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I took this picture on vacation in Ottawa last year and I enjoy showing it to fighter pilots and stumping them on aircraft identification. So far two have got it right. Most try to guess that it's a Sukhoi. Even when I tell them it was Canadian most don't get it.

All that's left of the Arrow prototypes. Canadian Air and Space Museum Ottawa
This is the Avro Arrow, or what's left of it after the program was cancelled and the prototypes were cut up for scrap.

Most Americans probably have never heard of this plane. I'm an aviation geek and I'd never even heard of it until I started visiting Canada regularly.

For Canadians, however, the Arrow has achieved mythical status. The legends and conspiracy theories surrounding this plane are legion.

I love the Arrow for several reasons.

First off, I love the late 50's and early 60's interceptors. They're sleek, fast and powerful. They look like they're going Mach 2 just sitting on the ramp. Second, I love aeronautical what-if's and things that might have been. Finally, I love Canada and the Arrow is part of Canada's national folklore.

So much has been written about this aircraft that I don't know what I can really add. If you're Canadian you've probably heard all this before. I'm writing as an American for a mostly American audience here.

After WWII, Canada had a strong aircraft industry of its own. Avro Canada had built Lancaster Bombers under contract and boasted some very talented aircraft designers and engineers.

Canada had produced its own jet fighter, the CF-100 "Canuck". Not to be confused with the North American F-100 of which it has no connection.

CF-100
Canadian Air and Space Museum, Ottawa
In the early 1950s the Cold War was heating up and the main threat was from Soviet Bombers, which would likely have crossed the North Pole and come down through Canada.

The Canadian government was worried that the CF-100 would be outclassed by newer Soviet bombers. A request was placed for a supersonic interceptor and Avro Canada came through with a proposal that ultimately became the CF-105 Arrow.

Note that I said interceptor and not fighter. There is a bit of a distinction.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, military aircraft were more specialized than they are today. A "fighter" was designed primarily to shoot down other fighters while an "interceptor" was designed to defend against bombers.

Today military aircraft are so expensive that we make them do multiple jobs to get our money's worth. Something like an F-16 today might do either job depending on how you configure it.

Back then, fighters were nimble little sports cars while interceptors were big powerful muscle cars - lots of straight line performance but not very agile. An interceptor needed to get off the ground in a hurry, climb like a rocket and go like hell in a straight line.

An interceptor also needs a decent radar and preferably a radar-guided missile so that it can find its target at night or in bad weather. No guarantee that the bad guys are going to show up on a sunny day. In the 1950s and into the 1970s this sometimes meant adding a second crew member to operate the radar (F-101, F-4, F-14). All of this means we're going to need a bigger plane.

Finally, Canada has some unique requirements. It's a big country and much of it is cold and remote. We really don't want to eject over the Northwest Territories in December. We'd be long since frozen by the time anyone came and got us. So we'd better stick a second engine on this thing just to be sure. We also want lots of gas because we've got a lot of ground to cover.

Arrow replica at the Canadian Air and Space Museum, Toronto
This gives you a good idea of just how big this thing was.
What Avro came up with was a delta winged twin engine interceptor weighing 68,000 pounds that was 77 feet long and had a 50 foot wingspan. That's big even for an interceptor. Larger even than an F-4 and roughly twice the size of a single-engine "day" fighter like an F-104 or a MiG-21.

Performance was very impressive and equaled or bettered anything developed by the United States, Soviets, French or British at the time.

The Mark 1 prototype hit Mach 2 at 50,000 feet using Pratt & Whitney J75 engines. The Mark 2 with its Canadian Orenda engines never got to fly but they fully expected it to set records. There was a Mark 3 version on the drawing board that might have topped Mach 3.

The Arrow was also the first "fly by wire" aircraft. The control stick used a system of force transducers and artificial feedback to work the flight controls. Way ahead of its time in 1958.

