Monday, December 11, 2017

Pique Warplanes - the Arrow on the Way Back ?

Updated: New Video below.
In a fit of pique Canada's PM, Justine Trudeau, recently gave America's newest military money pit the seal of approval.  He decided against buying the F-35 - which some customers were talking about in the Tavern recently - so it must be better than some think. In his seemingly usual Prime Ministerial style of operating at full pique of which even conservative Canadians are tiring, he had a spat with America over the deal. Which leaves the question open as to what will Canada have in the near and further future to defend its borders.

Perhaps he can get something from the nations - mostly Muslim - he seems hell bent on replacing  white Canadians with. Whoops, no. They haven't made anything since the chariot (plans borrowed from Greece).

To 'stop-gap' the strategic needs, Canada is planning to buy old Hornets ( F18s) from Oz.  

Hah! Can you believe it.  

Oz, of course, like Muslim nations, does not build any hi-tech aviation gizmos, not since the 'black box'. 

But it does seem to have relighted the pride and frustrations of Canadian airplane affectionados who are taking a new look at the Arrow. The CF105. Actually the Mk 3, 5th Gen Arrow, as the original has not seen the air since 1959.

The fifties. What a great decade that was for military aviation. And what a period for pique.

The Arrow went the way of its UK stable-mate, the TSR2 and for much the same reasons mulled over by 'experts' and some which few like to talk about.  Both aircraft were very advanced.  Both were well ahead of anything else.  Both were 'not American'. 

Both were killed by Pique Politicians, perhaps with a push here or there from America. Maybe even from elsewhere. (Nod and a wink. Say n'more guv).

The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with nuclear or conventional weapons. 

Another intended combat role was to provide high-altitude, high-speed stand-off, side-looking radar and photographic imagery and signals intelligence, aerial reconnaissance. Some of the most advanced aviation technology of the period was incorporated in order to make it the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its projected missions.

The TSR-2 was the victim of ever-rising costs and inter-service squabbling over Britain's future defence needs, which led to the controversial decision to scrap the programme in 1965. With the election of a new government, the TSR-2 was cancelled due to rising costs, in favour of purchasing an adapted version of the General Dynamics F-111, a decision that itself was later rescinded as costs and development times increased.

The replacements included the Blackburn Buccaneer (a Great warplane) and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, both of which had previously been considered and rejected early in the TSR-2 procurement process. Eventually, the smaller swing-wing Panavia Tornado was developed and adopted by a European consortium to fulfil broadly similar requirements to the TSR-2. But that was decades later.

Across the pond in Canada a similar debacle had occured. The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, often known simply as the Avro Arrow, was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft designed and built by Avro Canada. The Arrow is considered to have been an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry. 
The CF-105 (Mark 2) held the promise of near-Mach 2 speeds at altitudes of 50,000 feet (15,000 m) and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond.

Canada tried to sell the Arrow to the U.S. and Britain, but no agreements were concluded. The aircraft industry in both countries was considered a national interest and the purchase of foreign designs was rare.

The Arrow was the culmination of a series of design studies begun in 1953 examining improved versions of the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck. After considerable study, the RCAF selected a dramatically more powerful design, and serious development began in March 1955. The aircraft was intended to be built directly from the production line, skipping the traditional hand-built prototype phase. The first Arrow Mk. I, RL-201, was rolled out to the public on 4 October 1957, the same day as the launch of Sputnik I.

So where is the Arrow now? Like the TSR 2 the first 
planes and plans and jigs were wantonly and deliberately destroyed, 
leading many to suspect collusion between America and Russia against 'other' nations making planes and making it easier for one another to focus attention on what each had.

Now the Arrow is back in contention. David Ljunggren tells of the new deal first.
Canada scraps Boeing fighter jet deal, will buy used Australian F-18s instead

Canada is scrapping a plan to buy 18 Boeing Co Super Hornet fighter jets amid a deepening dispute with the U.S. aerospace company, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Instead, the Liberal government will announce next week it intends to acquire a used fleet of older Australia F-18 jets, the same kind of plane Canada currently operates, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The move underlines Ottawa’s anger at a decision by Boeing to launch a trade challenge against Canadian planemaker Bombardier Inc, which the U.S. giant accuses of dumping airliners on the domestic American market.
Piquie Trudeau has borrowed heavily to prop up Bombardier - which I hasten to add is a fine manufacturer. One wonders what role it will play in 'next gen'. 
It also casts into question the future of Boeing‘s military sales in Canada. Boeing says its commercial and defense operations in Canada support more than 17,000 Canadian jobs.

Canada and Mexico are currently locked into increasingly acrimonious negotiations with the United States over the NAFTA trade pact, which President Donald Trump says has not done enough to protect U.S. jobs.

The Liberal Party of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initially said in late 2016 it wanted the Boeing jets as a stopgap measure until it could launch a competition for a permanent fleet to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 jets.

But as relations with Boeing deteriorated, Ottawa slammed the firm for not acting as a trusted partner and began looking at the Australian jets.

