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ISSUE 30 - September 2008
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CUTTING EDGE - THEN CUT UP!

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Roslin, Ontario, Canada

It was the early 1950s and the height of the Cold War. Canada was in need of an improved all-weather interceptor and in 1953 the design of the Arrow came about. Four years later, the first Avro Arrow was rolled out on October 4th, 1957 and the first flight a few months later on March 25th, 1958. It was a superb airplane that flew well above the speed of sound and it was believed would reach speeds in excess of Mach 2. The airplane had exceeded expectations.

Roll-out of Arrow 203 from one of the two Toronto Aerospace Hangars at Downsview, Ontario.

However, in 1959 the Canadian Aviation industry was brought to it's knees by the government of the day. February 20th 1959, the Avro Arrow, an engineering marvel and wonder of the skies, was cancelled and all existing airplanes along with all information about the Arrow, was ordered scrapped and destroyed. As a result, more than 20,000 people in the Canadian Aviation industry (more than 14,000 at Avro alone) lost their jobs and Canada lost its position and ability to compete in the world of aeronautics.

Ground crew checks to ensure things are rolling out smoothly, left. Easy to see the sleek, supersonic look of the Arrow, centre. A look at the main landing gear, right.

Almost forty years later, two gentlemen made plans to build a full-scale replica model of the CF-105 Avro Arrow, Claude Sherwood and Robin Murray (former CEO of the Toronto Aerospace Museum). In conjunction with the Toronto Aerospace Museum and Bombardier structural engineers, they decided to go ahead with the project and work started on construction in August of 1998 using an 'all-volunteer' group.

The result is a full scale, non-flying replica of Avro Arrow #25203. Made from squared steel tubing, aluminum sheet, and some fiberglass components, the Arrow came to life. Through the assistance and generosity of numerous companies, organizations, and volunteers, the project continued through more than 8 years. It is a not only a superbly and accurately built model, it is a work of art and a thing of sheer beauty to behold.

A look at both sides of the Arrow.

The model was publicly rolled out on Sunday, October 8th, 2006 at the Toronto Aerospace Museum (torontoaerospacemuseum.com) at the former base at CFB Downsview, Ontario. As the Arrow was slowly brought out of the hangar, mouths dropped, tears flowed, and everyone stood in awe. Young and old alike were moved, impressed, and overwhelmed. It truly is a thing of beauty, as it was some 50 years ago when the real Arrow first flew.

Sitting alongside one of the Toronto Aerospace Museum hangars. It now sits in the main hangar along side another famous Avro airplane, the Lancaster bomber, currently under restoration.

Despite the cancellation of the original Avro Arrow project, rumours abound of an Arrow still in existence. There are no photographs of Arrow #206 being destroyed and it has been said that the airplane was covertly removed from the original plant at Malton Airport (now Pearson International) and that, somewhere, under roof, secreted away, it still exists today. Whether it does or not will likely remain a mystery and part of Canadian Aviation Folklore. Regardless, we can now see and touch the ‘Arrow’ for ourselves. Real or not, the Arrow lives!

At the time, thought to be the most advanced all-weather interceptor on the planet. Many think updated version would still fly and serve today around the world.

A black and white shot representing what it may have looked like when the original Arrow was rolled out in October of 1958.


By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
thestickandrudder@sympatico.ca

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