Arrow prototype in flight. Look at that big beautiful delta wing!
Department of National Defence, Canada
This would have been a very impressive aircraft but not quite as invincible as the legends would have it. Mach 2 speed was amazing in 1958 but the F-106 hit Mach 2 in 1959.

More importantly it never had a decent missile. It was supposed to use the US Navy's Sparrow II missile which was cancelled. The Hughes Falcon missile it was then slated to use was less than adequate. Many of the early USAF interceptors suffered from the same flaw.

The F-101, F-102 and F-106 all carried Falcons and they carried them in an internal weapons bay, just like the Arrow would have. This makes for great performance since there are no pylons or missiles cluttering up the wings. In terms of pure acceleration I've heard stories of '106s and '101s walking away from more modern fighters.

The problem carrying missiles internally is you're stuck with that particular missile for the life of the aircraft. By the late 60's the Falcons were considered to be junk and they certainly hadn't improved much by the late 1980s when the last F-106s were retired.

The Arrow would have been impressive as a pure interceptor but if it ever had to go up against another fighter I think it would have had problems.

Take a good look at that canopy. Forward visibility would have been marginal and rearward visibility nonexistent. Not a problem when you're hunting bombers but no good in a dogfight.

I'm guessing here, but I suspect it's handling would have been similar to an F-106. Delta winged aircraft were notorious for bleeding off speed in a turn. All that wing area acts like a big air-brake when you put some angle of attack on it. If it handled anything like a '106 it would have given you one awesome turn and then you'd be out of airspeed.

Finally there's the issue of not having a gun. The same flaw dogged many a fighter of that era. Most notably the F-4 in Vietnam.

Not being a fighter guy I'm speculating here, but in a dogfight an Arrow would probably have had to employ "zoom and boom" tactics. Make a high speed missile pass and run like hell to set up for another pass. That's how something like an F-104 or a MiG-25 would fight.

So what probably would have been was a great airframe hampered by flawed missiles. With upgrades it may well have served into the 1980s and possibly into the early 1990s.

Of course we'll never know. In a story known all too well to Canadians the Diefenbaker government cancelled the Arrow program in 1959 as a cost saving measure. They felt that the threat from Soviet missiles was a bigger worry than bombers. A similar move took place in the UK at the same time, and several promising interceptor designs were scrapped. Even the Lightning barely escaped the chopping block.

Now I hate to say this, but they were party right. After 1959 the Russians went in big for ICBMs and their bombers were never nearly the threat we made them out to be. Plus the Arrow program was massively over budget.

Where they really went wrong was when they decided to base American BOMARC missiles in Canada. The BOMARC was an early surface-to-air missile that never really lived up to expectations and was phased out in 1972. Plus it carried a nuclear warhead which carried political issues of its own. At least on this side of the border it's not well known that nuclear weapons were once based in Canada.

In 1961 Canada decided that they really could use a manned interceptor and ended up buying F-101s from the United States. They probably spent more on BOMARC and the F-101 than it would have cost just to finish the Arrow.

CF-101 Voodoo
So where did this all end up?

The Arrow prototypes were cut up for scrap and all plans were destroyed, supposedly to keep them out of Soviet hands (insert conspiracy theory here).

The Diefenbaker government fell in 1963 over the controversy of basing nuclear weapons in Canada (both the BOMARC and the F-101 carried nuclear weapons).

Avro Canada shut down and was later bought out by Hawker Siddeley which today is part of Bombardier Transportation. They make trains. I rather like trains, but they're not Avro Arrows.

Canada's aerospace industry was lost almost overnight. All those talented engineers and designers moved on to companies in the United States and the UK. Many were involved with the space program in the US and Concorde in the UK (it's always just "Concorde" not "The Concorde") .

Recently a proposal was floated to revive the Arrow instead of purchasing F-35s from the US. I actually think that's an interesting idea. If (and that's a very big if) your only concern is defending Canadian airspace from bombers, a modernized Arrow would be better suited than the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none F-35.

CBC television ran a somewhat fictionalized mini-series about the Arrow a few years ago. It stars Dan Akroyd and is entertaining if not historically accurate. It's worth watching if you can find a copy. I bought mine at the museum in Ottawa.

