Gregor FDB 1 Airplane

Sadly this is an example of Canadian design getting lost in the shuffle. This compact, robust, lightweight dual fighter/dive bomber bi-plane had plenty of firsts, like a monocoque shell of circular cross sections, covered by flush-riveted, stressed skin, was able to operate from aircraft carriers, but completely missed critical shifts in the war tools marketplace, most significantly being a “biplane fighter in an age of monoplanes”*.

The original Gregor FDB-1 design was sleek by contemporary standards but suffered from a number of initial set backs that broke the reputation of the company as a brand. The first was an oil leak on its maiden New York-to-Miami air race (a critical sales tool for aircraft, with a successful show locking sales) which disqualified it, and during it’s next outing, in front of investors, the landing gear broke while taxing to the terminal (both events helped to kill the project). Adding insult to injury, the Canadian government refused an export license, which meant that the plane would not be eligible for sales outside of the country.

*Milberry, Larry. Aviation in Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1979. ISBN 0-07-082778-8.

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