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Mario Pesando pg2

Mario Pesando
Avro's Restless Engineer

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He was named Chief of Flight Test for the CF-105 Arrow in charge of the comprehensive flight testing of the Arrow supersonic interceptor, including the airborne and ground-based telemetry operations.

Arrow in Flight Arrow Data Pac

In mid 1957, a Project Research Group to study ongoing aviation and associated technologies which might be undertaken by the company after the Arrow project, was set up by Jim Floyd, (VP Engineering), in a high security area adjacent to his office and Pesando was appointed to head up that important group. Some of the projects were:

  • Vertical Lift CF-100 STOVL
  • Mono-Rail between Pearson Airport and downtown Toronto
  • Atomic Energy
  • Nuclear Research
  • Missiles
  • and many more.

Unfortunately these projects were abandoned with the cancellation of the Arrow project.

After Avro's demise, Mario was hired by RCA's aerospace organization (designers of the ASTRA fire control system for the Arrow). As Senior Engineering Scientist he worked on various aerospace systems.

Mario moved to Massachusetts where his children could gain excellent schooling. He eventually became RCA's Senior Engineering Scientist. Some of the projects he was involved on were;

  • Lance Missile
  • S.A.G.E.
  • T.O.W. Missile
  • SATURN OPERATIONAL FLIGHT CONTROL (Apollo Saturn V Rocket)
  • Minuteman ICBM missile (AVCO)
  • LLLTV (Low Light Level Television)
  • COBRA Attack Helicopter Night Fire Control System (NIGHT VISION)
  • USAF fighter protection (CLASSIFIED SENSOR SYSTEM)
Saturn V- Apollo 11
Saturn V Rocket, launching Apollo 11 into space.

After a successful career in the United States, in 1971 Mario brought his family home and purchased a Marina near Peterborough to operate. Soon he found himself "restless" and scanning the Toronto newspapers and found a small advertisement for a small Canadian company. He was hired at the "Dominion Aluminium Fabricating" company DAF, as project leader, later to become Director of New Product Development.

He was responsible for the design of a unique system for landing large helicopters on small ships. This device is used on board Naval and Coast Guard vessels to land and traverse helicopters on the sterns of these vessels This system was eventually used by the Canadian Navy, Japanese Navy, Indian Navy, and the US Navy. It is still in operation today.

Helicoptor over RAST module

DAF was later to become INDAL Technologies. Incidentally DAF INDAL's man in charge of their European facilities was Mario's old colleague and friend from Avro Canada, Jim Floyd. In 2005, Curtiss-Wright Controls purchased INDAL for 63 million dollars.

Mario Retired
Mario Pesando retired in 1985, but has been active in various organizations devoted to recording the history of aviation in Canada, during his retirement. Mario Pesando's long and outstanding contributions to aviation have been of lasting benefit to Canada, and the world.

On a sad note, Mario fell ill in his retirement and had been stricken with Parkinson's Disease. And on March 31, 2009 Mario passed on.

Thanks:
My sincere thanks and appreciation to Mario's friends and comrades in assistance in preparation of this article.

  • Dr. James C.Floyd. VP Avro Canada (Engineering). CLICK HERE. for the James Floyd Collection.
  • C.Fred Matthews.o Member of Massachusetts Aviation Historical Society.
    o Member of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada
    o Systems Engineering Consultant
    o A senior project engineer and consulting engineer on RCA/GE aerospace programs
    o Named one of original three NASA Manned Space Flight Directors
    o Supervisor of Experimental Flight Test Engineering for the Avro Arrow program
    o Flight test engineering observer on the Jetliner, prototype CF100, prototype Coastal Patrol Lancaster, and Lancaster-Orenda
    o BASc Aeronautical Engineering, University of Toronto.
    o RCAF pilot (Flying Officer).
  • Len Kowalyshen Jr. Family friend and neighbour.

Resources:

  • The Avro Canada Jetliner by Jim Floyd.
  • Avro Aircraft and Coldwar Aviation by Randall Whitcomb
  • Storms of Controversy by Palmiro Campagna
  • The Restless Engineer by Mario Pesando
  • Articles on Mario, from Jim Floyd and Fred Matthews.

CONVERTED TO HTML, AND HYPERLINKS ADDED, August 30, 2007..
Scott McArthur.

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