Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow
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Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow

For the Canadian aviation industry, and for Avro Canada in particular, the traumatic story of the Avro Canada CF-105 was paralleled by that of the contemporary British Aircraft Corporation TSR.2 in the UK. Both were destroyed by politicians who,.in 1957, were convinced that missile technology had advanced to a stage when manned interceptor aircraft would no longer be needed. The first stages of development of a new two-seat all-weather long-range interceptor for the RCAF began in early 1953, at the time when the RCAF was busy forming its first CF-100 squadron. This was not an action that represented dissatisfaction with the capability of the CF-100, but showed an appreciation of the fact that something like a decade was needed to get a new high-performance interceptor/weapons-system into squadron service. Avro's design team tackled the new and demanding task with great enthusiasm, with the result that by April 1954 the company was involved in the manufacture of the first five Arrow 1 prototypes. The name derived from the aircraft's delta wing, set high on the fuselage. This had a sharp needle-nose, widening just aft of the cockpit, where intakes on each side of the fuselage fed air to two turbojet engines mounted side by side within the fuselage. The Arrow 1s were powered by two Pratt & Whitney J75s, but it was intended that the following Arrow 2s would have engines of indigenous design and manufacture, in the form of PS-13 Iroquois turbojets, developed by Avro's Orenda engine division, each of which promised a thrust of 12700kg with maximum reheat.

The first of the Arrow 1 prototypes made its maiden flight on 25 March 1958, and all five of this version were being used for development and testing when the entire programme was cancelled on 20 February 1959. A final bitter edict was to ensure destruction of the five Arrow 1s, one unflown Arrow 2, and four almost complete Arrow 2s. Armament of this latter version was to have comprised eight Sparrow air-to-air missiles carried in an internal weapons bay.

Avro Canada CF-105 ArrowA three-view drawing (1680 x 1257)

 ENGINE2 x turbo-jet Pratt & Whitney J75-P-3, 104.5kN
    Take-off weight25855 kg57001 lb
    Empty weight22244 kg49040 lb
    Wingspan15.24 m50 ft 0 in
    Length23.72 m78 ft 10 in
    Height6.48 m21 ft 3 in
    Wing area113.8 m21224.93 sq ft
    Max. speed2.3M 2.3M
 ARMAMENT8 x AA "Sparrow"

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120 121-140
Robin Hasting, 25.10.2017

I wish the moderators would rid this site of the spam in the threads.

Kate morgan, 30.12.2016

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Mike Craine, 26.11.2016

I actually saw it fly, did any of you? Canadian National Exhibition, can't remember the year but it must have been the year it was destroyed or the year after. It was a treat, something I haven't forgotten all these years later.

Shannon, 22.10.2016

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Paul Scott, 28.03.2015

Outstanding aircraft for its day, sadly, as has been said, the patriotism of Canada's own government leaves a lot to be desired as it did for Britain's military aero industry.

Susan, 24.01.2015

I forgot to say I really appreciate the discussion here.

Dad has been gone since 2002 before I could get access to a lot of the declassified military documents that explained his work.

I followed the subsonic to supersonic aircraft body designs and you can see how they evolved into Nasa's Space shuttle and now the attempts to design a passenger aircraft that can exit and reenter the atmosphere.

When I visited my cousin at the Abbotsford air show, it Pratt and Whitney's first commercial display at that particular show. I turned to the men opposite him and asked them if any one them were familiar with the Blackbird. They told me after they were laid off from the Avro Arrow project they went to work on the Blackbird.

I used to have the Arrow, Blackbird and a third such aircraft, detailed engineering specs on posters on the walls of my office.

In my work I visited the Jet Propulsion Lab in San Francisco, and got to see all the experimental aircraft and saw a U2 take off. It was very interesting.


Susan, 24.01.2015

In 1952 my family was posted to Wright Patterson AFB Dayton Ohio from Victoria BC with the RCAF

My father, a lawyer and Supply Officer, purchased the first engines for the Avro Arrow after watching them being tested at Wright Patterson. We were later posted to JAG HQ Ottawa.

At the same time a cousin was sales engineer for Pratt and Whitney engines who supplied the final engines as I recall.
I saw the remnants of one in Ottawa in the National Science museum in 1984.

Later when I met my husband, it turned out his father was leader of engine design for Canadair, such engines as the Sabre. His Dad led a group of Polish engineers in engine design. When WWII broke out they escaped to England and then Montreal where we benefited from their expertise. A declassified Nato document confirms Poland had the leading engineering university for aircraft engine design before WWII. I gave the Nato document to my husband who also was an engineer.

Dad would not talk about the cancellation of the Avro Arrow but I recognized a similarity in the USAF Dart and met former RCAF brats at Comox AFB museum who saw the Dart land when they were stationed in Quebec. The USAF Dart had the longest flying service of any USAF aircraft before being used for drone target practice. Says a lot about what we designed.
Former RCAF brat

Pete Lancashire, 06.01.2015

Just saying hello. Father was a mechanical/structural engineer for Avro Canada and worked on Arrow from its conception to Black Friday. About the only thing I remember is a comment about how the way it was canceled killed the future of Canada's aviation industry.

Hakizumukiza théogène, 07.12.2014

I do agrre that an economy version Arrow design should have been built cost plus contracts require the highest degree of good faith by both parties of the shelf. Would have saved the Arrow project. Hey reg! Why were n't you post my review of Amazing grace?.

