Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 1: The Biplane Era, Canadian Car & Foundry Gregor FDB-1

Canadian Car & Foundry Gregor FDB-1

Data current to 2 February 2020.

 (WW2Aircraft.net  Photo)

The Gregor was a 1938 single-engine biplane fighter.  The Gregor FDB-1's model designation stood for Fighter Dive Bomber indicating its intended roles.  Only one built.  The FDB-1 was one of the most advanced biplane fighters of its time.  It incorporated many of the features standard on the new monoplanes.  Its airframe was of all-metal construction with flush riveting.  The shape was aerodynamically clean, and enhanced by a shatter-proof sliding canopy.  The main undercarriage was retractable, a novelty for a biplane.  The pilot sitting in an adjustable seat had improved forward vision because of the Gregor’s gull-wing design.  The aircraft was powered by a 750 hp Twin Wasp Junior radial engine, and it was armed with two .50 cal machine-guns and two 116 pound bombs.  Despite being an advanced and innovative design, incorporating all-metal construction with flush riveting, retractable undercarriage and a sleek shape, the FDB-1 was overtaken by events and, after being unable to find a buyer, was lost in a fire in 1945.

 (Edmon Cardinal Photo)

Gregor FDB-1, registration CF-BMB, in its gray paint and striped vertical stabilizer. 

 (Thunder Bay Historical Society Photo)

CCF Gregor FDB-1 under construction in the Canadian Car and Foundry factory at Fort William.  This aircraft was of all-metal construction, and came equipped with a retractable undercarriage, flush riveting and had a gull wing shape in the upper wing.  It had a modern monocoque shell construction similar to the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt Bf-109. 

 (Thunder Bay Historical Society Photo)

CCF Gregor FDB-1 being prepared for engine tests at Bishopsfield, Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, January 1939.

 (Johan Visschedijk Collection Photo, via 1000aircraftphotos.com)

The only Canadian Car and Foundry-built Gregor FDB-1 is rolled out of the Fort William factory on a cold and clear December day in 1938 for a photo op and engine run.  The aircraft is not yet been fitted with its massive bare metal spinner of the final design. 

 (CCF Photo)

CCF Gregor FDB-1.

 (Bzuk Photo)

George Adye about to start the FDB-1 for the first time at the roll-out on December 17th, 1948 at Bishop's Field, Fort William.  Adye was the Canadian Car and Foundry factory test pilot.  On this December day he would just run up the engine, but he would be the first to fly the Gregor FDB-1 at CCF's factory in St. Hubert near Montreal in February, 1939.

 (CCF Photo)

The large propellor on the FDB-1 is readily apparent in this pjhoto.

 (airwar.ru Photo)

The large perspex canopy of the FDB-1 is clearly shown in this image from the December 1938 roll-out.  The canopy gave an excellent field of vision in all directions, except for the view forward where the high mounted gull-style wing impeded view.

 (CASM Photo)

Rear view of the CCF Gregor FDB-1, with the pilot's parachute resting on the lower wing on the left.   The fighter is sitting at the edge of a hardstand outside a hangar at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York.  Its vertical stabilizer carries the FDB-1  and white stripes over its grey paint scheme.  A Gulf Oil fuel bowser can just be seen forward of the starboard wings with an attendant standing on a step ladder to assist the refueling. 

 (Bzuk Photo)

CCF Gregor FDB-1, Reg. No. CFBMB, with Executives from Canadian Car and Foundry at Bishop's Field Fort William (now Thunder Bay) during the aircraft's first engine run ups. Left to right: test pilot George Adye, Canadian Car and Foundry representative David Boyd (the Fort William Factory Manager) and the aircraft designer, Michael Gregor, in front of the fighter which has been painted in all over semi-gloss grey.

 (fliegerweb.com Photo)

CCF Gregor FDB-1, Reg. No. CFBMB, in flight test over Montreal.

 (CCF Photo)

CCF Gregor FDB-1, Reg. No. CFBMB, in flight test over Montreal.

CCF Gregor FDB-1 illustration.