There is a legend that one of the Arrow prototypes was spirited away and escaped the scrap yard. Who knows? I for one like to imagine that there's still one out there somewhere.

Originally posted to Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossack Air Force, Central Ohio Kossacks, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Major, many thanks (9+ / 0-)

    for this.
    And for your recent diaries on how the big jets fly, as well.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:02:28 AM PDT

  •  Forgot to ask ... (7+ / 0-)

    how, sir, do you think what happened here compares with Convair and the B-58 in the US?

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:03:26 AM PDT

    •  If they'd let me fly a B-58 (14+ / 0-)

      I'd still be in the Air Force :)

      That being said, Curtis LeMay never really liked the B-58. He once said "The B-58 is a great airplane, if you're going to fight Canada."

      I think the cost of operating it plus its lack of range probably did more to end the B-58 than anything else.

      I've met exactly one person who flew them. He liked the plane but said that it didn't have a very good heading system, which made it difficult to bomb accurately.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:49:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hustler: A beautiful plane (7+ / 0-)

        Only 4 years front line service. Extremely cutting edge.

        Post ww2-Thru the decades it seems as if 2 kinds of bombers were built, they kind the USAF needed (B-52), and the plane that had all the newest stuff and the best top speed (B-58 & B-1), the one congress wanted.

        Some folks just got hung up about the hi speed penetration of strategic Soviet airspace. Even though no jet engine in the cold war era could give you mach 2 or 3 all the way to the target, let alone have fuel left to run away.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 12:31:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They just added a B-58 at Dyess AFB (3+ / 0-)

        It's in the linear air park.

        One of these days I should do a photo diary of the aircraft that were there the last time I paid a visit.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:45:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  it was a Pig (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana

        real hanger queen, that center line pod was never going to work operationally, it would drop one nuke then get incinerated,  it had all sorts of unreliable systems and it was
        a bird without a mission.

        It should have been cancelled with the B-70

      •  B-58 had plenty of issues (4+ / 0-)

        over 40 maintenance hours per hour of flight time.  IIRC, single engine change required 8 hours to remove / re-install.  Last of the tube based electronics and transistors were still in their infancy.  Really had to carry the pod to have enough fuel to do anything, on a nuclear mission half the pod was bomb, the rest fuel or it was going to need tankers near the threat area..  The original counter threat would have been fighters, but Soviet SAM's matured to the point that speed wasn't going to be an advantage.

        LeMay didn't like tandem seating.  He wasn't happy with the B-47, and made Boeing change the B-52 to side by side seating just like his old B-29's.  

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:13:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  b-58 Hustler had a delta wing too, MAch 2.2 or so. (6+ / 0-)

    I always thought is was beautiful.
    The Arrow is a nice looking plane too. What that leading edge jag about mid wing? A control surface?

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 11:15:43 AM PDT

  •  Somewhere I recall a story the MIG-25 was based (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, patbahn, RiveroftheWest

    On the Arrow... I can't remember where or when due to today being 4/20, but I'm pretty sure of the story at least. Sound familiar to anyone?

    "We are not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people." - future President Paul Ryan.

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 01:26:28 PM PDT

    •  Probably just legend (5+ / 0-)

      They really don't even look that much alike.

      The MiG has a clipped wing, twin tails and a conventional horizontal stabilizer.

      The Russians took the two biggest engines they could build and then designed a plane around them.

      When we first saw images of the MiG-25 we looked at the large wing and thought it must be very maneuverable.

      Turned out the thing was just so damn heavy it needed that much wing to fly.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:13:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Heard They Dumped Some Arrows In Lake Ontario (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, patbahn, RiveroftheWest

    ....and maybe people have even looked for them?

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:04:02 PM PDT

    •  They were models (4+ / 0-)

      They didn't have a supersonic wind tunnel so they stuck scale models on top of a Nike missile booster and shot them into Lake Ontario.

