Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force

NRC Pterodactyl

In 1946, the RCAF conducted an extensive test program on a tailless "flying wing" glider known as the Pterodactyl developed by the National Research Council (NRC). The glider was constructed of wood and was of a U-planform. It had twin side-by-side cockpits each with its own windscreen / canopy.

It featured retractable undercarriage fitted with hydraulically operated brakes. The glider was outfitted with extensive test instrumentation and was finished in a high-visibility, yellow paint scheme. The glider was typically towed on the end of a 350 ft nylon rope to altitude (6,000 - 10,000 ft) using a Dakota tow plane. The original test program was conducted in Namao, Edmonton and then the glider was successfully towed across the country for further test flights in Arnprior, Ontario. The glider was struck off charge sometime after 1948.

aircraft specifications
CDN Reg:
Manufacturer: National Research Council
Crew / Passengers: crew of two; pilot and observer side by side under separate canopies
Power Plant(s): none
Performance: Max Speed: 140 mph Landing Speed: 60 mph Service Ceiling: 10,000 ft
Weights: Gross: 4,150 lb ( kg)
Dimensions: Span: 46 ft 8 in Length: 18 ft 0 in
Armament: None
The unique Pterodactyl VIII "flying wing" research glider as tested by the RCAF in 1946 (RCAF Photo)

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