BHH, 06.09.2014

Tragedies like the Arrow and TSR.2 happen in America too! They have names like XB-70 and Boeing 2707. Maybe in Canada, it's easy to assume that the nearest superpower is responsible for all the bad stuff that happens to your country's industry, but the government is always the same whether it's Canada, U.S., or U.K.. :(

Ed Sanford, 13.12.2013

And have you noticed how similar the Mig-25 is? Manufacturing espionage, says I...

Stephen Round, 17.10.2013

You cry over one aircraft company going west - whilst I mourn the total irrevocable loss of whole industies...Just an Englishman

rsaretsky, 07.10.2013

Tom Dyer, elma.dyer=sbcglobal.net, 08.10.2011
One thing this Yank doesn't understand, was WHY were the airframes destroyed? None kept as research airframes. The Delta Dart carries wing tanks that are supersonic rated. This mod would have given the Arrow more range, obviously. Also, and this is for the conspiricy buffs, have you noticed how the Arrow and F-108A Rapier (also cancelled) look eerily the same?


apparently, the Airframes were chopped due to fears that soviet intelligence might copy the titanium machining techniques.

the Legend of the Riving dief came form the fertile mind of one Michael sharp in 1961. The Liberals had been reduced to 43 federal ridings in 1958 and the Brilliant Mr. Sharp was leading the think tanks on how to get the Gov. back.

Reg Saretsky, 07.10.2013

Hmmm.. Nice to return to this site &see that the insult fest Is over.
Fred Savage 's comments make a lot of sense. the Arrow was designed for a world that 'bypassed it'. there were no hordes of Soviet fanatics detected at last minute, requiring a 'eight nuke missile salvo."
Rather ,there were tu-95 turbo props lurking in the North, which required the 750,000.00 Cf-101 voodoo to deter and steer away. Not the twelve million dollar( 1961 figures) Avro arrow, or 120 million dollars in todays money.

Delta wind aircraft have inherent limitations as fighter craft, something the Soviets found out the hard way with the Mig 21. The arrow post the Red hordes scare really didn't have a market.

It was actually a great design for a limited role last minute launch , fast climb, big nuke in the sky show. But for air to air combat?
Physics rules, folks.

Joe, 05.07.2013

I've made or gave my two cents on the Arrow so now I am looking at the why for this F35 and came to one conclusion, that it has to do with tactical support for all JSF to be on the same page in any conflict that may happen in the future. It would be one plane and pilots as well as ground crews can fly and maintain anyother country in such a conflict, rather then deploying seperate crews and maintance fuel, parts. It may work though the type of conflicts favor the gorilla tactics so far and seems to continue for years.If it is to build an aircraft suited for our defence only then another plane can be considered, whether the Arrow can compete is another question and that's where the dream starts to raise it's head.The design Joe Green has showen is some plane and great to see how people can still put their ideas forward.I hope for all who will fly and maintain the F35 have more good days than bad.

Ed Majden, 08.05.2013

Had AVRO been a Quebec Company the Arrow would have survived. Under our policies now we buy U.S. cast-offs, junk, and current promotions that they need help with. If little Sweden can build top line fighters, why the hell can't Canada.
Oh, I know, we don't have enemies and everyone loves us! Many Canadians still think we can build up our military if war starts as we did in WW11. They don't realize it takes years to build a good aircraft and years to train pilots to fly them. Modern aircraft are not simple fighter as used during WW11 and pilots were put in them with few flying hours under their belts. Time to wake up Canada, or learn how to speak Chinese!!!

Susan Baker Oberman, 23.04.2013

My father Deremot O'S Baker was doing a story as news editor of the montreal star when the project was considered to be scratched by Diefenbakers govt. It broke my dad's heart, after all the work to see its demise!
Sue Baker (St. Louis MO. formerly of Montreal, Que.

Joe MacQueen, 27.11.2012

This plane flew, as to the purpose that is unclear whether it did all what is written I don't know and realy don't care for what matter's is we lost an industry that employed people that would have shown the next generation how to build the aircraft that we are now complaining about as we did with the Arrow and keep on putting it down.It's odd that some other country like Sweden or Europe, Russia,USA,France and even China all can build a fighter jet but Canada can't and appear's it never could I find that just a tad much. The only people I would consider knowledgeable about this plane are the pilot's who flew it everyone else had other motives to deal with. They could have redsigned the CF 100 and gave it a swept back wing or delta look who knows.To me it was the industry not just a plane.I'm not against any plane Canada built, though what the RCAF want today is a promotional tool for recruitment they need pilot's though 30 or 65 F35's are looking a bit weak.Doing a refit on the Arrow is a pipe dream as the people of Canada aren't ready to get back in that businees and the government know's that.

Joe MacQueen, 21.10.2012

Like so many I know nothing as this topic requires knowledge in the field of aeronatic's which I doubt most have yet give opinion's based on what.I look at the Arrow a biase Canadian and like so many think of what might have been but that's it as we are looking once again to buy americian our thought's will never take flight reguarding Canadian built plane's (fighter jets )our air force is too small for one reason and those of higher rank would have no future in supporting such an idea.Politic's rule away's have.

Ed Majden, 30.09.2012

Why would they design an interceptor with such poor range? The F106, F101, F104, all had better range.

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© The projected follow-on Mk 3 was to be fitted with Iroquois 3 engines, new intakes and nozzles.

© No fewer than 16 wind-tunnel models were used during the final design stages.

© The two underfuselage speed brakes could be held open during Mach 1 flights.

© The CF-105's advanced hydraulic system remained unique until the Rockwell B-1A strategic bomber was flown in 1974.

© For servicing, the Mk 2's engines could be slid out on special rails.

© A B-47 with a rear-mounted nacelle was used to test the Orenda Iroquois engine.

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