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QUESTIONS
Did Diefenbaker order everything destroyed?
Scott
London Ont
   John Diefenbaker is only partly to blame here. Storms discusses the entire paper trail which was not destroyed but was alleged to have been, for over thirty years. Chief of the Air Staff Hugh Campbell made recommendations to the Minister of National Defence, that the aircraft and drawings be destroyed. Destruction got under way over 2 months after this recommendation during which time the NRC and British Ministry of Defence were offered the aircraft. None took the offer. If Diefenbaker was the bad guy here, destruction would have occurred immediately, not two months later and there would not have been a paper trail. For full details check out Storms of Controversy, any edition.
WHAT ORGANIZATIONS OR PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ARROW'S CANCELLATION?
DARRELL
Fort Erie
This is a complex question. Charles Foulkes, the Chairman Chiefs of Staff and George R. Pearkes, the Minister of National Defence, became convinced that the Bomarc Missile was every bit as good as the Arrow and could do the same job as the Arrow and for a lesser price. Be careful here in that they were not saying the Arrow was costing too much but rather, the Arrow would not be as cost effective as the missile. (Put another way, if you have $50,000 to buy a truck but you become convinced that a $10,000 car will do the job you want, you will likely save the $40,000 and by the car. But, you could have still bought the truck because the money was there.) They did not listen to those who were telling them the Arrow was the way to go. Pearkes recommended cancellation in August 1958 (see Storms any edition). Also, members of the Department of Defence Production (DDP), were convinced that getting involved in missile work would bring high tech to Canada, not realizing the Arrow was advanced high tech that ended up being used in the American Space Program.The question I have attempted to answer in Storms is who convinced these individuals that the Bomarc was every bit as good and what were the ramifications? For this, see Storms Third Edition, particularly the new section on the forgotten Pearkes interview from 1967. As for who actually ordered the blowtorching of Arrows, tooling, parts, drawings and technical specs but NOT photos, see the first question posted.
What was some of it's (AVRO) possibilities for us as a nation?
THOMAS
N.S.
Today we have a world class aircraft manufacturer in Bombardier. It has only taken us about 40 years to get back to where we were.
I WOULD LIKE IF THERE ARE ANY ORIGINAL BLUEPRINTS OF THE ARROW REMAINING AND IF THEIR ARE ARE THEY OF ANY VALUE ?
WILLIAM
Brampton
Yes, there are a number of original blueprints. It is my understanding that the folks at the museum in Downsview (Toronto), who are building a static, museum quality replica, are in fact using many original blueprints. The value on these has more to do with historical significance than anything monetary in nature, but that is just my opinion.
Why did the government give up on a plane that had a lot of potential?
ANNA
Brampton
Have another look at the earlier questions. Both the Chairman Chiefs of Staff (Foulkes) and the Minister of National Defence (Pearkes), put their faith in the Bomarc missile. They were under the wrong impression the missile would do the same job as the aircraft, at a fraction of the cost.
What were the RCAF requirements for the Arrow? Did the prototypes meet these requirements? Thank You
SHAUN
Ridgetown
I believe the requirements are spelled out in Jim Floyd's excellent paper on this same web site. Yes, the Arrow exceeded the RCAF requirements however, contrary to what is written in some other sources, the Arrow was not tested at the Mach 1.5, 50,000 foot, 2g turn without loss of power or altitude. This was to be achieved with the Iroqouis but of course, it never flew with the Iroquois. My book contains detailed specs as well. In terms of speed, it reached Mach 1.98 according to Spud Potoki. There was some minor discrepancy in that ground crew measured the speed slightly lower.
When did the engineers begin construction on the Avro Arrow? What section did they start building?
CLAY
Dryden
I am not sure I can answer this one. The project got the go ahead in 1953 and they had an aircraft rolled out Oct 4 1957. A project like this requires simultaneous activities of engineering designs, test fixture development etc so I don't know exactly when they actually started to "cut metal" as they say. Engine work had also begun with test runs prior to 1954. Perhaps someone reading this site can provide some insight.
What would have become of Canada if the arrow was not cancelled?
AL
Toronto
This is similar to an earlier question and involves too much speculation. As I said earlier, today we have a great aircraft industry. It just took us 40 years to catch up to where we were in 1959 so imagine the possibilities.
Whatever become of Chamberlain or O'Hara?
LINDSAY
Cambridge
Jim Chamberlain went to work for NASA and was instrumental in their Gemini and Space shuttle programs. (He also worked on Mercury and Apollo.) He has long since passed away. I am not sure who O'Hara was but I believe it was the name of one of the fictional engineers in the CBC movie. There was no real O'Hara that I know of. If this is someone from the movie, be advised the movie was a work of fiction, loosely based on some facts.
What does the NAE stand for?
JOEL
Burlington
This stands for National Aeronautical Establishment, set up in Decemeber1950. It was the aeronautical arm of the National Research Council. It no longer exists as the NAE but the wind tunnel used for testing and other structures are still there in Ottawa. See Page 10 of Storms of Controversy, any edition.
events that led up to the launching of the avro arrow?
AARON
Action
You need to be more specific. I don't understand what you mean. In 1953, the Royal Canadian Air Force determined they needed a new supersonic interceptor to counter a supersonic bomber threat from the Soviet Union. This 'launched' the program. As part of the testing and evaluation program, small scale models of the Arrow were 'launched' atop NIKE rocket boosters in order to determine flight characteristics. On October 4th 1957 the first Arrow was rolled out ie launched. On March 25th 1958 the first flight was 'launched'.
How many people lost their jobs when the Arrow was cancelled?
JOEL
Burlington
Government Cabinet documents estimate that about 25,000 people lost their jobs. Fourteen thousand were layed off between Avro and Orenda and the rest from various subcontractors, See page 1 of my book Storm of Controversy, any edition.
Is it true that the funds for the Arrow program, were cutting into funds for the Army and the Navy programs, and that the Canadian Govn't couldn't afford it?
JASON
Las Vegas. NV
No. The Army and the Navy raised this issue at one of their joint meetings after which their position was that the Arrow program should continue until 31 March 1959. At this point it would be reviewed again.

