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On this day...

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On this day 49 years ago, at 9:15 in the morning, the Avro Arrow and the Orenda Iroquois programs were canceled by the conservative government of John Diefenbaker for political reasons. According to diefenbaker, "By the time the Arrow program is complete (in 1961), manned intercepters will be obsolete." The Arrow was replaced by the Boeing Bomarc Missile system, known for being inacurate (about 5-10 miles from target) and only effective because of a nuclear warhead. After the Bowmarc proved completely incapable of destroying anything, diefenbaker approved an order for McDonnell F-101 Voodoos (manned intercepters!) for replacement. Oops, perhaps? The cancelation of the Arrow caused thousands of lost jobs and crippled the Canadian aircraft industry.

 

The Arrow was the first aircraft in the world to use fly-by-wire controlls. This made it as manuverable as many smaller fighters, despite it's size (77 feet long, 50 foot wingspan, 49,000 pound empty weight). It was intended to be powered by two Orenda Iroquois engines of 30,000 pounds thrust each with burner, but only ever flew with two PW J-75s of 12,000 pounds thrust each. Despite this, it still managed to reach mach 2 in level flight and it cruised at mach 0.91. The Iroquois could never be run up to full power in flight tests because it was tested attatched to the fuselage of a B-47, and even with all the other engines off, the Iroquois alone would push the '47 past max airframe speed.

 

The Arrow should have been a great plane, but it's demise was the result of a series of very unforunate events. Nobody will ever know what it could have been. All airframes were destroyed, along with all blueprints, notes, manufacturing equipment and models, as if diefenbaker wanted to deny that the aircraft ever existed. All that remains is the nose section of one of the prototypes and some wing and landing gear pieces. However, you can't kill a dream, and in this way, the Arrow lives on.

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I did hear that dief gave the arrow the chop and bought the voodoo to strengthen ties with the americans, but I wasn't sure about that, so i didn't mention it.

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There's been various conspiricy theories over the years (CIA, USAF, USSR, etc) over what killed the Arrow.

 

In the end, what killed it is what killed a lot of aircraft over the years...money and politics. It's sad really...that one aircraft loss pretty much killed the Canadian aerospace industry.

 

Hell, we should have bought some once we killed the F-108...

 

FastCargo

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we'd probably still be flying Arrows today, but they'd have a bunch of upgrades and they'd be taking some heavy flak for their age. I only wish we could see the true performance.

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There would be no more around than there are F-4s, if that. The Arrow was costlier and more complex than the F-4, so something tells me that best-case scenario Canada would've retired them with the collapse of the USSR. We're now replacing fighters that first flew in the late 70s, so a plane 20 years older (that's not a bomber or transport) would have no hope of staying current.

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yeah, but we're talking Canada here. We still have our Snowbirds from the 50's, and out "top of the line" fighters are second-hand US navy F-18's that had finished with their carrier landing days. :tongue:

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