Canada’s Jet-Age Dream: The Avro Arrow

By Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Canada Aviation and Space museum

Between 1952 and 1959, Avro Canada developed an
advanced all-weather fighter interceptor called the CF-105 Arrow.  This
aircraft, with its futuristic,
delta-wing design, captured Canadians’ imaginations in a way few
projects have, before or since.

The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 in flight. (1958) by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

Introduction

The Avro CF-105 Arrow was designed to defend Canada against bomber attacks from the Soviet Union. It represented remarkable achievements in aerodynamics, computer-assisted flight technology, fabrication, flight-control, engine design, and speed. The sleek design and promise of supersonic speeds awed the Canadian public, encouraged by nationalistic advertisements and popular press coverage. Despite the aircraft’s technological advances—and the publicity it received—the project was cancelled by the Canadian government in 1959, due to a mix of cost overruns, technical challenges, and Cold War politics.

The Avro CF-105 Arrow, ca 1958., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 in flight, with landing gear down. by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

The
Cold War and the Jet Age

By the late 1940s, an increasing threat from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), a former Second World War ally, was turning into what became known as the “Cold War.”

 

Relations between The United States and the Soviet Union worsened throughout the 1950s, and defence planners predicted that the USSR would attack by sending bombers over the Canadian Arctic. Canada was accordingly caught in the middle—both literally and figuratively.

 

It was into this environment that Avro Canada was born—the company that would eventually design, build and fly the Avro CF-105 Arrow all-weather fighter aircraft as part of Canada’s attempt to counter these threats.

The A.V. Roe Canada building after taking over Victory Aircraft., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The story of the Arrow starts with the establishment of Avro Canada, in December 1945.

Taking over operations at a former government-run military aircraft plant called Victory Aircraft, Avro was founded with the intention of designing aircraft in Canada—not merely building foreign-designed planes on licence.

Fred Smye and C.D. Howe at an event promoting an early Avro Canada project: the Jetliner., Avro Canada, 1949, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The Avro team was young and ambitious. The three key players were Frederick Smye, President of Avro Aircraft during the Arrow project; Crawford Gordon, President of A.V. Roe Canada between 1951 and 1959; and James C. Floyd, Avro’s Chief Engineer, who led the team that designed and built the Avro CF-105 Arrow.

Avro Chief Engineer Jim Floyd poses with a model of the Jetliner., Avro Canada, 1951-02, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Crawford Gordon, A.V. Roe Canada president, 1951-1959., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro Canada employees hard at work., Avro Canada, 1955, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The Avro Canada team started with 350 former Victory Aircraft employees, and eventually grew to a staff of over 14,000.

Avro employees attempting to leave the parking lot after work, ca 1956., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Facilities in the small town of Malton increased dramatically due to Avro Canada’s presence, including housing, infrastructure, and amenities.

Jetliner send-off before flight to New York City, April 18, 1950., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Between 1946 and 1952, the Avro Canada team achieved several impressive Canadian “Firsts,” such as the design and production of the Jetliner—the first commercial jet designed and flown in North America—and the CF-100, the first Canadian-designed fighter aircraft.

Fred Smye escorting Air Marshal Curtis and USAF General Ennis Whitehead through the Malton plant on December 5, 1949., Avro Canada, 1949-12-05, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Four Avro CF-100 Canucks in flight., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Cartoon: Tell fish stories only!, Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

By 1952, Cold War tensions were rising, and talk of supersonic fighters, guided missiles, and Soviet spies filled newspapers.

An Avro Canada CF-100 in flight., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Although the CF-100 was just barely entering service, the heightened arms race between superpowers threatened it with obsolescence. The Royal Canadian Air Force needed a new type of aircraft, one that could maintain supersonic speed for an extended length of time, in order to intercept future enemy bombers over northern Canada.

Avro CF-105 Arrow conceptual drawing. by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

The
Birth of the Arrow

In 1952, a new specification was drafted by the Royal Canadian Air Force for the next generation of fighter aircraft.

 

These specifications called for advanced capabilities, to counter the threat of Soviet nuclear-armed supersonic bombers entering Canadian airspace.

