THE AVRO CF-105 ARROW - WAS IT REALLY THAT GOOD?!?

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by FLYBOYJ, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I've been wanting to put this out there for some time, I'm sure all of our Canadian friends will enjoy this one. The CF-105 was supposed to be an innovative fighter aircraft in it's day. Fast, sleek, it had all the makings of your typical 1950s interceptor. At the time it was being developed, other aircraft like the F-4 Phantom, F-106 and the BAe Lightning were also blooming as well. My time in Canada, many enthusiasts I met made the -105 this "super jet" and even by today's standards. I always liked her, but let's face it, she carried the doctrine of the 1950s. I think an aircraft like an F-5 would of flown rings around her in a dogfight, but then again that wasn't her mission...Or maybe it would of been?!?

    PM Diefenbaker killed 90% of the Canadian aircraft industry with his decision, but let's imagine things were different. If built, how do you think her mission would of changed? Would a gun been installed like on the F-106? How long would she of lasted in service and was she really cranked up to what she was supposed to be? :-k
     

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  2. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    The CF-105 Arrow would have been an excellent airplane, I have no doubt about that at all. But I for one think that a good deal of the hype surrounding the Arrow was due to the fact that it was completely designed and built in Canada, the exceptions being the Hughes MX-1179 radar that had been initially selected for it and the Pratt Whitney J75 engines of the prototypes, where at that time nothing of quite that scope had been achieved before in the fledgling domestic aerospace industry. The sixth prototype never got to fly with the domestic Orenda PS-13 Iroquois engines that had been designed for the production aircraft, so we'll never know how she would have flown at her "full potential" so to speak. These engines would have supposedly allowed her to reach mach 2.5 but as I said, things didn't get that far. It had been conceived as primarily an interceptor. Would it have in fact done the job far better than a lot of it's contemporaries? Who can say? No one honestly knows. She would have undoubtedly been modified for varying roles, such as attack. As for how long she would have lasted in service? Well if we're talking the RCAF/CAF, we'd probably still be using it today. :lol:
    No, I don't know. Probably well into the 70's at least. With upgrades, maybe even the early 80's.

    Much of the regret that exists over it in Canada isn't really so much over the cancellation of that particular aircraft, but rather over the fact that Avro Canada completely shut it's doors following the cancellation. The project's expense ultimately proved to be their undoing. Consequently, more than 30,000 skilled aerospace workers and engineers were quickly gobbled up by US companies like Lockheed, Northrop, Boeing, McDonnell, and even NASA. It was a black day. Nothing quite that ambitious and costly was ever attempted again, and we lost a lot of expertise in one fell swoop.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I figured you would answer this NS - I saw a painting that showed a pair of Arrows intercepting a Backfire. The Arrows were painted up in a low vis camouflage - the title - "What If"

    OK - we got this interceptor that goes 2.5 mach. How can it maneuver? I always wondered about that SR-71 cockpit (maybe the guy who designed it worked on the Blackbird after black Friday!)

    Yes - and the frugalness of the CAF! Maybe it would of been cost effective to build it - shoot, it would of been in service for 25 maybe 30 years, talk about "bang for your buck!"
     
  4. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Well like I said, it was designed primarily for interception over the arctic. Namely high flying Russian bombers like the Backfires you mentioned. As an air-superiority fighter, I don't think it would have exactly manoeuvred like the F-15. The CF-105 was a big plane too. I've never actually read any reports on it's manoeuvrability during the trials, but it would be interesting. I could definitely see it being used in the reconnaissance role.

    I've heard that former Avro Canada engineers worked on the Blackbird, but I have no idea if it's actually true or not. I wouldn't doubt it for a second though.

    BTW, the Armed Forces are only frugal because we have to be. That sounds like so much whining, but it's not. Believe you me, we don't cheap out because we enjoy purchasing second-rate equipment all the time, or keeping things in service for thirty to forty years at a stretch. In some cases even longer.
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Well, it's pretty much that way here too now. Look how long the F-15 and F-16 has been in service. They are just now looking at replacing the M-16, which is an old rifle as well. I know you guys have been on the short end of the stick when it comes to hardware though. It would have been something to see what AVro Canada could have done after that. They had some great engineers.
     
  6. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I'm sure they'd have come up with some interesting designs given the opportunity, but I don't really think it would have made a lot of difference as far as the home market was concerned. Defence spending would've remained as unpopular as ever. The foreign market however...:-k

    We'll never know.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I could tell you that when I worked at Lockheed there were dozens of ex-Canadians and Brits who came to the states via Canada whose employment at Lockheed came as a result of the Arrow demise. I know they were eventually investigated and nationalized so they could have access to the Skunk Works. Many of these folks were picked up between 1960 and 1963.....

