Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 6: Jets, Avro CF-100 Canuck

Avro CF-100 Canuck

Data current to 24 Nov 2019.

 (DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3 (Serial No. 18125), No. 3 All-Weather (AW) Operational Training Unit (OTU) based at RCAF Station North Bay and later RCAF. Station Cold Lake, Alberta.  This aircraft was later converted to a dual Mk. 3D.  It was struck off strength at RCAF Station Lincoln Park on 3 August, 1960.

The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck (affectionately known as the "Clunk") was a Canadian jet interceptor/fighter in service during the Cold War both in NATO bases in Europe and as part of NORAD.  The CF-100 was the only Canadian-designed fighter to enter mass production, serving primarily with the RCAF and the Canadian Armed Forces, and also in small numbers in Belgium.  For its day, the CF-100 featured a short takeoff run and high climb rate, making it well suited to its role as an interceptor.

Production consisted of 5 pre-production CF-100 Mk. 2 aircraft, 74 machine gun armed CF-100 Mk. 3 aircraft, 280 CF-100 Mk. 4 aircraft armed with both machine guns and rocket pods, and 331 CF-100 Mk. 5 aircraft armed only with rocket pods.

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 1, (2 built), (Serial Nos. 18101-18102), Mk. 2, (10 built), (Serial Nos. 18103-18112), Mk. 3, (70 built), Serial Nos. 18113-18182), Mk. 4A, (137 built), (Serial Nos. 18183-18319), Mk. 4B, (144 built), (Serial Nos. 18320-18463), Mk. 5 (329 built), (Serial Nos. 18464-18792), for a total number of 692 built.

(DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 1 (Serial No. 18101), FB-D, 1st prototype.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4047130)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 1 (Serial No. 18101), FB-D, 1st prototype.  RCAF personnel with A/M Curtis, MND Claxton and test pilot Squadron Leader Bill Waterton.  This aircraft emerged from the factory, painted gloss black overall with white lightning bolts running down the fuselage and engines.  The CF-100 prototype flew its maiden flight on 19 January 1950 with Gloster Aircraft Company Chief Test Pilot Squadron Leader Bill Waterton at the controls.

 (Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 1 (Serial No. 18102), 2nd prototype.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 1 (Serial No. 18102), 2nd prototype.

 (DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3B (Serial No. 18133), No. 445 Wolverine AW (F) Squadron, RCAF Station North Bay, Ontario.

  (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2T (Serial No. 18105).

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3A (Serial No. 18125), JF.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro  CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3 (Serial No. 18148), 423 Squadron.

 (RCAF Photo via Luc Dubé)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2T, jet-assisted take-off (JATO).

(RCAF Photo)

Avro  CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3, top view.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro  CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3 (Serial No. 18149), ca 1956.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro  CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3 (Serial No. 18149), ca 1956.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro  CF-100 Canuck, nose on shot.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3B (Serial No. 18157).

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4 (Serial No. 18197), St Hubert, Québec, 24 March 1955.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4 (Serial No. 18197), St Hubert, Québec, ca 1955.  After its flying career it became instructional trainer A653.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A (Serial No. 18300).

(DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A, RCAF (Serial No. 18225), No. 428 Squadron, Uplands, Ontario.

 (DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A, RCAF (Serial No. 18362), coded HG-362, (Serial No. 18227), coded HG-227, and (Serial No. 18330) coded HG-330, No. 428 Squadron, Uplands, Ontario.

 (Hugh MacKechnie/Avro Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A, RCAF (Serial No. 18372), vertical climb.

 (22 Wing Heritage Office Archives Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A, RCAF (Serial No. 18311), No. 3 All Weather Fighter Wing, North Bay, Ontario.  In 1953 this unit adopted the nickname "Night Witches", suggested by the wife of the unit's Engineering Officer, and the orange and black logo seen on the nose, denoting its all-weather day-or-night operations.

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18330), and (Serial No. 18364), No. 423 Squadron, based at RCAF Station Grostenquin (No. 2 Fighter Wing) France, 9 Oct 1962.   These aircraft were participating in training at the Air Weapons (training) Unit at Decimomannu, Sardinia.   CF-100s were flown by the RCAF in Europe from 1956 to 1962. 

