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. The name "Canadair" is a portmanteau of Canada and air.
|Fate||Acquired by Bombardier|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
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 Consolidated 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 US Electric Boat Company bought a controlling interest in Canadair. The two companies merged to form the American company General Dynamics (GD) in 1952. In 1954, GD purchased Convair - created by the merger of Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee Aircraft - and reorganised Canadair as its Canadian subsidiary.
Nationalization and privatizationEdit
In 1976, the Canadian government acquired Canadair Ltd. from US company 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 experimental CL-84 was the first VTOL aircraft that rotated the wings to achieve vertical lift-off (tiltwing). The CL-215 was the first purpose-designed water bomber.
In the late 1950s the US Army contracted Canadair to develop a small light-weight all-terrain amphibious tracked vehicle. In turn, Canadair developed the CL-70 RAT Remote Articulated Track  which, while not a commercial success, gave Canadair the experience for the upgraded CL-91 Dynatrac, which was a marketing success and purchased by the US Army as XM-571.
Canadair had diversity in other projects. The "Canarch" division was involved in curtain wall design and manufacture for a number of buildings. They also produce the cabins for many air traffic control towers operated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States. Both tracked and air-cushioned vehicles were designed, but only a few samples were built.
|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||Maritime patrol aircraft||up to 15*||First flight: 1957
First del'y: 1960
|Development 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|
|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); modified floatplane based on PBV-1 Canso (PBY-1 Catalina) with two R-1340 engines|
|Military transport aircraft/Cargo aircraft||9||134||Launch date: 1959||Based on Bristol Britannia|
|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 Stratojet 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||First flight: May 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||Based on CL-43 and Canadair CL-1 Canso (variant of Consolidated PBY Catalina), the concept led to production of the larger CL-215|
|CL-210||Satellite antenna||n/a||n/a||1965||Installed at Shirleys Bay, Ontario|
|CL-212||Hovercraft||1964–1967||Development transferred to General Dynamics Electric Boat|
|CL-215||Scooper||Water Bomber||2||up to 18 passengers (utility version)||First flight: 1967
|In 2016, Viking Air Ltd. acquired the Type Certificates (manufacturing rights) for the Canadair CL-215 aircraft.|
|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 unmanned aerial vehicle||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
|In 2016, Viking Air acquired the Type Certificates (manufacturing rights) for the Canadair CL-415 aircraft.|
|CL-600||Challenger||Business jet||2||8 to 19||First flight: 1978
|CL-600||CRJ 100/200||Regional jet||2*||50||First flight: 1991
|*plus flight attendants|
|CL-600||CRJ700/900/1000||Regional jet||2*||66-104||First flight: 1999
|*plus flight attendants|
- Velvet Glove - Air-to-air missile project.
- "Canadair." Archived 2011-02-07 at the Wayback Machine Project North Star Restoration Primer, April 2003. Retrieved: 31 December 2011.
- "Canadian RAT can scurry anywhere." Popular Science, December 1959, pp. 118–120.
- "CL-91 Dynatrac." Canadian America Strategic Review. Retrieved: 31 December 2011.
- "Canadair Forty Four Trivia." Swingtail: The Newsletter of the CL44 Association, December 2001. Retrieved: 31 December 2011.
- "Canadair Designations." secretprojects.co. Retrieved: 31 December 2011.
- Block, Burwell, ed. "The CL-52/B-47B." Archived 2011-09-30 at the Wayback Machine The B-47 Stratojet Association. Retrieved: 4 June 2011.
- "1952 Subcontracts". Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "1956 Vehicles". Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "1958 Special Products". Retrieved 9 January 2012.