Article: Dynavert–Tilt Wing Aircraft Ahead of its Time

  • CL-84-640x250

    This 1960s experimental aircraft could tilt its wing and engines through 90 degrees, land and take off vertically, and maneuver like a helicopter.  The CL-84 is a V/STOL (Vertical Short Take-Off & Landing) close-support/utility transport aircraft. Although technologically viable, it was ahead of its time.

    Even with its complex control mechanisms, the control stick and rudder pedals produced the desired control functions. The only unfamiliar control function the pilot had to deal with was the wing tilt control, which was a switch on the power lever (and took the place of controlling the flaps).

    The combination of smooth aerodynamics and simple power control made it easy for fixed-wing pilots to perform transitions between hover and wing-down modes on their first flight in the CL-84.

    Four aircraft were manufactured… one prototype, and three developed versions for the RCAF. The first flight was made on May 7, 1965, followed by more than seven hundred other flights, accumulating a total of nearly 500 hours.

    The Dynavert could tilt its wing and engines through 90 degrees; land and take off vertically, hover, and maneuver like a helicopter. With the wings in the horizontal position, it flew like a conventional airplane, and could reach a speed of 330 mph. Some of its projected applications were reconnaissance and surveillance, casualty evacuation, search and rescue and city-centre to city-centre transport. The expected demand never materialized and the project was abandoned.

    Dynavert CX 8403 never flew, and the only other one in existence, CX 8402, is in the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa. The technology used to manufacture this aircraft was developed by Canadair Ltd. in Montreal. The aircraft never became viable; however, the concept was very sound. The technology used by Canadair in the 1960s was certainly ahead of its time.

    At the time of the CL-84 project, Canadair was a subsidiary of General Dynamics. Someone at General Dynamics thought it would be neat for all their products to have names starting with ‘Dyna-‘, and as the CL-84 was a vertical take-off aircraft, it was christened ‘Dynavert’.

    The present day V-22 Osprey VTOL aircraft bears a similar appearance some 30 years later.


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