n 1945, the Canada Car &
Foundry CBY-3 was almost a dead bird. The war was winding down and
an excess of Douglas DC3s were being sold at $5,000 fire sale prices.
Seeing the CBY-3 as good plane the national airline of Venezuela, Rutas Aereas Nacionales,
purchased the only CBY-3 that was exported from Canada. Chalmers
H. "Slick" Goodlin, who later went on to fame as the
pilot who flew the first 26 missions of the X-1 before it broke the sound barrier
with Chuck Yeager at the controls, was the pilot who flew the CBY-3 to Venezuela.
The plane was pressed into service but within a couple of years required
some maintenance that could not be done locally. The plane was
sent to Connecticut for the work but, for some reason, was
never returned to Venezuela. The plane was eventually shipped off to a
aircraft museum near Hartford where it lies today in pieces and ignominy.
A group in Montreal has tried to buy or even share the plane over the
years but have been rebuffed by the Connecticut museum. Too bad.
But let's go back a few years to 1942. In Part 3 of this series
we discussed the Burnelli
saga including Roosevelt's refusal to authorize the purchase of any
design made by Burnelli. That incident happened in 1939. To
show what a grudge Roosevelt was capable of, in 1942 another bomber
design competition was held, this time by the US Air Force. Canada
Car & Foundry entered their B-1000 design which used Burnelli's
lift body design. The B-1000 passed all the tests, was the
cheapest to build and could carry more load that all the other
competitors - but - it was not selected. Why not? Your
If your guess included Roosevelt, you are probably right.
Was the CC&F B-1000 aircraft a good design? You be the
judge. Compare the B-1000 (1942) to the planned Boeing BWB (Blended Wing
Bomber - 2005) design that is being studied at this very time. The
US Air Force web site says this about the BWB:
"The blended-wing body concept is currently being studied as a research project that first began in the early 1990s. Itís less like a traditional aircraft and more like a flying wing, which offers a greater lift-to-drag ratio than traditional designs and is structurally simpler."
maybe Boeing has it right. Design a plane with greater
lift-to-drag ratio. Does that idea sound a little bit familiar? Burnelli designed
it in the 1930s and the CC&F built it in the 1940s.
In all fairness the BWB bears an even more striking resemblance to a
1945 Burnelli design that was not part of CC&Fs inventory. although
it was designed while Burnelli worked with the CC&F. In 1945,
Burnelli received a patent for his Transporter. The image to the
left is a model of the aircraft that was never built due to the
political pressures placed on Burnelli.