Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Way We Were ::: 1958 ::: CANADA

COURSE, THAT NEVER happened…(see quote within photo)

Had the AVRO ARROW, Number 106, flown with the newly completed and newly fitted “MIGHTY” IROQUOIS Orenda engines, the world speed record would have been shattered! Not just broken.

Unofficially, the Arrow had already broken the record with only the American Pratt and Whitney jet engines.

And Orenda’s “Mighty Iroquois” were just that, with a tested (at the Nobel, Ontario Orenda facility) and confirmed 27 % more engine thrust…than the Arrow’s then currently used Pratt and Whitneys.

The Federal Government of the day, led by Canada’s most inept Prime Minister of all-time, John G. Diefenbaker, that obtuse, small-town prairie lawyer, who gave the word to the RCAF that 106 was not to fly…

It was not, must not, be allowed to break the world speed record with those new Canadian engines.

If the record was smashed, the rationale went, how could “Dief” explain to the Canadian public, that in spite of that notable accomplishment, he was cancelling the Arrow and Iroquois Projects, and he would also be destroying all existing Arrow aircraft and Iroquois engines…blueprints, tooling, jigs etc., until not a trace was left.

Well, he couldn’t.

But despite John G.'s megalomaniac order, and decree of absolute destruction, some of Canada’s aviation love story did survive!

The nose, wings, and front undercarriage of Arrow 106 remain intact today. And are on display in Ottawa, at the Canadian Aviation Museum.

The Arrow presently gets hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

So a nation that was supposed to forget…didn't.

Arrow 106 was a Mark II, meaning it came with Orenda Iroquois engines.

But how, HOW did these parts escape……when all the others didn’t?

Because someone in the RCAF, at great personal risk (criminal prosecution) had these top secret project artifacts hidden away…until such a time when “cooler heads would prevail.”

Course…that never happened either. Canada as a nation never did get over the debacle.

So, when it was safe to do so…when "Dief" was out of office, the remaining Arrow treasure was “discovered” at some RCAF Station and transported to the Canadian Aviation Museum in the early 60s.

And remember, if my party was in charge, under our “Right Those Wrongs” Policy we would commission an Arrow II Project that would aim to be all the present F-22 is and more…and its design would be based on an evolved Arrow.

The AVRO Newsmagazine featured on an all-Canadian quilt, was an in-house Avro Canada production produced twice monthly for Avro personnel. It had the latest company news, featured entertainment reviews by legendary Canadian Elwy Yost!…and even had a classifieds section.

This edition, only three months away from infamous Black Friday (February 20th) noted that the Arrow pre-production projects would be cancelled in February of '59…because the federal Government had concluded fighter interceptors were obsolete! AVRO Canada was openly optimistic that line of reasoning could be countered noting various USAF commitments to similar US jet interceptor programmes that were contracted through to the mid 70s. If unmanned Bomarc missiles were the answer…why was the USAF so committed to these non-missile, fully manned, aircraft programmes?

ALSO IN THIS EDITION, in response to media requests, the general public was informed that the Mark II Arrow fitted with Iroquois engines would be able to set a new world speed record “anytime we wanted to” but such an achievement would be a secondary byproduct of aircraft testing and not a goal, in, and of itself–

(That's Avro test pilot, "Spud" Potocki, in that Mark I Arrow. Spud was the test pilot who flew one of the Arrows "unofficially" to Mach 2.1)

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