Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Avro Aero Museum in Springbank with my Uncle to take a look at the Arrow II Project. The Arrow II project, a 60% scale replica of the original CF-105 Avro Arrow that was scrapped in 1959, was originally conceived in 1997. Construction was started in 2007, and is now 70 percent complete, and consists of 42 volunteers. The project so far has only incurred a cost of around $1.4 million, and is estimated to cost a total of $2.5 million. This is phenomenal considering the original project cost Canadian taxpayers $470 million! The aircraft is comprised on mostly carbon fibre, and is all hand-built off of the original blueprints. Power will come from engines removed from a used Learjet.
The original CF-105 Avro Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft designed and built by Avro Canada (A.V. Roe). It was intended to fly at speeds of March 2, and at 50000 feet. Design work began in 1953, with it’s first flight was on March 25th 1958, however the program was scrapped shortly after on February 20th 1959. The project was scrapped by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker because of cost overruns, technical delays, government budget reductions, and political pressure from the US government. Within two months of the project cancellation, all the aircraft, engines, production tooling, and technical data were ordered to be scrapped. There is a rumour that one prototype remains intact somewhere in Canada, but I have high doubts. Much of the original technical data wasn’t entirely scrapped, and that’s how the Arrow II project is able to be replicated so well. There’s dozens of binders of schematics that were eventually recovered from previous employee’s homes.