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

Canadair CC-106 YUKON

Canadair acquired the licence to produce the Britol Britannia airline in the 1950s.   They first used the licence to build the then state-of-the-art CP-107 Argus Anti-Submarine/Maritime Patrol aircraft, that combined the Britannia's wing and tail sections with a new fuselage and engines.

When the RCAF issued a requirement for the replacement of the Canadair  North Star transport, Canadair began working on a long range transport based on the Britannia.  The RCAF's designation was the CC-106 Yukon, while the company's civilian variant was known as the CL-44.

The RCAF had specified the CL-44 to be equipped with Bristol Orion engines. When the British Ministry of Supply canceled the Orion program, the RCAF revised the specifications to substitute the Rolls-Royce Tyne 11. The CL-44 fuselage was lengthened by 12 ft 4 in (3.75 m) to be almost identical to the Britannia 300 with two large cargo doors added on the port side while the cabin was pressurised to maintain a cabin altitude of 2,400 m at 9,000 m (30,000 ft). The design used modified CL-28 wings and controls. The Yukon could accommodate 134 passengers and a crew of nine. In the casualty evacuation role it could take 80 patients and a crew of 11.

The rollout of the Yukon was a near-disaster when the prototype could not be pushed out of the hangar since the tail was unable to clear the hangar doors. The first flight took place 15 November 1959 at Cartierville Airport. During test flights many problems were encountered from complete electrical failure to engines shaking loose and almost falling off. Rolls-Royce had problems delivering engines resulting in the sarcastically named "Yukon gliders" being parked outside Canadair as late as 1961. Once initial problems were resolved, in RCAF service the Yukon performed well and in December 1961, a Yukon set a world record for its class when it flew 6,750 mi (10,860 km) from Tokyo to Trenton, Ontario, in 17 hours, three minutes at an average speed of 400 mph (640 km/h). Later a Yukon even set a new record staying airborne for 23 hours and 51 minutes. These records stayed untouched until broken by the new Boeing 747SP in 1975. By the time of their retirement, Yukons had flown 65 million miles, 1.5 billion passenger miles and 360 million ton-miles. The CL-44-6 was briefly considered for purchase by the USAF

The Yukon played a pivotal role in Canada's UN missions through the 1960's delivering troops and supplies to countries such Ghana, Tanzania, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, and Cyprus as well as supporting Canada's NATO contingent in Europe.

The aircraft were retired in the spring of 1971 in favour of a smaller fleet of Boeing 707 jet transports.

aircraft specifications
CDN Reg: CC-106
Manufacturer: Canadair Aircraft Ltd
Crew / Passengers: crew of ten with provisions for 134 passengers or up to 14,300 lb (6,486 kg) in cargo
Power Plant(s): four Rolls-Royce Tyne 515/50 turboprops, 5,730 shp (4,270 kW) each, with four-blade variable pitch propellers
Performance: Max Speed: 320 mph (515 km/h) Cruising Speed: 288 mph ( 463 km/h) Service Ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,144 m) Range: 3,550 mi (1,996 km)
Weights: Empty: 91,000 lb ( 41,314 kg) Gross: 205,000 lb ( 93,075 kg)
Dimensions: Span: 142 ft 3 5/8 in ( 43.35 m) Length: 136 ft 8 in ( 41.65 m) Height: 38 ft 7 5/8 in (11.77 m) Wing Area: 2,075 sq ft ( 192.76 sq m)
Armament: None
Canadair Yukon showing short lived all red roundels

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