Two of the sources said Australian military officials had been in Ottawa late last month for talks.

One source said that by buying the Australian fleet, Canada would save money as well as avoid the need to train its pilots on a new aircraft or spend money on a new supply chain.

Officials had previously said that if the purchase went ahead, some of the Australian aircraft would be used for spare parts.
The offices of Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who share responsibility for military procurement, both declined to comment.
Boeing declined to comment. The Australian mission in Ottawa was not immediately available for comment.
Canada is due to officially announce the requirements for its new fighter fleet in early 2019, kicking off an open competition.
One potential contender is Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter, which Trudeau initially said he would not buy because it was too expensive. The government has since softened its line, saying the plane would be allowed to compete.
Another is the Arrow. 

Elton Hobson downed a pint and stepped up.
55 years later, biggest question surrounding Avro Arrow remains “what if?”
Fifty-five years ago today, on March 25, 1958, the infamous Avro Arrow made its very first test flight.
The plane was the crown jewel of Canadian aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe Canada, better known as Avro, then the third-largest company in Canada. The hypersonic fighter was on the cutting edge of aerospace technology at the time: it could reach a speed nearly three times the speed of sound, travelling at an altitude of 60,000 feet.

The first flight of the Arrow should have been a crowning moment for the Canadian aerospace industry. Yet the plane was scrapped by the federal government just a few months later, in a decision that remains controversial to this day.
For many Canadians, the Avro Arrow has come to symbolize both the potential, and the unfulfilled promise, of Canadian innovation.
“The Arrow represents a period when Canada stood up on its own and did its own thing,” 
Paul Squires, a historian with the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association, told Global News. “In many ways, it’s become a symbol of the country.”
“At the time, we were in the top three of the largest producers of aeronautical parts in the world. But the cancellation of the Arrow absolutely devastated the Canadian aerospace industry.”
So why was the Avro Arrow cancelled by the Canadian government in 1959?
“The official reason given by the Diefenbaker government [at that time] was that the Arrow was too expensive, and it was no longer worth the money,” Cohen said. “Avro as a company was going through millions of taxpayer dollars.”
“The government had an agenda to destroy it. 
They wanted the money for other things, so they came up with all kinds of reasons why they didn’t need it,” Squires said.
The reasons for the cancellation of the Arrow were a mix of politics, timing, and bad luck. The CF-105 (as the Arrow was officially known) was originally designed as a long-range interceptor, meant to meet and destroy Soviet bombers.
Update. New Video.
Pretty well everything was destroyed, but one of only two remaining engines - well advanced - are still in existence and is shown here:
But on October 4, 1957 – the same day as the first Avro Arrow rolled off the production line – the Soviets launched the satellite Sputnik, becoming the first nation to put a man-made object into orbit.
And just like that, everything changed.
“It really was a case of the worst timing,” Squires said. “The same day as Avro rolls out their aircraft, you had millions of people around the world looking up at the stars, trying to look for Sputnik.”
That development changed the focus for militaries on both sides of the Cold War, away from conventional bombers and towards atmospheric weapons like intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Such might well be an official statement, but what is the reality? The F-111. The B-52. Hello? 
Then there was the often-contentious relationship between conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, and Avro Canada president Crawford Gordon, Jr.
“Diefenbaker didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, he was a complete teetotaler,” Squires said.  “And in walks Crawford Gordon with his hip flask, a cigarette in his hand, pounding on Diefenbaker’s desk. They were complete polar opposites.”
There was also the changing politics surrounding the creation of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. One of the specifics of this deal was the purchase by the U.S. Air Force of the new Avro Arrow fighter.
“When we were negotiating NORAD under the St. Laurent government, the U.S. would send a note, and the government would haggle over specifics and send one back,” Squires explained. “Well Mr. St. Laurent lost [the 1957 election], Mr. Diefenbaker came in, and the newest U.S. paper now says they no longer wish to purchase the Arrow.”
“Diefenbaker just looked at it, said ‘looks good’ and signed it. Even Americans were shocked, because they expected some pushback.”
The cancellation of the CF-105 Arrow was a deathblow for Avro. It was also a serious setback for the Canadian aerospace industry as a whole.
“Fifteen thousand people lost their jobs at Avro [as a result of the Arrow’s cancellation], but many more people outside of the company lost their jobs too,” Cohen said. “People in the supply chain, parts manufacturers, the support network. Within six months, thousands more were out of work.”
What might have been.
To many Canadian aerospace experts, the real loss in the cancellation of the Avro Arrow wasn’t just in the plane itself, but the possibilities for what Avro may have done in the future.
For instance, SPAR Aerospace, the company which designed the CanadaArm, was originally the Special Projects and Research branch (hence the acronym “SPAR”) of Avro Canada.
“Avro had a top secret design department with the brightest and most innovative thinkers. Total out-of-the-box thinking,” Cohen said.
Some of the special projects at Avro were right out of science fiction. Others were years ahead of their time. The company had plans for a lunar rover, a flying saucer, and even a hovering truck.
Cohen notes other plans, such as a monorail system for Toronto from Union Station to what is now Lester B. Pearson airport, cameras that could capture and airplane travelling 1,300 mph and technology that could capture a rocket blast.
For Squires, the connection to Avro Canada is particularly personal – his father helped worked on the Avro jetliner, the C102.
“It broke four different records during first flight to New York,” Squires said. “If they had built the jetliner, they would have jumped 10 years ahead on commercial aircraft, and it would have given Avro another leg to stand on.”
Today, the legacy of the Avro Arrow is one of both pride and frustration for most Canadians.
I am in Oz where we do not have an aviation manufacturing industry at all. Sweden produces fine fighters with just 6 million people. Our four times as many population gave up after the black box.


