Western Libraries

Canadian Register - Rolls-Royce of Canada Ltd., Montreal Quebec

This essay was written in c 1959. It was copied from the Canadian Register of Commerce & Industry held in the Western Libraries at the University of Western Ontario. The original article should be consulted since this copy may contain some errors. The text and/or the images are being made available to researchers for scholarly purposes. They should not be used for commercial gain without the permission of the author or publisher.

Rolls-Royce of Canada Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Limited, Derby, England, manufacturers of motor cars since 1904 and of aero engines since 1914.

Rolls-Royce of Canada Ltd.The Parent Company--Rolls-Royce Limited was born of the engineering genius of Henry Royce (later to be knighted), the flair for salesmanship of the Hon. C.S.Rolls and the outstanding organizing abilities of Claude Johnson.

Rolls and Johnson werepartners in C.S Rolls and Company, a car dealers’ business in London. In Royce they found an engineering perfectionist who had produced a car which gave a degree of reliability, silence and smoothness unknown in any other car of that time.

On December 23rd, 1904, it was agreed that Royce Limited of Manchester, should supply C.S. Rolls and Company with a range of cars bearing the name Rolls-Royce.

Aided by a long run of successes in motor car trials and reaces on the European Continent and in Britain, many at the hands of the adventurous Rolls, Rolls-Royce gegan to build their reputation as manufactureers of “the Best Car in the World”.

In 1908, Rolls-Royce moved to a new factory at Derby, still the company’s headquarters. Johnson became General Managing Director, Royce Chief Engineer, and the pioneer Rolls turned his attention to flying. He completed the first there-and-back crossing of the English Channel before being killed in a flying accident in 1910.

In the same year Royce was taken seriously ill, but despite never being within 100 miles of Derby from then on, continued as Chief Engineer, with headquarters in the south of England and the French Riviera, until his death in 1933.

Rolls-Royce of Canada Ltd.Rolls-Royce played a big part in the 1914-18 war, in the manufacture of both aero engines and armoured cars. Their progress during the inter-war years included success in powering the winning Schneider Trophy aeroplanes. From this engine was born the Merlin of Battle of Britain fame.

The Company which it has been said has made idealism pay”, in its rigid adherence to manufacturing the highest quality products, now consistss of three divisions: Aero, Motor Cars and Diesel Engines. It employs some 42,000 people. The Aero Division has assumed principal importance in the Company’s actvities and accounts for around 80 per cent of its total business. Over 33,000 are employed in the Aero Division in ten factories located in various parts of Great Britain, Canada, and Australia. Of these, some 6,700 are employed on research, design and development engineering.

Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines had, by mid-1957, been specified in more than 50 percent of all the published orders in the world for turbo-prop or turbo-jet civil aircraft.

In Canada--Canada’s first introduction to Rolls-Royce aero engines was on that historic occasion in 1919 when Alcock and Brown flew from Newfoundland to Ireland in an open cockpit Vickers Vimy biplane, powered by two Rolls-Royce Eagle engines, to make the first Atlantic flight.

Following the receipt of 110 British air­craft by the Canadian Government after the war, three Rolls-Royce service representatives were sent to Canada in 1921, because many of the aircraft were powered by Eagle engines.

The aircraft, in addition to flying training, were engaged in a wide variety of services, including exploration, fire protection, sur­veys, northern trips with the R.C.M.P.,and assistance to the Indian agents in payment of treaty money. "Bush" flying was develop­ing, and typical of the famous transporters which opened up the northern territories between the wars was a Junkers 52, ("Flying Box Car"), latterly powered by Rolls-Royce Buzzard engines.

After the 1939-45 war, during which Canada built Hurricane, Mosquito and Lan­caster airframes to be powered by Rolls­Royce Merlins, the Company's growing Canadian activities resulted in Rolls-Royce, Montreal, Limited being incorporated in 1947. The Company operated until 1952 at Montreal Airport as a service and parts stores organization.

Organization--When a contract for approximately 900 Nene turbo-jet engines was placed by the Canadian Government With Roll-Royce Limited, Derby, in 1951, to Power the R.C.A.F. T33 trainers being built bv Canadair Limited, it was decided to construct a manufacturing and assembly plant, financed by company funds. The title became Rolls-Royce of Canada Limited in 1952. Manufacturing operations started at the new plant on Cote de Liesse Road, near Montreal Airport, early in 1953, and by 1954, manufacturing of components was on an established scale and overhaul of jet engines for the R.C.A.F. had begun.

Although aviation engines constitute the major portion of the Canadian operation, the expanding activities of the Motor Car Division, and the Industrial Engine Division, are also conducted from this North American headquarters.

