CP Air's Fleet of the Future

On June 5, 1963, President John F. Kennedy formed the National Supersonic Transport program, which committed the government to subsidizing 75% of the development costs of a commercial airliner to compete with Concorde. The Boeing 2707 was developed as the first American supersonic transport (SST). After winning the competition for the government-funded contract to build an American SST, Boeing began development at its facilities in Seattle, Washington but rising costs, the lack of a clear market, and increasing outcry over the environmental effects of the aircraft (notably sonic boom) led to the cancellation of government funding by the United States Congress and subsequently the program ended in 1971 before two prototypes had been completed.

Many of the era's big airlines expressed interest in the SST project including CP Air. The airline had a history of looking to the future as far back as when then CPAL president Grant McConachie persuaded his board of directors to purchase two de Havilland Comet 1A’s, the world’s first jet airliner. Although those acquisitions proved disastrous, CP Air continued with its desire to be looked upon as a truly world class airline and later on during the SST era committed to buy in along with other airlines such as Pan Am & TWA.

Long before the SST concept was being worked on, former president Grant McConachie also had thoughts on what the future of passenger flight might hold. Always ahead of his time, by the 1960's he had already worked out a flight plan for a hypersonic aircraft of the future that would operate from San Francisco to Tokyo in 27 minutes with the passengers being strapped into the horizontal position. During his time it was a common assumption that by this day and age (present time) airliners would be accelerating perhaps 25 times past the speed of sound and even flying in low earth orbits. At the time of this writing this has yet to come to fruition.

Another plane that was destined to wear the orange livery but never did was the Boeing 767. CP Air initially ordered four of them in 1981 for delivery sometime in 1983 but later asked Boeing for deferral of the order twice. In 1983 the order for the four planes was cancelled entirely by then airline president Daniel Colussy in a cost cutting move, ten 737’s were ordered instead. Eventually Boeing 767’s would fly for the airline but under the red white and blue livery of Canadian Airlines International.

The following scans are from the Canadian Pacific employee newsletter, Spanner (March 1964) which detail CPA's order for the American SST. Click to enlarge.