 

Avro Canada offered several proposals for delta-wing fighter aircraft to meet these specifications, and in 1954, they entered into an agreement with Canadian government to design the Arrow.

Avro CF-105 Arrow conceptual model., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The Royal Canadian Air Force design specifications were formidable and surpassed anything documented in any other country in the Western world.

Chief Engineer Jim Floyd would later comment that, “What the air staff were asking for was the moon.”

––Jim C. Floyd (Shutting Down the National Dream, page 180, from from a June 10, 1979 interview.)

Avro design department staff hard at work on the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

A dedicated team of engineers and designers, led by Jim Floyd, were given the task of proposing an aircraft that would meet these advanced specifications.

Wind-tunnel testing of an Avro CF-105 Arrow flutter model., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

To move from drawing board to production line, Avro Aircraft conducted one of the most extensive programs of wind tunnel, structural and systems testing ever undertaken.

Wind-tunnel testing of an Avro CF-105 Arrow flutter model., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Video: Wind-tunnel Testing, Avro Arrow (Arrow in the Sky)., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro Canada engineers installing electronic sensor equipment onto a free-flight model of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Testing was intense, including a program of large, instrumented free-flight models mounted on Nike rocket boosters, and launched over Lake Ontario for aerodynamics tests.

Avro Canada engineers working with a free-flight model of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Free-flight model, Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Free-flight model, Avro CF-105 Arrow, ready for test firing., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Structural testing of a CF-105 free-flight model., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Video: Free-Flight Testing, Avro Arrow (Arrow in the Sky)., Avro Canada, 1958, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The Avro CF-105 Arrow fuel-system testing rig., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Machinery was built for production as soon as specifications were available, including a specialized metal-bonding autoclave, milling machines, and assembly jigs.

Production tooling machinery for Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The industrial autoclave used to bond metal for use in the production of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Video: Machinery Used to Build the Avro (Arrow Arrow in the Sky)., Avro Canada, 1958, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Workers begin building the master model of the Avro CF-105 Arrow, set-up on a ridged centre column., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro workers preparing sections of the master model., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro CF-105 Arrow master model, airway tunnel., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
A completed master model, painted white, used in production of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Workers building the master fin-skinning model for the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro lofting section, transferring design instructions onto a master glass cloth for the reproduction of parts., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Nose portion of a metal mock-up of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

“A full-scale metal mock-up was made from the detail tools as they became available, and this mock-up acted not only as a tool proving device, but was also used to train the production crews.”

—Jim Floyd, British Commonwealth Lecture 1958, “The Canadian Approach to All-Weather Interceptor Development," published in the Journal of Aeronautical Engineers, Vol 62)

Cockpit mock-up, instrument panel view, Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

A cockpit mock-up was even strapped to a truck, and tested on the runway for visibility.

Video: Test Rigs, Avro Arrow (Arrow in the Sky)., Avro Canada, 1958, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro Aircraft test pilots aid analog computing specialists in analyzing flight-control responses in a special Arrow simulator., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The Arrow was also one of the world’s first aircraft to employ a fly-by-wire control system, replacing mechanical controls with electrical wires.

Avro CF-105 Arrow fin in the transport and positioning jig., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201, final finishing on a control box, rear view., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Workers assembling the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The Orenda shop floor, where workers are assembling engine components., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

In addition to a new aircraft, Avro Aircraft engineers determined that no engine currently in existence would be powerful enough to meet the Royal Canadian Air Force’s advanced specifications.

Sister company Orenda Engines stepped up to create a follow-up to the innovative engine they had designed and built for the CF-100, the Orenda.

Bullard Man-Au-Trol vertical turret lathe machinery at Orenda Engines, Avro Aircraft's sister company., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The prototype Iroquois engine, mounted in the testbed aircraft—a modified Boeing B-47 Stratojet on loan from the US Air Force., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Building a new airplane and a new engine at the same time was risky, but Avro Canada decided to move forward with both projects.

Promotional image of the Iroquois engine from Orenda., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The new engine was named the Iroquois, and it was capable of 12,000 kg (23 450 lb.) of thrust.

