Canada once briefly led the world in military aircraft designing, but the cancellation almost destroyed its aerospace industry system, and reverted Canada to its former humble role.
Canada’s aircraft industry would never embark on such an ambitious project again. aerospace industries were aware, Bomarc missile threat was created, the U. worried about its spying mission, but together with Canada’s limited budget for defense, with no overseas interests , and the lack of understanding of new technology, Arrow was cancelled.
Arrow at that time, was the only interceptor designed with a 60,000 to 70,0000 feet altitude. Arrow’s cancellation could protect sensitive US installations, therefore Soviets’ KGB agents couldn’t spy on this technology. Later on, it lost all overseas interests and Canada’s small requirements for100 arrows increased the unit cost to about 5 million, twice as much as U. Bomarc system took most of the defence budget which meant Avro must be cancelled, and Bomarc was cheaper for the manned bomber threat. On 20 February 1959, the “black Friday” in the Canadian aviation industry, Diefenbaker’s government ended the program, by explaining that ballistic missiles had become the new threats and Arrows were too expensive to afford. Pearkes denied cost was the main reason of the cancellation.
If this technology was leaked to the Soviets, they could easily identify and shoot down U-2 aircrafts and use it as evidence for a U. The CIA stopped USAF from buying the Arrow in January 1958. Its manufacturing data was already in American hands before it was destroyed, so the Americans could develop more advanced aircrafts. The main reason was a lack of understanding of the technology under the intense political pressure from the U. By this project, Canada set up an advanced aircraft engineering and industry system.
But before examining these developments, a brief review is necessary for those unfamiliar with the story.
In the early 1950s, the Royal Canadian Air Force grew concerned that the sub-sonic CF-100 aircraft then in service would shortly be obsolete, and there was thus a need for a new, supersonic, fighter aircraft.
The time of cancellation was well considered, which was before any flights with Iroquois engines in order to prevent the altitude and speed records from reaching the U. The overpriced unit cost of Arrow without any overseas interests led to its end. The Arrow could provide NATO countries a first rate interceptor and engine, and Canada would have had a chance to lead the aviation world.
Diefenbaker saw the programme as a Liberal government initiative and disliked the corporation.
The RCAF was finding a fighter which could operate at 6000 ft, with a range of 600 miles, accelerate at Mach 1.5, equipped with advanced missiles, able to maneuver at 50,000 ft while pulling 2 G. The Iroquois engine and advanced automatic flying control system were also developed for this project.
Therefore, in April 1953, AIR 7–3 (“Design Studies of a Prototype Supersonic All-Weather Aircraft”) project was assigned to A. On March 25th, 1958, the first Arrow (RL201) started flight.