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Who Killed the Avro Arrow?

Posted by Ethan Clow on July 4, 2012

Have you heard of the Avro Arrow?

The Avro Arrow was a fighter jet created by Avro Aircraft for the use of the Canadian air force. However it was a plan that never took off. Get it? Planes? Take off? Baw ha ha. Anyway.

More accurately called the CF-105 Arrow, and also more accurately referred to as an interceptor aircraft, designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft. However this role is largely obsolete these days as modern jets are already fast enough and other weaponry like surface-to-air missiles provide better defence.

But the big question is the fate of the Arrow. Not long after the 1958 start of its flight test program, the development of the Arrow (including its Orenda Iroquois jet engines) was abruptly and controversially halted before the project review had taken place, sparking a long and bitter political debate and many conspiracy theories.

We should provide some context as to why this particular jet was so important in the first place. The Arrow was one of the fastest jets ever built. During the 1950’s the Arrow was achieving speeds of mach 2, which for the time, made the Arrow one of the fastest jets ever.

Aviation experts were pretty amazed by the Arrow, and rightly so, it was sleek, fast, and a technological marvel. Obviously with all the excitement going around about the Arrow, Canadians were feeling a lot of pride at this new creation.

Why did Canada need such fast weapons? Well, keep in mind this was during the cold war and the USSR was right across the North Pole from Canada. Also in 1954 the USSR unveiled their long range Tupolev bombers, which worried a lot of Canadians. Back in those days the big concern was nuclear war. And part of the arms race was not just about building new and more powerful nuclear bombs but also developing a delivery system for those bombs.

Consider how far apart Russia and the US were. Launching missiles back and forth over the oceans and continents wasn’t exactly pragmatic. So of course they would need jets and boats and everything in between to get those bombs to their targets. Building jets that had the ability to fly higher and faster and farther meant that a nation had a much greater ability to deliver its nuclear weapons. And when the USSR developed long range bombers, something needed to be done.

The Royal Canadian Air Force believed they needed 600 fast jets to defend the north from the Soviets. Thus, the Arrow was built.

The Arrow also had some pretty cutting edge design, notably the delta-wings which allowed for more room for fuel and weapons while at the same time providing the same quality of speed and altitude.

The downside was that the Arrow was enormously expensive. The initial cost which was green lit by the St. Laurent Liberals was 190 million for 29 Arrows. Of course as Avro started to improve the design the cost went up, by the time Diefenbaker and the Conservatives took office, the Arrow was looking to cost about $12 million each. So if the government was going to purchase 600 Arrows, as the air force requested, the total price tag would have been around 7 billion and change.

Whereas purchasing an American jet that was comparable to the Arrow would have cost about 1/6th as much.

On February 20th 1959, the Arrow was canceled. The reasons being there was a recession and the cost of building the Arrow couldn’t be justified without foreign interest, so controversially, the program was scrapped. Nearly 30,000 employees of Avro were put out of work by the decision and the plans and blue prints were destroyed.

And that was the end of the story.

Or was it?

Enter the conspiracies.

There seems to be about 3 main conspiracies out there:

  1. Diefenbaker was in cahoots with the American Military complex and cancelled the Arrow because the jet threatened American dominance of jets or something.
  2. American politicians put pressure on Diefenbaker to cancel the Arrow and he caved to their pressure.
  3. Diefenbaker had a personal vendetta against the Arrow and those who made it and canceled it out of spite.

You’ll notice something similar about the conspiracies:

They all seem to focus on Diefenbaker – notice how he’s either a schemer, a push over, or petty. We should keep this in mind as we know that Diefenbaker was a rather unpopular Prime Minister, and he had just defeated the Liberals in an election and was under the microscope from a skeptical public.

But moving on, could any of these theories be true? They could, it’s not like they involve aliens or bigfoot or something. But are any of these likely? Well, not really. Let’s take a close look at the conspiracies.

1) Diefenbaker was in cahoots with the American military – part of this theory comes from the idea that after canceling the Arrow, Dief allowed the Americans to build Bomarc and SAGE (Semi-Automatic-Ground-Environment) installations in Canada. And this also led to Canada getting (more permanent) Nuclear weapons. And of course NORAD.

The idea of Dief in cahoots with Americans is rather silly. He was known as being somewhat anti-American. He wanted to shift trade from America to Britain, which was one of his more contentious political ambitions. And while he did have a friendly relationship with American President Dwight Eisenhower, a deal of that was probably motivated by their similar farm boy upbringing. But there was very little to suggest that Dief would be a friend to American industry and business.

This theory also places all the blame on Dief and ignores some serious facts of the world. During this time, the superpowers were racing to develop ICBM’s (Inter-Continental-Ballistic-Missiles) which would make bombers obsolete. As well as interceptors since the missiles were too small and fast for jets to catch them. Thus, NORAD and such military alliances were mostly reasonable things for Dief to consider.

2)  American politicians put pressure on Diefenbaker to cancel the Arrow? The Americans were also developing interceptors like the Arrow. The idea being that the Arrow was a threat to the American built jets and if developed would put pressure on the American control of the industry.

This ignores the fact that the Americans considered purchasing the Arrow but a simple cost-benefit analysis showed that they could build their own jets for less money. And this wasn’t unique to America. Britain and France both came to this conclusion independently. Combined with the change of technology mentioned earlier, the Americans probably realized that Interceptors weren’t worth the time and resources.

This also seems to imply that the Americans wanted Canada to be less militarily developed. However the Americans gained very little from such a scenario. With NORAD they would basically be defending two countries instead of one, how does that benefit America?

It also seems to place a lot guilt on the military industrial complex, which at this point in history was actually just beginning. There really wasn’t a complex in place yet for American politicians to protect.

3) Diefenbaker had a personal vendetta against the Arrow? Dief was known to be a rather grumpy person and difficult to get along with. There are reports of him having heated meetings with Crawford Gordon, the head of Avro. Could this be true?

It’s certainly possible that Dief didn’t like Avro. But to suggest that the reason he canceled the Arrow was because of this also ignores some important facts. First, it was actually the Liberals who first considered canceling the Arrow, however before they could there was an election which they lost. Also the cancelation wasn’t a surprise. The Conservatives sent several warnings to Avro that the program would be scrapped.

When the Arrow was canceled, Avro fired its workers the same day. Avro blamed Diefenbaker for the firings and then re-hired about 2500 employees to finish other projects.

It was Avro who fired employees, not the government, putting the blame on Dief isn’t really accurate, especially when the Arrow as already considered a cost over-run by the previous government and had been issued warnings before cancelation. It’s also fair game to put more the blame on Avro as well. Prior to gaining the military contract to build the Arrows, Avro had been heavily involved in civilian and commercial industry, but they switched all their focus to military and when they lost the Arrow they had nothing as a company to fall back on.

