Canadair CL-28 Argus
Argus Mk.I prototype
In 1949 had Canadair offered the RCAF a new maritime Patrol Aircraft based on the North Star version of the DC-4, to replace the Lancaster fleet.
When the RCAF issued their specifications in 1952 Lockheed submitted a version of the Super Constellation as and Bristol submitted a version of the Britannia 100 Turboprop Airliner. In 1953 the RCAF decided on the Britannia. On February 23, 1954, Ottawa announced that Canadair would build the plane and on March 13 the licence agreement was signed. On May 27 the government awarded Canadair a contract to produce 13 maritime patrol/ASW aircraft based on the Bristol Britannia. It was designated Canadair CL-28 ARGUS.The Argus retained the Britannia's wings, tail and the tab based flight control system. The fuselage was redesigned to accommodate two weapon bays, a forward crew compartment and a transparent nose. The turboprop engines where not considered ideal for low altitude operations, so the designers replaced the Britannia's Proteus turboprops with 3700 bhp Wright R-3350 turbo-compound piston engines to provide the combination of high power and low fuel consumption. The Argus was equipped with latest in avionics and ASW. They ran of a fully paralleled AC electrical system. The aircraft was the first in history to synchrophase four 400-cycle systems in an aircraft. The first Argus (VN710) made its first flight on 28 March 1957. The Argus completed RCAF acceptance trials in early 1958.
The first 13 built were Mk.1, with the American APS-20 search radar. All others Argus (22) were Mk.2 with British ASV-21 search radar with the smaller radome.
The Argus flew with 404 and 405 Sqd at Greenwood, Nova Scotia; 415 Sqd at Summerside, Prince Edward Island; and 407 Sqd at Comox, British Colombia.
The Wright engines were fitted for low specific fuel consumption and, on the 31 may 1974, 711, a 407 Squadron Argus Mk.1 from Comox, flew 31.1 hours straight with no external or added fuel tanks.
The Argus served for 24 years and during this time only 2 of the 33 Arguses built were lost. 20727 of 404 Squadron crashed near Puerto Rico during night exercise on March 25 1965. 10737 crashed on landing at Summerside on March 31, 1977 when it collided with a Lockeed Electra, which Canadair had modified for Ice reconnaissance work.The last operation work took place on November 10 1980, replaced by the P-3 Orion. In 1982 Bristol Metal Industries of Toronto bought 24 Arguses and melted them down on the spot. It was argued that the Canadian government did not want them to fall into the wrong hands. The remaining Arguses have found a new role as display models at Air Bases and Canadian museums.
Engines: 4 x Wright R-3350-EA1 Cyclone, 2535kW, 3649 shp
Max Take-off weight: 71214 kg / 157001 lb
Empty weight: 36741 kg / 81000 lb
Wingspan: 43.37 m / 142 ft 3 in
Length: 39.26 m / 129 ft 10 in
Height: 11.79 m / 39 ft 8 in
Wing area: 192.77 sq.m / 2074.96 sq ft
Max. speed: 507 km/h / 315 mph
Ceiling: 7620 m / 25000 ft
Range: 9495 km / 5900 miles
Armament: 3629kg internal weapons / 1724kg on external hardpoints