      I don't think any have ever been found.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:17:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah Yes...the mythical Arrow. (0+ / 0-)

    Saw a documentary on the Arrow not long ago. Can't recall any specifics, sadly.

  •  Have you seen photos of the B-47 that the USAF (10+ / 0-)

    lent to Canada as part of this project.

    In order to test the Iroquois Engine, a suitable test bed was needed. Apparently the only suitable one was the B-47.  This is what it looked like.

    From the wikipedia page:

    Canadair CL-52

    One of the most unusual B-47B conversions was the Canadair CL-52 which was a B-47B loaned in 1956 to the Royal Canadian Air Force to test the new, powerful Orenda Iroquois turbojet (rated at 19,250 lbf (85.6 kN) dry, 25,000 lbf (111 kN) afterburning) for the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow interceptor. Canadair Aircraft, the sub-contractor, attached the Iroquois engine to the right side of the rear fuselage near the tail; due to the large exterior diameter of the engine, no other location was feasible.[28] Flying the CL-52 was reportedly a nightmare. After the Arrow project was canceled in early 1959, the B-47B/CL-52, with about 35 hours of engine flight tests to its credit, was returned to the U.S. Some sources claimed it was bent out of shape by the tests, but in any case, it was subsequently scrapped. The CL-52 was the only B-47 to be used by any foreign service.
    A couple of more tidbits about this plane, please indulge me. I have had a long standing interest in this plane.  

    They have done a nice job with it in the new aviation museum. I remember when I first saw the cockpit of RL206 it was hidden away in warehouse at the Museum of Science and Technology.

    My family and I had been in Ottawa during the summer and went to the museum.  However during our trip we didn't have a chance to ask to see it.

    However that fall I was back in Ottawa on School trip and we made a special request to see it at the museum when our group made the trip.  I have found the negatives from that trip. Though I have to scan them in(110 film- It was a while ago. :D )

    We saw the cockpit plus they showed a promotional film that was made about the plane at the time.

    If you get back to the aviation museum, take the time to do the warehouse tour. There are additional pieces of the plane there, wing tip assemblies and some more of the landing gear. Unfortunately the SD card got corrupted so I don't pictures of that. (Plus a host of other unique specimens)

    Also the Avro Canada pilot who first flew the Arrow was a true hero in his own right. Janusz Żurakowski broke the sound barrier in the CF-100, and amassed almost 24 hours of flight in the Arrow program.
    His biography is makes for interesting reading. He later ran a small tourist lodge outside of Ottawa, in Barry's Bay. I regret never have tried to make the trip out there when I lived in Ottawa. It would have been interesting talking to him, I think.

    •  Not surprising (6+ / 0-)

      A normal B-47 was dangerous enough to fly.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:48:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A co-worker had flown (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, lazybum, NeverThere, JeffW

        B-24's over Europe in the war, stayed on to fly B-36's, but opted out when he was going to B-47's. Said he was scared of the plane.  

        The B-47 had enough issues with early generation engines creating enough thrust to lift an overweight bomber, then the Air Corps expected pilots to maintain flight formations by changing throttle settings same as in prop planes.  Early jets didn't like you messing with the fuel flow that way.

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:21:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Great Aviation Museum (0+ / 0-)

      A friend of mine is a curator at the Museum and he gave me a tour of the warehouse.  It's a cluttered fascinating collection of aviation stuff from balloon baskets to antique aviation engines to complete planes and helicopters.  He pointed out the Arrow's parts to me.  The wings were stacked up against a wall sort of tucked behind a structural support.  I had never heard about it or that Canada's aviation industry.  

      The main exhibition area is really well presented, too.  One of the better air museums I've visited.  Alas, the current government is doing its best to starve their archives and museums of support.  Ottawa is an awesome city,

  •  The Arrow looks a lot like the North American (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, markdd, kurt, JeffW

    A-5 heavy bomber developed for the Navy in the 1950's.  They were made at the former North American Aviation plant on East Fifth Avenue in Columbus (defunct now).

