Born in Czechoslovakia, Harry Halton emigrated to England in 1938 at the age of 16. During WWII, while pursuing formal education at Northampton Polytechnic School, he worked for the Bell Punch Co. Ltd as a machinist, then as an assistant in design and development of hydraulic and electrical systems for many famous aircraft (Hurricane, Spitfire, Typhoon, Wellington, Halifax, Mosquito, Lancaster, Swordfish, Barracuda, Anson, Botha, etc.). In 1946, he was named Chief Design Engineer at D & H Designs Ltd in London. In 1948, Halton was recruited by Canadair in Montréal. As design engineer, he worked on the North Star and the RCAF C-5. In 1950, he became test engineer, then Group Leader.
Halton then became Program Manager for two of the most famous aircraft in Canadian history: the CL-215 Water Bomber and the executive jet CL-600 Challenger.
In the 60’s, he was Program Manager for the CL-89 Surveillance Drone project, later to be followed by the CL-289 and CL-227, which he also developed. Halton then became Program Manager for two of the most famous aircraft in Canadian history: the CL-215 Water Bomber and the executive jet CL-600 Challenger. As such, Halton was responsible for all activities including design, planning, development, flight testing, certification and production. For his key role in the development of the Challenger, Halton was decorated by the Governor General of Canada. In 1972, Halton was appointed Vice-President Engineering. In 1975, he became Executive Vice-President, being responsible for program management, quality control and product support activities for all Canadair programs. He retired in 1983, after 35 years with Canadair.
1984: Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame
2002: Order of Canada Officer