Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Canadair
fate = incorporated into Bombardier.
successor = Bombardier Aerospace
foundation = 1944
defunct = 1986
location = Montreal, Canada

Canadair was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada.It was the subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers and 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 reorganized Canadair as its Canadian subsidiary.

Crown corporation

In 1976, the Canadian government acquired Canadair from US based General Dynamics. It remained a federal crown corporation until 1986 when it was sold to Bombardier. Having experienced record losses, the corporation was privatized under the Mulroney government. It became the core of Bombardier Aerospace.

As part of Bombardier, Canadair lived 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 the 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 (tiltrotor). The CL-215 was the first purposed-designed water bomber. In European countries, "Canadair" has become synonymous with water bomber airplanes used in aerial firefighting.

Canadair had diversity in other projects. One division "Canarch" was involved in curtain wall design and manufacture for a number of buildings. They also produce the cabs for many 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.


* Milberry, Larry. "The Canadair North Star." Toronto: CANAV Books, 1982. ISBN 0-07-549965-7.
* Milberry, Larry. "The Canadair Sabre." Toronto: CANAV Books, 1986. ISBN 0-9690703-7-3.
* Pickler, Ron and Milberry, Larry. "Canadair: The First 50 Years." Toronto: CANAV Books, 1995. ISBN 0-921022-07-7.

ee also

* Bombardier Aerospace
* de Havilland Canada
* Learjet
* Short Brothers

External links

* [ Complete production list of Canadair Regional Jets]
* [ Complete production list of Argonaut / North Star]

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