Canadian Car & Foundry C-101 Hussard (Hussar) Hector
“It almost as bad as the Huard in a dogfight...But at least I’ve got two other crew members to keep me company.”
- Maj. Nick “Fen” Hawkins, 104th Fighting Puffins Patrol Squadron, Royal Newfoundland Navy
Needing a replacement for the geriatric Huard, Québec’s Defence Ministry commissioned Canadian Car Foundry (CCF) in early 1934 to build a successor to the “popular” plane. The AAQ requirements were numerous: a range of at least 1000 miles, winter capability and ability to land on water. CCF delivered a plane that answers the requirements, but somehow, it forgot that this was supposed to be a fighter plane.
Design History: The specifications where difficult to meet, a military seaplane with such a range had never been build in the past. Even before the first prototype flew the plane was problematic. CCF tried to introduce a lot of innovative elements in their new plane, with a various level of success. The new fuel injection system turned out great, allowing the pilot to control the fuel-air mix and permitted an extension of the operating range. However, the weight of the four Pratt and Whitney Wasp engines, and their usual alignment, in pairs one tractor the other pusher, resulted in a capricious plane with an unusual center of gravity. The two first prototypes crashed because of the unconventional response that the design gave to the pilots’ commands. As a result CCF removed the turret in these early designs, which only made matter worst. Test pilots comments were so bad that it almost forced Québec to cancel the project. However, having no other choice the AAQ and Sureté Républicaine, the national police force, were forced to order at least forty planes when the design was finalized in 1935.
The production aircraft still suffers from the flaws of the prototype, it is slow despite the presence of 4 engines, difficult to fly and totally outclassed by modern fighter. But the new injection system and the large fuel tanks allow it to have almost unsurpassed range, allowing for long patrols. It has furthermore, proven itself as a decent weapon platform, capable of zeppelin and ship busting. -L
It is still unknown today if Québec will order new fighters but some private delivery and shipping company from the Atlantic coalition, Dixie and Pacifia have approached CCF about the plane, but no private company can make it worthwhile to continue production. CCF seemed to have no choice but to write down the whole investment when the last AAQ planes were delivered in 1936 when the Governor of Newfoundland announced the order of 35 planes for its naval patrol squadrons. This seems to ensure the survival of the design for the time being.
CCF named the plane the Hussard to underline its role as the eyes and ears of the AAQ. However, crews quickly derided the name, totally inappropriate in their opinion, and adopted instead the Empire State Intelligence Service code name Hector
They use the English pronunciation as well. -L
Manufacturer: Still under the threat of nationalisation, CCF could not refuse Québec’s request, even if it had doubt about the requirements and the commercial viability of the Hector. Some observers have still difficulties to understand why CCF is so quick to agree to all the requests of the République since most of its airplanes sales are outside the country. These observers fail to recognise that airplanes are just a small part of CCF’s total operations and that it’s train car and steel business are mainly located in Québec and to lose them to nationalisation would destroy CCF.
One must also remember that the directors and executives would also probably be tried for treason and end up on the end of a rope for their dealings with the Maritimes Provinces. -L
Role and deployment: Intended as an autonomous first response airplane to apprehend undesirable elements, the Hector failed miserably in that aspect. It is too slow to keep up with any capable fighter and incapable of out manoeuvring them. It is, on the other hand, very good patrol plane with an enormous range and that flies itself alone when in leveled flight. It is a decent gunship, the 15 mm cannon and the 2 .50 machineguns providing respectable firepower and the .50 on the back of the cockpit imposes respect on lighter airplanes. It has proved itself a great support plane and with its incredible endurance it usually observes the target from a distance, keeping the interceptors informed about its position. When the interceptors arrive on the scene, then it can fire support. In addition the Sureté Nationale has been using the plane to send scouting parties to find pirates bases in Northern Québec, a pair of them being able to land 4 to 6 policemen with some room for prisoners if need be.
As usual, the ROQ tries to make the most out of a bad plane. -L
Pilots and Campaign: The Royal Newfoundland Navy 104th Patron Squadron “The Fighting Puffins” were the first ‘landers to receive the Hector. This plane is particularly well suited for the long maritime patrols that the Puffins must make in order to protect the colony fragile shipping lanes with Great Britain. The Puffins have become renowned for their ability to stretch the range of their plane beyond the advertised 1000 miles. They invented what they call “flying half drunk”, cutting down the two pushers engines and flying only on the tractors. In June 1936 they participated in the search for the famous White Sharks pirates that preyed on the Gulf of St-Lawrence shipping. The 104th managed to locate the pirates’ zeppelin when she was meeting a supply ship near Taloy Head in the Maritimes provinces. The pirates though they where well outside the Royal Navy’s reach. After the position of the zeppelin was reported, the Puffins organised a raid to destroy it, along with the supply ship. Flying “half drunk” the Puffins flew all night and attacked out of the rising sun. The pirates could not oppose the attackers, most of their planes still being refueled, they tried to flee after their supply ship was torpedoed but the Newfoundlanders managed to keep up with the zeppelin and destroyed it. They then returned back home. This action generated a lot of talk in the pirates’ gangs of the St-Lawrence about what is a safe place to resupply in that sector.
Our informants confirmed to us the veracity of this story. All in all it was a 1100 miles journey, plus the raid. He also added that some planes came back with enough fuel in the tank for a couple of hundred extra miles. -L
Manufacturer: Canadian Car and Foundry Limited
Engine: Four Pratt and Whitney Wasp (1232 Hp)
Wing Span: 43 feet 7 inches
Length: 35 feet 3 inches
Height: 15 feet 8 inches
Loaded Weight: 10 750 Lbs
Service Ceiling: 33 400 feet
Range: 1 000 miles
Max Speed: 250 Mph
Max Acceleration: 65.6 ft/s2
Max Deceleration: 65.6 ft/s2
Weapons: 1 Mauser 15mm Cannon, 1 .30 Vickers Machinegun and 3 .50 Browning Machineguns (1 rear facing)
BTN: 4, Max speed: 2, Max G: 3, Acceleration: 1
Weapons: 60, 30, 2 X 50, 50 in a rear facing turret, 7 hardpoints
Armour: 320 (N 70, PL 50, PT 50, SL 50, ST 50, T 50)
Special Caract: Multiple engines (4), Superior Range (25 %), Wooden Airframe, Poor Manoeuvrability, Flotation Gear, Difficult to bail, Self sealing fuel tanks.
In service of: Québec, Newfoundland.
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Malphas, over and out