Plant--The factory is equipped for the manufacture and assembly of jet engines, full overhaul, testing, and manufacture of spare parts. Making provision for future expansion, the company purchased 102 acres of land on the site. The present facilities include 100,000 square feet of manufac­turing, office and stores space, together with modern jet test beds. Apart from a small group of United Kingdom technicians brought over from the parent company, personnel has been recruited in Canada, for the most part locally.

Projects--The initial project revolved around the order for 900 Nene engines for the T33 trainers, for which deliveries were completed in 1955. The approximate value of the contract was $33,000,000. A stipula­tion of the contract was that Rolls-Royce would create the facility to manufacture a number of these engines in Canada. The first Canadian-built engine successfully passed its 150 hour type test to R.C.A.F. require­ments in September 1954.

Supplementing the original order for Nene engines, Rolls-Royce was given a contract from the Department of Defence Production for the manufacture of spare parts for the Nene and the overhaul of engines from the R.C.A.F. This work has been in progress for some time.

With the introduction of the McDonnell Banshee into service with the Royal Canadian Navy, facilities for the overhaul of the Westinghouse J34 turbo-jet engine were established at the Montreal plant.

To implement its responsibility for the successful operation of all Rolls-Royce engines in North America, the company provides technical service to all North American operators. It conducts an instructional school for the training of operators and services personnel, and maintains an "over-the-counter" supply of spare parts for the use of all North American airline opera­tors of Rolls-Royce engines.

Spare parts can be delivered to any destination in North America within four weeks of receipt of the order.

The purchase of the Vickers Viscount by North American operators created the requirement for the establishment of a Technical Services Department, and the provision of spare parts for the Rolls-Royce Dart propeller-turbine engines which power this aircraft. A similar type of service has beeri maintained for the users of the Merlin piston engines in Canada since 1947, and this is naturally being continued.

Rolls-Royce Powered Aircraft--In North America Viscounts are in quantity use with Trans-Canada Airlines and Capital Airlines, and are also operated by Cubana Airlines, and as an executive aircraft, by the Canadian Department of Transport and U.S. Com­panies. The licensing of the twin engine propeller-turbine F27 Fokker Friendship by Fairchild Airplane and Engine Corpora­tion, for manufacture in North America, has opened up an additional field in com­mercial airline operation for Rolls-Royce, as the Dart engine powers this promising aircraft. Dart engines have also been chosen for the Grumman Aircraft Corporation's DES159 executive aircraft, deliveries, for which will start in 1959. The same services offered by Rolls-Royce to the operators of the Viscount will be afforded in the case of the F27 and the DES159.

By 1961, T.C.A. will have an all-turbine Rolls-Royce fleet. They will then be operat­ing Viscounts, Vickers Vanguards (Tyne turbo-prop engines) and Douglas D.C.8's (Conway by-pass turbo-jets).

Training School--In1955 a school of instruction, patterned after the school which has been in existence at Derby for many years, was established. Its basic purpose is to deal with the instructional aspects of running and maintenance of all Rolls-Royce products used in North America. With the introduction of the Vickers Viscount propeller-turbine airliner to North American aviation in 1955, Rolls-Royce, set up courses for the many groups interested in the Dart engines, not only the operators themselves, but for fuel organizations and governmental bodies. Coupled with the Dart instruction have been courses on the Nene turbo-jet engine being used by the R.C.A.F. A similar mode of instruction is also extended to the motor car field, the diesel engines, and will shortly be applied to the range of gasoline engines.

Car Division. The company is the sole concessionaire for Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars in Canada. As a special service to owners, distributors and dealers, overhaul of car units is carried out by factory men at Montreal. There is also a course of instruction for dealers, mechanics and chauffeurs under a Company engineer.

lndustrial Engine Division--The Rolls­Royce range of diesel engines comprises four, six and eight cylinder models available in normally aspirated, super-charged or turbo-chargcd versions, with a power range up to 400 brake horsepower for single units. Where higher power output is required coupled units are available.

Notable features are versatility, relia­bility and econorny due to standardization of parts. The engines are in use in a wide variety of operations throughout Canada, ranging from fishing vessels on the East Coast to logging trucks in British Columbia.

The division is also responsible for the range of gasoline engines designed chiefly for heavy duty and military applications.

Board of Directors--Thecomposition of the board of directors of Rolls-Royce of Canada Limited is: Chairman, Lord Kindersley, C.B.F., M.C., London, England: Directors -- W. T. Gill, Derby, England; F.T. Hinkley, Derby, England; John A. Fuller, Montreal; John A. Boyd, Toronto; R.M. Kendall, (general Manager), Montreal; David Boyd, O.B.E., (works manager), Montreal; lan Turner, (financial & commercial manager), Montreal.

U.S. Sulmidiary--A subsidiary company, Rolls-Royce, Inc., has been created to cater for the growth of business in the United States.

Address --6265 Cote de Liesse, Dorval, Montreal.