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Canadian Vickers Ltd



Canadian Vickers Ltd was established 1911 at St Hubert, Montreal, as subsidiary of Vickers Ltd. Aircraft division formed 1922; first Canadian company to build aircraft commercially. First contract was for six U.K.-designed Viking IV amphibians for Canadian Air Force. These followed from 1924 by 61 Vedette single-engined flying-boats and amphibians, its most successful product, designed in Canada by W.T Reid. During the 1920s six other designs appeared: the Varuna, Vista, Vanessa, Velos, Vigil, and Vancouver. Of these, only the Varuna (eight) and Vancouver (six) flying-boats went into production. In the 1930s the company license-built Fairchild and Fokker designs and Northrop Deltas. During the Second World War built 40 Supermarine Stranraer flying-boats for the RCAF, 230 Consolidated OA-10 Catalinas for the USAAF, and 149 Canso amphibians for the RCAF, plus hulls for 600 more Catalinas and fuselages for 40 Handley Page Hampden bombers. Took over Canadian Associated Aircraft in 1941, and in following year moved to government factory at Cartierville, near Montreal. In December 1944 became a separate autonomous company under new name of Canadair Ltd.
Formed December 1944 at Cartierville, Montreal, from Aircraft Division of Canadian Vickers Ltd., as a "Crown Company." Purchased 1946 by Electric Boat Company of New York; later that year became a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation. First contract (1944) to build the DC-4m (Merlin-engined version of the Douglas DC-4) for the RCAF. Eventually built 71, including commercial versions, and converted many wartime C-47s into postwar commercial DC-3s. Since 1949 has license-built more than 1,900 North American F-86 Sabre jetfightersforthe RCAF and the U.S. Military Assistance Program; more than 700 Lockheed T-33 SilverStar jettrainers; 200 Lockheed F-104 Starfighters for the RCAF; and 240 Northrop F-5s for the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Products of its own design have included the CL-28 Argus Maritime patrol aircraft (32 built); CL-41 jet trainer/ground-attack aircraft (210 for Royal Canadian and Malaysian Air Forces); 39 CL-44 Yukon and 44 military/civil transports; three prototypes of the CL-84 tilt-wing VTOL research aircraft; CL-215 twin piston-engined firefighting and utility amphibian (first flown October 1967) and its CL-215T twin-turboprop reengined derivative (first flown June 1989); and Challenger 600 wide-body business jet (first flown November 1978) and 601 follow up. Company was repurchased by the Canadian government in December 1975. Other programs included the CL-89 battlefield reconnaissance RPV, major subcontract work for the U.S. Navy's P-3C Orion and its Canadian derivative, the CP140 Aurora, and manufacture of components for other companies.

Canadair became part of Bombardier Aerospace Group in December of 1986, renamed Bombardier Inc. Canadair.


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