There are some bonus conspiracies to go along with ones I mentioned: After the Arrow as cancelled, all the plans and blue prints were destroyed. This has led some to infer that the conspiracies about Dief were true, why destroy the plans unless there was some conspiracy with America to snuff the Arrow?

The most reasonable conclusion was that they were worried about Soviet espionage. This may seem rather “extraordinary” to us now, but given the historic context, the cold war and fear of spies, it made a lot of sense.

Were all the Arrows destroyed? One theory suggests that one of the Arrows was kept hidden.  The rumours that an Arrow got away started the day of the cancellation. Some people reported hearing the Arrow with its Iroquois engine taking off. Others said that one night Avro was cordoned off and several covered flatbed trucks were seen leaving the plant. One source of the rumors has to do with the photos of the destruction. In one overhead shots of the Avro building, one can see five Arrows with one partially disassembled. In the side view, you see the same partially disassembled Arrow in the foreground but one Arrow is missing from the photo. Did it escape or was it simply in the hangar?

In Dec of 2011 an ejection seat was discovered in the UK and confirmed to have belonged to an Arrow. How did it get there? There is speculation that Air Marshal W.A. Curtis spirited away in an Arrow before it could be destroyed. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. He did imply in an interview with the Toronto Star in 1968 that if he had stolen one, he wouldn’t admit to it, stating when asked “I don’t want to talk about that.”

Perhaps adding insult to injury, when the Arrow was canceled, a blow was struck to the Canadian aerospace industry that it never recovered from. Many of the engineers and scientists who were fired by Avro were immediately hired by NASA. This has led many to believe that the team of Avro scientists were also anticipating a Canadian Space Program and building a ship to go to the moon. However there is no evidence for such plans and the idea can probably be attributed to a fictional movie about the Arrow produced by the CBC.

The loss of the Arrow was an unfortunate turn of events for Canadian military pride, and the media of the time ran with it all the way to the bank. The outcry was so out of proportion and especially when you consider that given the circumstances, the Arrow as destined to be canceled, it just so happened that the government who did was Diefenbaker and the Conservatives.

Sources:

http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/asktheexpert2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Diefenbaker#Foreign_policy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_U-2

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20111217/avro-arrow-ejection-seat-mystery-deepens-with-uk-discovery-111218/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_arrow

Canada: From Empire to Umpire, Hillmer and Granatstein.

 

36 Responses to “Who Killed the Avro Arrow?”

  1. Stuart said

    Ahead of its time technologically, but behind the times strategically. Its price tag just couldn’t be justified if it was destined to play only a bit part in the mounting cold war.

    I was looking forward to some rather juicy conspiracy theories, but it seems they hold less water than a wicker basket. Thanks for this detailed discussion.

    • John said

      Since Murray B has gone out of his way on this message board and others to spread lies and misinformation about the Avro Arrow and to try and justify the criminal acts of Diefenbaker and the conservatives, I am going to post some comments. First, concerning the Iroquois engine which according to Murray B’s comments and sources would lead an uneducated person to believe was a piece of %^#, he states that according to his source, Charles Grinyer had said the engine “was throwing blades without any conclusive solution”. Well, I have NEVER heard of that problem. The ONLY thing I’ve read is they tried to use titanium for the blades but it kept cracking and flying apart so they ended up using steel even though it would add a few hundred pounds to the engine. THAT may be what Murray B’s source was erroneously referring or perhaps it was an all-out fabricated lie. In any case, below is from the book “Fall of an Arrow”, page 85:

      “In 1957, the president of Curtiss-Wright had been so impressed with the (Iroquois) engine’s performance and potential that he had journeyed to Orenda’s plant at Malton and signed a seven-year contract. Under its’ terms Curtiss-Wright would be entitled to build the Iroquois under license in the United States. He had been candid enough to publicly state the the Orenda Iroquois was several years ahead of ANY engine then under development in the United States — and coming from the president of one of the Big Three this was certainly a ringing endorsement of the calibre of the Canadian power plant.”

  2. Murray B said

    It is sad that these stories are still going around especially when it is not difficult to find out what happened. Here are a few facts:

    1. After WWII the Government of Canada sold a large part of the Canadian Aerospace industry to the British and what became Avro Canada was part of that sale. The company was a wholly owned part of British Hawker-Siddeley and the top guy was Sir Roy Dobson in London, England.

    2. The Arrow set no performance records whatsoever. The maximum continuous speed rating of the Arrow was mach 1.9 when there were already aircraft in service rated for continous operation above mach 2.0. Nevertheless the Arrow did meet the speed specification because it had been reduced from mach 2.0 to mach 1.5.

    3. The Arrow had short range and could only fly about two-thirds as far as the Voodoos that were purchased instead. The limited range was the major reason the Americans and British gave when they declined to purchase the aircraft.

    4. The Liberals decided to cancel the program in 1957 but were defeated before they could do it.

    5. In 1958 the military, NAE and DRB all recommended cancellation and John Diefenbaker took the advice.

    No one that knew the facts about the Arrow was surprised when is was cancelled and few in Canada wanted an aircraft that was nearly five times as expensive as the Voodoo to do the same sort of jobs.

    The biggest mystery is why the Arrow fiction keeps on growing decade after decade.

    • Sean said

      The first F-101A (VOODOO) was delivered on 2 May 1957 to the 27th Strategic Fighter Wing, which transferred to TAC in July that year,[12] replacing their F-84F Thunderstreak. The F-101A was powered by two Pratt & Whitney J57-P-13 turbojets,[11] allowing good acceleration, climb-performance, ease in penetrating the sound barrier in level flight, and a maximum performance of Mach 1.52.

      1.52 MAXIMUM!

      The Arrow was only being TESTED when it reached Mach 1.98 (not 1.9) and was 2 weeks from being delivered with the Iroquois engines, where it was expected to beat the speed and altitude record.

      Please tell me which fighter jets were in service in 1958 when the program was cancelled that were continuously rated for operation above mach 2? (Other than experimental flying jet engines)

      • Darian said

        English Electric Lightning and the Convair F-106 Delta Dart were both capable of Mach 2, with the Dart capable of Mach 2.3. Both were lighter and carried guns, something that the Arrow never had.

      • Murray B said

        Most sources give the maximum speed of the interceptor version of the Voodoo as around Mach 1.7 but it doesn’t matter much since the RCAF specification was for Mach 1.5. Both the Voodoo and the Arrow were faster than that.

        The Mach 2+ designs that I was referring to were the Starfighter and the Thunderchief both of which were in service before the Arrow was cancelled in early 1959.

        Some people seem to confuse an aircraft’s maximum continuous speed rating with the peak or “dash” speed. For example, the Bristol 188 was rated for Mach 1.88 but could exceed Mach 2 for a few minutes. This is not the same as a Mach 2+ rated aircraft like the Starfighter which could fly at speeds over Mach 2 until they ran out of fuel.