    The A-5 was reengineered into the RA-5C reconnaissance aircraft and used off carriers in Vietnam.  The knock on the Vigilante, which was a big, fast beautiful airplane, was that it was too complex and dainty for carrier use, and they were unreliable, and it was generally a cause for celebration each time one took off the carrier.  I never got to see one in use because the ship I was on transitioned to RF-8's, an older but more reliable supersonic recon aircraft on the cruise I was on.  So I never got the pleasure of seeing one in flight.

    Here is a link to a photo of an RA-5C:

    http://www.pimaair.org/...

    Technically, it's not an interceptor, but shares many characteristics, particularly speed and beauty.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:58:06 PM PDT

    •  The A-5 had a swept wing (like a B-52) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohiodem1, RiveroftheWest, JeffW

      As opposed to a delta wing.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:32:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been told (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, patbahn, Ohiodem1, JeffW

      that they were really hairy to land on the carrier because of the high approach speed and nose-high attitude.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:41:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a nice video of the A-5. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, JeffW

        http://www.youtube.com/...

        It had a swept wing, but beautiful.  Delta wings take up too much room on  a carrier, easier to fold wingtips on swept.

        F-14 stored in delta wing configuration, they generally had to be parked nose to its neighbor's tail.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:01:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We had RA5Cs on the Saratoga in 1969 while I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        was working on EKA3Bs.  The A5 was intended to replace the A3 as a nuclear delivery system.  It had a linear bomb bay between the engines that did not function as designed.  Hence the conversion to the RA5C.  I've been told the MIG29 was based on the A5.

        That Saratoga Air Wing also had a British squadron of F4Ks with their Very Long nose gear..... exaggerated angle of attack needed for takeoff from the Royal Navy Carrier.

    •  The Navy assigned it as a Attack plane (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, lazybum, Ohiodem1, JeffW

      it's major mission was to draw funding from the nuclear bonanza for carriers.  It was supposed to fly fast and low over targets, kick out a nuke from the bomb bay between the engines and get the heck out of Dodge before the fire works started.  

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:34:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Haven't thought about this bird. . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, RonV, RiveroftheWest, kurt, mmacdDE

    in a proverbial coon's age. Thanks for the wake-up of a dusty, old memory. If he's still alive, and if I can find him, I met someone many years ago who was doing some engineering on this strange bird that never got off the ground. Meanwhile, what do you know about the Aurora? Yep, it was real, a pulse-generating engine with very dangerous fuel (hint: some of what was mixed and made at Area 51), and suddenly. . .gone in a flash (in that other sense). Like to see someone do a write-up on this strange beast that could reputedly do Mach 9 or better. "Broken Arrow," the latter day movie and title, actually shows the picture when Christian Slater is standing by his locker prior to leaving on that fateful B-2 night ops mission. Anyway, good diary, Major Kong, and I see you have the typical great commentators tacking onto it.

    Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

    by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:04:13 PM PDT

  •  The death of the Avro Arrow (6+ / 0-)

    was the death of the OEM Aerospace industry in Canada. Now we just make things like the Canadarm for the shuttles/ISS. There are a lot of talented aerospace engineers here working for sub-contractors to the big US firms. We could have had a top notch aerospace industry if the Arrow had not been scrapped.

    I'm glad someone south of the border knows something about it.

    Listen to Netroots Radio or to our pods on Stitcher. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:05:50 PM PDT

    •  Not quite true (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, yuriwho, RiveroftheWest, mmacdDE

      they also make those cramped little 50-seat regional jets that I'm always getting stuffed into for hours on end.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:44:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually those aircraft aren't too bad for the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yuriwho

        short flights to major hubs that we're subjected to here in Iowa. But I'm not 6' tall either.

        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

        by pengiep on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:07:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  give it a few years, the canadian industry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sphealey, yuriwho

      will be healther then in the US.