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18330), and (Serial No. 18364), No. 423 Squadron, based at RCAF Station Grostenquin (No. 2 Fighter Wing) France, 9 Oct 1962.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18362), 428 Squadron.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18421), 440 Squadron.

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18426).

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18409), being lifted by a crane.

 (DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18406),

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B, RCAF (Serial No. 18383).

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18330).

(DND Image Library)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B, RCAF (Serial No. 18386).

(DND Image Library)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B, RCAF (Serial No. 18410).

(DND Image Library)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B, RCAF (Serial No. 18421).

  (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18336) in flight.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18434) at Ancienne Lorrette with specially modified white tip pods that contain IR detection equipment and cameras.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18434) at Ancienne Lorrette with specially modified white tip pods that contain IR detection equipment and cameras.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Lockheed CP-122 Neptune, RCAF (Serial No. 24119), in formation with Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18631).

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18532). 

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Mk. 5, No. 428 Squadron, Uplands, Ontario, 16 March 1960.

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18593) and (Serial No. 18539), No. 432 Squadron, RCAF Station Bagotville, Quebec, 16 Aug 1957.

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18539), 16 Aug 1957. 

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18780), (Serial No. 100780), 414 Squadron.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 18323), fitted with dummy Sparrow AAMs for trials.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18323), armed with Sparrow air-to-air missiles.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18323), armed with Sparrow air-to-air missiles.

(DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 18300) with Sparrow missiles.

(DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck, RCAF with Sparrow missile.

(DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck, RCAF with Sparrow missile.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18551).

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18551), No. 410 Squadron, RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario, with a Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, USAF (Serial No. 56-1300), 10 Oct 1957.  The CF-100 was flown by F/O Ed Wilkie when 410 Squadron was visiting Ernest Harmon AFB where the Americans were doing conversion training from F-89s to the F-102s.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18551) with a Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, USAF (Serial No. 56-1300).

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18556).

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18631).

 (DND Photo via Doug Jermyn)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18760) flight testing a JT15D jet pod slung under the left side of the fuselage.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4118640)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18493), (Serial No. 100493), overshoot of the runway, 31 Dec 1973.

 (DND Photos via Mike Kaehler)

(DND Photos via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18343), on the line at RCAF Station Hamilton in preparation for the fly-past at the Canadian International Air Show as viewed from under an aircraft of 432 Black Cougar CF-100 Squadron from RCAF Station Bagotville.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18748) on the flight line at Uplands, Ontario.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18727), St Hubert, Québec.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4314017)

Avro CF-100 Canucks on the flight line for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Ottawa airport, 12 Oct 1957.

Avro CF-100 Canucks preserved:

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2 (Serial No. 18103), 3rd prototype.

 (RCAF Photo) 

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2 (Serial No. 18103), Canadian Air Land Sea Museum, Markham, Ontario.

 (NHL4Hamilton Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5C (Serial No. 18506), (Serial No. 100506), Canadian Air Land Sea Museum, Markham, Ontario.  This aircraft was previously on display at Mount Hope, Ontario until 2012.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2T, RCAF (Serial No. 18104), CF (Serial No. A611), painted as (Serial No. 100104), Royal Military College Saint-Jean, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.

 (Andre Blanchard Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2T, RCAF (Serial No. 18106), CF (Serial No. A615), Military Memorial Museum, Campbellford, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3D (Serial No. 18126), The Hangar Flight Museum, Calgary, Alberta.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3D (Serial No. 18138), formation flight.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18764), Royal Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  (AHunt Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3D, RCAF (Serial No. 18138), C/N 038, wings and fuselage from Mk. 5C (Serial No. 18766) and (Serial No. 18791), (Serial No. 100791), 445 Squadron.  RCAF 18138 was one of 56 converted in 1955 from Mk. 3B to Mk 3D dual trainers.  It saw service with No. 440 Squadron (Bagotville) and 445 Squadron (Uplands), as well as with No. 3 AW(F) OTU at North Bay.  Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia.