        The Arrow is unusual in that various sources give maximum speed values ranging from Mach 1.9 to Mach 3.5. This makes it the most overrated aircraft in history. The most reasonable value is Mach 1.9 because the Arrow was not fully area ruled. Almost all successful Mach 2+ aircraft designs applied the rule from nose to tail but Avro Canada did not fully apply the rule along the entire length of the Arrow’s fuselage. This meant the Arrow had more drag than competing designs and it follows that it had less range. The Arrow was estimated to cost $9.7 million compared to the Voodoo’s $2 million but the Arrow only had two-thirds of the Voodoo’s range. These were major factors in the Canadian Chiefs of Staff 1958 recommendation to cancel the Arrow program.

        Diefenbaker’s Government took the advice and cancelled the Arrow. More than fifty years of devisive lies soon followed.

        P.S. The Iroquois was nowhere near ready for production. According to “The Arrow Countdown” by Peter Zuuring page 43, “Charles [Charles Grinyer, VP Engineering at Orenda] said that just before cancellation, the seventh stage compressor rotor was throwing blades without any conclusive solution determined.” and later on page 53, “Charles told me that if they had only had one more year on the project, the Iroquois would truly have met its revolutionary goals.”

    • John said

      Well, obviously Murray B just has some sort of weird axe to grind because pretty much everything he has said here is a lie.

      • Murray B said

        Sigh, the amazing thing is that liberal fantasies about the Arrow have now almost displaced the facts completely.

        Avro Canada was always wholly British-owned and run from London, England by, “Sir Roy Dobson, managing director of the Hawker Siddeley Group and chairman of A. V. Roe (Canada) Ltd. […]”

        See http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1959/1959%20-%200654.html

        The Orenda Iroquois engines were prototypes that were not ready for production. Two experimental Iroquois engines were fitted to the sixth production Arrow but it could not fly because one of the engines “threw a blade”. Charles Grinyer estimated it would be another year before the Iroquois would be ready for production. [Keep in mind the Iroquois was supposed to be in production before the Arrow was.] The Iroquois engines they were working on were Iroquois 1 engines with a provisional rating of 25,000 lbs. with reheat [Magellan R.O.I.]. The J75s fitted to the first Arrows were rated for 24,000 lbs. with reheat according to the Arrow Mark 1 brochure.

        The J75s with water injection that came out about a year after the Arrow was cancelled were rated for 26,500 lbs. with reheat and could be ordered with a steel or titanium compressor.
        Orenda was also planning to make an Iroquois 2 engine rated at 30,000 lbs. with reheat at some point in the future after the first Iroquois was in production. An Iroquois 2 is not the same thing as an Iroquois Mk. 2. The “2” by itself is the main type and a “Mk. 2” or “Mark 2” is a sub-type.

        The agreement with Curtis Wright had a precondition, “Under a proviso of the contract, Curtis-Wright would not be bound until the engine had actually passed its Official Type Test[…]” from page 85,”Fall of an Arrow” by Murray Peden. The Iroquois had not yet passed the test when the Arrow was cancelled so the agreement was not yet in effect. The Iroquois was an interesting design and it is too bad that Orenda could not make it work before it was cancelled.

  3. Jess said

    The truth is obvious now that the money to create the Arrow was funneled into Canada through “phantom accounts” from American defense interested in building more of a defense system against Russia on the other side of the north pole during the cold war. The U.S. removed funding and then Eisenhower destroyed all evidence of his american funded but failed experiment.

    • Murray B said

      Avro Canada was always an always a wholly British-owned part of Hawker Siddeley and the top guy was Sir Roy Dobson in London, England. Are you saying the it was the U.S. government and not Canadian taxpayers that paid a British company to develop the Arrow?

  4. Sean said

    The starfighter and thunderchief were fighters? No they were “interceptors” because they were built for speed with many complications making them “widowmakers”.

    • Murray B said

      Actually since they were designated F-104 and F-105 they were both fighters because that is what the “F” in the designation means. Certain versions of the F-104 fighter were interceptors and the Thunderchiefs were usually used as ground attack aircraft. That does not mean they were not fighters

  5. Pouria Zanganeh said

    No ship in history can do what the cf-105 arrow could’ve done for Canada. To criticize a ship that was still in the testing phase is clearly inaccurate. The Arrow would’ve eventually had greater range, speed and altitude and best of all it was perfectly designed for Canada. Whether most people realize it or not the Arrow would still be in service today as Canada’s front line fighter granted it would’ve been massively upgraded. The ship didn’t cost 9 to 12 million dollars each. Every cf-105 that had been built each cost 3. 5 million dollars. That’s what the company paid to make each of the ones that were in the testing phase. It was cheaper than the crappy voodoo which had a lot of defects as a fighter and the voodoo had a crappy lifespan of about a thousand hours of use and were a danger to Canada. We would’ve saved a fortune over the long term if we put the cf-105 in service. We wouldn’t have had to buy the defective voodoo, the horrendously useless bomarc missiles, the f-104, the f-18 hornet. A new replacement for the hornet and who knows what else. Canada screwed itself over and the Americans whether they like it or not in some way are to blame with the heavy handed tactics they used. We wouldn’t be in the mess for a replacement for the hornet today if we completed the cf-105 and put over a hundred of them in service for Canada.

    • Murray B said

      The Arrow was made using the Cook-Craigie Plan that bypassed the prototype phase and had entered production. Six were made before the program was cancelled but the last aircraft with prototype Iroquois engines “threw a blade” in one engine and could not fly.
      Performance is irrelevant because the Arrow was doomed after the Liberals decided to cancel the program in in 1957. As History Professor Michael Bliss has said, “[…] no responsible government could have continued to support the Arrow.[…]”. At that time continuing to build the Arrow would have cost taxpayers about four times as much as buying Voodoo interceptors in their place.

      From the article “Liberals Planned to Cancel the Arrow” on page 2 in :”The [Montreal] Gazette” 23 OCT 63, “Gen. Charles Foulkes testified yesterday that the Liberal Government of Prime Minister St. Laurent decided in 1957 it would cancel the Arrow interceptor program as soon as it was returned to power in that year’s election.[…] Gen. Foulkes confirmed the 1958 statement of Mr. Diefenbaker that the chiefs of staff had recommended cancellation of the Arrow. Gen. Foulkes said the chiefs concluded it didn’t make sense to produce an $8,000,000 interceptor in Canada when one could be obtained in the U.S. for $2,000,000. They couldn’t see where the money would come from.[…]”

      It should be noted that the $8 million figure was the additional amount needed at the time to purchase the Arrows and not the total cost of the program to the taxpayer. That would have been about $2 billion for 206 aircraft or $9.7 million each if the Arrow program had continued without cost increases. The $2 million figure Gen. Foulkes gave appears to be for the Voodoos that were purchased instead of the Arrows but that price included spare parts. The list price of a new Voodoo by itself at that time was around $1.85 million and a Delta Dart was about double that at $3.75 million. [For comparison a new Cadillac Sedan DeVille was about $5500 back then.]

