disbanded but, a few years later, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron was reactivated as the nine-aircraft team, the "Snowbirds,"

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Page last modified: 02-10-2017 18:47:08 ZULU