 (Tony Hisgett Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3D (Serial No. 18152), JF-152, No. 3 Operational Training Unit, mounted on a pylon, Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton, Alberta.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A (Serial No. 18194), CAF (Serial No. 646B).  This aircraft was previously used as a training frame for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear School.  Base Borden Military Museum, CFB Borden, Ontario.

 (NMUSAF Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A (Serial No. 18241), CAF (Serial No. A631), 428 Squadron, National Museum of the USAF, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, USA.  This aircraft was previously on display at Bellville, Ontario, before being moved to the NMUSAF in 1999.

 (Steve Fitzgerald Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18393), 441 Squadron.  Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.  This Canuck entered service with the RCAF in May 1955 . On 1 Nov 1957 while operating from No. 4 (F) Wing based at Baden-Soellingen, Germany, it suffered a double engine failure.  The pilot carried out a successful dead-stick landing at No. 3 (F) Zweibrucken, Germany.  It was retired from RCAF service in October 1962, and from then until 1975 it was placed with the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield in the UK.  In 1975 she was flown to the IWM at Duxford by the late Ormond Haydon-Baillie, Reg. No. G-BCYK.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18434) at Ancienne Lorrette with specially modified white tip pods that contain IR detection equipment and cameras.  This aircraft is with the Aerospace & Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS), CFB Mountain View, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5C (Serial No. 18488), mounted on a pylon in Centennial Park, on Highway 2, at the West end of the city, Moncton, New Brunswick.

 (Bill Cumming Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18500), (Serial No. 100500), 414 Squadron, mounted on a pylon, 22 Wing, CFB North Bay, Ontario.

 (Ad Meskens Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 18534), CAF (Serial No. A690), 425 Squadron, Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire MilitaireRoyal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Brussels, Belgium.

 (Timo Explorer Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck  Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 18602), CAF (Serial No. A683), mounted on a pylon near Haliburton Highlands Secondary School, Haliburton, Ontario.

 (Treknschmidt Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D, RCAF (Serial No. 18619), CAF (Serial No. A682), 414 Squadron, mounted on a pylon in Paul Coffey Park, Malton, Ontario.

 (Timo Explorer Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5M (Serial No. 18626), painted as (Serial No. 101028), mounted on a pylon in Lee Park, North Bay, Ontario.

 (Author Photyo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18731), (Serial No. 100731), Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5C (Serial No. 18746), located facing the main parade square, College Militaire Royale (CMR), Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D, RCAF (Serial No. 18752), CAF (Serial No. 793B), 16 Wing, CFB Borden, Ontario.

 (ceasol Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18759), (Serial No. 100759), 416 Squadron, Reynolds Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

 (Krystal Wilson Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18761), 4 Wing, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18773), CFA (Serial No. 814B), (Serial No. 100773).  This aircraft served with No. 416 and No. 425 Squadrons out of Bagotville, Quebec.  It was taken on strength by the Canadian Armed Forces on 1 Feb 1968 as Instructional Airframe as (Serial No. 814B).   It went into storage at CFD Mountainview, Ontario in 1980, still carrying its RCAF serial number.  It had 966 hours airframe time when stored on 12 Feb 1990.  It was preserved at CFB Trenton, Ontario, until coming to the  New Brunswick Military History Museum, 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in 2011.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18774), (Serial No. 100774), painted black to represent the CF-100 prototype, National Air Force Museum of Canada, 8 Wing, CFB Trenton, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18784), (Serial No. 100784), mounted on a pylon, Air Force Heritage Park, 17 Wing, CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba.  This aircraft was previously on display at CFB Baden Soellingen, Germany, before being brought to Winnipeg in 1993.

(DND Image Library Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D, RCAF (Serial No. 18472),  (Serial No. 100472), firing rockets.

 (DND Image Library Photos)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D, RCAF (Serial No. 18473), over Niagara Falls. 

 (Bob Bromley Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck, No. 423 Squadron aircraft, being armed with a 7-tube rocket pod at NATO gunnery range, Decimomannu, Sardinia, circa 1960.  The nose-mounted cine cameras were standard at this time at the Air Weapons Unit. 

