Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 5: The Post War Piston Era, Canadair CP-107 Argus

Canadian Warplanes of the Post War Piston Era, Canadair CP-107 Argus

Data current to 5 Feb 2019.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20710), lead aircraft in an Argus line-up at CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

The Canadair CP-107 Argus (CL-28) was a maritime reconnaissance aircraft designed and manufactured by Canadair for the RCAF.  In its early years, the Argus was reputedly the finest anti-submarine patrol bomber in the world.  The Argus served throughout the Cold War with the RCAF's Maritime Air Command and later the CF's Maritime Air Group and Air Command.

Canadair began work on the CL-28 in April 1954 and at the time it was the largest aircraft built in Canada. The hybrid design, initially referred to as the 'Britannia Maritime Reconnaissance', or 'Britannia MR', was derived from the Bristol Britannia transport, having the same wings, tail surfaces and landing gear, but using standard North American parts instead of British parts.  The fuselage was redesigned to incorporate an unpressurised one with bomb bays fore and aft of the wings.  The Argus was powered by four  Wright R-3350 compound (piston) engines, which had a low fuel consumption necessary for extended missions at low level.

The Argus replaced the Avro Lancaster in RCAF service as well as the Lockheed CF-122 Neptune which had been flown in the maritime roles.  The Argus was considered to be one of the most effective anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft of its day, and served as a mainstay for the RCAF.  A large amount of equipment was carried, including: search radar, sonobuoys, electronic counter measures (ECM), explosive echo ranging (EER) and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD).  Up to 8,000 lb (3,632 kg) of weapons could be carried in the bomb bays, including torpedoes, bombs, mines and depth charges.

The Argus was flown with a crew of 15 consisting of three pilots, three navigators (Observer Long range), two flight engineers and six radio officers (observer rad) until the early 1960s when the crew included both commissioned officers (tactical navigator/radio navigator) and non commissioned officers (observers), the number of which was dependent on the mission.  Four crew bunks and a galley were provided to extend the efficiency of the crew on long patrols (average 18 hrs).  The CL-28 had an endurance of approximately 26½ hours with full armament.  An Argus flown by 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron held the Canadian military record of slightly over 31 hours for the longest flight by an unrefuelled aircraft.

The principal difference between the Argus Mk. I and Mk. II was primarily in the different navigation, communication and tactical electronic equipment fitted internally.  The Mk. I was fitted with an American APS-20 radar in a chin-mounted radome. (13 built).  Externally, the Mk II was fitted with a British ASV-21 radar in a chin-mounted radome. (20-built).  The Mk. II nose radome was smaller, and this version was equipped with an additional ECM antenna above the fuselage.  

The Argus was flown by Nos. 404, 405, 407, 415 and 449 Sqns.  The Argus flew its last service mission on 24 July 1981, and was replaced by the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora.  (Wikipedia)

Canadair CL-28-1, CP-107 Argus Mk. 1 (13), (Serial Nos. 20710-20722), Mk. 2 (20), (Serial Nos. 20723-20742), for a total of 33 aircraft.

 (DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20710), No. 405 "Eagle" (MP) Squadron, pre-delivery photo taken at Canadair in Cartierville, Quebec.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF, nose view.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20710).

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CF-107 Argus Mk. 1 (Serial No. 20711), No. 404 'Buffalo' (MP) Squadron. 

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 10711).

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 10711)..

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 10711)..

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20714), ca. 1958.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20714), ca. 1958.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20715), ca. 1958.

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CF-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20719), No. 415 "Swordfish" (MP) Squadron, CFB Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on a NORPAT (Northern Patrol).

 (RuthAS Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20721), 1971.

(DND Photo via Gord Jenkins)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20721)

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20721), 407 Sqn, flying over CFB Comox, British Columbia.

 (SDASM Archives)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20722), No. 407 Squadron.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20723), over a submarine.

 (DND Photo via Gord Jenkins)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20723).

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20723).

 (DND Photo vai James Craik)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20725), Argus dropping Depth Charges over the Atlantic Ocean.  DND Canada Photo PCN-736.  The digital image is held by the National Defence Imagery Library (NDIL) at the CF Joint Imagery Centre (CFJIC), and the hard copy original film negative is held by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in Ottawa.

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2,  RCAF (Serial No. 20726).

 (RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2,  RCAF (Serial No. 10726), CFB Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

(DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20728), (Serial No. 10728).

 (DND Photo via Gord Jenkins)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 10729).

 (Steve Fitzgerald Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20735), (Serial No. 10735), No. 415 "Swordfish" (MP) Squadron, 23 June 1979.

 (Mike Freer - Touchdown-Aviation Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20736), (Serial No. 10736)

 (DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20736), loading torpedoes, Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

 (Royal Netherlands Navy Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20736), May 1971.

 (DND Photo via Gord Jenkins)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20737).

(DND Photo via Gord Jenkins)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20739).

 (DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus, 404 Sqn, showing the tactical compartment.  Note how the component on the left side, in front of the seated crew member, is covered with a black cloth.  At the time of this photo this piece of gear known as Jezebel, was classified.  The Jezebel passive acoustic recorder was used to analyze the sound signature of submerged submarines.

 (DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20740), Greenwood, NS.

(DND Photo via Gord Jenkins)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20741), on the airfield at Gibraltar.

(DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20742), delivery, Greenwood, NS.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus fleet being scrapped at CFB Summerside, 1981.  (DND Photo)

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CP-107 Argus maritime reconnaissance aircraft preserved:

Canada had 33 CP-107 Argus aircraft.  Of these two crashed (Serial No. 10727), and (Serial No. 10737), five are on display (Serial Nos. 10712, 10717, 10732, 10739, and 10742), one was struck off strength in Saskatoon (Serial No. 10733), one was tested to destruction at IMP in 1975 (Serial No. 10730), one went to the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada but was scrapped (Serial No. 715 [parts still exist]) and the remaining aircraft were scrapped at CFB Summerside, Prince Edward Island during the winter of  1981-1982. 

 (stemcat5 Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20712), (Serial No. 10712), c/n 3, No. 407 Squadron, Comox Air Force Museum, CFB Comox, British Columbia.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No. 20717, (Serial No. 10717), Greenwood Military Aviation Museum, CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20432), (Serial No. 10732), National Air Force Museum of Canada, CFB Trenton, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20432), (Serial No. 10432), 783C.  National Museum of the RCAF, CFB Trenton, Ontario.  The museum’s Argus was one of twenty purchased by the RCAF in 1958.  It flew with No. 415 Maritime Patrol ‘Swordfish’ Squadron at CFB Summerside, Prince Edward Island, until 1981, (thus the swordfish markings on the tail of the aircraft).  The Argus was replaced by the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft when No. 415 Squadron was moved to CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.  This Argus was stored at Mountainview, Ontario, and painted at CFB Trenton before it was brought to the museum.  (NAFMC)

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20739), (Serial No. 10739).  415 Squadron.  Summerside, Heritage Aircraft Society (HAS), Summerside Airport173 Victoria Road.  Formerly Slemon Park, CFB Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 20742), (Serial No. 10742), 415 Squadron, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

Canadair CP-107 Argus (Serial No.), parts, Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba.