Canadair CP-107 Argus

The Canadair CP-107 Argus (CL-28) was a marine reconnaissance aircraft designed and manufactured by Canadair for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). In its early years, the Argus was reputedly the finest anti-submarine patrol bomber in the world.[3] The Argus served throughout the Cold War in the RCAF's Maritime Air Command and later the CF's Maritime Air Group and Air Command.

CP-107 Argus
Canadair CL-28 Argus 2 CP107 10721 407 Sq LAV 18.04.71.jpg
Role Maritime patrol aircraft
Manufacturer Canadair
Designer Tom Harvie [1]
First flight 28 March 1957
Introduction 1957
Retired 1982
Primary users Royal Canadian Air Force
Canadian Forces
Produced 1957- 1960
Number built 33
Unit cost
$5,513,000 [2]
Developed from Bristol Britannia

Design and developmentEdit

Canadair began work on the CL-28 in April 1954 and at the time it was the largest aircraft built in Canada. The hybrid design, initially referred to as the 'Britannia Maritime Reconnaissance', or 'Britannia MR', was derived from the Bristol Britannia transport, having the same wings, tail surfaces and landing gear except for being "Americanized" – meaning that it used the same general design, but changed the British materials and standard parts for North American ones.

The fuselage was completely redesigned by Canadair, going from the pressure cabin of the Britannia to an unpressurised one with bomb bays fore and aft of the wings. The powerplant was also changed from the Bristol Proteus turboprop engines to Wright R-3350 compound (piston) engines, which had lower fuel consumption necessary for extended missions at low level. At the design stage the other possible engine was the Napier Nomad, another turbo compound engine, although the Nomad was later cancelled.


From July 1960, a CP-107 Argus underwent hot weather testing at Eglin AFB, Florida.[4]

Operational historyEdit

The Argus replaced the RCAF Lancaster and Lockheed P-2 Neptune aircraft types previously flown in the maritime roles. One of the most effective anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft of its day, the Argus was a mainstay for the RCAF. A large amount of equipment was carried, including: search radar, sonobuoys, electronic counter measures (ECM), explosive echo ranging (EER) and magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). Up to 8,000 lb (3,632 kg) of weapons could be carried in the bomb bays, including torpedoes and depth charges.

A flight crew of 15 consisting of three pilots, three navigators (Observer Long range), two flight engineers and six radio officers (observer rad) until the early 1960s when the crew included both commissioned officers (tactical navigator/radio navigator) and non commissioned officers (observers), the number of which was dependent on the mission. Four crew bunks and a galley were provided to extend the efficiency of the crew on long patrols (average 18 hrs). The CL-28 had an endurance of approximately 26½ hours with full armament. An Argus flown by 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron held the Canadian military record of slightly over 31 hours for the longest flight by an unrefuelled aircraft.[5]

The principal difference between the Mark I and Mark II was primarily in the different navigation, communication and tactical electronic equipment fitted internally. Externally, the Mk II exhibited a redesigned smaller nose radome and additional ECM antenna above the fuselage.[6]

The Argus flew its last service mission on 24 July 1981, and was replaced by the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora.


CP-107 at Bermuda (1979).
  • Argus Mk 1 : Long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the RCAF. This aircraft was fitted with an American AN/APS-20 radar in a chin-mounted radome. (13 built)
  • Argus Mk 2 : Long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the RCAF. This aircraft was fitted with a British ASV-21 radar in a chin-mounted radome. (20-built)



Aircraft on displayEdit

Specifications (Canadair CL-28 Argus Mk.I)Edit

Canadair CL-28 Argus drawing from Aircraft Manual

Data from The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft[12]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 15
  • Length: 132 ft 4.5 in (40.348 m)
  • Wingspan: 142 ft 3.5 in (43.371 m)
  • Height: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
  • Wing area: 2,075 sq ft (192.8 m2)
  • Airfoil: Root: NACA 25017 Tip: NACA 4413[13]
  • Empty weight: 81,000 lb (36,741 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 157,000 lb (71,214 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 6,640 imp gal (30,200 l; 7,970 US gal)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Wright R-3350 TC18EA1 18 cylinder Turbo-Compound air-cooled radial engines, 3,700 hp (2,800 kW) each
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Curtiss-Wright Electric C634S-C554 metal variable-pitch propeller, 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 315 mph (507 km/h, 274 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 207 mph (333 km/h, 180 kn)
  • Range: 5,900 mi (9,500 km, 5,100 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)

(Maximum load of 8,000 lb (3,600 kg))


  • Radar systems:
  • Passive sensors:
    • Jezebel Low Frequency Analyzer and Recorder sonobuoy sound analyzer to identify distance and type of vessel[15]
    • Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) on extended tail boom to measure presence of iron from a vessels hull[15]
    • AN/ALR-8 radio direction finding and interception to triangulate location of a radio transmitter[15]
    • AN/APA-74 radar signal pulse identification for identifying and locating submarine radar transmissions[15]
    • AN/ASR-3 exhaust trail indicator for identifying location of submarine diesel engine exhaust[15]
  • Other:
    • 70 million candlepower searchlight for night visual identification[15]

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. ^ Pickler and Milberry 1995, p. 121.
  2. ^ "Canadair Argus." RCAF Museum. Retrieved: 21 February 2007.
  3. ^ "Canadair CP-Argus 2." Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Retrieved: 21 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Canadian Plane Now Undergoing Tests At Eglin." The Okaloosa News-Journal (Crestview, Florida), Volume 46, Number 28, 14 July 1960, p. A-3.
  5. ^ Skaarup 2009, p. 88.
  6. ^ "Canadair CP-107 Argus 2." Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Retrieved: 8 October 2014.
  7. ^ Brennan, Dan. "The Comox Air Force Museum's Guide to the Aircraft of the Heritage Air Park". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  8. ^ "ARGUS CP-107". Greenwood Military Aviation Museum. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Argus". National Air Force Museum of Canada. National Air Force Museum of Canada. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Artists Concept of Our Park". Air Force Heritage Park, PEI. Aviation Heritage Society (PEI) Inc. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  11. ^ "CANADAIR CP-107 ARGUS 2". Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Ingenium. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  12. ^ Donald 1997, p. 118.
  13. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d Baker, Cary; Campbell, Bert (2011). The Canadair Argus: The Untold Story of Canada's Cold War Maritime Hunter. Chester, Nova Scotia: Bryler Publications. pp. 39–46. ISBN 978-1927003060.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Baker, 2011, pp.27-37


  • Baker, Major Cary, MCM, CD, and Major Bert Campbell. CD. The Canadair Argus CL-28 CP-107: The Untold Story of Canada's Cold War Maritime Hunter. Chester, Nova Scotia: Bryler Publications, 2011. ISBN 978-1-927003-06-0.
  • Donald, David. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Etobicoke, Ontario: Prospero Books, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  • Pickler, Ron and Milberry, Larry. Canadair: The First 50 Years. Toronto: CANAV Books, 1995. ISBN 0-921022-07-7.
  • Skaarup, Harold A. Canadian Warplanes. Bloomington, Indiana: IUniverse, 2009. ISBN 978-1-44016-758-4.

External linksEdit