      The Canadians have Canadair, bombardied, MDA,

      in the US, Lockheed, MacDac, Convair are all dead,
      Boeing is a decade away from dying as a passsenger transport aircraft.

      if the DoD starts cutting, it's all over here.

      •  You may be right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        patbahn, yuriwho

        Canadair is working on a 100+ seat narrow-body to compete with the 737.

        Ebraer is also going to enter the 100-seat market if they haven't already.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:05:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would have guessed Convair F-102 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, markdd, kurt, JeffW

    And they are very similar. Both are interceptors with a delta wing configuration, both use the same kind of diffuser ramps on the inboard side of the intakes. They have very similar canopy structures, etc. The advancing jet engine technology of the time kind of overtook the airframe technology. There was a lot of experimentation with delta wings which were ideal at speed but were less than safe and efficient in take off and landing. Eventually this led to a variable geometry wing, pioneered in the General Dynamics F-111 among others. It took Grumman to perfect the variable geometry wing which they did by replacing the piston actuators with a screw jack design. Even the B-1b uses the same design. If you look at it closely, it's just a larger version of the F-14 wing. These days, variable geometry has been replaced by stubby wings, made possible by much more advanced materials and fly by wire technology.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:25:33 PM PDT

    •  Grumman's XF10F Jaguar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, JeffW

      was the first swing wing fighter.  XF10F Jaguar Unfortunately changing the wing geometry from a common pivot point caused the center of lift to change and made the plane unstable.  NASA resolved the problem by separating the pivot points, and General Dynamics managed to get the data first.  That resulted in the F-111.  The structure is the same in all 3 planes, just the actuator mechanism changed.

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:48:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Significant Correction (6+ / 0-)

    Bombardier makes trains, yes. Bombardier Aerospace is also the third largest airplane manufacturer in the world after Boeing and Airbus. Learjet (bought by Bombardier in 1990 when they went bankrupt) is a subsidiary, as is Short Brothers (near bankruptcy when bought in 1989).

    They make the Learjet (obviously) family, the Global series of business jets, assorted regional passenger jets and turboprops, and are introducing the CSeries jets (up to 160 passengers).

    •  I believe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, sphealey

      that Bombardier Aerospace is made up of what used to be called Canadair. Maker of the Challenger business jets and of course the CRJ regional jets.

      Avro Canada got swallowed up by Hawker Sidelley which got swallowed up by Bombardier Transportation (mergers are so complicated).

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:47:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have a CF-100 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo, RonV, RiveroftheWest

    at the Air Force museum.  It is on display in the Cold War gallery.

    Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

    by scurrvydog on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:02:54 PM PDT

  •  The Arrow was one big-arsed interceptor, but (4+ / 0-)

    not quite as big as the Tu-28 "Fiddler", which your description reminded me of almost immediately. Both planes were designed for the same mission--get to big subsonic bombers across a very wide & very nasty northern approach & knock 'em down before they reached civilization--& the Rooskies had an even wider region to defend & we had a lot more Stratoforts for them to defend against.

    Check out the specs on that sonofabitch--100 feet long, >60-foot wingspan, 90,000 lb takeoff weight. The Fiddler was actually longer, wider, & heavier than the B-58!

    BALTIMORE RAVENS--SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS! WOOO-HOOO!

    by Uncle Cosmo on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:13:21 PM PDT

    •  Interesting Plane (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Uncle Cosmo

      I'd say it shares a lot of DNA with the TU-22 bomber.

      I've always admired the Russian ability to make do with whatever they have to work with.

      Not sure how effective those old AA-5 missiles would have been. I don't recall losing much sleep over these things back in my B-52 days.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:30:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I recognized it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    But only because I used to have a model of it I picked up on a trip to Canada.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:38:20 PM PDT

  •  A good fighter and a Good Interceptor (0+ / 0-)

    still outclass a bad multi-role beast like the F-35.

    It's far cheaper to pick a common engine for all your supersonic birds and then let the airframers go.

    multi-role fighters were invented for bureaucratic reasons, but they are very expensive and bad at all things..