Avro CF-105 Arrow inner wings assembly, and fin installation., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Production of the first Arrow, called RL201, was started in 1956, with an anticipated first flight by the end of 1957.

Scheduling delays and technical problems delayed the date.

Workers assembling the Avro CF-105 Arrow inner wings., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Metal skin being riveted onto the body of the CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Video: Production Techniques, Avro Arrow (Arrow in the Sky), Avro Canada, 1958, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Crowds gathered at the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 rollout ceremony, October 4, 1957, looking southwest towards the parking lot. (1957-10-04) by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

The
Arrow Unveiled

On October 4, 1957, a crowd of over 13,000 people gathered outside the Avro Aircraft plant in Malton, Ontario. They were anxiously waiting to catch a glimpse of the fully assembled aircraft that many of them had had a part in designing, planning, and building.

 

Even before its first flight, the Arrow’s sleek appearance (and hefty price tag) drew a great deal of attention from the public and the media.

Crowd outside the Avro plant waiting for the start of the Avro CF-105 Arrow roll-out ceremony., Avro Canada, 1957-10-04, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

This was the first time the Arrow would be unveiled to the public, and the first time many employees would see it put together.

Minister Pearkes at the official rollout of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Minister Pearkes pulls the cord at the official rollout of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Following the speeches, Minister of National Defence George Pearkes pulled a cord to drop a golden curtain, revealing the sleek, white delta-wing aircraft to the crowd.

Crowd milling around the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201., Avro Canada, 1957-10-04, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

A band played, press photographers snapped pictures, and the crowd applauded and cheered.

Crowd moves in for a closer look at the newly unveiled Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201., Avro Canada, 1957-10-04, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Although the rollout had been carefully stage-managed by Avro Canada's PR Department—right down to holding the event at 2:00 p.m. to ensure that newspapers could file stories for their evening editions—controversy surrounded the project. Over 4,000 glossy 8x10 promotional packages were sent out.

Crowd milling around the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201, October 4, 1957., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Crowd milling around the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201, October 4, 1957., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Front view of the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 on the tarmac at Malton, Ontario., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

With costs mounting, and a change from a majority Liberal to a minority Conservative government in 1957, the Arrow program was under intense pressure to perform—especially since many were debating whether or not the age of manned aircraft was coming to an end.

The first published drawing of the Avro CF-105 Arrow in flight., Avro Canada, 1957, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Douglas Letterman, reporter for the Hamilton Spectator, summed up the issue nicely:

“Will the Arrow, which will not be in squadron service until 1961, be outdistanced soon by rockets? This is the real contest the Arrow faces. Not against Russian bombers, which she can magnificently demolish—but against the time-scale of the rocket missile age which is rapidly compressing her useful fighting life.” (—Douglas Letterman, “Canada Unveils the H-Jet,” Hamilton Spectator, October 4, 1957)

Zurakowski getting into the cockpit of the RL201., Avro Canada, 1958-03-25, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Chief Experimental Test Pilot Janusz Zurakowski was a Polish-born Second World War veteran of the RAF, with a reputation for being an excellent pilot. He had tested the CF-100, and was now going to be the first pilot to fly the CF-105 Arrow.

Avro line crew congratulating Chief test pilot Janusz Zurakowski on a successful first flight in the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201. by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

The Arrow Flies

Although the Royal Canadian Air Force and government were becoming increasingly alarmed by the Arrow program’s rising costs and delayed schedule, Avro Canada continued to press on with production.

 

On March 25, 1958, the first Avro CF-105 Arrow was ready for flight tests. Famous test pilot Janusz Zurakowski would be at the controls, with air escort by two of the four men who would eventually fly in CF-105s: fellow Avro Canada test pilot “Spud” Potocki, and Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Jack Woodman.

A massive crowd gathered to watch the first flight of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

As Zurakowski made his final inspections, all non-essential employees flocked to the tarmac to witness the flight.

The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 takes off for the first time, with test pilot Janusz Zurakowski at the controls., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Zurakowski took off at 9:51 a.m. on March 25, 1958—almost five months after the Arrow's public debut.