 (Bob Bromley Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck (Serial No. 18370), 423 Squadron, firing a salvo of 2.75-inch rockets.  The 7-tube practice pods became available in 1960 providing a two-pass capability on each sortie, six rockets being fired per pass.

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck, No. 445 Squadron with the starborad wing rocket pod being loaded at 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France, August 1958.

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck (Serial No.18450), No. 440 Squadron, firing a full combat load of rockets over the Decimomannu, Sardinia range.

 (DND Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18556) firing six rockets from 3-tube practice launchers.  This was during the first annual ADC rocket meet, Cold Lake, Alberta, September 1957.

 (DND Photo)

LAC Jack Studds and Cpl Arneil remove the starboard 3-tube rocket launcher on a 419 Squadron CF-100.

 (DND Photo)

LAC Ron Maddack of the 4 (F) Wing Photo Section removing movie film from an N9 wing camera for immediate processing and assessment.

 (Imer Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18472), (Serial No. 100472), painted as KE (Serial No. 18437) on the port side, painted as DL (Serial No. 18741), starboard side, mounted on a pylon.  Air Defence Museum, 3 Wing, CFB Bagotville, Québec.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18476), (Serial No. 100476), 440 Squadron, Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18493), (Serial No. 100493), Base Borden Military Museum, 16 Wing, CFB Borden, Ontario.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18504), (Serial No. 100504), Castle Air Museum, Atwater, California.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18747), (Serial No. 100747), Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18757), (Serial No. 100757), Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Photo courtesy of Doug Jermyn)

 (Pierre Gillard Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18760), (Serial No. 100760), 425 Squadron, previously mounted on a pylon at St. Hubert, it has been dismounted, Québec Aerospace Museum (QAM), Musée de l’aérospatiale du Québec, St. Hubert, Québec.

 (Author Photos)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5C (Serial No. 18779), (Serial No. 100779), placed on display in May 1976 at the Peterson Air and Space Museum, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 (Author Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18785), (Serial No. 100785), Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario.  It is has been painted black to resemble the prototype CF-100, (Serial No. 18101), and is on extended loan from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

 (The A-Team Photo)

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D, RCAF (Serial No. 18790), (Serial No. 100790), C/N 690, 409 Squadron, Comox Air Force Museum, 19 Wing, CFB Comox, British Columbia.

Avro CF-100 data bank:

            The CF-100 was the first military jet fighter wholly designed and built in Canada.  This two-seat all-weather jet interceptor weighs roughly 17 tons and is powered by two Canadian-built Orenda jet engines.  It had a top speed of 650 mph and a range of 1,000 miles. The Mk. 1 was equipped with Rolls-Royce Avon engines.  The Mk. 2 had Avro Orenda 2 engines.  The Mk. 3 had Avro Orenda 8 engines.  The Mk. 4A had Avro Orenda 9 engines.  The Mk. 4B was equipped with Avro Orenda 11 engines.  The Mk. 5 was also equipped with Avro Orenda 11 engines.  The Canuck was the first straight-winged aircraft to reach Mach 1 without the aid of rocket power. 

            The CF-100 was an interceptor as opposed to a fighter.  It lacked the daylight air-fighting capability of its contemporary, the Canadair CL-13 Sabre, but made up for this shortfall with its foul weather and high altitude capabilities.  The aircraft was taken on strength (TOS) in June 1951 and remained in service for thirty years.  The CF-100 was originally used for the defence of northern Canada, but was eventually employed by 1 Canadian Air Division in France and Germany.  When it was superseded in its interceptor role, many CF-100s were fitted with powerful electronic countermeasure (ECM) equipment.  These aircraft were among the few in the world capable of carrying out “barrage” jamming, completely blanking-out the “scopes” on a defensive radar site.  The CF-100 was retired in December 1981, and was replaced by the Voodoo.  The Canuck was Canada’s greatest indigenous military aviation success.

