Likely the most
famous of Avro Canada's aircraft, the CF-105 Arrow had the shortest
life of the four aircraft designed by Avro Canada.
In the autumn of 1952 the RCAF decided that, in view of the apparent
increase in the threat, some consideration should be given to the ultimate
replacement of the CF-100 (even before the CF-100 had entered squadron
service). An evaluation team of senior RCAF officers went to all western
alliance countries to ascertain the availablity of a suitable aircraft
to fill the need, none of the foreign designes even being developed
met Canada's needs.
The Air Staff issued a specification, Air 7-3, for the project in May
1953. This was followed in July 1953, by a ministerial directive from
the Department of Defence Production to Avro authorizing the company
to carry out a design study for an aircraft to meet this requirement.
Two years earlier Avro's Chief Technician, Jim Chamberlin and Edgar
Atkin, Chief Engineer had been investigating a number of congigurations
for a CF-100 replacement and the RCAF had show some interest in a delta-wing
design. Atkin had since left to join an American firrm and Jim Floyd
was appointed Chief Engineer Between these two men came the proposal
for the CF-105.
Not unlike the early problems with the Canuck, the Rolls-Royce RB.106
which had been planned for the CF-105 came into question due to problems
at Rolls-Royce, Avro quickly switched to the Curtiss-Wright J67, only
to have the US government pull out support on that engine. The only
suitable engine left was the Pratt and Whitney J75 which meant that
the fuselage had to be completely redisigned. In view of the frequency
with which foreign engines had been cancelled, a decision was made to
fit the sixth and subsequent aircraft, to be designated Mark II, with
a new technology engine being developed by Orenda.
Due to the urgency of the program, Avro completed skipped the step of
building a "prototype" aircraft and went right into building production
The first CF-105 (25201) was rolled out on 4 October 1957 and was christened
the Avro Arrow. It first flew on March 25, 1958, with Jan Zurakowski
at the controls.
Although many have stated that the reason for the cancellation of the
CF-105 was its costs, when you look at the real cost of the aircraft
it was much less than what was spent on the fire contol system and missiles
which were both insisted by the Air Staff and were billed against the
CF-105 project, Avro had no control on this or the costs associated.
In 1957 Canada elected a new Conservative Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker,
a man who could not make a desision on his own from all accounts. On
24 September 1958 Diefenbaker placed an order for the U.S. Boeing BOMARC
IM-99 anti-aircraft missile and announced that on 31 March 1959 that
the Arrow program would be reviewed.
On 20 February 1959 Diefenbaker anounced to Parliament that he had cancelled
the whole Arrow program. Before noon that day Fred Smye was called by
Department of Defence Production and informed that the Arrow and Iroquois
engine contracts were cancelled and the companies must cease all work
on the projects.
At 4 pm, 20 February 1959, it was announced that the entire workforce
was to be layed off until something was sorted out. This day is known
The following Monday
around 17% of the work force was called back to work to work on other
projects still on the go including the Orenda engines for the CF-100
& the Avrocar project; when you think that Avro had a staff of 15,000
and there were over 650 Canadian companies supplying goods for Avro
projects the impact to the nation could be seen as nothing less than
click here for Page
2 with even more info
For more information on the CF-105 Avro Arrow,
please check out Interceptor-Rex
Checkout the mirrored site on Hunting
Read David Orchard's In a Class of it's Own
Please take a minute
to remember the great successes of the men and women of Avro and Orenda
To purchase material related to Avro including on the CF-105 Arrow
please click on the "collectibles"
link on the side menu
Looking for images
on the Arrow check out FlightDeck
For over 100 photos
of the CF-105 check the Canadian
National Aviation Museum
Want to view some short movie clips? Then CBC
is where to check
There are a few CBC
clips in French.