  •  the Avro Arrow could hold Mach 2 in a turn. (0+ / 0-)

    it had a really good T/W ratio,

    •  I believe at only 2 G's however (0+ / 0-)

      One of its design specs was 2 G's at Mach 1.5 without losing speed or altitude.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:03:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that may be the case (0+ / 0-)

        but, it was a first, as i recall

        The Arrow was a Mach 2 interceptor, it was never a
        dogfighter, and didn't need to be.

        What was sad was it never could get a Role/Mission from NORAD, if NORAD had bought off, then it would have had a job, but without a customer, it was doomed.

        Much like the F-20

  •  FYI, Re; the F-106... (6+ / 0-)

    In a Dogfight, the F-4 owned the F-106 up to 32K ft. Above 32K ft (It might be 34K, going by memory, but I know it was below the Tropopause (~36K)) the F-106 owned the F-4. That was the advantage of the delta wing; more lift in thinner air than a conventional configuration. It's one of the reasons a Vulcan bomber could usually out maneuver adversaries at higher altitudes. The conventional configuration fighter just couldn't provide enough lift to maintain altitude up high in a turn.

    One of the main reasons delta wings were used was due to their simplicity. They typically only had four flight control surfaces, had low structural weight, due to the increasing chord as you near the root. i.e.-the structure gets proportionally bigger as the bending moment increases toward the root. You also get all of that volume to place fuel and the main landing gear. They also integrate with the configuration well for area ruling (Minimizing wave drag).

    Of course, they could be difficult in the pattern and you really had to maintain steady alpha with them. That's because if you pull the stick back to get higher alpha (more lift) you temporarily lose lift because the elevons deflect up to do that, which reduces camber and hence lift. Conversely, if you try to push the nose down, to lower alpha and reduce lift, the elevons deflect down, increasing camber and lift initially. IIRC, you could actually get into PIO's (Pilot Induced Oscillations) if you weren't careful, at least on the CF-105.

    That seems to be something you only are really concerned with in the pattern I'm assuming due to the high alpha and low dynamic pressure (q). At higher airspeeds (low alpha, higher q), I'm guessing the effect is almost negligible. I say that because I've never seen it mentioned except with regard to take off and in the approach on landing.

    Of course, now that you've covered the Arrow, I suppose the next piece will have to be on the BAC TSR.2, The White Paper, and possibly a brief mention of the Hawker P.1121? So many airplanes, so little time.

    Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

    by Alumbrados on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:57:07 PM PDT

    •  We could out turn the F-4 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alumbrados, JeffW, fluffy, sphealey

      at 40,000 feet in the B-52. We had so much wing area to work with.

      They'd sit up high and try to roll across our wings for a gun pass - at which point we'd roll up 90 degrees of bank and turn into them.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:01:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A guy in my UPT class (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alumbrados, JeffW

      had an F-106 to the Atlantic City Air National Guard.

      I soooooo envied him.  This was in 1984 and I think the 106 was around until 1988.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:06:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, I only saw a Sixer once... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and it was around 1988. A friend and I were at the Dayton Airshow and we were setting up our chairs along the fence to watch the show when a plane taxied out to depart that morning. I couldn't believe my eyes, it was an F-106. He blasted out of there and I remembered thinking, "Well, that was unimpressive." But it turns out he was just launching into the pattern where he went around came down low and made a high speed pass, pulled the nose up about 30 degrees and rapidly disappeared into the blue. Now that was awesome!

        Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

        by Alumbrados on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 12:35:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Kong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shortfinals, RiveroftheWest, JeffW

    great story about an important milestone in aviation / political events.  You might want to look into the BAC TSR-2 for more of the same in Britan.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:55:18 PM PDT

    •  Actually, I have TSR-2 diary in the works, since (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markdd, RiveroftheWest, JeffW

      I visited both Duxford and Cosford recently :)

      The Arrow seems to be a sort-of Canadian Foxbat in size, turn radius and straight line speed. I heartily concur with MK's assessment and Alumbrados's notes re its likely fighter vs fighter performance!