      The Liberals had decided to cancel the Arrow program before Canada joined NORAD or Sputnik was launched. This means Bomarc missiles and/or ICBMs could not have been major factors in their decision.

      See Gazette article at http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19631023&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

      The Voodoo is an important part of Canadian heritage but Hawker Siddeley’s Arrow is not. The Arrow should be forgotten along with all the other cancelled aircraft in history. It is long past time for the publicly funded liberal fantasy about the Arrow to end.

  6. Pouria Zanganeh said

    The arrow wasn’t a noticeably expensive fighter. I realize the Liberals planned on cancelling the project if they won re-election but that goes to show how incompetent Canadian politicians are. We spent about $420 million purchasing about 222 f-104 starfighter’s shortly after cancelling the arrow and as for the voodoo being cheaper 66 of them cost $260 million dollars and with the bomarc missile we’re past $700 million dollars. A hundred arrow’s would’ve cost anywhere between $350 million dollars to $700 million dollars worst cast scenario and all of the money would’ve been spent in Canada and we would’ve gotten about 70% of that money back through tax collection procedures. We got nothing back from the voodoo the starfighter and the useless bomarc. Clearly the money was there for it and if it meant a small raise in taxes to provide additional funding for the military it would’ve been worth it. You’re listening to comments and lies by the Canadian government. Each arrow the company had built came out with the engines to $3.5 million dollars. Odds are a hundred could’ve been built at the $350 million to $700 million amounts that I gave. That doesn’t include the about $2.5 billion to $5.5 billion on the cf-18 fighters and the $46 billion to perhaps a $100 billion dollar estimate for 65 crappy f-35 fighters.
    Clearly you’re listening to the lies and rhetoric from the government and ignoring what was spent on the project in complete reality.

    • Murray B said

      Thanks for all the unsourced numbers but perhaps you are confusing liberal fantasy with the facts.

      The cost of the Arrow given to Diefenbaker’s Cabinet can be found in the Cabinet minutes from August 28th, 1958, “The R.C.A.F. now had nine all-weather squadrons and the present programme called for their re-equipment with the CF-105, requiring a production order of 169 in number. These, together with aircraft recovered from the development and pre-production order for 37, would provide sufficient aircraft for nine squadrons. The total cost would be $2 billion spread from 1959-60 to 1963-64.”

      The cost to Canadian taxpayers to develop and produce 206 Arrows would have been $2 billion providing there were no cost increases. That works out to $9.7 million each.

      See page 242 in Peter Zuuring’s “The Arrow Scrapbook” for a facsimile of the Cabinet minutes.

      The Voodoo’s list price was around $1.85 million, “Cost: $1,819,000 (approximate)”

      See http://www.hill.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=5770

      How can five times the price for the Arrow not be “noticeably expensive”?

      Clearly you are listening to lieberal rhetoric and ignoring the primary sources completely. It is the lying that creates the controversy. Stop the lies and we can all forget about Hawker Siddeley’s giant flying white elephant, the Avro Arrow, and move on to more important things.

    • islander said

      You can tell people like Murray are spouting partisan nonsense talking points when they say “liberal fantasy” a classic conservative attack on anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Therefore I’m inclined to assume that all the information he provides is partisan and twisted however possible to make his government’s point.

  7. The cost on a program like the f-101 and f-104 and the bomarc missile came out to for all three of these purchases to over 700 million dollars. The documents the Diefenbaker government gave about the cost of the cf-105 was a complete lie. The conservatives were out to dump the project and were making up as many lies about the ship as possible. Clearly nothing I or anybody else say is going to change your current view about all that. The fact of the matter was that the cf-105 fighters that were built all came out to 3.5 million dollars each. A hundred arrows would’ve come out to 350 million to 700 million for everything and you have to realize we would get about 70 percent of that money back through tax collection procedures. We also wouldn’t have had to spend 2.5 billion dollars to 5.5 billion dollars on the
    hornets years later. You must realize that over the long term Canada would’ve saved a fortune and the bomarc missile was a danger to Canada because it was crap.
    At the same time a replacement for the hornet wouldn’t be needed and we wouldn’t have to spend 46 billion dollars to perhaps over a hundred billion dollars on the
    f-35 jet. Those who try to half ass something in order to save money end up losing a lot more money over the long term and that’s what happened with the cancellation of the cf-105. If we had to raise taxes by a small amount to cover the project which I doubt we would’ve had to we still probably would’ve saved tens of billions of dollars over the decades in a very long term.

  8. Murray B said

    Can we agree that six Arrows were produced and if they really were “3.5 million dollars each” then the total cost to the taxpayer would have been around $21 million?

    Is there any reliable source for that $3.5 million figure?

    Here is another amount and its source:

    “The Minister of Defence, Mr. Pearkes, told the House that the total expenditure on the Arrow programme up to January 31, 1959, was $341 million[…]”

    See http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1959/1959%20-%200654.html

    This indicates the actual amount paid to develop and produce six Arrows was $341 million in total or about $56.8 million for each of the six. Of course those were 1959 dollars and not the currency of today. At the time a new Cadillac Sedan DeVille was about $5500 so each Arrow cost the taxpayer as much as buying a fleet of ten thousand Cadillacs with enough left over to buy 25 Rolls Royce Silver Clouds.

    Both figures cannot be correct so somebody must be lying. Was it Diefenbaker’s government or the lieberals? Please provide the primary source for the $3.5 million figure?

    • I am stunned over the inaccurate and false comments that you made. When you start a new science project you have to carry out the research for that project which is what A.V. Roe Canada did. The research did come out to hundreds of millions of dollars that is true but it had absolutely nothing to do with the cost of each ship. How do you propose for any company to build a fighter jet unless they spend the money for the research for the ship? That’s all A.V. Roe Canada did. at the same time they built the engine and set up the machines that could mass produce the cf-105 and the Iroquois engine. You must realize that they had to carry out their research which was exhaustive and expensive and then create the machines to build the ship and the engine. By the time the company had done all that they had spent hundreds of millions. They then started to build a number of cf-105 arrows and that was also added onto the bill but they noticed each of the arrows that were built came out to 3.5 million dollars each. You keep changing your opinion about the cost of the ship first you quote the lies by the Diefenbaker government and now you’ve abandoned those estimates and are coming with this ridiculous comment that the scientific research had something to do with the cost of each ship. As for the 3.5 million figure I gave you A.V. Roe Canada offered that deal to the government and said they can provide a hundred arrows at a cost of 350 million dollars. That included the ship and the engines nothing else. Worse case scenario we would’ve been looking at 5.5 million to 7 million dollars each arrow and a hundred would’ve cost 700 million dollars at the most. We spent over 700 million on 222 f-104 starfighters and about half of those ships crashed and 66 voodoos and the bomarc missile. That doesn’t include the 2.5 billion to 5.5 billion on the hornet and the possible 46 billion to over
      100 billion dollars on 65 f-35 fighter jets. I’ve read these figures in various magazines and books. Over the long term the cf-105 was cheaper than everything else and I’ve decided that you aren’t worth talking to so I’ve decided that this is the last time I plan on writing a comment clearly directly in.

