On St. Patrick's Day 1947, CAE, then known as Canadian Aviation Electronics Ltd., was founded by Mr. Ken Patrick, an ex-Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) officer. His goal was to "...create something Canadian and take advantage of a war-trained team that was extremely innovative and very technology-intensive." From the beginning, some of Canada's best-known industrialists formed the company's board of directors. In 1951, Mr. R. Fraser Elliot joined the board and became its chairman two years later.
A new direction
The 1960s began with the awarding of two milestone contracts. The first was a military contract from the Canadian government for six F-104 Starfighter simulators. The F-104 program was the company's first experience with radar land mass simulation and the incorporation of a visual system, a motion system, and a compact mission recorder. Within a five-year span, 26 additional units had been purchased by five other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries.
In the 1970s, world airlines were hit hard by fuel shortages, environmental pressures, and government regulations. All these factors increased the airlines' need to train flight crews on simulators. The resulting business and CAE's approach of designing each simulator to a customer's specific needs generated substantial technological breakthroughs in control loading, motion systems, instructor consoles, and the diagnostics of complex software.
Meeting the challenge
In this decade, CAE expanded its international markets to the point of exporting approximately 85% of all production. Power simulators were sold for the first time in the U.S., while SCADA systems made their debut in China and Venezuela. Integrated Machinery Control Systems (IMCS) for naval vessels were introduced and sold in Canada and in the United States.
A decade of diversity
In yet another pivotal decade, CAE grew in stature to become the preeminent world leader in the science of flight and systems simulation. As a result of advances made during this period, CAE became the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of civil aircraft full-flight simulators, Flight Training Devices, visual systems, computer-based trainers, and computer-assisted training systems.
The strategic '00s
After decades as the world leader in the design and manufacture of simulation equipment, CAE took bold steps to become a global leader in the provision of aviation training services. The acquisition of Simuflite in 2001 quickly catapulted the company into business aviation training. CAE announced plans to build a global training network – a move that would ultimately provide CAE with the unparalleled ability to offer customers the most comprehensive package of products and services available from anyone in the simulation and training industry.