      Oh, and I am told that when the Avro Vulcan was taken on a sales tour of Australia, it happily trundled around over Sydney at 60,000 ft plus, whilst the RAAF Sabres fell out of the sky below it, trying to line up a shot.

      .........and the IWM at Duxford also has a nice CF-100 Canuck!

      Well done, MK! Rec'd, of course.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 11:42:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm an American citizen who... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, JeffW, scrambler

    recently became Canadian too...a year ago this month actually..  :-)

    I have learned SO much about Canada since being here..it is rather sad that Americans are not taught much about Canada in our schools. There are so many things Canada has contributed to the world beyond beaver hats, poutine, and good beer.  

    50 Great Canadian Inventions

    Learning about the Arrow ten years ago I was just dumbstruck how Diefenbaker caved to pressure from Washington. Hate is a strong word, but people I know hate Diefenbaker for it. They know what they lost, and they will never forgive him for it.

    Just a bit off topic, but have you been to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario?  They have planes that fly over our house from time to time and they put on some impressive air shows. I think you would enjoy that.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 04:53:59 AM PDT

    •  I have been there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      They have one of two flyable Lancasters in the world and they were nice enough to let me crawl through it.

      I have pictures of it flying which I will post sometime.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:57:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another Terrific Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    The Hits keep coming. Thanks Major

    “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

    by Dburn on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:15:26 AM PDT

  •  Why didn't Canada just install tons of SAMs? (0+ / 0-)

    Was SAM technology too immature, unreliable or expensive at the time, or was the problem the sheer length of Canada's northern border, or perhaps the difficulty of installing and maintaining SAMs in the frozen north?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:22:27 AM PDT

    •  Even today (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      the longest range SAMs only cover a ring of 100 miles or so.

      Back then it was probably more like 20 miles. See how many 20-mile circles it would take to cover northern Canada.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also, it reminds me of a MIG or Mirage (0+ / 0-)

    Don't know which one. But weren't delta wings all the rage in the late 50's and early 60's?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:25:01 AM PDT

    •  They were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, JeffW

      They offered good high speed performance plus lots of room for fuel.

      Dassault went away from delta wings in the mid 60's with the Mirage F1 and then brought it back in the 80's with the Mirage 2000.

      Plus India just built they very own delta wing fighter.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 11:14:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Knew what this was because of the movie. (0+ / 0-)

    Sad story.

  •  Always liked the delta wing fighters. F-106 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    being my favorite.  

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:41:11 AM PDT

  •  Love your diaries! (0+ / 0-)

    Always well-written and I feel smarter after having read them! Keep up the good work!

    "What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce." -Mark Twain

    by jared the bassplayer on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:57:29 AM PDT

  •  Wichita Kansas, the aircraft capital of the world. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Here is a listing of aircraft companies
    located in Wichita,
    but each one only does certain things.

    http://www.manta.com/...

    I think only Cessna and Learjet
    assemble and test and ship out
    complete aircraft from Wichita.

    My sister-in-law has worked at Cessna for some years now.

    Boeing builds the fuselages,
    and maybe nacelles,
    here in Wichita.

    Including the new Dreamliner composite fuselage,
    very light weight.

    Wichita may become a center for building arms and legs
    for humans
    out of that same composite material.

    If you clicked on the link,
    you may notice Airbus,
    the enemy of Boeing,
    has an office building,
    full of engineers,
    here in Wichita.

    I presume they set up that shop here
    to make it easier to steal engineers
    from the other companies located here for decades.

    I don't think any other place on Earth
    has a larger number
    of engineers and machinists
    capable of building great aircraft
    than Wichita, Kansas.

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:54:52 AM PDT

  •  Interesting coda (0+ / 0-)

    When the Arrow was cancelled, and the Avro engineers were put out of work, a group of them were invited south to join the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' Langley Research Center.  There, many of them formed the core of the Space Task Group that would ultimately design the spacecraft that put the first man on the moon.

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