      • Murray B said

        Well, Goodbye! It is for the best since the ad hominem comments were not contributing much of value to the discussion anyway. Why don’t you direct your anger towards the lieberals that have stolen millions of taxpayers’ dollars to lie to Canadians and not the few of us that receive nothing but abuse for writing the truth?

        Sadly, now that you have left promising never to return, we may never find out where the $3.5 million dollar figure comes from. That number can be found almost everywhere online and is pretty funny. Arrow zealots love to quote the figure claiming the Arrow shoulda, coulda, woulda, cost $3.5 million each. Well, reliable records show the Arrows dida cost Canadian taxpayers more than $340 million by 1959 and wound up costing us more than $400 million for six aircraft by the time it was done. That is nowhere near $3.5 mllion per aircraft no matter how it is calculated.

        Another way to look at it is 290,000 lbs. of Arrow cost over $400 megabucks or more than $1380 per pound, each. Gold was about $512 per pound back then which made each Arrow “worth” more than two and one-half times its weight in gold back in ’59.

        Sadly, the waste did not stop there and various governments in Canada have continued to squander many more millions repeating liberal fantasies about the Arrow. Most of these publicly funded sources falsely claim Hawker Siddeley’s Arrow was an all-Canadian aircraft and an important part of our “heritage”. There is nothing all-Canadian about a wholly British-owned and managed company producing an aircraft in their Canadian branch plant.

        Fiction about the Arrow is not a legitimate part of our heritage and never should have been funded at any time by any government in Canada.

        Wasting public money on false liberal propangands that glorifies a giant flying white elephant like the Arrow cannot be justified in any rational way. Despite this, public funding for Arrow propaganda continues unabated up to this day.

        Only after the government funded lying stops can the Avro Arrow finally take its rightful place among the world’s worst aircraft. Back then it was second only to another giant flying white elephant, the North American Valkyrie, in terms of total money wasted. The Valkyrie program came to about $1.5 billion USD and the Arrow $400+ million CDN. The Arrow program was in first place if you consider the money wasted per taxpayer since we had only about one-tenth of the U.S. population at the time. The Americans would had to have blown $4+ billion on the Valkyrie to have done equivalent damage to their taxpayers.

        Only in Canada can the worst become the best, Eh?

  9. I made a promise a short while ago not to respond to you ever again because a person like you doesn’t know what they’re talking about. This will by the final time I write to you. You seem to be the type of person who feels they have to get the last word in. The cost of the CF-105 wasn’t as expensive as you falsely claim. The fact of the matter is that Canada spent over $ 700 million dollars purchasing the f-104 and the f-101 and the useless and unstable bomarc missile. We never received a cent of that money back through tax collection procedures while we would get about 70 percent of all of the money we spent on the CF-105 back through tax collection procedures. A person like you obviously doesn’t seem to realize these things because your the poster boy for John Diefenbaker and the lies he and the conservatives made about the ship. You first quoted his lies about the cost of the ship and then you came up with the ridiculous comments about how the scientific research for the CF-105 and the Iroquois engine had something to do with how much each ship cost. Each ship was $ 3.75 million dollars with the ship the engines and the tax. If that wasn’t the case the company wouldn’t have offered to provide a hundred CF-105 arrows for the cost of $ 375 million dollars. In my earlier estimate I didn’t include the tax and now I have. I should probably point that out so you don’t come up with more lies. Over 75 percent of Canadians believe it was wrong to cancel the CF-105 and over 75 percent of Canadians prefer the CF-105 to be Canada’s next generation fighter. In a democracy the majority rule clearly. We also would not have had to spend $ 2.5 billion dollars to $ 5.5 billion dollars on the hornet and $ 46 billion dollars to quite possibly well like over $ 100 billion dollars on 65 crappy f-35 fighters. You do not seem to realize these things and you have no patriotism towards Canada. It doesn’t even sound like you live in Canada and if you do you aren’t much of a Canadian. You don’t seem to believe in this country and what it can do. A.V. Roe was a Canadian company and it was largely run and operated by Canadians. The CF-105 was a ship that a noticeable amount of Canadians built. Over the years and decades the CF-105 would’ve been vastly upgraded to outperform any other ship that we could’ve gotten to protect Canada and the rest of the world. General Mackenzie supports the idea of a brand new CF-105 as Canada’s new fighter jet and he’s an experienced soldier who has served our country faithfully for most of his life while someone like you never has. I think General Mackenzie knows what he’s talking about. You sound like a lifeless and soulless robot saying one lie after another that the Diefenbaker government programmed into you. You are not a Canadian. In every project you must carry out and complete the scientific research to it and yes it cost hundreds of millions of dollars to carry out the research for the CF-105 and the Iroquois engine but it had nothing to do with the cost of each ship. A.V. Roe would’ve never been willing to enter into such a contract if it knew it couldn’t provide the ship at such a cost. Granted with everything else the ship needed the cost would’ve gone up by simply a reasonable amount. Your comments have no passion or loyalty. I will absolutely never respond after this letter but I felt I had no other choice but to provide a final last response. Believe it or not I’m not trying to insult you. I will now close with one last comment. A nation that isn’t willing to spend the money for keeping the ability to mass produce its own fighter jets ultimately in the future will pay a far higher price than anybody can imagine. No country can set up military facilities to do these things overnight to deal with such an emergency like the ones we’re now dealing with the Russians and the mess they’re starting with their hostile and provocative actions. By not maintaining the ability to mass produce our own fighter jets ultimately our country will likely pay a far greater price for such a reckless decision enormously later on.

    • Murray B said

      Aww, you promised to go away but have now returned to repeat the same liberal fantasies as before and still fail to give any sources for your claims. Since you have constanfly refused to give sources I will give the only source for the $3.75 million figure that I could find.

      That amount is mentioned in a letter to the Honourable George R. Pearkes from Fred T. Smye of A.V. Roe Canada Limited dated October 21, 1958. A facsimile of the letter is contained on page 106 in Peter Zuuring’s “The Arrow Scrapbook”.

