This Jet Was BETRAYED by Canada! – The Avro Arrow

This Jet Was BETRAYED by Canada! – The Avro Arrow

in the early hours of a cold winter morning several radar dots appear over the arctic circle they’re moving under stormy skies lumbering foreign beasts carrying a deadly cargo bound for the west norad scrambles bomber interceptors to get into the sky but the call doesn’t go to the american air bases but rather to their friendly neighbor to the north and to their incredible home-built aircraft the avro arrow pushing the throttle to reach over mach 2 these canadian interceptors have been specially bred to hunt out the greatest menace of the 60s soviet nuclear bombers armed with twin 1.5 megaton nuclear rockets these jets have the speed and firepower to catch up and wipe out any bombing run attempt over the north pole yet this jet never entered active service no plane was more well built no jet more superior and no story more tragic than the avro arrow many canadians believe that this aircraft was so advanced for its time that even 40 years later it was still being considered for modern defense but just before its maiden launch the entire project was cancelled scrapped and the prototypes destroyed seemingly without warning and over 30 000 workers lost their jobs this is the tragic legendary story of the canadian jet the avro arrow at the end of the second world war the west was terrified to discover that the soviets were starting to develop a fleet of high-altitude long-range bomber aircraft many of which would carry nuclear weapons these new unstoppable aircraft would be able to fly directly over the north pole and hit targets in western europe and north america naturally the west needed a counter aircraft a bomber interceptor these planes would be small fast and designed to catch up to their bombers and take them out well before they entered friendly airspace the us had several aircraft to fill this role such as the north american f-86d sabre followed by the northrop f-89 scorpion and eventually in the late 50s the convair f-106 delta dart looking at the world stage however you might notice that a not so small nation lay right between the heart of capitalism and the ussr canada canada had effectively taken on a new role as defender of the north falling under a flight path of soviet bombers and it was about time it had its own aircraft to help protect its airspace this is what they came up with the jet would officially be called the cf-105 arrow built by canadian aircraft manufacturer av row canada which is better known today as avro it was designed with a crew of two in mind sitting in tandem with one behind the other the plane would be 77 feet long which is 23.8 meters and a height of 21 feet which is a bit over 6 meters the wings would be a delta shape designed for speed and have a wingspan of exactly 50 feet or 15 meters which is a very nice round number it would have had many of the same advantages of the swept wing in terms of transonic and supersonic performance but offered much more internal room and overall surface area useful for fuel tanks and more lift when flying at serious speeds and let’s talk about that speed the aircraft was designed to be deployed fast and catch up to the best the soviets could throw at the west it would have a top speed of 1136 knots which is 1 307 miles per hour or 2 104 kilometers per hour with some modifications to push it well into mach 2 territory arnamet was stored in a large internal bay located in the belly position of the aircraft taking up over one third of the aircraft fuselage a wide variety of weapons could be deployed from this bay such as the huge falcon guarded missile the velvet glove air-to-air missile or four general purpose 1000 pound bombs because of the shape the front wheel was long and thin and had to fit snugly under the nose an engineering marvel for the time the bomber interceptor would have a combat range of 360 nautical miles around about 670 kilometers or without just on a little patrol a top range of around 718 nautical miles which is 1 330 kilometers naturally there were plans to fit the aircraft with additional fuel tanks where needed but as it was a defense fighter it wouldn’t have to go very far from the air base it wouldn’t be exactly fantastic at dogfighting with other jets or being used on air-to-surface bombing raids due to the drag and delta wings at lower speeds but as a bomber interceptor designed to fly fast and in a straight line it fit the bill with flying colours and was considered one of the best if not the best bomber interceptor ever designed but developing a home-built superior bomber interceptor wouldn’t be easy and overcoming their technological challenges and insurmountable political ones would prove to be impossible but to understand the downfall of the avro arrow we need to start where it all began it’s quite funny because our story actually begins with a completely different aircraft the avro cf-100 canuck or weather interceptor entering into service in 1953 the plane would go on to be a highly ordered and utilized aircraft by the canadian armed forces something that i’ll cover in a future video for sure it was built by a little company called av row canada that was a subsidy of the hooker sydney group because the canuck had a troubled prototype development that led to several delays the royal canadian air force realized that they would need to start working on a successor to the canuck even before it rolled off the production line and this new design would need to be able to carry missiles and fly fast to match the latest jet