February 20, 1959
PM Diefenbaker cancels the AVRO Arrow programme immediately putting 25, 000 Toronto GTA aerospace employees out of work.
MOST CANADIANS never forgive this blunder.
"THE AVRO ARROW was a fantastic performing aircraft…"
"I had flown it to 1.9 Mach myself…"
"…and we had 2.3 – 2.4 Mach potential…and in 1958…THERE WASN’T another airplane in the world ANYWHERE NEAR being competitive with this airplane."
Boeing Test Pilot
(for the 727, 737, 747, 757 and 767)
For Avro veterans, the Arrow romance is rich with regret and nostalgia.
"You sit there in a hotel room full of white-haired men and listen to their testimony," he says. "These are people who went on to land a man on the moon, but they said working on the Arrow was the best time of their lives. There was this spirit of enthusiasm and creativity at Avro that they never felt again. You could just tell it was like the Apple Corp. of the 1950s."
CBC Mini-series, The Arrow
“I can't blame old Devil “Dief” for that. But where I do blame him is in the vindictive and vengeful way the planes were destroyed. That one or two weren't saved is the real black horror of the story."
Actor in the CBC Mini-series, “The Arrow”
(played Crawford Gordon, President, A.V. Roe Canada Ltd.)
“Seeing those beautiful planes being demolished - I'll never forgive them for that."
Host, Saturday Night At The Movies
(former Avro Personnel Manager)
“The GOVERNMENT OF CANADA had rank amateurs trying to sell the best interceptor in the world to countries who already had their own interceptor programs! So when these countries predictably said, “No”, the Canadian government threw up their hands and told the public, “We have a dud…it can’t be sold!
I could easily have sold 100 AVRO Arrows to the United States!
They didn’t have a long range, high speed, independent, and so electronically advanced interceptor. Only recently (mid-80s) the F-18 Hornet achieved this status, that the Arrow had already achieved in 1959.
In 1959, the United States was very interested in buying some Canadian land near Santa Claus. Had they purchased the Arrows, I would have given them that damn, useless piece (to us as Canadians, very useful to Americans) of rock and snow!”
Way up there at the North Pole…they would have appreciated our all weather, LONG RANGE, fly-by-wire Arrows!
Friends of Flight 621
I'VE INCLUDED clips from the movie, "The Arrow", starring Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters etc.) as CRAWFORD GORDON, the former president of AVRO Canada…
This is how the creation of the AVRO Arrow all began…a challenge to overcome the "impossible".
The AVRO ARROW 201 prep, first take-off, maiden flight and first landing! ALL CLIPS are comprised of actual and special effects footage. All clips are copyright CBC and if you are an aviation nut, buy the 3 hour movie. It is called, "The Arrow" and the CBC store carries it! DEFINITELY worth it!!
I INCLUDED several clips showing the Arrow in action: www.youtube.com/NWAAII
© 2007 Special Projects IR
©1997 Maclean's ©1975 CBC's There Never Was An Arrow ©1980 Avro Arrow
Friday, February 23, 2007
February 20, 1959