      The text reads in part, “[…] it is now estimated that we can produce and deliver 100 operational Arrow Aircraft, complete in all respects including the Iroquois engine and the MA1 fire control system, for approximately $3,500,000. each.”

      This is only a partial cost, however, and does not represent the Arrow’s total cost to the Canadian taxpayer. The next sentence indicates additional amounts, “This excludes the development and tooling costs, which it is assumed would continue in accordance with the existing contracts, and the small amount of GFE currently proposed.”

      For the purpose of comparing the cost to Canada of the Arrow and other aircraft the development cost of the Arrow must be included because it is solely Canadian taxpayers that are paying the British-owned company to develop the aircraft. Since we know $340+ million had been spent to develop the Arrow by 1959 that is at least another $3.40 million per aircraft that must be added to the $3.5 million mentioned above. That is about $6.9 million not including GFE or continuing development costs. Since all costs are not mentioned in the letter it is not possible to calculate the total from the figures given but it is clear the total mst be more than $6.9 million per aircraft for 100 aircraft.

      The total all-inclusive figure given by General Foulkes in ’63 as $8 million per aircraft must be assumed to be the correct comparative cost and the $9.7 million per aircraft figure given to Cabinet the correct total cost. The Voodoos that were purchased instead cost $2 million each including spare parts.

      The facts of history are not changed by false liberal beliefs no matter how common the fantasies become.

  10. I can honestly say a person like you has no idea what they’re talking about. Despite your stupid fantasies about the CF-105. Regardless of what it cost over the long term it was cheaper and a better ship than anything else. This whole site seems to have turned into an argument between you and me. The fact is that Canada spent over $ 420 million dollars buying 222 f-104 starfighters and almost half of them crashed and $ 260 million on 66 used voodoos that were obsolete shortly after they were bought and with the cost of the bomarc missile which was dangerous and unstable the cost to all three of those programs surpassed $ 700 million dollars. Clearly you’re the one living in a fantasy. Even with the money spent on the research for the CF-105 Arrow and Iroquois engine coming out to hundreds of millions of dollars and purchasing a 100 CF-105 Arrow ships we would’ve been looking at worse case scenario $ 700 million for those 100 ships and with the research and completion of the project we would’ve been looking at $ 400 million for the research including astra and sparrow and an extra $ 77 million for the rest of the research to complete the CF-105 and the Iroquois. Fine. You want me to add all of that into your stupid fantasy estimates again this is the worst case scenario we’re looking at what about
    $ 1.2 billion dollars and since we’re spending that money in Canada we would get about 70 percent of that money back through tax collection procedures. So once you count in the money we get back through tax collection the entire project worse case scenario comes out to less than $ 400 million for the scientific research to everything related to the CF-105 and we would’ve gotten a 100 state of the art fighter jets that would still be in service today and we wouldn’t have had to spend
    $ 2.5 billion to $ 5.5 billion on the hornet fighter and not to mention that we wouldn’t be looking at $ 46 billion to a $ 100 billion dollars on purchasing 65 crappy f-35 fighters. You aren’t a qualified military leader. General Mackenzie is and he supports the idea of the CF-105 being rebuilt and becoming Canada’s next generation fighter. We would’ve saved billions if we did that in the fifties and if we’re forced into the buying the crappy f-35 we’d be looking at saving tens of billions of dollars. All you care about is saving money and you don’t seem to realize that over the long term the CF-105 was the cheapest and most advanced ship that Canada could’ve bought. If you live in Canada you aren’t much of a Canadian and you clearly don’t believe in this country.

    • Murray B said

      Sheesh, “no idea”, “stupid fantasies”, and “aren’t much of a Canadian” are all directed against me personally and irrelevant to the topic being discussed. Most of what you are writing goes off on tangents and no sources are given for most of your claims.

      Much of your financial information does not even make sense. Canadians paid hundreds of millions of dollars to U.K.-based Hawker Siddeley to develop the Arrow and the British company owned all of the associated intellectual property. The only part of the Arrow Canadians owned were the aircraft purchased. Does buying a car somehow make the purchaser an owner of the auto manufacturing company?

      This stuff about the Canadian government getting the money “back” through taxation is absurd since the taxpayer pays for it all anyway. When I say the cost to the Canadian taxpayer was X amount of dollars no one can sensibly argue the real cost would have been only 30% of that amount with the rest coming from “tax collection”. Taxes are always collected, directly or indirectly, from the taxpayer. Of course, the final cost to the taxpayer of any government project is usually much more than the initial cost estimate but that is a given.

      Retired Army General Mackenzie is not an aircraft expert but he did say that the Arrow was twice as fast as the F-35 which would be about Mach 3.4 or 3.5. That would make the aluminum-skinned Arrow nearly a full Mach number faster than any other aluminum-skinned aircraft in history. Canadian aluminum must be real special to survive the frictional heat generated by travelling at Mach 3+ speeds. No other aircraft capable of those speeds used aluminum-based skins. The Blackbird’s was titanium-alloy. The Mig-25 used stainless steel. Some other Mach 3+ aircraft used nickel-alloy and the Space Shuttle used ceramic tiles. Of course the old Mach 3+ Arrow they are talking about is completely imaginary so it is not bound by physical laws as the real aircraft are.

      The real Arrow never flew with the Iroquois engines but its performance is known. The aircraft and engines were each tested separately and the measured parameters were then used with standard equations to find the performance of the Arrow Mark 2.

      Aerospace Engineering Professor Julius Lukasiewicz was familiar with all proposed versions of the Arrow and did give his expert opinion on the Arrow’s maximum speed. He said “[…]It attained just about Mach number 2. […]”

      At the time the Arrow nearly achieved “Mach number 2” the Lockheed Starfighter already held the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) speed record for “2 259.538 km/h” [about Mach 2.13] sustained over a distance.

      See the interview with Professor Lukasiewicz at 1:11 and 3:50 on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWuZtk8uPP0

      The Arrow’s speed is not important anyway since the specification was for Mach 1.5 and several aircraft, including the Voodoo and all versions of the Arrow, easily met that part of the specification.

      Now, can you give sources for any of your claims, Eh?!