powers bombers of the soviet union like the mysterious perhaps even nuclear-powered m50 in 1952 a year before the canuck took on military colours the rcaf issued a special report highlighting the requirements for a new second generation interceptor called the air 7-3 this new aircraft would need to carry two crew have twin engines and a range of at least 300 nautical miles 556 kilometers for those using metric for low speed missions as well as a short 200 nautical miles range when it was flying at top speed it would also be able to fly at mach 1.5 at an altitude of 70 000 feet and be able to turn at 2 g’s without a loss of speed all of this within 5 minutes of taking off from a runway as short as 6000 feet or 1830 meters if these specs sound daunting then you would be right no such jet with that capability existed at the time the rcaf would send out a team led by ray footed to find a suitable aircraft he looked at us aircraft producers such as boeing and lockheed as well as british and french design but no existing nor planned plane filled these ambitious targets so they turned to homegrown avro engineering to come up with a dream machine originally they proposed an improvement to the connect for its supersonic flight when performing a dive but these would not cut it and would require them to start from the ground up in may of 1953 avro submitted the first designs of the arrow it was radical it included new shoulder mounted wing design to allow rapid access to the aircraft’s internals weapons bay and engines and a new design to be more simple and constructed separately speeding up production originally the government wanted to just proceed with a full design study for around 27 million canadian but when news broke that the soviets had a breakthrough with jet bomber technology such as the m4 bison as well as the hydrogen bomb ornament that it carried the canadians changed their tune to the order of 260 million over two billion dollars today for five flight ready avro arrows the race to design the jet of the future was on to meet the rapid rollout plans of the canadian government as in to have the plane flying by early as 1955 avro engineering planned to build the production line first rather than hand build prototypes this was more risky and harder to engineer and expensive but it would allow them to instantly roll out production models when the design was finalized james floyd the vice president of engineering at avro noted it was decided to take the technical risks involved to save time on the program i will not pretend that this philosophy of production type build from the outset did not cause a lot of us problems in engineering however it did achieve its objective by 1954 wind tunnel tests had begun with early computer simulations used in both canada and the united states to test the flight model they even used models of the design attached to the end of rockets launched by nasa to determine how they would fly at mach 1.7 these tests revealed several flaws such as changing the leading edge of the wing and adding a small dog tooth to the middle of the wing right here to control spanwise airflow at high speeds material science for the design was also finalized using mostly a blend of magnesium and titanium although the latter was only used sparingly around the engines and the fastenings as the material back then was so darn expensive plus reserved for a different american project the sr-71 spy plane the consulting test pilots also complained there was a lack of control feel in the design as the stick wasn’t actually connected to any control surfaces using fly-by-wire technology instead thus the engineers created a small control box that applied hydraulic pressure back to the stick making it move slightly when pressure was applied to the wings giving the pilots an artificial feel a world first but it was around this time that the program was hit by its first major delay its selected engine and its backup engine were both cancelled leaving the plane nothing more than a giant titanium paperweight by the start of 1955 both the rb 106 engine design and the right j67 engine had been cancelled leaving the team high and dry they had to swap in for a technically unsuitable pratt and whitney j75 engine which i’ll get to in a minute used in the lockheed u2 for the initial test models with plans to swap them out with a homemade design when production of the real plane started this engine was more heavy and would throw out the center of gravity of the jet meaning the engineers had to put in actual weight into the nose of the plane increasing the cost to operate but this wouldn’t be the only issue that would pop up in 1956 when evaluating the full-scale mock-ups the rcaf demanded additional changes to the design they wanted a state-of-the-art u.s targeting system for a new sparrow 2 missile both of which hadn’t even left the drawing board yet as opposed to the existing mx-1179 targeting system for the falcon rocket this was a substantial and very expensive change with avra complaining that it would delay the program further and wouldn’t you know it just like the engines the us targeting system and sparrow 2 missiles were cancelled only a year later the canadian government had to step in take over the project from the us navy’s hands and see it to completion to save face this might have all faded into the past when the first test airframe rolled out of the hangar on october 4th 1957 to large crowds well propose large crowds you see only a few of the 13 000 attendees showed up because the russians had launched the first satellite sputnik