At least Canadians have a dream.

Perhaps The Kanucks and Oz could put their heads together and come up with a joint effort. Eh?

Hey, just dreaming too.

Drink up.



  1. The Canadians need to have a serious rethink about defence. The only possible threat is the US. And the only defence against the US is a nuclear deterrent. Aside from that the Canadian armed forces are a waste of time and money.

    You could say much the same about Australia. The only purpose of our armed forces is to get us involved in America's wars. Like Canada we need a viable nuclear deterrent. Apart from that we need a good Coast Guard.

    1. I do not see America as a threat to Canada. They have coexisted in general friendliness for almost their entire histories. The odd spat here and there beside.

      Having lived and worked with Nuclear deterrence, I can be reasonably certain that if Oz had the bomb, it will never have politicians with the backbone to use it.

    2. I do not see America as a threat to Canada.

      I don't think they're a military threat. The US is a political/moral/cultural threat to every nation on Earth but they're not likely to invade Canada. The point is, nobody else is going to invade Canada. Canada doesn't need F-35s. They don't even need F-18s.

      And the US has invaded Canada in the past. In the admittedly very unlikely event that the Canadians were ever rash enough to elect a government that the US considered unfriendly the US would certainly do what it always does and seek to overthrow that government. A nuclear deterrent is useful for discouraging that sort of thing.

      Having lived and worked with Nuclear deterrence, I can be reasonably certain that if Oz had the bomb, it will never have politicians with the backbone to use it.

      The thing about nuclear deterrence is that it doesn't matter if your leaders are not prepared to push the button, as long as a potential enemy thinks that there's just a chance that they might. And in a crisis situation who knows - a leader with backbone might emerge.

      In the world in which we live today no country can consider itself to be independent without a credible nuclear deterrent.

    3. One of the videos made a point that invading Canada was not an issue. The 'need' was for a first line of defence from Soviet aircraft that would overfly Canada to get to America.

  2. I am in Oz where we do not have an aviation manufacturing industry at all.

    Although in WW2 we were able to design and build our own fighter aircraft. Now we couldn't design and build a paper aeroplane here. I think that's called progress. At least our governments keep telling us it's progress.

    1. My dream sheet would include a Pacific Joint Strike Fighter, designed and built by and for Oz, Japan and Canada.

    2. My dream sheet would include a Pacific Joint Strike Fighter, designed and built by and for Oz, Japan and Canada.

      The Americans would never give us permission to do that.

      I'm sure the Japanese would like the idea though. With the United States steadily becoming more unhinged it must have occurred to the Japanese that military dependence on the US is exceptionally dangerous. The US has a sorry record of treachery towards its allies.

    3. Permission? I don't think that would come into it. Britain developed several aircraft with European partners. I think you give America more power than it has.

      The whole bizzo with the Arrow and the TSR 2 was not American 'power' but Canadian and British spinelessness. What was mot mentioned (perhaps hinted) in the post was that both Canada and Britain were heavily infiltrated by Communists in high places. The TSR 2 was deliberately destroyed by Denis Healey and Harold Wilson, both traitors (though never charged). There are some who point to the same influences in Canada that led to the same destructive outcome. America laughed all the way to the factory floors.

    4. The whole biz with the Arrow and the TSR 2 was not American 'power' but Canadian and British spinelessness.

      No doubt about British spinelessness.

      What was mot mentioned (perhaps hinted) in the post was that both Canada and Britain were heavily infiltrated by Communists in high places. The TSR 2 was deliberately destroyed by Denis Healey and Harold Wilson, both traitors (though never charged)

      I agree they were traitors. I don't think they were communists. They were typical members of the British political establishment. All members of the British political establishment since WW2 (and arguably it goes back even further than that) have been elitists with a contempt for ordinary people and a hatred for their own country. They were proto-globalists. The attitude of the Tories toward Britain and the British people is identical to the attitude of the Labour leadership and has been for more than half a century.

      You didn't need to be a communist to be a traitor. Ted Heath was no communist, but he was certainly a traitor.

      There definitely were communists in positions of power and influence though. The British intelligence services were staffed mostly by Soviet spies. There were undoubtedly quite a few communists in the military and the Civil Service, and of course the BBC, and certainly some MPs were Soviet agents.

      But betraying their country is something that just seems to come naturally to the British elites.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..