Avro Aircraft secretarial staff, eyes to the sky, anxiously watching Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201's first flight., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Employees were thrilled to see the delta-wing aircraft lift off the runway—although also nervous that something might go wrong.

The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201’s first flight, east of the Avro Aircraft plant. Malton airport is visible below., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The first flight went as planned, lasting 35 minutes. Zurakowski was pleased that the aircraft handled much like the flight simulator.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 in flight, view over the wing of the CF-100 chase plane., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Zurakowski would later say:

“The first flight of the Arrow on March 25, 1958 was very simple. Just check the response of controls, engines, undercarriage and air brakes, handling of speed of 400 knots (460 mph), and low speed in a landing configuration. There was certainly more excitement for the several thousand Avro employees watching my first flight than for myself seated in the cockpit trying to remember hundreds of do’s and don’ts.”

(“Test Flying the Arrow”, J. Zurakowski, Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal, 1979)

Avro Arrow landing at Malton after first flight., Avro Canada, 1958-10-30, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Video: The Avro CF-105 Arrow's first flight (Arrow in the Sky.), Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The flight crew welcoming Zurakowski back after testing the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201., Avro Canada, 1958, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Test pilot Zurakowski being interviewed by Hamilton radio station CHML after the first flight of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, 1958-03-25, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Zurakowski gave interviews to several newspapers and radio/television stations, and film footage was broadcast across the country.

Test pilot Zurakowski being interviewed for television after the first flight of the Avro CF-105 Arrow., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 in flight. by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

Test
Flying the Arrow

Four men would eventually fly the Avro CF-105 Arrow: Avro Aircraft test pilots Janusz Zurakowski (nicknamed Zura), Wladyslaw “Spud” Potocki, Peter Cope, and Royal Canadian Air Force test pilot Jack Woodman.  Zurakowski would continue flight testing in RL201, with Woodman first taking the controls on April 22, 1958. Potocki flew RL201 only once, on April 23. 

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL202 on the tarmac, ready for flight testing, with Zurakowski in the cockpit., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

RL202 was ready in August, but was badly damaged in November of 1958 when the tires burst on landing. The pilot, “Spud” Potocki, was not injured. Earlier that day, he had reached March 1.98, the highest speed achieved by the Arrow.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL202 in flight., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL203, flying over Malton, Ontario., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

RL203 was rolled off the production line in September 1958. It was flown at supersonic speeds on its maiden flight, with Zurakowski at the controls.

The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL203 at Malton, Ontario., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
Avro CF-105 Arrow RL204 on the runway at Malton, a CF-100 to its left., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

RL204 has the distinction of being the only Arrow to land outside of Malton. Test pilot Peter Cope made an unscheduled stop at the Royal Canadian Air Force base in Trenton in February 1959, due to a blocked runway.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL205 in flight, with landing gear down., Avro Canada, 1959, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

RL205 was only flown once, in January 1959. Engine trouble grounded the aircraft, and it was never flown again.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 in flight, with landing gear down., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

“Spud” Potocki made RL201’s final flight on February 19, 1959. The program was cancelled the following day.

A promotional image taken during the Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 rollout ceremony, October 1957. by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

Overtaken
by Events

The same day the Arrow was unveiled to the public in October 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first satellite—Sputnik 1. The launch not only overshadowed the Arrow’s ceremony in the press, but it was also a factor in the decision, less than 15 months later, to cancel the Canadian jet fighter program altogether.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL206 on the production line., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

RL206 was almost complete when the government cancelled the Arrow program on February 20, 1959.

Winter flight preparations—50 years apart., Avro Canada, 1959-01-30, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

February 23, 1959 was the 50th anniversary of powered flight in Canada, and Avro had ramped up publicity leading to a series of planned events.

Unfortunately, the Arrow project would be cancelled just three days before the festivities.

Boeing C1M-10B Super Bomarc missile., Boeing, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Prime Minister Diefenbaker, announcing the cancellation in the House of Commons, said:

“Unfortunately these outstanding achievements have been overtaken by events. In recent months it has come to be realized that the bomber threat against which the CF-105 was intended to provide defence has diminished. . . Potential aggressors now seem more likely to put their effort into missile development.”