    I'm trying to research the maneuverability of the Arrow, if anyone has any information, let us know!
     
  8. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I've been looking too, and I can't find a thing.

    *EDIT*
    About all I've really found so far doesn't amount to much. It's just a second hand account of a vague assessment given by the chief test pilot, Jan Zurakowski. It's nothing more than a "would have been", and doesn't really tell us a thing. I'm still searching.

    "Jan stated the Arrow handled beautifully. Considering the low wing loading, extremely high thrust to weight ratio and very low drag of the airframe, even when loaded, indicate that the Arrow would have been an exceptionally maneuverable aircraft contrary to the opinion of many “experts.”. "

    Taken from: http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/JanZurakowski.html
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    FJ. Sorry but this is the best that I can do.

    On 25 March 1958 Zurakowski took the CF-105, number 25201 (coded RL-201) into air for the first time. Apart from a landing gear warning light, the flight was without problem. Zurakowski declared that the Arrow was easier to fly than the F-102 or the Gloster Javelin, two other delta-winged fighters. This would later be confirmed by other test pilots, who praised the handling of the CF-105 highly. Zurakoski complained about the high workload in the cockpit, despite the sophisticated AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System), but on the other hand the reliability of the electronic systems was better than expected
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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  11. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    That's a pretty good link Glider, I've seen it before, but unfortunately it doesn't really get into how it actually manoeuvred. I can't find anything very in-depth.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Nice site Glider, christ, the Arrow was larger than a MiG-25!
     
  13. Archangel

    Archangel Member

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    Welcome to the Arrow Recovery Canada website. We are the non profit corporation that has been actively searching for the missing Avro Arrow flight test models since May 1999.
    The Avro Arrow was a revolutionary jet interceptor, designed and built by the
    A.V. Roe Aircraft company of Canada. The Arrow was a plane of firsts, fly by wire, computer control, integral missile system and capable of MACH 2+. The year was 1958, and the COLD WAR was raging. For more information on our mandate and our group please see our "Mission Statement".

    taken from http://www.avroarrow.org/

    maybe you already know it, but i havnt seen a link here till now :)
    http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/factualarrow.html a fact pafe about it. im still looking for maneuverability, but its looking good so far :)

    you might want to read this. (itf taken from the facts page )
     
  14. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Yep, there was and is a tonne of hype about it. Like FJ said, there are those in Canada who'll make the Arrow out to be a wonder plane. But I'm still convinced that if they'd been allowed to stick with it, they'd have worked out the bugs to make a superb aircraft. The thing is, it's not exactly the most cost effective way to go in a country like this one when you're really only looking to equip the RCAF with an interceptor.

    Still...:rolleyes:
     
  15. Archangel

    Archangel Member

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    ^^^^
    agreed :)
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great stuff Archangel - I really enjoyed the sites you shown....

    Another myth I used to discuss with some of my friends while living in Canada was the rumor that the some in the US did not want the Arrow built because it was better than some of the US planes being developed at the same time the F-4, the F-106 and the BAe Lightning were just as capable interceptors as the Arrow.

    Agree?!?!
     
  17. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Hogwash. The cancellation had nothing to do with the US or anyone else. There are more conspiracy theories surrounding the Arrow than you can shake a stick at. The fact is that development was running far behind schedule, and it was a huge cash cow. The government finally cancelled it. There's no more mystery to it than that.
     
  18. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Being that the CF-105 was primarily an interceptor it's handling wouldn't need to be amazing. The EE Lightning didn't have a very good turning circle but it was quite manuverable in other areas due to the whole tail-plane moving instead of just elevators at the back. The F-5 could run rings around a Lightning. My dad saw it many times but the Lightning's job was never to dogfight, it was to get up fire off it's missiles and return home. With a cruising speed of Mach 0.87 and top speed of Mach 2.3 it could enter combat quickly and leave combat just as quickly. I imagine the same would apply to the CF-105.

    I don't believe the U.S had anything to do with the cancellation. As you said, the Lightning was just as, if not more, capable than the CF-105. The CF-105 shared the same fate as the TSR.2, it was expensive. It was too expensive for the government to continue with it, so they cancelled.

    That's what I think anyway.
     
  19. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Bang on. It was just far more expensive than it would have been worth, so it was cancelled.
     
  20. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    Pity, both those planes were way ahead of their time
     
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