Introduced in 1960, the Tutor was designed by Canadair to serve as the Canadian Forces’ primary jet trainer. Powered by a single turbojet engine, the aircraft features docile handling characteristics and side-by-side seating with tandem controls for a student and instructor.
The Tutor was officially adopted by the Canadian Forces in 1963. 190 were built for Canadian use, serving in the primary training role until 2000 when they were replaced by the BAE CT-155 Hawk and Fairchild CT-156 Harvard II. 20 ground-attack variants known as the CL-41G-5 Tebuan were also built for the Royal Malaysian Air Force, serving from 1967 to 1986.
In 1971, the Tutor was adopted as the official aircraft of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Snowbirds. These aircraft were modified for aerobatic displays by fitting them with external tanks for diesel fuel, which is injected into the engine to produce smoke trails. In the early days a special dye was mixed with the fuel to produce red smoke, but this proved highly corrosive to the engine and was soon discontinued.
Though most Tutors have been retired, 25 are retained by the Snowbirds in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment in Cold Lake, Alberta. Several others are privately operated.
The Museum’s Tutor, CT-114004 was one of the earliest aircraft of the fleet to be taken into the Air Force inventory as a pilot trainer. It was stationed at 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School at Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw (now 15 Wing Moose Jaw) from the mid-1960s to the phase out of the Tutor as a training aircraft in 2000. During its career, it was also used as a ground trainer for ab-initio pilots. It was intended to be mounted on a pedestal in Winnipeg before being permanently loaned to the RAMWC for display.
Safely hanging the aircraft without damaging it proved a challenging task. Engineering firm F.A. Roberts & Associates solved the problem by separating the front and rear fuselage and sandwiching a thin suspension “diaphragm” between them. Two panels in the nose were also replaced with new versions incorporating reinforced suspension points; the original panels are preserved in the museum’s archives.