(Hansard, February 20, 1959)

The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL202 on the tarmac at Malton, Ontario., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more
The Avro CF-105 Arrow RL201 after its maiden flight, being towed west of the plant, March 25, 1958. The CF-100 chase plane is visible to the left., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

“[The Arrow] would have been obsolete by the time it was ready for squadron use. No one advocates building buggies in the age of motor cars.”

(—Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, The Globe and Mail, February 24, 1959)

“Arrow Program Terminated”; the final issue of Avro News Magazine., Avro Canada, 1959-03, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Following the cancellation of the Arrow program, Avro Canada laid off almost 14,000 employees (between Avro Aircraft and Orenda Engines).

Many more lost their jobs with subcontractors and suppliers.

Five Arrows being broken-up at Malton in the spring of 1959., Avro Canada, 1959, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The completed aircraft, along with many blueprints and models, were destroyed by order of the Department of National Defence—but the story and controversy surrounding the Arrow lives on.

Avro News Magazine cover featuring experimental test pilot "Spud" Potocki in the cockpit of the Arrow., Avro Canada, 1958-11-14, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The Avro CF-105 Arrow captured Canadians’ imaginations in a way few projects have, before or since.

The combination of nationalistic promotion, Cold War fears, and the attractive, futuristic aesthetic of the aircraft created a lasting impression.

Even today, almost 60 years later, the Arrow remains the subject of intense scrutiny, conspiracy theories, countless newspaper and magazine articles, books and even television and theatre.

Avro engineers working with a flight simulator, using one of the most advanced computer systems available at the time, the IBM 704 (1957)., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Many of the talented engineers who worked on the Avro CF-105 Arrow project went on to work in other aerospace companies in Canada, the USA, and the UK. Some were involved in NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs, helping to put the first human on the Moon.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL202 in flight., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The technological advances made during the Arrow's development thus continue to live on, in aircraft design and development around the world.

Avro Aircraft President Fred Smye, with Sir Roy H. Dobson–founder of Avro Canada—at the company’s 10th Anniversary dinner. by Avro CanadaCanada Aviation and Space Museum

The Collection

Several key figures involved in the Arrow’s development kept memorabilia, photographs, newsletters, memos, and models. One such collector, Avro Aircraft President Fred Smye, eventually donated these materials to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

The Avro CF-105 Arrow from above, at the rollout ceremony., Avro Canada, 1957-10-04, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

In addition, the Museum houses a collection of over 500 images of the Arrow in different stages of planning, production, flight testing, and final disassembly, donated by Avro Canada’s parent, the Hawker Siddeley group.

Photoshoot for the cover of Avro News Magazine, June 1949., Avro Canada, 1949-06, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Many of the images the Canada Aviation and Space Museum has of Avro staff, the Avro CF-105 Arrow, and production facilities were taken for the Avro News Magazine employee newsletter, and other promotional pieces.

Avro CF-105 Arrow nose (RL206)., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum also has a collection of blueprints, plans, and several pieces from the six Arrows produced.

Avro CF-105 Arrow RL202 in flight., Avro Canada, From the collection of: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Show lessRead more

Although no complete Arrow survived the cutting torches, it continues to fly in photographs, articles, documentaries and artifacts.

Credits: Story

Created by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, 2016.

Bibliography

Avro News Magazine, various issues, 1949-1959

CASM Archives

Campagna, Palmiro. Storms of Controversy: The Secret Avro Arrow Files Revealed Toronto, Canada: Stoddart, 1992.

Dow, James. The Arrow. Toronto: J. Lorimer, 1979.

Organ, Richard. Avro Arrow: The Story of the Avro Arrow from Its Evolution to Its Extinction. Cheltenham, Ont.: Boston Mills, 1980.

Stewart, Greig. An Arrow through the Heart: The Life and times of Crawford Gordon and the Avro Arrow. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1998.

Stewart, Greig. Shutting down the National Dream: A.V. Roe and the Tragedy of the Avro Arrow. Toronto, Canada: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1988.

Valiquette, Marc-André. Destruction of a Dream: The Tragedy of Avro Canada and the CF-105 Arrow (vol 1-3). Laval, Québec: 2009.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps