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Avro Canada History

Avro Canada's history is very well documented. I do not feel that a very long description is required, therefore I will give a condensed version here.

After World War 2, the A.V. Roe aircraft company was restructuring and looking for new projects. During the war the company produced several planes such as the Anson, Lysander and the Lancaster bomber in it's Malton, (Toronto) plant (Victory Aircraft). It was now peacetime and new aviation ideas were surfacing. The company designed and built the first successful jet turbine powered passenger aircraft in North America called the "Jetliner". At this time the norm for passenger aviation were propeller powered planes such as the DC 3. The concept was revolutionary. After successful flights, one being to New York city, where the designers and crew were given a ticker tape parade, and heralded as aviation pioneers, the project was scrapped. The U.S. aircraft industry quickly picked up on idea.

At the same time the RCAF required a new jet fighter and the company designed and built the CF-100, "CANUCK" a sub mach fighter plane, 692 were built.

During the 1950's the "Cold War" was heating up between the United States and Russia. Nuclear bombs were everywhere, people lived in fear that a nuclear war would start and everyone would be killed.

The RCAF needing a replacement for the slow Cf-100, drew up requirements for a new "Jet Interceptor" which would fly past the north pole and shoot down the invading Russian planes in the far north before they could reach populated areas in the south. This plane would protect Canada as well as the United States since the shortest flying route to the United States is over Canada. The revolutionary Mach 2 + "Avro Arrow" was designed. The "CF-105", was a large delta winged, twin engine plane that could leave bases in the south and reach the invaders in minutes.

The company was awarded the contracts and design and testing began. To save design time and costs a prototype was not built, the company used scale models for wind tunnel and high mach tests performed by CARDE. The results from these types of testing went right to the production line.

The rollout was on Oct. 4, 1957 and first flight was on March, 25, 1958, successfully flown by test pilot Jan Zurakowski.

Oct. 4 1957 was the same date that the Russians launched the first space satellite "Sputnik".

The plane was successful and flight testing went on. Five planes flew for almost 70 hrs, the sixth was 99% completed and was to be a Mark 2, incorporating the newly manufactured "IROQUOIS" engine provided by Avro subsidiary ORENDA. Thirty more were in various stages of production in the plant.

The "IROQUOIS" engine was a technological marvel in itself. Mostly created from titanium, it produced more thrust than any other engine built anywhere in the world and was very lightweight.

Avro Aircraft was also designing and producing "Secret" projects such as "Project Y", which was a "Flying Saucer" for the United States military.

Suddenly Feb. 20, 1959, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker stood in the house of commons and announced that the Arrow and Iroquois projects were canceled.

This immediately put over 50,000 people out of work at the plants and outside suppliers. Avro Canada was closed.

All the planes, in production and flying, with their blueprints, dies, moulds, anything that had anything to do with the plane was ordered destroyed by the government. The pieces were cut up for scrap and smelted in Hamilton, Ontario.

  A large number of engineers were immediately recruited to NASA and worked on every US space project, including "Apollo". Avro Canada engineers played an important role in putting man on the moon. Some engineers went to the "Concord Project" and continued their work in high mach aviation.

Orenda Engines survived and still produce top line turbine engines for helicopters and aircraft.

The Avro Jetliner and Arrow are long gone, however they remain an important part of our Canadian history; please find as much Arrow information as possible and learn the story of the Avro Arrow,

"The Legend That Will Never Die".

Avro Canada Logo

Lancaster Mk.10

Avro Jetliner

Cf-100 Canuck

Avro Arrow

Avro Car




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