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The CBC in it's miniseries brought some questions to mind that I'm unable to find in any of the material I have read. Mainly, what were the "firsts" this aircraft achieved? Is it true as protrayed in the series that it was the first tested airframe able to achieve stability at speeds in excess of mach 1.3?
GEORGE
Alberta
Many aircraft were flying at Mach 1.3 and better. I don't recall this reference in the film. You may be referring to the wind tunel scene where they are trying to determine the stability of the Arrow's particular airframe but they keep getting turbulent airflow at about Mach 1.3 untill they notch the wings for better airflow. (see Jim Floyd's paper) The Arrow broke ground in what was then called "electronic stability augmentation". If this feature failed, the aircraft would lose control and crash because it was designed as an inherently unstable platform for greater manouverability. This electronic stabilization was the fore-runner to what later became known as fly-by-wire in aircraft like the F-18.
  The Arrow employed a 4,000 pound per square inch hydraulic system which I believe did not show up again untill the stealth bomber. Other aircraft of the day were at 3000 pounds. The intake was of a unique design. Arrow employed special alloys for heat stress build up. The Iroquois was being developed using titanium whereas other manufacturers in the US were trying to use a mix of titanium and other metals. According to US sources, it was one reason they, the US, felt the Iroquois would work whereas their folks were running into troubles.
  The Arrow was supposed to be capable of a 2 g turn at Mach 1.5 at 50,000 feet without loss of altitude or speed. It was never tested to this spec but other aircraft of the day were in the 1.3g category at much lower altitude and speed; this again from American sources. All of the above is covered in Chapter 3 of my book as well as in Jim Floyd's paper and some of the other material on this very website. It is not so much that the Arrow had so many firsts as it was pushing the state of the art in so many different areas of design all at the same time on the same airframe. To appreciate the problems Avro had solved have a look at Ben Rich's book on the development of the stealth fighter and SR-71. They were hitting all the same obstacles from an engineering, manufacturing perspective. I encourage all who come to this section to review the material on this website first as it may answer your questions.
I seen the CBC miniseries and would like to know if avro really was developing a space program to go to the moon.
BRYAN
Calgary
No. This is the problem with fictionalized stories, even though they had a disclaimer saying the movie was fiction. There was some discussion that an advanced version of the Arrow might be used as a platform for launching missiles into space. The point of the movie though was simply that a lot of Avro people (about 33), went to NASA to work on the Space program. Jim Chamberlain was the lead in the group that went. Owen Maynard went on to become the individual responsible for the design of the lunar lander and eventually was put in charge of the Apollo program.
Since there are still some of the blue prints around for the arrow would it not be poasible for the govement to restart the project and build cf 105's for the air force as well as for export since the feeling is that it would still be a top fighter today and i would think that with the newer composite materials they could get evan better proformance out of it
JIM
Surrey B.C.
No. Even if a complete set of blueprints were found, all of the calculations and testing that went in to developing them was based on the materials and equipment that existed in the fifties. Changing materials and engines etc. would obviate those blueprints. Everything would have to be re-done and the expense would be enormous. Today we have stealth fighters and we will soon see some new high performance aircraft. Rebuilding the Arrow today would not make any sense.
What do you know about the rumours of a surviving Arrow as indicated in the CBC movie? Or was that just part of the fictional aspect?
BRETT
Victoria, B.C.
The rumours that an Arrow got away started the day of the cancellation. Some people reported hearing the Arrow with Iroquois taking off. Others said that one night Avro was cordoned off and several covered flatbed trucks were seen leaving the plant. One source of the rumors has to do with the photos of the destruction. In my book I reproduce them. In one overhead shot, you see five Arrows with one partially disassembled. In the side view, you see the same partially disassembled Arrow in the foreground. It is Arrow 205 but Arrow 202 is missing from the photo. Did it escape or was it simply in the hangar, having some US components like the Hughes/Falcon system being removed?
Three questions regarding the front pitot tube. What was its material composition? How was it manufactured? How was it assembled to the nose?
Thanks!
RYAN
Ottawa
"A pitot-static system comprising a nose boom providing one source of pitot pressure and two sources of static pressure, and a fin probe providing pitotand static pressure shall be installed. Pitot pressure from the nose probe shall be supplied to the indicated airspeed indicator and normal dampingsystem. One nose static pressure source shall supply the front cockpit altimeter, normal damping system, and aileron deflection aneroid switch. The second nose static pressure source shall supply the rate of climb indicator, indicated airspeed indicator, cockpit pressure regulators, and cockpit safety valve controller. Pitot static pressure from the fin probe shall be supplied to the emergency damping system."

