HMCS Bras d’Or (FHE 400) was a hydrofoil that served in the Canadian Forces from 1968 to 1971. During sea trials in 1969, the vessel exceeded 63 knots (117 km/h; 72 mph), making her the fastest unarmed warship in the world at the time.

The vessel was originally built from 1960 to 1967 for the Royal Canadian Navy, as a project for the testing of anti-submarine warfare technology on an ocean-going hydrofoil. The RCN was replaced on 1 February 1968 by the unified Canadian Armed Forces, and Bras d’Or was commissioned into that service several months later.

Check this interesting hydrofoiling documentary, HMCS Bras D’Or; The World’s Fastest Warship And The Pinnacle Of Hydrofoil Development In Canada, to see it in action and learn more about this foiling design marvel that is over 50 years old.

The HMCS Bras D’Or was the pinnacle of over 100 years of hydrofoil development in Canada. Starting with Alexander Bell and ending with the Proteus, hydrofoils held the promise of faster travel over the waves. Unfortunately the technology never found a comfortable fit in either military or civil fleets. It was designed to be an ASW hunter but by the time she was ready, the Navy was settled on using the now familiar Destroyer/Helicopter combos.

That will change πŸ™‚

Bras d’Or was named in honour of Bras d’Or Lake on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, where inventor Alexander Graham Bell performed hydrofoil experiments in the early 20th century near his estate and new laboratory at Beinn Bhreagh, setting the world watercraft speed record in the process. In 1909 the lake was also the historic site of the first flight of an aircraft in Canada and the British Commonwealth; the airplane, named the Silver Dart, was built by the Aerial Experiment Association under Dr. Bell’s tutelage. The lake’s name was thus fitting for a hydrofoil vessel which could ‘fly’ above an ocean’s surface.

For more information visit

Quebec Maritime Museum BRAS D’OR Hydrofoil exhibition at

Canadian Naval Technical History Association – HMCS BRAS D’OR – The Ship That Flew presentation at

More history on Canadian hydrofoiling development history at

Wikipedia BRAS D’OR Hydrofoil page at