The air arsenal of the British commonwealth: Aircraft design and development in Canada during the Second World War, 1939--45

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Title: The air arsenal of the British commonwealth: Aircraft design and development in Canada during the Second World War, 1939--45
Authors: Auger, Martin F
Date: 2006
Abstract: The Canadian aircraft industry made an important contribution to Allied victory during the Second World War. Between 1939 and 1945, Canada produced 16,418 aircraft and ranked as the fourth largest Allied manufacturer of aircraft. But this achievement overshadowed the fact that only five per cent of Canada's total wartime output was made up of domestically developed aircraft types. The bulk of production consisted instead of American and British aircraft designs manufactured under-license. In spite of this, several Canadian government officials and aircraft manufacturers attempted to initiate the development of new aircraft types domestically to meet the specific requirements of the Royal Canadian Air Force and several Canadian airlines. The purpose of this study is to examine aircraft design and development efforts in Canada during the Second World War. Between 1939 and 1942, a few Canadian aircraft manufacturers and government officials tried to encourage the development of military aircraft and gliders in Canada, but these endeavours proved unsuccessful. Despite these early setbacks, in 1942, the Canadian government began considering ways to strengthen the aircraft industry by improving its design and development capabilities. This was particularly important if Canadian aircraft companies were to successfully compete against foreign manufacturers in postwar markets. The creation of the Committee on Postwar Manufacture of Aircraft in 1943 testified to the determination of the government to prepare the industry for the postwar years. The committee's ultimate aim was to initiate the design and development of aircraft that could have both commercial and military applications, namely trainers and transports. Unfortunately, there were many divisions between different interest groups as to where to devote time and resources. As a result, the Department of National Defence for Air decided to take matters into its own hands in 1944 and issued formal postwar requirements for two ambitious aircraft projects to be developed in Canada: a twin-engine aircrew trainer and a jet fighter. In the end, although few aircraft of indigenous design were produced in Canada during the Second World War, these efforts helped the Canadian aircraft industry prepare for postwar needs and culminated in a series of innovative indigenous aircraft programmes in the early Cold War.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/29338
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-12901
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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