that very same day talk about bad timing the test unit had no fire control systems as it wasn’t yet ready and thus the weapons bay and other areas like the nose had replaced or been filled by weights to replicate the true feel of the aircraft but this didn’t stop the airframe taking off into the sky on march 25th 1958 in a huge sigh of relief prove no major design flaws the cf-105 avro arrow demonstrated excellent handling and was able to go supersonic on its third flight breaking records by going over 1 600 kilometers per hour whilst climbing and even hitting a top speed of mac 1.98 smugly reported as not even realizing its true power test pilot jack woodman the only pilot to ever fly the arrow reported the aircraft at supersonic speeds was pleasant and easy to fly during approach and landing the handling characteristics were considered good he would even go on to say that excellent progress was being made in the development from where i sat the arrow was performing as predicted and was meeting all guarantees it seems that the jet of the future had finally arrived and the world would change forever well almost what happens next is one of the most controversial choices ever done in the history of aviation and i commend you to hold your color as we ride this political roller coaster [Music] now the last 15 minutes i have painted a wonderful picture of unity amongst canada’s military engineers and armed forces however this wasn’t exactly the case you see while the air force loved the arrow the army and navy were a little bit jealous that so much money was being diverted into this project the generals put political pressure on the program petitioning it to be scrapped at the earliest opportunity to put things into perspective by the end of the development of the arrow it was taking up around about 20 to 30 percent of the entire military budget of canada there was also an argument that perhaps the focus had been in the wrong direction the russians had proved space flight was possible and perhaps next there would be rockets heading to canada from orbit rather than flying over the arctic circle on board bombers terrified of a possible missile gap the new government of canada in 1957 signed the norad treaty a combined defense of north america with the usa keeping in mind its own interests in the aerospace industry the us put pressure on canada to discontinue the arrow and instead allow it to access the ballmark nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missile instead and thus they wouldn’t need a bomber interceptor of their own they would just blow everything out of the sky but these new nuclear-tipped missiles wouldn’t be cheap and costing a fortune this would mean that the government would need to choose between the avro arrow or the new anti-ballistic missile system from the usa a part of its treaty with norad you can kind of see where this is going on the 11th of august 1958 the government made a move to cancel the arrow in favor of these new missiles the cabinet defense committee of canada refused and demanded that they wait until a major review on the 31st of march 1959 could be completed but alas by september the government got their way and their order for their arrows were stopped the canadian government would go on to order the bom mac missiles instead as a stop gap the afro team tried to sell the arrow to england initially there was a chance that they might order up to 144 arrows to fill in a void until their own aircraft the f-155 could be completed this version of the arrow would be powered by uk engines the bristol olympus 7r and built in the uk leading to plenty of jobs but with the arrow unlikely to be up and running until 1962 at this point in the f-155 due in 1963 it did seem kinda pointless they also tried to sell it to the french government or at least the engines that they had developed to power it but when media rumors circulated that the canadian government was going to cancel the engine program the french stop negotiating avro tried to go private and sell the engines anyway themselves but they were blocked from being considered lastly the us who had been watching the program with great interest would go on to choose their own convair f-106 delta dart that looks kind of very similar to the arrow with the soviets now pressing full steam ahead into icbm technology and the various world governments felt at the time the arrow had passed they all passed on the program this would end up being the killing blow for the program and was officially cancelled on the 20th of february 1959 the effects of the cancellation were immediate 14 and a half thousand avro employees as well as fifteen thousand others who depended on the business of the supply chain of the arrow were suddenly out of work apparently the management at the time revealed later was caught out by this news and only found out by the newspaper of the arrows cancelling that very day they were shocked and planned to win over more than just canada’s business by that march review where the first arrow mk2 would have rolled out and taken to the skies to smash both world speed and altitude records they never got a chance to change the world of aviation only by a matter of a few weeks in a last-ditch effort to save something anything of their program they insisted that the completed prototypes be donated to the research high-speed flight department of the canadian government the government refused as they lacked the spare parts nor the pilots to use the aircraft if the program was shut down they even tried to ship one aircraft to england to be