Avro Arrow: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

Good morning!  I didn’t have a theme reveal, but I decided – since I’m a Canadian living in Colorado – that I am going to focus my #AtoZChallenge on Canadiana.  Words, phrases, things, foods, places.  This should be interesting.  Believe it or not, I’ve had a hard time coming up with topics for every letter of the alphabet: I think mostly because I take those things for granted.

So, today I’d like to talk about the CF-105 Avro Arrow! This is a little different than my usual kayaking and adventure posts, but I hope you’ll find it interesting…

The CF-105 Avro Arrow made its first test flight almost exactly 58 years ago (March 25, 1958). It was supposed to be a state-of-the art Canadian designed (and made) delta-wing, hypersonic interceptor, intended to fly at Mach 2 speeds over 50,000 feet.  This aircraft was going to put Canada on the aviation map.

aircraft_avroarrow_3

Source: The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

 

But it didn’t quite happen that way and has gone down in history as a legend, a conspiracy story, a failure.

In February of 1959, the entire project was cancelled and within two months, there was very little evidence that the aircraft ever existed.

2014-02-20-02-full

Source: canadianhistoryforkids.com

 

This is where things started getting interesting. There were so many theories abound: one that a Russian spy had infiltrated the production line; many political theories; and rumours that one Avro Arrow was hidden from destruction, to name a few.

Only five years ago, information surfaced suggesting that an ejection seat from a CF-105 was found in the United Kingdom, owned by a private collector, refuelling speculation about the possibility that a complete jet was saved from destruction and possibly flown across the Atlantic. The owner of the seat told CTV News that he was “100% positive” he saw an Arrow land at RAF Manston Air Base when he was a teen, living near the base.

The Avro Arrow will go down in history as a Canadian legend, and unsolved mystery and to many a missed opportunity to make aviation history.

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3 thoughts on “Avro Arrow: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

  1. While the Arrow was capable of supersonic flight, the term hypersonic generally refers to speeds of Mach 5 and above. The Arrow is an interesting story that highlights what Canada is capable of…

    • The term hypersonic was used for speeds of Mach 5 and above from the 1970’s onward. In 1958, Mach 2 was considered hypersonic. It’s a shame the program was scrapped the way it was. Most of the engineers who worked on the Arrow all left to work for NASA’s Space Task Group – possibly the beginning of Canada’s “brain drain”?

      • RCAF Operational Requirement OR 1/1-63 was for “Supersonic All-Weather Interceptor Aircraft”, as were the follow up reqs. I think the Arrow was simply too much of an offensive-capable system for peace keeping Canada…

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