  11. I plan on no extra responses to you after this letter because this site has simply turned into an argument between us. No one else is writing into this site. If you want me to provide some sources for my comments and estimates then I will. In the book The Arrow written by James Dow who was a former member of The Royal Canadian Air Force and was also part of The Arrow project he said in his book that Diefenbaker lied about the cost of the CF-105 and was lying about everything else about the project because he was out to dump the project and in his book members of Parliament were saying that Diefenbaker was picking numbers out of a hat as he was talking about the cost and clearly if you were paying attention you would realize that the government did lie. The other reference I would like to give you is another book called The fall of an arrow. I can’t remember the name of the author but he was also a soldier in The Royal Canadian Air Force. The writer of that book said that exactly 65 percent of the money the government spends is recollected back through tax collection procedures. You are obviously too obtuse to realize what that means or the financial importance of such a thing. Canada spent over $ 700 million dollars purchasing the starfighter and the voodoo and the unstable and dangerous and ineffective bomarc missile. None of that money was regained by the Canadian government through tax collection procedures because it was spent outside of the country. The $ 340 million dollars to $ 400 million dollars Canada spent on the research for the CF-105 and the Iroquois engine was mostly recollected back through tax collection procedures because it was spent in Canada and another $ 79 million dollars would’ve had to be spent to complete the research on both of those projects and once again a large part of that money would’ve been recollected back through tax collection procedures. Many of the other figures I’ve given you are from newspapers, magazines and other books. Try reading them. As for you comment that A.V. Roe Canada isn’t a Canadian company. It was first set up by Sir Roy Dobson. A man who believes in Canada and he sacrificed a great deal to set up a company like A.V. Roe Canada. What do you consider to be Canadian? Is every company located in Canada suppose to go through a bunch of dumbass requirements to qualify to be a Canadian company and if you didn’t realize it Britain ensured the creation of Canada. Technically speaking every Canadian is part British and that’s a part of Canadian history and heritage that I love and cherish. Your comments as to the CF-105 not being capable of mach 3.5 is another inaccurate comment the mk 1 and mk 2 arrows even with the metal they were made of should be able to reach about mach 2.5 and
    A.V. Roe Canada was working on an untested mk 3 CF-105 that would have been made out of stainless steel or titanium so it could handle mach 3.5. As for any scientist you can name who support your comments there are many scientists that didn’t like the CF-105 and like to discredit the ship as much as they can. Some scientists who have attacked the CF-105 with their lies and comments were approached by other scientists and when they had a discussion the scientists who attacked the CF-105 realized they were wrong with what they said. Again if you bother reading newspapers, magazines and books you’d realize that. If you want to calculate the full cost of the CF-105 for the scientific research and the completion of at least a
    100 planes the planes would’ve cost a total of probably $ 520 million dollars to $ 781 million dollars. Add that to the scientific research we’re looking at about
    $ 1 billion dollars to $ 1.2 billion dollars and since that money is being spent in Canada yes 65 percent of that money would’ve been collected back through tax collection procedures.
    Canada should’ve bought the 37 Arrows on contract and examined the purchase of an additional 72 mk 3 Arrows or some sort of combination like that. I personally would’ve preferred it if they bought more that that. If Canada had done that we wouldn’t have had to spend $ 2.5 billion to $ 5.5 billion dollars on the hornet fighter jet. The mk 1 and mk 2 and especially the mk 3 Arrow would’ve been more than enough to protect Canada and our allies. We also wouldn’t have to spend possibly
    $ 46 billion to over $ 100 billion on the joint strike fighter. It’s possible the joint strike fighter will cost more than that. Even if we get a more affordable ship it would still cost $ 10 billion to about $ 15 billion dollars and that doesn’t include many other things related to the program. The 66 voodoos cost $ 260 million dollars and the 222
    starfighters cost $ 420 million dollars and with the cost of the bomarc added in we are well past the amount I said earlier. None of that was returned to us in tax collection procedures along with the other pieces of garbage that we bought to try to replace The Arrow. Whether you like it or not General Mackenzie is a qualified person to say that a new CF-105 one built with stainless steel or titanium to withstand mach 3.5 speed is the right ship for Canada. Diefenbaker was a liar and you have chosen to believe his lies. He and his party were thrown out of power in the next election once Canadians realized Diefenbaker lied about The CF-105 and the conservatives weren’t trusted again to run the country until the 80’s about a good 20 years and then that idiot Brian Mulroney came along and screwed the country over. You have chosen to attack the
    CF-105 Canadian avro arrow. A ship that many Canadians see as a symbol
    of what our country achieved and what our country lost due to a liar like Diefenbaker. Instead of seeing that Canadians built such an amazing ship all you do is attack
    The ARROW. We were better off with The CF-105 because new estimates on the joint strike fighter have placed the cost of a small and useless fleet of 65 ships as being as high as $ 125 billion dollars. There’s no point in me arguing with you about this anymore because you’re obsessed with trying to attack the CF-105 which many know was the greatest achievement in Canadian history. If the CF-105 Arrow mk 1 and mk 2 and especially the mk 3 entered service we would have the most powerful fighter jet fleet of any country in the world today and we would’ve retained the ability to continue to mass produce fighter jets. We wouldn’t have had to go through the mind numbing process of buying the hornet and the crappy joint strike fighter or another crappy ship. The cost of a project like The CF-105 is pointless. Especially when a person takes into account that clearly 65 percent of that money is regained back through tax collection procedures and a person with a functioning brain realizes that and takes such a thing into account. The current issues with the Russians clearly shows that Canada has an outdated hornet fleet and we’re about a decade away for a replacement. You’re a vocal minority. The vast majority of Canadians realize it was wrong to cancel The CF-105 and want The Arrow as our next generation fighter. The scientists who worked on the project took everything into account including designing different variants of The CF-105 with different materials. I will close with one last comment and the comment I’m making I read from the book The fall of an Arrow and I confess I said this before but I’ll say it again. A nation that doesn’t spend the money for such military equipment for their soldiers because of expense will pay a far greater price for such a reckless decision completely later on.

    • Murray B said

      Well since that was your last post, again, I will ask no further questions. For future reference though when quoting sources please put quotes around the supporting text and give page numbers.

      After so many years of massive “heritage” funding for liberal fantasies it is not surprising that some lying arse-weasels have gotten their work published. What is surprising is the bizarre claim that the Progressive Conservatives were lying about the cost of the Arrow when records show the Liberals were the first to decide to cancel the program in 1957.

      Surely, the Liberals would not have based their decision solely upon cost estimates from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition at the time, the Progressive Conservatives.

      Sensible sources are fairly consistent about the high cost of the Arrow program but if they are all lies then somebody must have been lying to Diefenbaker’s Cabinet too. Reliable records show Cabinet was advised on August 29th, 1958 that the Arrow program would cost “$2 billion” by 1964 for 206 aircraft assuming there were no cost increases. Claiming Diefenbaker’s government, all of the Canadian Chiefs of Staff, the NAE, and DRB, were all lying about the Arrow program is extraordinary. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof but there really isn’t any. Quoting one letter out of context is not evidence of anything.

      As far as science goes, it is about discovering the principles that govern nature. Engineering is about appying those principles to things in the real world. The Arrow project was based on already known principles so no “scientific research” was required. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if the Liberals did pay for unnecessary “scientific research” on the Arrow because the hundreds of millions of dollars spent had to go somewhere.

