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Avro Canada CF-103 Archer


Avro Canada CF-103 Arrow for Strike Fighters 1

This is a simple mod of the excellent Shenyang F-8IIM 'FinBack-B' brought to us by Erwin_Hans back in 2008 to make a fictional Canadian cold-war interceptor with markings for the following RCAF squadrons;

No.409 Squadron (Blue & Yellow Rudder Stripes)

No.410 Squadron (Red & White Rudder Stripes)

No.414 Squadron (Black & Red Rudder Stripes)

No.416 Squadron (Black & Yellow Rudder Stripes)

No.425 Squadron (Black & Silver Rudder Stripes)
 
N.B. 1960's RCAF markings are a bit of a challenge as they changed so often so I've just gone for a mid-1960's snapshot!


BACKSTORY

Serving with no less that nine front-line RCAF squadrons at its peak in the mid-1950's, the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck provided all-weather defense against Soviet intruders and the four Canuck squadrons based in Europe from 1956 to1962 were, for some time, the only NATO fighters capable of operating in zero visibility and poor weather conditions. However, recognising the fact that the Soviet Union was working on newer jet-powered bombers the RCAF began looking for a missile-armed replacement for the CF-100 even before it had entered service and in January 1953 the RCAF's All-Weather Interceptor Requirements Team submitted a report to the Canadian Government outlining their requirements.

In response, Avro Canada came up with three distinct proposals;

1. A subsonic CF-100 development with a thinner swept wing and tail surfaces and with external missile stores (CF-100S).

2. A single-seat supersonic delta-winged aircraft with twin engines and external missile stores (CF-103).

3. A large two-seat supersonic delta-winged aircraft with twin engines and an internal missile bay (CF-105).
 
After a full year of reviewing Avro Canada's proposals the RCAF announced in February 1954 that they considered that the CF-103 represented the optimum balance between cost, efficacy and in-service date and requested that Avro Canada should be awarded a production contract for 200 CF-103's. To keep costs down the RCAF stipulated the use of two key 'off the shelf' items; the Hughes MA-1 fire control system (from the Convair F-102A) and the Rolls-Royce Avon afterburning turbojet (from the English Electric Lightning). Whilst both items were actually still under development themselves, they were considered to be a safer choice than any home-grown paper project and likely to reach maturity for the projected in-service date of 1960. The only area of risk was the decision to arm the CF-103 with the radical British ADEN 230 twin-barreled cannon in a streamlined semi-conformal installation carrying the cannon and with a 500 round ammunition drum stored immediately above and inside the fuselage.

The CF-103 used the then fashionable delta-wing configuration but with slab tailplanes and, in order to house a large radar set, the CF-103  used a solid nose with variable geometry air intakes on the fuselage with intake ramps and splitter plates which proved to be a perfect match for the Avon RB.146 turbojet engines each rated at 12,500 lbs thrust dry and 16,500 lbs thrust with afterburner. The aircraft was intended to be built directly from the production line thus skipping the traditional hand-built prototype phase and luckily very little re-design was required as testing progressed. On October 4th 1957, the same day as the launch of Sputnik 1, the first CF-103A was rolled out at Avro Canada's facility at Malton, Ontario eventually making it's first flight on December 30th, 1957 with Chief Development Test Pilot Janusz Zurakowski at the controls. Flight testing quickly demonstrated excellent handling and overall performance, reaching Mach 2.1 in level flight. Development was slowed slightly due to problems with the Hughes MA-1 Fire Control System and the ADEN 230 twin-barreled cannon but the first two CF-103A's entered service with No.425 Squadron on August 15th, 1961 in a ceremony at RCAF Namao, Alberta becoming fully operational by the end of the year.


INSTRUCTIONS

1. From the Aircraft folder drag and drop the CF-103A and CF-103B folders into your Aircraft folder.

That's it! But why are there two aircraft?

Firstly, I wanted to show this aircraft with AIM-4D Falcons so chose the CF-103A for that but to get Falcons to appear in 1963 I've had to use 'USAF' as the nation name in both the data.ini and textureset.ini which allows a 1963 in service date instead of the 1966 (the allowable export year of the AIM-4D).

Secondly, I like the look of the black intakes used on the CF-103B which are an affectionate nod towards the mighty CF-105 Arrow. So all five CF-103B skins have black intakes whilst the CF-103A has grey intakes and the continuous 'cheat line' but you can swap things around to suit your own preferences.


CREDITS

Thanks to TK for a great little game/sim.

Enormous thanks to Erwin_Hans, olo007 and 101tfs and the Inksy Group for bringing us the Shenyang F-8IIM.

And special thanks to everyone in the wider Third Wire community.

Regards

Spinners

Version 1 - 27/05/18


 

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