            The Canuck (affectionately known as the Clunk), was the only Canadian-designed fighter to enter mass-production.  The CF-100 is not considered to be truly supersonic since it could not exceed the speed of sound in level flight.  However, on 18 December 1952, S/L Janusz Zurakowski, the Avro company chief development test pilot, broke the sound barrier flying the CF-100 Mk 4 prototype in a dive from 30,000 feet.[1]

            In the early 1950s, Canada needed an interceptor (fighter) able to patrol the vast areas of Canada’s north and operate in all weather conditions.  The two-seat fighter crewed by a pilot and navigator, was designed with two powerful engines and an advanced radar and fire control system housed in its nose that enabled it to fly in all-weather or night conditions.  For its day, the CF-100 featured a short takeoff run and high climb rate, making it well suited to its role as an interceptor.

            Design of the XC-100 to meet an RCAF specification for an all-weather fighter was initiated at Avro Canada in October 1946.  Chief Engineer Edgar Atkin’s work on the CF-100 was subsequently passed to John Frost formerly of de Havilland who, along with Avro’s Chief Aerodynamicist Jim Chamberlin, reworked the original fuselage design.

            The CF-100 Mk. 1 prototype (Serial No. 18101), emerged out of the factory, painted gloss black overall with white lightning bolts running down the fuselage and engines.  The CF-100 prototype flew its maiden flight on 19 January 1950 with Gloster Aircraft Company Chief Pilot S/L Bill Waterton at the controls.  Waterton was on loan from the Gloster firm, another member of the Hawker Siddeley Group.  The Mark 1 was powered by two Avon RA 3 turbojets with 28.9 kN (2,950 kgp/6,500 lbf) thrust each.

            The second prototype (Serial No. 18102), was also powered by Rolls-Royce Avons, although subsequent pre-production and production series aircraft used the Avro Orenda turbojet.  Five pre-production Mk. 2 test aircraft were produced (Serial Nos. 18103-18107), all fitted with the Orenda 2 jet engines; one was fitted with dual controls and designated a Mk. 2T trainer.  The first production version, designated Mk. 3, incorporated the APG-33 radar and was armed with eight 0.5 inch machine-guns.  The Mk. 3CT and Mk. 3DT were again dual control versions supplied to operational training units.

            In September 1950, the RCAF ordered 124 examples of the Mk. 3 version; the first of these entering RCAF service in 1953.  These were armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns.  The definitive version rocket-armed Mk. 4A was based on prototype Mk. 4 (a modified Mk 3) first flying on 11 October 1952.  The nose housed the much larger APG-40 radar with wingtip pods each containing up to 30 Mighty Mouse FFAR (folding fin aerial rockets) in addition to the guns.  As the last 54 of an order for the Mk 3 were changed into the Mk. 4 in 1954, total orders for the Mk.4 rose to 510.  The Mk. 4B version had more powerful Orenda 11 engines.

            Five versions, or “marks”, were produced, ending, from 1955 onwards, with the high-altitude Mk. 5 that featured a 1.06m (3 ft. 6 in.) extended wingtip and enlarged tailplane, along with removal of the machine guns.  The proposed Mk. 6 was to have mounted Sparrow II missiles and been powered by afterburning Orenda 11IR engines in an effort to provide an “interim” fighter prior to the introduction of the Avro CF-105.  A projected transonic swept-wing CF-103 was built in mock-up form in 1951, but was considered obsolescent even before the CF-100’s demonstrated ability to exceed the speed of sound in a dive.

            The Canuck was affectionately known in the RCAF as the “Clunk” because of the noise the front landing gear made as it retracted into its well after takeoff.  Its less-attractive nickname was the “Lead Sled”, a reference to its heavy controls and general lack of manoeuvrability, a nickname it shared with a number of other 1950s aircraft.  Others included CF-Zero, the Zilch, the Beast, all references to an aircraft many pilots considered less glamorous than day fighters like the CL-13 Sabre.

            The aircraft operated under the US/Canadian North American Air Defence Command (NORAD) to protect North American airspace from Soviet intruders such as nuclear-armed bombers.  Additionally, as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), four Canuck squadrons were based in Europe with 1 Canadian Air Division from 1956–1962, and were for some time the only NATO fighters capable of operating in zero visibility and poor weather conditions.

