ADA-Arrow Milestones-AVRO CF-105 ARROW
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Arrow Firsts
You've
wondered about the "firsts'" the Arrow was
designed with, here are a few. These are all discussed
in Randall Whitcombs book "Avro
Aircraft and Coldwar Aviation." Remember
the year was 1958
The
CF-105 Avro Arrow was:
1) First
a/c designed with digital computers being used for
both aerodynamic analysis and designing the structural
matrix (and a whole lot more).
2) First
a/c design to have major components machined by CNC
(computer numeric control); i.e., from electronic
data which controlled the machine.
3) First
a/c to be developed using an early form of "computational
fluid dynamics" with an integrated "lifting
body" type of theory rather than the typical
(and obsolete) "blade element" theory.
4) First
a/c to have marginal stability designed into the
pitch axis for better maneuverability, speed and
altitude performance.
5) First
a/c to have negative stability designed into the
yaw axis to save weight and cut drag, also boosting
performance.
6) First
a/c to fly on an electronic signal from the stick
and pedals. i.e., first fly-by-wire a/c.
7) First
a/c to fly with fly by wire AND artificial feedback
(feel). Not even the first F-16's had this.
8) First
a/c designed to be data-link flyable from the ground.
9) First
a/c designed with integrated navigation, weapons
release, automatic search and track radar, datalink
inputs, home-on-jamming, infrared detection, electronic
countermeasures and counter-countermeasures operating
through a DIGITAL brain.
10) First
high wing jet fighter that made the entire upper
surface a lifting body. The F-15, F-22, Su-27 etc.,
MiG-29, MiG 25 and  others certainly used
that idea.
11) First
sophisticated bleed-bypass system for both intake
AND engine/exhaust. Everybody uses that now.
12) First
by-pass engine design. (all current fighters have
by-pass engines).
13) First
combination of the last two points with an "ejector" nozzle
that used the bypass air to create thrust at the
exhaust nozzle while also improving intake flow.
The F-106 didn't even have a nozzle, just a pipe.
14) Use
of Titanium for significant portions of the aircraft
structure and engine.
15) Use
of composites (not the first, but they made thoughtful
use of them and were researching and engineering
new ones).
16) Use
of a drooped leading edge and aerodynamic "twist" on
the wing.
17) Use
of engines at the rear to allow both a lighter structure
and significant payload at the centre of gravity.
Everybody copied that.
18) Use
of a LONG internal weapons bay to allow carriage
of specialized, long-range standoff and cruise missiles.
(not copied yet really)
19) Integration
of ground-mapping radar and the radar altimeter plus
flight control system to allow a seriousstrike/reconnaissance
role. The first to propose an aircraft be equally
adept at those roles while being THE air-superiority
fighter at the same time. (Few have even tried to
copy that, although the F-15E is an interesting exception.)
20) First
missile armed a/c to have a combat weight thrust
to weight ratio approaching 1 to 1. Few have been
able to copy that.
21) First
flying 4,000 psi hydraulic system to allow lighter
and smaller components.
22) First
oxygen-injection re-light system.
23) First
engine to have only two main bearing assemblies on
a two-shaft design.
24) First
to use a variable stator on a two-shaft engine.
25) First
use of a trans-sonic first compressor stage on a
turbojet engine.
26) First "hot-streak" type
of afterburner ignition.
27) First
engine to use only 10 compressor sections in a two-shaft
design. (The competition was using 17!!)
Courtesy of Randall Whitcomb, "Avro
Aircraft and Coldwar Aviation."
© RL Whitcomb 2006
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