Monday, May 25, 2009

Carnival of Space #104 - The Arrow Edition

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Welcome to ...
Carnival of Space #105 #104
... at Mang's Bat Page!

I'd like to thank Fraser for this my second time hosting the Carnival. While my first effort was a real blast, I do hope you all get a lift from this one.

This 105th 104th edition of the Carnival of Space is dedicated to Canada's CF-105 Avro Arrow the most advanced and ill-fated aircraft of its day.

Before we begin, I'd like to reflect on this amazing aircraft and its bittersweet legacy.

Arrow Reflections

In the 1950's Canada wanted a twin engine, all-weather, two seat, supersonic interceptor to defend against the Soviet bombers. The Arrow was our answer. Only it was never to be.

The Arrow was a source of national pride and shame for Canadians. An advanced fighter interceptor, widely believed to be superior to British and US projects. It incorporated many innovations including fly-by-wire, computer control, an integral missile system, and internal weapons pod. The Arrow was capable of exceeding Mach 2 with a 60,000 foot ceiling. It was even able to reach supersonic speeds without afterburners! A Mach 3, 80,000+ foot version was under study. The Iroquois engine being designed for the mark 2 Arrow was the most powerful turbojet in the world at the time. Ultimately the Arrow failed because of politics, changing roles, and a lack of buyers outside the country. For the US, Britain, and France - it was not invented there. Sadly, the five Arrows were reduced to scrap. There is even a conspiracy theory about a missing Arrow. The real tragedy was the damage to our aerospace industry and in true Canadian fashion the cancellation may have cost more than completing the program.

I grew up within sight of the production and test facilities. One of my mothers friends was a friend of Jan Zurakowski, the first test pilot, and I believe also one of the chase pilots. And when I was a child, I built models of the plane. Little did I realise that families living just down the street had been hurt by the 30,000+ layoffs and job losses resulting from the cancellation.

Others gained from Canada's loss. A group of 32 engineers went to NASA and worked on manned space programs. Others worked on the Concorde. The legacy of this project is an amazing tale.

And now the 105th 104th Carnival of Space ...

Startup, Blueprints, Models and Test Flights
Look off the Port Wing. Higher. Higher!
In-Flight Entertainment
Science and Engineering
Imagine the Possibilities
Arrow Footnotes
We now conclude our regularly scheduled Carnival and leave you with some more Arrow references:
If you are in Toronto check out the Canadian Air and Space Museum where you can see a full sized replica of the Arrow. Or in Ottawa, the Canada Aviation Museum has some of the remaining components of the Arrow.

You may want to read one of Peter Zuuring's books "The Arrow Scrapbook", "Arrow Rollout", or "Arrow Countdown".

There was also a 1997 made for TV movie called The Arrow starring Dan Ackroyd that was loosely based on the Arrow story.

So long until the next carnival!

Space Carnival ChainLast Week (103) : @ The Chandra BlogNext Week (105) : @ Space DiscoHome Base : Carnival of Space | Universe Today

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High Power Rocketry said...

Great posts! I had no idea that the arrow project existed, despite having dabbled in aerospace and warfare topics for quite some time. Thanks again.

Jim Atkins said...

The Arrow was a vastly ambitious project. Most airframe makers would never have tried to make a new plane, a new engine, and a new fire control radar system all at the same time; that's a recipe for cost overruns and disaster. Avro tried, but the deck was stacked against them. A lot of conspiracy theories talk about US involvement in canning the Arrow, but I really don't think any company on Earth could have pulled that project off. BTW, Glynn Lunney, one of the Apollo flight directors, was an Avro engineer. Beautiful plane, though.