            The CF-100 served with nine RCAF squadrons at its peak in the mid-1950s. Four of these squadrons were deployed to Europe from late 1956–1962 under the NIMBLE BAT ferry program, replacing NATO RCAF squadrons equipped with Canadair CL-13 Sabre day fighters to provide all-weather defence against Soviet intruders.  Canucks flying at home retained natural metal finish, but those flying overseas were given a British-style disruptive camouflage scheme- dark sea grey and green on top, light sea grey on the bottom.

            During his Avro Canada years, the Chief Development Pilot, S/L Janusz Zurakowski, continued to fly as an aerobatic display pilot, with spectacular results, especially at the 1955 Farnborough Airshow in the UK, where he displayed the CF-100 in a “falling-leaf.”  He was acclaimed again as the “Great Zura” by many aviation and industry observers who could not believe a large, all-weather fighter could be put through its paces so spectacularly.  His performance led to Belgium purchasing the CF-100.[2]

            In its lifetime, a total of 692 CF-100s of different variants were produced, of which 53 aircraft were delivered to the Belgian Air Force.  Although originally designed for only 2,000 hours, it was found that the Canuck’s airframe could serve for over 20,000 hours before retirement.  Consequently, though it was replaced in its front line role by the McDonnell CF-101B Voodoo, the Canuck served with 414 Squadron of the Canadian Forces at CFB North Bay, Ontario, until 1981, in reconnaissance, training and electronic warfare roles.  After the CF-100 was retired, a number of aircraft still remain across Canada (and elsewhere) as static displays.  Its planned successor, the CF-105 Arrow along with the sophisticated Orenda Iroquois engine, both Canadian-designed, was cancelled in 1959 in a controversial decision by the Canadian government.[3]

Avro CF-100 Canuck survivors:

CMF, Langley, British Columbia, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3 (Serial No. 18136), silver. 

CAFM, CFB Comox, British Columbia, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 100790), silver.[4] 

ASMC, Calgary, Alberta, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 3A (Serial No. 18126), black. 

AAM, Edmonton, Alberta, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 100476), camouflage.[5] 

Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alberta, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18761), silver. 

NLAM, Nanton, Alberta, Avro CF 100 Canuck Mk. 3 (Serial No. 18152), silver. 

R-AM, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18759), silver. 

AFHM&AP[6], CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 100784), camouflage, mounted on a pylon.[7] 

WCAM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18764), silver.[8] 

CA&SM, Ottawa, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5C/D (Serial No. 100757), silver.[9] 

CA&SM, Ottawa, Otario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18785), black, on loan to the CWHM.[10] 

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18752), silver, previously at CFB Uplands, Ontario.  Now disassembled and stored behind the CA&SM at Rockcliffe. 

BBMM, CFB Borden, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 10493), silver, mounted on a pylon. 

BBMM, CFB Borden, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A (Serial No. 18194), formerly at the NBCW School. 

CFB North Bay, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No.100500), silver, mounted on a pylon.[11] 

CWHM, Mount Hope, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 18785), black.[12] 

Haliburton, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18602), silver, mounted on a pylon in a park near the Algonquin Highway. 

Kingston, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 100731), silver, Royal Military College (RMC).  Previously (Serial No. 18731), parked near the Land Forces Technical Staff College. 

MMM, Campbellford, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2 (Serial No. 18106), silver, formerly at Centralia, Lambeth and Carlow, Ontario. 

Mountain View, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18434), silver, placed in storage for the CA&SM. 

Mount Hope, CWHM, Ontario, AvroCF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 100785), silver, mounted on a pylon.  Painted as (Serial No. 100506). 

North Bay, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5M (Serial No. 18626), silver, Lee Park, mounted on a pylon. 

NAFMC, CFB Trenton, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18774), black.  Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18773), silver, painted as 814B, was in the Air Cadet Camp compound, it is now with 403 Sqn, 5 CDSB Gagetown, New Brunswick. 

CASM, Toronto, Ontario, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18619), silver, Malton, mounted on a pylon at Wildwood Park, rebuilt by the Aerospace Heritage Foundation. 

BADM[13], CFB Bagotville, Québec, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 100437), silver.[14] 

CFB St Jean, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 2 (Serial No. 18104), silver. 

College Militaire Royale (CMR), St Jean, Québec, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18746), silver. 

