traces its history to 1911 when the British shipbuilding firm
Vickers Sons & Maxim opened a subsidiary in Canada headquartered
At the end of World War I, Vickers began to design
and build flying boats for the Royal Canadian police. By 1924,
business was good enough to organize a design staff which quickly
became known for its ability to improve on the designs Canadian
Vickers was building under license.
World War II put a huge demand on Canadian Vickers
to produce both ships and aircraft. Unable to support the
production of both, Canadian Vickers aircraft operations were used
to form Canadair as a separate entity in October 1944. The new
company's first job was to continue production of the PBY Canso
amphibian patrol aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force at
In 1947, Canadair was acquired by the Electric
Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. Electric Boat also
acquired Consolidated-Vultee (Convair) in 1952 and merged it with
Canadair to form General Dynamics.
Canadair remained a subsidiary of General Dynamics
until re-acquired by the Canadian government in 1976.
Canadair was sold by the government to Bombardier,
a Quebec based company, in 1986.