ADA:Avro Jetliner C102-North America's First
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The Avro Canada Jetliner
WAS THE AVRO C102 JETLINER ?
more than half a century ago in 1949, Canada had
designed, built and flown the first jet passenger
plane ever to fly on the North American continent?
it flew within two weeks of the first jet transport
to fly anywhere in the world?
it had flown higher and faster than any transport
plane on the North American continent?
it was the first jet transport ever to fly into
the United States?
it flew on trails as far East as Quebec City, as
far West as Los Angeles and as far South as Miami?
it carried the first jet airmail ever delivered
anywhere in the world?
it flew for over seven years and broke all transport
aircraft performance before being destroyed and
made into frying pans for our Canadian kitchens?
the project was canceled by a well-known politician
on the eve of firm orders being received from both
airline and military customers?
during one month alone in 1951 it had carried 10
US Generals, 41 Colonels, the US Secretary of the
Navy and his two assistant Secretaries, 4 Admirals,
7 Navy Captains, 8 Commanders and many other service
and airline personnel?
was the world's first regional jet passenger plane. It
was designed and built at Avro Canada at the Avro plant
prototype Jetliner first flew on August 10th. 1949. Powered
by four Rolls Royce Derwent V jet engines, it reached
speeds in excess of 500 miles per hour early in the flight
test program. The production Jetliner would have been
fitted with newer technology engines, would have carried
sixty passengers and cruised at 450 mph.
represented the biggest single step in speed for passenger
aircraft designed on this continent, at any time, before
Jetliner broke every passenger transport performance
record in the book during the route proving trials in
North America in 1950--1951. ( CBC broadcast of epic
Americans were astonished at its performance.
Photo Credit: Boston Mills Press
in the Rochester Democrat and Chronical Jan 12th. 1951
commercial jet aircraft, built in Canada, has smashed
all American speed records for aircraft of that type
by flying from Chicago to New York in 1 hr and 42 minutes.
Besides hurtling at 459 miles per hour, the airliner
set a new altitude record for transports. This should
give our nation a good healthful kick in its placidity.
The fact that our massive but underpopulated good neighbour
to the north has a mechanical product that licks anything
of ours is just what the doctor ordered for our overdeveloped
from the Civil Aeronautics Administrator:
Canadian C102 Jet was built to conform in every possible
way with U.S. Civil Air Regulations".
Week.-- quoted " a noted American technician " as
saying that it was his opinion that " everything
that is wanted by an airline for maximum efficiency,
combined with definite safety, is incorporated in this
Hoekstra- Former Chief Engineer --CAA. in letter to Jim
Floyd--- " It was an education to work with you
during the Jetliner period and was of value in my later
work in CAA/FAA on the Boeing 707, DC8 and other turbine-powered
Beard --Chief Test Pilot of American Airlines., after
flying the Jetliner --" You've got a good aircraft
there-- I reckon it could be the DC3 of the jets".
Baker--President of National Airlines. " I send
two of my most conservative people up to Canada for a
couple of days to look at the C 102 Jetliner, and they
come back stark raving with enthusiasm for it".
Rummel-- Chief Planning Engineer for TWA. " The
design of the Avro Jetliner was superb." ( from
his book-- Howard Hughes and TWA )
Howard Hughes wanted the Jetliner
and used it as his personal aircraft.
General Jimmy Doolittle
1952 National Airlines had drawn up a contract with Avro
for a small fleet of Jetliners. TWA were trying to get
Avro to build them 30 Jetliners and the USAF had allocated
funds for the purchase of 20 military Jetliners for jet
bomber pilot and navigation training.
this, the Canadian government ordered Avro to concentrate
on the CF 100 fighter production and "move the C
102 out of any useful manufacturing space in your plant".
After a number of years of flying in support of the CF
100 flight test program the only Jetliner was finally
broken up for scrap in December 1956 after more than
seven years of almost faultless flying and paving the
way for the new generation of jet transports. Despite
its premature demise the Jetliner brought respect and
admiration for Canada's aviation capability and this
was expressed very well by British aviation writer Bill
Gunston in his book "Encyclopedia of commercial
aircraft." which included this quote " The
Avro Canada C 102 Jetliner was Canada's first jetliner.
It remains an example of how a talented and motivated
team could work together to produce a unique aircraft
in record time "
CF-100 and the Jetliner
complexity of a modern jet airliner such as the C-102
is rather difficult to comprehend, but here are some
facts in non-engineering terms which may make the task
of designing and building an aircraft of this size a
litte more appreciated -
design the aircraft structure and systems alone takes
some 700,000 manhours - more hours then is required in
designing the structure of a building such as the Bank
of Commerce building.
are some 40,000 sketches and drawings issued to the shops
to supply they with the necessary information, and this
does not include the many thousands of drawings drawn
up and not issued. The drawings issued use over one end
a half million square ft. of blueprint paper before the
aircraft even flies.
the electrical system of the C-102 there are over 7 1/2
miles of wiring, aver 16,000 electrical connections and
over 1,200 electrical items such as switches, relays,
condensers, meters, transformers, etc. The aircraft has
more instruments then 20 Diesel locomotives.
wings enclose a structural frame which is stronger then
most highway bridges, and at the same time carry 2,000
galloons of fuel.
is designed to operate over a wide range of temperature
changes, from about 30 deg below zero to 120 deg above.
It is provided with an air conditioning system which
will regulate the temperature and maintain better ventilating
conditions than a deluxe theatre. One of the units for
cooling the air has a cooling capacity of over 50 refrigerators,
and yet weighs only 30 lbs, but the cost of such a unit
is more then 200 refrigerators.
is equipped with radio and electronic equipment which
would compare favorably with a small commercial broadcasting
station. It has two complete transmitters capable of
sending on forty different fixed frequences, and 10 receivers
used for various navigation and communication purposes,
together with a complete intercommunication system.
has more power than 160 average automobiles.
has a cabin in which sea level pressures are maintained
automatically up to five miles above the earth. It has
duplication of all essential services for safety.
takes more engineering work to design the electrical
system for the C-102 than to design the electrical system
for a 20-story building.
TO THE WRIGHT BROTHERS GOLD MEDAL>>
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ADA:Avro Jetliner C102-North America's First