Elgin County Museum is now hosting a travelling show on the famous Canadian jet
the Avro Arrow. Developed by A. V. Roe in Malton, a small town near Toronto in the
1950s, the jet was intended to be the RCAF's primary interceptor aircraft - targeting
Russian bombers coming over the North Pole.
The company, based in England, also produced the first North American jetliner,
actually called the Jetliner, and built the CF-100 jet fighter beginning in 1953.
The CF-100 was later powered by an Orenda engine, built by a company taken over
by Avro in the late 1940s. The Arrow was built to a high standard, an all-weather;
long-range supersonic interceptor intended to fly at Mach 2 twice the speed of sound
(1400 mph). The airframe was designed and built at Malton using, initially, a Pratt
and Whitney engine, while Orenda worked up the Iroquois, at one time the most powerful
jet engine in the world.
Then in 1959 after almost 6 years and over 300 million dollars and with five aircraft
in the testing phase, the entire project was cancelled by the Diefenbaker government.
On the same day, February 20, 1959, the company fired its entire workforce numbering
Why and how that took place is the focus of the exhibit. It outlines the controversy
that erupted following the cancellation of the project. It's a story that has everything
- politics, rumors and lots of "what if's." No one can say with certainty what the
Canadian aerospace industry would have looked like if the Arrow hadn't been cancelled.
The Arrow and its cancellation is something everyone knows something about - come
on in for the full story.
The West Parry Sound Museum developed the exhibit because Orenda's northern testing
facility was a few miles from the town. The exhibit includes photos, models, plans,
and the original drag chute on loan from Peel Region Museum.
The show opens on February 6, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. when the museum presents diver and
preservationist Andrew Hibbert who will speak on the Arrow model recovery project
whose members have been searching the waters of Lake Ontario for the past several
years looking for the test rockets which were used to obtain data on the Arrow's