That doesn't give you material make-up or fastening procedures but you may be able to discern those by examining the cockpit of RL 206 in the Aviation Museum in Ottawa. I don't imagine it was much different from other aircraft of the day.

Would you agree that the "Arrow" of its time would still be a competitive and standard maker in the aircraft industry today? And is there a dollar break down of what it would cost today to build an up to date version of the"Arrow" using modern composite and blended materials?
RUSS
Abbotsford. B.C.
No, I would not agree. The Arrow was ahead of its contemporaries because it embodied many state of the art features at the time. Those features exist in today's aircraft with the added bonus of stealth. Fly-by-wire is common and now there is fly-by-light and vectored thrust. The Arrow was designed for specific mission scenarios and so it had a speed and capability to match those. If one of today's aircraft is slower or has a lower ceiling, it isn't because they don't know how to build a faster aircraft capable of greater altitudes, it is because the mission it was designed for does not require it. The Arrow was a great plane and might still be in use today, depending on the mission. But, even Avro had advanced Arrow's on the drawing boards because they knew you could not keep a design stagnant. The Arrow of 1959 was just the beginning of what could have been a great line of aircraft.

There is no cost break out that I am aware.

were the turbine blades comprised of a titanium alloy? if so, what alloy? if not what where they made of?
JOHN
Ottawa
The blades started out as titanium but then International Nickel company developed an alloy that was used. I am not sure what the alloy was.
Was it a possibility that the United States Government made the Canadian governtment destroy the avro arrow and all the plans to it because United States was frustrated because they were being beat out by a small country like Canada?
KALEN
Toronto
No. The entire paper trail as to why the Arrow and plans were destroyed is in Storms, first Edition and all following editions. The reasons given to me by Air Vice Marshal Jack Easton was that plans and planes were destroyed for security reasons. This is consistent with what was reported in Aviation Week magazine back in 1959. Yes, security or not, the US has kept copies of their aircraft but they have maintained security nets around some of them, like the SR 71. We had a chance to get an SR 71 for the museum in Ottawa. We didn't. According to a fellow working there, the US wanted the museum to maintain a 24 hour guard around the aircraft, something the museum was not prepared to do. Was the Arrow destroyed over security reasons? That is the answer we have so far and in the days of the cold war, as crazy as it may seems today, it makes sense. This is implied in the paper trail of the destruction.
I've heard conflicting reports about US interest in procuring some Arrows for USAF use. Some have said that the defense attaches in Ottawa and Aerospace Defense Command officers were quite impressed with the CF-105 and recommended ordering a batch, while others have claimed that the USAF was dead-set against buying any Arrows. What's the true story here?
PAUL
Richmond, B.C.
Folks like General Donald Leander Putt of the Air Force Research and Development Command (AFRDC) wanted to see the Arrow in the US inventory. On the other side, Secretary of the Air Force, James H. Douglas said the US would likely never get the Arrow. He was backed up on this by Secretary of State John Foster Douglas who said they could not justify buying the Arrow, when their own aircraft industry was in a slump.

So, several factors are at play here. It looks like US industry was putting pressure on Washington not to buy the Arrow. Others in the US military were pro missiles. Secretary Douglas and others felt they had a better aircraft in the F 108, eventhough it had not yet been built and would be cancelled before getting off the drawing board.

So, there were some who wanted the Arrow but they were drowned out by those who didn't and who could make that decision. It did not help matters that our own government failed to market the Arrow properly. Mind you, it is also a fact that aircraft tend not to be purchased outright by governments other than Canada, until they have proven themselves in their own government's air force. An example is the Harrier. It flew for years in Britain, before being picked up by the US after proving it's worth in the Falkland's War. The Arrow never got that chance being cancelled before entering service in Canada.