used at boscom down but they didn’t get permission the government swept in and within two months all aircraft engines production machines and blueprints were completely and utterly destroyed officially the command was given to prevent secret materials from being leaked to the soviets which actually has some truth as spying efforts were proved by the russians many years later after the fall of the ussr there were other rumors that the manager of avro canada w.a curtis flew away one of the completed prototypes and hid it deep within the rockies somewhere we can’t prove it ever happened but he took that secret with him to his grave and the story became a legend the fallout of the program was far-reaching and marked an end of an error to aerospace work in canada engineers drained from the country going to work at nasa and eventually resulting in the moon landings and others just like james floyd going to work in the united kingdom on their own special version of a supersonic transport concept eventually resulting in the concorde back at home the government would double down on their betrayal and order 66 mcdonnell cf-101 voodoo aircraft in 1961 only three years after the cancellation of the arrow it was such a controversial move that it led to the government coalition breaking apart only two years later at the time aviation commentator bill gustin said in its planning design and flight test program this fighter in almost every way the most advanced fighters of the 1950s was impressive and successful as any aircraft in history and thus ended a dark chapter of aviation in not only canada but for the whole world the avro arrow was a remarkable aircraft and so ahead of its time that it was still even under consideration in 2012 as a rival possibility to the f-35 had it survived this political instability it is very likely it would have become the finer plane of choice of england europe and perhaps even beating those in the usa for a time avro had big plans for the design with the kinks worked out of the mark 1 version they planned to roll out the new engines to the mark ii and be able to fly faster than anything else ever built at the time well over mach 2. but why stop there they also believed that they would build a mark 3 version that would be able to fly at a speed of the very same number mach 3 and beat even the upcoming mig-25 it would have been able to carry more weapons and fly up to a height of 70 thousand feet from here this aircraft would propel the canadian aerospace industry resulting in everything from bigger and better commercial airliners perhaps even a decade ahead of their american equivalent to even a canadian space program if the company had been left alone to continue the development process canada would have had a man on the moon said rob cohen ceo of the canadian air and space museum but this future never happened and today you can only find scraps as the design around several museums the airframe of possibly the most advanced aircraft has long been sought after and it’s only thanks to a few people like senior draftsman ken barnes who held onto the blueprints for decades keeping them hidden in a safe that we can finally get a detailed look at what could have been there are now various full-scale and model replicas found in museums across the country and the aircraft’s legacy has been cemented in the general consciousness of the country for canadians the arrow is more than a simple jet fighter it is a symbol of pride of their engineering prowras their homegrown ingenuity and their drive to create possibly the greatest aviation aircraft the world has ever seen it was lightning in a bottle and perhaps we may never see it’s like again [Music] while many hailed the arrow as a miracle of engineering it was a program plagued by cost overruns delays too many cooks in the kitchen and a role that was increasingly diminished the world didn’t need any bomber interceptors it needed a way to combat nuclear missiles plus with only a short range canada would need 300 arrows to defend its territory a cost that was astronomical back then and with said costs mounting up to 20 to 30 percent of the entire military budget of canada for a single plane they made a choice that on paper made perfect sense a lot of romantics might say that it wasn’t the right idea and then in retrospective the move by the government was bad but at the time we should suggest that they were between a rock and a hard place and this move was seen as a lesser of two evils what do you think let me know down in the comments if you think they did the right choice i read all the comments for this video and i want to know what you think especially if you’re canadian was it right for the government to get rid of the arrow or do you think it should have remained this video is already my longest ever and for those that have been demanding that i do the arrow i hope that you have enjoyed the journey with me today if you want to find your own way to support the channel and not be like the canadian government then you can either be a channel member right here by clicking the join button or you can become a patreon both where you’ll get to see new videos early see behind the scenes chat directly with me and even choose topics just like this one so jump on and check it out and again if you’ve just come to the channel give this video a like and a subscribe and thank you so much for watching my little video today
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This Jet Was BETRAYED by Canada! -  The Avro Arrow

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