Research Aircraft Fleet

National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Highly specialized and customizable rotary and fixed-wing research aircraft to assist industry with the testing and demonstration of aeronautical technologies

Areas of expertise

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) is a well-established flight testing centre with decades of experience and world-class expertise to support industry in bringing new technologies to market more rapidly while meeting forthcoming regulatory and environmental standards. We support Canadian avionics manufacturers on advanced technologies that will be used in next-generation aircraft and modern helicopter cockpits. Side-arm controllers, programmable head down displays, speech I/O and helmet-mounted displays are some of the technologies being demonstrated and perfected in our realistic airborne simulator.

We are constantly developing and improving the on-board installations of our aircraft to meet the latest technological needs of our clients, putting them at the forefront of aeronautical research. All of our aircraft are supported by an experienced technical team who conduct focused and responsive airborne research and experimentation.

Research services
  • Airborne research
  • Testing and demonstration of aeronautical technologies in the areas of airborne research, flight mechanics and avionics

Our facilities are also used to support pilot education and certifications.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Defence and security industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
  • Transportation



Bell 412: Twin-engine utility helicopter configured as a four degrees of freedom (4-DOF) simulator

Research in airborne simulation, handling qualities, advanced/active controls, pilot-vehicle interface, aircraft systems

Bell 205: Highly modified single-engine utility helicopter

Ideal platform for research into digital fly-by-wire control systems and human interface issues

Bell 206: Single-engine, teetering rotor, light-utility helicopter

Dual flight controls; provisions for two researchers in back seat, incl. an instrumented flight test engineering station

Convair 580: Twin-turboprop, pressurized aircraft capable of medium altitude, long distance operations

Remote sensing, in-situ atmospheric sampling, pollution studies, radar and Lidar research; ISR testbed

Falcon 20: Twin-engine business jet, capable of relatively high speed and altitude operations

Use in microgravity experiments (parabolic flight trajectories); separate feeder tanks for alternate fuels research

Harvard: Single-engine propeller aircraft

Capable of high-g "aerobatic" manoeuvers; carries 2 pilots and an advanced instrumentation package in the rear seat

Twin Otter: Twin-turboprop, unpressurized high-wing STOL aircraft

Remote sensing, in-situ atmospheric sampling; flight mechanics; flight systems development and integration; hyperspectral and electro-optic imaging

T-33: High-speed (to 500 KIAS), high G (-3.0 to +7.33), high altitude jet aircraft

Equipped for research in airborne emissions sampling, in-flight turbulence and flight mechanics