I have found no proof to the story that at cancellation, the US was prepared to buy the ones that were built. No offers were made. This is not unusual because there is not much you could do with so few aircraft. There is also the fact that because there was tremendous exchange of technical information between the US and Canada on this project (we used American wind tunnels for testing for example) the US had the technical information they needed and could use in designing their own aircraft.

Full details are in Storms, any edition.
Where did the AvroArrow Scraps go to (where did they dump the scraps.)?
Sam
Ont.
A scrap dealer called Lax Brothers in Hamilton Ontario was charged with scrapping the aircraft. they paid about the government about $300,000 for these multi-million dollar aircraft. They sent the pieces to the smelters to melt them down. There are rumors that they buried large chunks but these remain unconfirmed.
Do you believe that there is any truth to the alleged "conspiracy theory" behind the destruction of the Avro Arrow? This theory suggest that Diefenbaker was convinced by Eisenhower to terminate the project, because this way the U.S.A. would benefit more in the long run...?
Sonia
B.C.
The CBC film 'The Arrow' proposes that Eisenhower convinced Diefenbaker to terminate the Arrow. In fact the Minister of National Defence at the time, George Pearkes, stated in an interview in 1967 that he was told by an American Official to cancel the Arrow because Canada could always purchase cheaper aircraft from them. Pearkes states that at this point he became convinced and recommended killing the project. All the documents I discovered show that in fact Pearkes and Charles Foulkes, the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, were the two who recommend termination as early as August 1958. Those same documents show that Diefenbaker supported the project until the end, when he claims in documents, that he was persuaded by 'others'. Certainly Pearkes and Foulkes were two of those 'others' but we don't know if Eisenhower was. The documents do indicate though that there was considerable American influence over the Canadian decision to terminate and this is what I deal with at length in Storms. The Third Edition of Storms also contains the transcript of the interview in which Pearkes states he was told by the US official that we should cancel in and purchase their aircraft.
I was just wondering does the Canadian Government or anybody know if there is an avro arrow out there, say the government is hiding it somewhere and perhaps even manufacturing more just in case of a world war?
Mike
Amherstburg
No but there have been rumors of one. See the other parts of this site. None are being manufactured.
Sir, is it true that all information surrounding the Arrow and the Iroquios engine are still classified? If so, when will it be de-classified? What happends if someone possesses any materials that came from the Arrow?
Holly
On
It is not at all true that all information surrounding the Arrow and Iroquois is still classified. I and others have had many volumes of information declassified. Depending on the nature of the information, such as that involving another country, it is possible that it will never be declassified. Several years ago President Bill Clinton requested the declassification of numerous documents. It was almost a blanket declassification but files dealing with NORAD for example were not subject to his order. Even under this order, files had to be carefully read and excised if the information they contained could damage national security. Similar rules apply in Canada. Just because 30 or 50 years have passed, certain rules govern if the information will ever get declassified. With the Arrow, I don't believe there is much more to obtain though there are stories that some sensitive government files still exist. Much of the declassified material is discussed in my book. One other important point here is that much of the material is at the National Archives in Ottawa. The Archives do not have the staff to go through files at will and so they wait for people to file requests. then they look at them and decide. To learn more about this go to the National Archives home page at http://www.archives.ca/01/01_e.html and have fun looking up information using the online search tool. Unfortunately you will have to visit the archives to see the actual documents.

Over the years, many pieces of the Arrow and Iroquois have surfaced. If someone owns such pieces, it is highly unlikely they would be in any kind of trouble. After all, everything was sold off by the government for scrap back in 1959.


  Palmiro Campagna is an Engineer with the Department of National Defence. He has been researching the Arrow story since the early eighties and has been responsible for the declassification of many of the Arrow files thought to have been destroyed back in 1959. His books are based on those files. He is also the author of The UFO Files: The Canadian Connection Exposed, which has a detailed chapter on the Avrocar, Avro's flying saucer for the USAF/US ARMY.

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