On October 4, 1957, the most powerful military aircraft ever developed in Canada was rolled out for the first time. The CF-105 Avro Arrow was capable of flying at Mach 2 and was designed to patrol Canada's skies and intercept any hostile aircraft, especially Soviet bombers, that might threaten Canada's airspace. The same day, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, which marked the beginning of both the Missile Age and the Space Age, and threw into question the need for aircraft like the Arrow. In spite of these questions, the Arrow began flying in 1958, and flights with the first five Arrows showed great promise. But the Canadian government cancelled the Arrow program on February 20, 1959, throwing 14,000 people out of work.
Avro Canada, which was located in a plant in Malton, Ontario, adjacent to today's Pearson Airport, had already built the Avro Jetliner and the CF-100 jet interceptor, and was developing the Avrocar flying saucer in 1959. The cancellation of the Arrow meant the end of Avro Canada, and sparked a debate that carries on to this day. Many of the engineers who lost their jobs with the Arrow's cancellation went to other aerospace firms, and 32 joined the U.S. space agency NASA, where they helped put American astronauts on the Moon. Others helped set up Canada's space program.
Chris Gainor has written two books on the story of the Arrow. Who Killed the Avro Arrow? looks into the causes of the Arrow's demise and discusses how the Arrow entered Canadian myth after it was cancelled.
Arrows to the Moon tells the story of the Canadian and British engineers from Avro Canada who made a big contribution to the U.S. human space program, especially the Apollo program that sent astronauts to the Moon.
Here are some sources on Avro Canada and the CF-105 Avro Arrow selected by author Chris Gainor.
Among the many websites on the Avro Arrow are the Avro Recovery website, the Avroland website, Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, the Canadian Air & Space Museum, and the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada.
Campagna, Palmiro. Storms of Controversy: the secret Avro Arrow files revealed. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Company Ltd., 1992.
Campagna, Palmiro. Requiem for a Giant: A.V. Roe Canada and the Avro Arrow. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2003.
Chaikin, Andrew. "Fallen Arrow," Air & Space Smithsonian, April/May 1998, pp.33 -41.
Dixon, Joan, and Nikolas Dixon Kostyan with the A.V. Roe Canada Heritage Museum. Made for Canada: The Story of Avro's Arrow. Calgary: Arrow 2000 Project, 2001.
Dow, James. The Arrow. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 1979.
Floyd, Jim. The Avro Canada C102 Jetliner. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 1986.
Gainor, Chris. Arrows to the Moon: Avro's Engineers and the Space Race. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2001.
Gainor, Chris. Who Killed the Avro Arrow? Edmonton: Folklore Publishing, 2007.
Milberry, Larry. The Avro CF-100. Toronto: Canav Books, 1981.
Organ, Richard, Ron Page, Don Watson, Les Wilkinson. Avro Arrow, the Story of the Avro Arrow from its Evolution to its Extinction. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 1980.
Peden, Murray. Fall of an Arrow. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Company Ltd., 1987.
Rossiter, Sean. The Chosen Ones: Canada's Test Pilots in Action. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 2002.
Shaw, E.K. There Never Was an Arrow, Second Edition. Ottawa: Steel Rail Publishing, 1981.
Stewart, Greig. Shutting Down the National Dream. Scarborough: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 1988.
Stewart, Grieg. Arrow Through the Heart: The Life and Times of Crawford Gordon and the Avro Arrow. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1998.
The Arrow: Avro CF-105 Mk.1 Pilot's Operating Instructions and RCAF Testing/Basing Plans. Erin, Ont., Boston Mills Press, 1999.
Valiquette, Marc-André. Destruction of a Dream: The Tragedy of Avro Canada and the CF-105 Arrow. Montreal: Éditions Daceau, Inc. Vol. 1, 2009. Vol. 2, 2010.
Whitcomb, Randall. Avro Aircraft and Cold War Aviation. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Ltd., 2002.
Whitcomb, Randall. Cold War Tech War: The Politics of America's Air Defense. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2008.
Zuk, Bill. Avrocar: Canada's Flying Saucer. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 2001.
Zuk, Bill. The Avro Arrow Story: The Revolutionary Airplane and Its Courageous Test Pilots. Canmore, Alberta: Altitude Publishing Canada Ltd., 2004.
Zuk, Bill. Janusz Zurakowski: The Legend in the Skies. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Ltd., 2004.
Zuuring, Peter. The Arrow Scrapbook.Dalkeith, Ontario: Arrow Alliance Press, 1999.
Zuuring, Peter. Arrow Countdown.Kingston, Ontario: Arrow Alliance Press, 2001.
Information on the the author, Chris Gainor and his books Arrows to the Moon and Who Killed the Avro Arrow?. He has also written To A Distant Day: The Rocket Pioneers and Canada in Space.
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