Minister of National Defence, George R. Pearkes, stated on January 23 1958 ,that the future of the Arrow depended "entirely on the nature of the threat, not its cost". This is consistent with the view of the Army and Navy who were in favour of a review 31 March 1959. The threat they are refering to is the intercontinental ballistic missile and the mistaken belief that the manned interceptor threat was diminishing. If fewer enemy bombers were expected, they could shoot them down (presumably), with a less expensive system, the anti-aircraft Bomarc missile. See my earlier answers on this for the discussion of "cost effectiveness". I should point out the Chief of theAir Staff and the guy who should know, consistently stated the Arrow was essential but Pearkes did not listen to him.

In July 1958, Pearkes said that Canada could afford the Arrow but not if we added in all the NORAD commitments, namely gap filler radar, the SAGE system for Bomarc control and of course Bomarc itself. So, rather than try and meet all the NORAD requirements for Canada to have both planes and missiles, it was decided to concentrate on Bomarc missiles. Again, this was done because it was believed the enemy would attack with fewer airplanes which the Bomarc could handle. There was no defence yet if the attack was going to come from intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the enemy had far more aircraft than expected and fewer missiles than expected. Worst of all, the US government pulled the plug on Bomarc before it was even completely installed in the US and Canada. (You can look at the US congressional debates of the day.)Bomarc was a dud and Canada had to end up purchasing American airplanes.

For a detailed discussion of the actual costs of the Arrow and other statements made by the politicians, the military and the US government, have a look at Storms of Controversy: The Secret Avro Arrow Files Revealed, third edition.

How much would the avro arrow project have cost if it was completed? How much was spent on the cancellation? Was it financially beneficial for the government to abandon the project rather than finish it off?
SAM
Belle River
Audit records show it was going to cost about $77.9 million dollars to complete the Research and Development. The government was expecting to pay out over $100 million in cancellation fees but this number came closer to $33 million at the time.

Without the cancellation charges, the whole program from start to finish of production, was going to cost $1.1 billion. The alternate system of F106/SAGE/Bomarc was going to cost about 1.2 billion when you add in the $318 million that had already been spent on the Arrow project at the time of termination. One must remember that this money was being cash phased over several years, as any program of this size is. The cost was not astronomical.

You should look at Storms of Controversy, Edition 3 Appendix 2 where I have reproduced the audit reports and show exactly what was being spent on research and development, tooling, spare parts, missiles etc. The 1.1 billion is for everything including setting up the industry. In the case of F106/Bomarc etc, the 1.2 billion was just to buy the end items and spares from the US. That makes a major difference.

If an Arrow crashed, the replacement cost would have been $3.75 million, not much at all for such a sophisticated aircraft.

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE OTHER TEST PILOTS POTOCKI, WOODMAN AND COPE? I'VE SEARCHED THE NET FOR BIOS ON THESE MEN, BUT CAN FIND NOTHING ON THEM. ANY HELP OR INFO WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
JOHN
Cranbrook
Spud Potocki passed away in 1996. His pages are here, on this website: Spud Potocki
For Jack Woodman, He died in 1987.His pages are here, on this website: Jack Woodman
And Peter Cope is also here on the website: Peter Cope

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