      As a “dumbass” taxpayer it is reassuring to know that I will not be forced to pay the entire amount for wasteful government programs since “65 percent of that money is regained back through tax collection procedures”. Clearly, taxpayers only pay for about one third of the cost with taxes collected from payers covering the remainder. It is obviious to me now that taxpayers and the payers of taxes are two entirely different groups…or.not!

  12. Jim MacInnis said

    Someone should ask the U.K about Arrow Mk 2’s maximum performance specs. The discovery of two Iroquois engines, a pilot’s and navigator’s ejection seats in the U.K. over the past several years is indicative that the U.K. had significant interest in Arrow technology. Of note, the Navigator’s seat is currently for sale on e-bay where it is stated that this seat has up to 1000 hours of use. This is an interesting fact given that the five flying Mk I Arrows had a total of a mere 75 flying hours when the project was scrapped. Further, Canada’s A.V, Roe and Orenda Engines were subsidy companies of the U.K.’s Hawker Siddeley. While it is proven that all six completed Arrows were scrapped, dozens of other aircraft, particularly Mk 2’s, were in various stages of assembly on the Avro production line. It is plausible that sufficient parts were spirited out of Canada and into the U.K. to assemble a single Avro Arrow. There are rumours amongst pilots within Britain’s RAF of an Avro Arrow having been flown within the U.K. throughout the early 1960’s. There is an eye-witness account of an Avro Arrow having landed at RAF Station Mansten, where it was allegedly disassembled and the fuselage burned at the Station`s fire fighting training centre.

    I hope someone has the time to follow up and confirm my theory.

  13. andre messier said

    we should do a petition and ask the government to refund our Canadian tax payer with interest or to reactived the arrow projet with the beaudry industry and also bombardier company between these 2 company they could make a better version of this arrow today and by the way until now no other plane in the world can match the performance of that plane yet me I would love to see like in many show they rebuild weapon or car or whatever to see the true about their claim I wish someone would have the ball to do one plane to see for once and for all about its specification are true are not it would take one build of that plane and put those famous Iroquois engine and the true be know and then then if there are true you sit the prime minister in the back seat and give him a hell of a ride and then you present him with a mk 2 or 3 version with today standard or simply ask for a refund of our tax money the American allway try to interfere with our way of life and its about time we should build our own plane car defence etc etc instead of buying the left over from other country are we a country or do we haven’t the ball to stand up and do our thing ourself see the worse part all the brain went to usa to work there and its the usa that benefit from it not us it seen were to afraid to build anything beside farm equipment oh and that to come from usa thin about it folk

    thank

    andre from calgary

  14. andre messier said

    and
    why is it the prime minister s so afraid of exactly? does he have the ball to make such a decision or is he a weak and I mean a weak pussy aldo some women out there would be thoughfer than our prime minister or is it the fact that by reactive the arrow program it would be saying that we made a mistake and on top of it it is there party who made that decision about it no I say let the company beaudreau enterprise to show what it could do and if success is there then let them have the contract and t least it would be a Canadian product it would give a lot of work to Canadian which now it they do need badly it would be a win win situation so on those base alone what is the priminister so afraid of ? I think he doesn’t have the ball he is not man enough to take that decision thank you

    • Murray B said

      The Arrow was an aluminum-skinned aircraft from the fifties with primitive vacuum tube electronics. Most similar aircraft from that time were metal and reflected radar so strongly they would be detected at extreme range by modern radars. None of those aircraft could survive for long over a modern battlefield. Fighter aircraft today are made of plastics and reflect much less radar.

      Several metal fighters from the fifties were capable of flying more than twice the speed of sound but they all created loud sonic booms that could be detected for miles. Modern aircraft are slower but much quieter than the old designs.

      The Iroquois engine was okay for its time but the engines back then would last for two or three thousand hours before needing an overhaul. Modern engines can do fifty thousand or more hours before needing a rebuild. A single modern engine is also far more reliable than any pair of engines made back then. It is more likely that an Arrow would have both engines fail than an F-35’s single engine would fail.

      The Liberals decided to cancel the Arrow program in 1957 and Diefenbaker’s government carried on with that decision. Several years ago the Liberal government joined the partnership to develop the Joint Strike Fighter (aka F-35) and the Conservatives have carried on with that decison too.

      Why was the JSF a good idea when the Liberals chose it but a bad idea now that another party governs? In the early sixties, when the Liberals were in opposition, they were against having nuclear weapons in Canada. When they formed the government again they chose to allow the weapons into the country. If a different party forms the next government will the F-35 become a good idea again?

  15. James Erasmus said

    I found this interesting excerpt and is a very compelling piece of the whole Avro Puzzle: By R.L. Whitcomb . . . American Tactics involved in the Cancellation of the Avro Arrow

  16. gravy said

    Who the hell is Ethan Clow anyway. Obviously he/she is an American playing down the superiority of the Avro company and its technology over anything America had or does have until most recently. It is sad to think that The Americans have and will kill many using the technology it has stolen from Canada.

    • Jim MacInnis said

      Look, the Americans simply would never forsake their own defence industrial complex in favour of a foreign design. They preferred striving to build something better than the competition – and they did. As for as the 1950s Arrow goes, it was a promising concept that had some slight advantages over other fighters under development at the time. It also had some bugs that eventually would have been sorted out. However, in 1959 the Arrow itself was eating one third of the defence budget and was competing with a Navy that needed new post-war ships and an Army that was falling behind in NATO towards becoming a modern mechanized force – even the Defence Minister and the majority of his senior military and civilian staff wanted the Arrow project scrapped. Only the air force was in favour of the Arrow, however, within the RCAF there was some internal dissent, as the expensive Arrow would lead to a reduction in the number of operational air frames. As well, the Government had other financial stressers, such as: the trans-Canada pipeline and highway, northern development, and welfare inception. As well, albeit the Cold War was well under way, we were at peace and threat perceptions were relatively low. The truth is that we could not afford the Arrow, let alone a unilateral defence industry, without having put the middle class into the poor house. The Americans had nothing to do with it.

  17. Bob tomato said

    You are forgetting the fact that just a short time before this project took off Canada was shaken by the Gouzenko affair. Over 150 members of the Canadian government ( mostly if not exclusively Liberals ) were fired or reassigned because they were handing the Soviets secrets. The last thing the Americans wanted was a Canada with such power and development capability. As during WW2 Canada was an open door of secrets to the Soviets. During WW2 the CCP was banned so people like Trudeau joined the Liberals. They also thought this would place them in a better position of power rather than resort to an NDP like party. I don’t buy the BS that there was not something deeper going on here. in the late 1950’s with things like the Rosenbergs etc. and a steady stream of western secrets flowing to Uncle Joe and his successors, it is no wonder the US did not trust Canada. In fact Britain’s intel service was heavily infected by Soviet moles and a few were also found to be in prominent positions in the US ( again especially amongst Democrats ). This is hard to research because a lot this material is still classified.

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