Ali Jafri Mrs. Neal CHC 2D1 January 7, 2010
The Avro Arrow Tragedy
The Avro Arrow was an all-Canadian aircraft. The Arrow was designed and manufactured in Malton, Ontario. It was the pride of all the employees that worked on it and many other Canadians. Unfortunately, Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker canceled the Arrow program in 1959. The Avro Arrow was such an advanced and profound jet, that no aircraft existed to match up to the Avro Arrow and because it was capable of so much it should not have been cancelled. Firstly, the Arrow would have made Canada advanced in aeronautical technology. Secondly, the Arrow could have protected not only Canada but also the United States from the attacking Russian nuclear missiles. Finally, if the program had not canceled, Canada would not have had to lose part of its brainpower and employees would not have lost their jobs.
The concept of the Arrow and its capability would have made Canada advanced in aeronautical technology. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) wanted a new type of aircraft competent of intercepting missiles. The RCAF looked for similar aircrafts in other countries, such as Britain and the United States; but discovered that there was no aircraft being designed or manufactured that could compare to or was superior to the Arrow. In that case the RCAF and the Liberal government of St. Laurent at the time decided to build an aircraft in Canada, to be designed and built by A.V. Roe Canada. The Arrow would be able to fly out of its base and reach its target in minutes to be able to destroy it with the missile it was equipped with. Thus Canada seeing no other country was building an aircraft, took the opportunity to build their very own original aircraft, which would lead to a great amount of success in its flight tests.
... of the Avro Arrow project restricted Canada’s growth ... of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and ... aircraft. The aircraft was practically perfect and the decision to cancel it wasted the Arrow’s sophisticated technology with the military. When the Avro Arrow ... built jet would better suit our needs. Kyle Schmidt (1995) calls the Arrow “nearly perfect” and explains that is was exactly what Canada ...
In addition to building the Arrow, a new engine with new technology was built for the Arrow. At first the engines were supposed to be brought from a foreign region along with the weapons and electronics, but since an engine could not be found the Iroquois engine was developed. The Iroquois engine was designed and developed by Orenda, Avro’s subsidiary. The Iroquois engine would replace propeller planes and make the Arrow fly at amazing supersonic speed. With supersonic speed the Arrow would be able to reach its target much faster than an aircraft with a propeller. Both the Iroquois engine and the Arrow jet were being developed in Canada, for Canada and by Canada. They had amazing technology and great capability. There was no doubt that both machines, especially the Arrow, would have made aeronautical technology more advanced in Canada than the world by a couple of years.
Secondly, the Arrow could have protected Canada and the United States from the attacking Russian nuclear missiles. The USSR’s (Russia) space program was a success in the 1950’s. On October 4th, 1957, the Soviet Union launched a satellite and put it into orbit. This meant that the Soviets were building an effective missile. The missiles that were being built would have been used to attack or counterattack against the United States. Canada being an ally with the United States, because of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), would also be a target of the Soviets for two reasons. The first reason is because Canada is a country ran by capitalism, which the Soviets despise because they were communists. The other reason was that Canada and the United States share a border and are on the same continent. Thus Canadian cities would have been within the range of Soviet missile targets. The Arrow was an interceptor aircraft would be a great way of shooting down missiles. The Arrow was designed to fly up and intercept Russian bombers flying at a maximum altitude of 25 000 feet. The Arrow was a better alternative to protecting North America since Canada would not need nuclear missiles from the U.S. on Canadian soil. Most Canadians did not want nuclear missiles in Canada so they thought the Arrow would be a better alternative. It would destroy missiles before it even reached the coastline around Canada.
... which is the fact that Canada moved closer to the United States during the cold war since the United States had more power and is ... have been erupted. The Cuban Missile Crisis certainly brought an intense threat to Canada and North America. During the cold ... peace. Although fortunately, the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba, or else the nuclear war could very likely ...
Finally, if the Arrow program had not been cancelled most of Canada’s brainpower would not have been lost. On February 20th, 1959, also known as “Black Friday”, more than 30 000 A.V. Roe Canada employees became unemployed. After Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker announced the termination of the Arrow program the A.V. Roe executives had no choice but to dismiss all of its employees because they were all recruited to work particularly on the Arrow. This was due to Prime Minister Diefenbaker ordered all work on the Arrow to be ceased immediately. Now over 30 000 highly skilled workers were left without work and were not needed at the time. The Government was clueless in regards to how to employ all the unemployed skilled workers. Their intelligence was now useless to the country because no new projects were being reviewed. Furthermore, recruiters from Britain and especially the United States took the opportunity of the Arrow’s cancellation to recruit most of the employees into their aerospace industry. Most of these people were highly skilled scientists, designers, engineers, craftsmen and tradesmen who left to find work in the U.S. and Britain. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was one major industry that recruited most of A.V. Roe’s employees. The A.V. Roe employees that went to work at NASA played an important role in American aerospace programs for instance “Apollo”, the “Concord Project” and also putting a man on the moon. Therefore, by cancelling the Arrow project Canada lost a beneficial majority of skilled workers to Britain and the United States, who profited abundantly.
In conclusion, the Government of Canada should have continued with the Arrow program until it was finished. The Arrow would have made Canada more advanced in aeronautical technology than most countries in the world. Also the Arrow could have protected North America from attacking Russian nuclear missiles. Furthermore, Canada would not have lost part of its brainpower in the aerospace industry. From the moment of the cancellation on February 20th, 1959 Canada lost its opportunity to establish itself as a technological leader and may not get another chance.
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Walter J. Boyne “Air Warfare” An International Encyclopedia Volume A-L. 2002.
White, Ron “History by the Minute: Avro Arrow”
http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10220 June 2003
Schmidt, Kyle “Homage to the Avro Arrow”
http://www.avro-arrow.org/ May 1995
Saskatchewan Council Members “The Avro Arrow”
http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/arrow/ August 2006
Woodman, Jack “Arrow Digital Archives”
http://www.avroarrow.org/ February 2001
Bolotta, Angelo., et al. CANADA Face of a Nation. Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing Company 2000
Beltempto, Andre “Looking Back on the Avro Arrow”
http://iwarrior.uwaterloo.ca/?module=displaystory&story_id=1298&format=html March 2004