ADA-Arrow Pilots:Jan Zurakowski
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Test Flying the Arrow. pg7
And Other High Speed Jet Aircraft.
republication has been made possible thanks to
the assistance of
The Canadian Aviation
Historical Society.
We hope you enjoy this piece of aviation history.
Scott McArthur. Webmaster, Arrow Recovery
other high speed jet aircraft.
from page 6,
from one billion dollars in 1956 to about 400
million dollars in 1976, and the next graph shows
that Canada spends 2.3% of its gross national product
on national defence. I think this year the figure
is 1.7%. This is the lowest of all NATO countries
except Luxemburg.
     The Globe and Mail reports the statement on 10
February by the American Chief of Staff General
David Jones: "The Soviets are outproducing
us in fighter aircraft by a factor of approximately
two to one. In 1976 they produced 1200 new fighter
and fighter-bomber aircraft. The Russian Backfire
bomber has the capability to strike the United
     Are we in Canada taking our defence seriously?
     Mr. James Eayrs, a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen,
writes: "The Arrow was a superb piece of machinery,
a really splendid aircraft. It also happened to
be the wrong aircraft, produced by the wrong country,
at the wrong time." I agree with the first
statement, and disagree with the second. The Arrow
was the right aircraft, produced by the right country,
at the right time, only our leaders did not realize
that not everything can be calculated in dollars
and cents.
     How is it possible, for example, to assess the
effect of a Canadian success or achievement on
an average Canadian? If he is proud to be a Canadian,
how will his effort compare to one who is forced
to believe that Canadians cannot succeed in anything?
I think that if a Canadian is not proud of common
achievement and success in Canada and doesn't feel
he is taking part in successful efforts he doesn't
care about Canada. It is easy to understand that
a gentleman from Alberta doesn't care for eastern
provinces, and a gentleman from Quebec doesn't
care for the rest of Canada, or that someone from
British Columbia sees his better interests in the
United States. I think the cancellation of the
Arrow was a nasty shock to the pride of the average
Canadian, and this was probably a highly depressing
factor for years ahead.
     This has been my recollection of a very interesting
period in Canadian aviation. I do not claim that
it is 100% accurate, but that is how I remember
L. Wilkinson, moderator.
Q: Did our
speaker ever meet Bill Waterton?
A: Yes, certainly I met Bill Waterton.
I was working with him in England. He was
chief test pilot and I was chief experimental
pilot at Gloster Aircraft. When he went
to Canada to fly the CF-100 I took his
job with Gloster.
Q: Did our speaker ever perform the Zurabatic
Cart­wheel in the CF-100?
A: No, not
the CF-100. The Cartwheel was possible only
on aircraft like the Meteor, which was a
twin with widely spaced engines. The CF-100
is bigger and has its engines close together,
which gives too little turning moment to
start the cartwheel, When I tried it, I would
go into some sort of inverted spin or flat
spin, but simply couldn't do it. There is
not enough yaw moment to build up inertia.
Q: Did our guest perform the falling leaf in
the CF-100?
A: Yes, the CF-100 did the falling leaf quite
Q: Were there any test flights of the
Arrow after the cancellation, with the
Iroquois engine?
A: No. The
cancellation order was that all work is to
stop immediately, and since this was government
contract work, the aircraft was not the property
of the company, and we couldn't continue
with any of the work after cancellation.
Q: What was the maximum
speed the Arrow achieved?
A: The maximum
speed any of the test aircraft achieved was
Mach 1.98, flown by Spud Potocki. The highest
I reached was 1.89 on an earlier flight.
We must bear in mind that this was not the
maximum possible. We were still progressing
slowly, recording every step we took, but
there was no correct test for speed, as we
did not have any priority in reaching maximum
Q: Have you ever missed flying since
retirement from test flying?
A: Certainly, yes. But
I have accustomed to new conditions and a new way
of life.
Q: How close
was the Arrow to being an operational aircraft
at the time of cancellation?
A: Cancellation
took place in February of 1959, and the Arrow
was to become operational in the sixties,
so parhaps another one and a half or two
Q: What was our guest's experience with
the approach and landing speeds of the
A: The
Arrow had quite a high landing speed. As
far as I remember, it was of the order
of 170 knots across the threshold, 160
at touchdown, but I had hoped we'd lower
it quite a lot, through experience and
some modification. I think the same would
have been done on the Russian super­sonic
transport, or the Swedish delta-wing fighter.
Perhaps by placing an elevator at the front
of the aircraft, which allows us to use
elevators as flaps whilst in landing configuration.
That would reduce the landing run quite
a lot. The Swedish requirements were for
an 800 metre landing run, which is about
2 000 feet, and they reached it.
Q: Was the
Arrow ever rolled? Was it ever flown with
an observer?
A: Yes, it was rolled quite often, but
although somebody once told me that it
was flown with an observer, I never did
so. We had enough instrumentation in the
rear cockpit, which we used in place of
an observer.
Q: Since the
Arrow was quite a large aircraft, what was
its maneuverability, perhaps as compared
with modern day aircraft?
A: What
is meant by maneuverability? There is turning
maneuverability, rolling maneuverability.
Rolling was extremely
fast, especially at higher speeds, it was
faster than the pilot would have liked
to have it. The wingspan was only fifty
feet, so the aircraft was very long. Now,
turning maneuverability is a very difficult
problem to assess on a high-speed aircraft,
because it is not the limitation of the
aircraft, but its strength and the ability
of the pilot to withstand high acceleration
for a long period. Turning at Mach 2.0
takes a radius of about ten miles with
5G, if I remember right, so doing a 360deg
turn at this speed takes quite a long time,
so it's actually the ability of the pilot
to withstand the high acceleration. Some
of the later aircraft have the pilot more
in a lying down position rather than sitting,
to help him to withstand the force. What
the questioner probably has in
mind is something like a dogfight, which
is very difficult to describe, because
there's such high kinetic energy involved.
From Mach 2, for example, you can climb
without any power some 30 000 feet, or
you can convert it into turning or any
other kind of maneuver. In older fighters,
say the Spitfire, which had optimum maneuvering
speed of the order of 160 knots, he had
little kinetic energy to be converted into
Q: About how
many hours of testing was done on the Arrow
up to cancellation?
A: I think
about sixty or seventy.
Q: What was
the maximum cruise altitude and zoom altitude
that was achieved in the aircraft?
A: Cruise altitude,
about fifty; zoom altitude - we didn't try. As I
mentioned, we had a high priority on testing the
actual systems. Our engines at the time were not
typical production engines. We were using the American
engines, so we didn't spend much time investigating
this engine at high altitudes. We knew the actual
production engines would be the Iroquois, more powerful,
on which we could do full investigation. What we
were trying to do on the first five aircraft flying
with the Pratt and Whitney engines was to get all
basic information. I didn't mention this before,
but the total number of aircraft intended for experimental
work was about fifteen. These aircraft were intended
after testing to go back to service, because they
all were built to the same production drawings. I
see that some of you are surprised at such a high
number. There were about 120 Meteors engaged in experimental
flying. Now, that was not all for the Meteor development,
I must admit, since Meteors were used for engine
development, or rocket development, for brake development,
for all sorts of tests. The pace at which we were
going was so fast that every day we were finding
requirements for new knowledge which made new testing
necessary. That is what I mean by going from Mach
0.87 to Mach 2 plus, because
Mach 2 was only a specification; we knew we could
go much faster, specially with Iroquois engines.
Scott McArthur.
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