Saint Hubert, CFB Montréal, Québec, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 100760), silver.  Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18760) on 23 October 1970.[15] 

Moncton, New Brunswick, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18488), silver, mounted on a pylon in Centennial Park, on Highway 2, West end of the city. 

ACAM, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 100747), silver.[16]

Avro CF-100 Canuck Survivors outside of Canada: 

National Museum of the USAF, Dayton, Ohio, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4A (Serial No. 18241), formerly at Clinton, Ontario.

Castle AFB, Atwater, California, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5D (Serial No. 100504). [17] 

Peterson Air & Space Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 100680).[18]  

W. Soplata College, Ohio, Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 100775), mounted on a pedestal.  Parts of several other aircraft are incorporated into this Canuck. 

Palais de Cinquantenaire, Koninklijk Leger Museum, Brussels, Belgium, CF-100 Canuck Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18534), silver. 

Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK, CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4B (Serial No. 18393), camouflage.

 

[1] For details of S/L Janusz Zurakowski’s flying history, see CWS.

[2] For details of S/L Janusz Zurakowski’s flying history, see CWS.

[3] Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CF-100.

[4] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18790), on 23 October 1970.  Flew with No. 414 Squadron, CFB North Bay. Had been struck off on 13 October 1981, prior to last flight.  Internet, Canadian Military Aircraft Serial numbers notes recorded by R. W. R. Walker.

[5] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18476).  Flown with No. 414 (EW) Squadron at CFB North Bay, Ontario. Operational as late as January 1980.  Last flight on 22 January 1982, when it was delivered from North Bay to Edmonton. On display at CFB Edmonton.

[6] Air Force Heritage Museum and Airpark (AFHM&AP), CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba.

[7] Formerly on display at CFB Baden-Soellingen, Germany.  Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18784) on 23 October 1970.  Flown by No. 414 (EW) Squadron.  With this unit at CFB North Bay, Ontario in 1980.  Painted in an approximation of No. 1 Canadian Air Division camouflage for type retirement in 1981.  Flown to CFB Baden-Soellingen, Germany for display, on 17 December 1981.  Reported as last trans-Atlantic Canuck flight. Brought back on closure of CFB Baden-Soellingen,  in 1993.  On Display at Air Command Headquarters Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

[8] This aircraft was taken on strength by the RCAF in 1958 and served with 416 and 425 Squadrons.

[9] Renumbered from RCAF 18757 on 23 October 1970.  Flew with 414 (EW) Squadron, North Bay detachment. Delivered by 414 Squadron to National Aeronautical Collection, Rockcliffe on 26 October 1979.  Each engine had 1 hour left before major overhaul when delivered.

[10] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18785), on 23 October 1970.  Flew with No. 414 (EW) Squadron at CFB North Bay, Ontario.  Painted in black scheme based on original Canuck prototype scheme, for type retirement in 1981.  Delivered to Museum at Rockcliffe on 10 February 1982, last CAF Canuck flight.  (On loan to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum).

[11] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18500) on 23 October 1970.  Flew with No. 414 (EW) Squadron, at CFB North Bay, Ontario.  Flown by Major P. Growen on 10 October 1980, when he reached 3,000 hours on type.  Last flight was on 27 July 1981.  Designated for static display at CFB North Bay.

[12] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18785), on 23 October 1970.  Flew with No. 414 (EW) Squadron at CFB North Bay, Ontario.  Painted in black scheme based on original Canuck prototype scheme, for type retirement in 1981.  Delivered to the CA&SM on 10 February 1982.  On loan to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

[13] Air Defence Museum of Bagotville (BADM), Le Musée de la défense aérienne de Bagotville (MDAB) Alouette, Québec.

[14] This aircraft was renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18472) on 23 October 1970.  Served with No. 414 (EW) Squadron at CFB North Bay, Ontario.  Last flight was on 10 November 1981, when it was flown from North Bay to Bagotville.  Displayed at CFB Bagotville, Québec, in RCAF markings.  Carried incorrect RCAF serials 18431 and 18741 for a period while on display.

[15] Leased to United Aircraft Canada Ltd., carried small turbofans under fuselage for in flight testing, from 1967.  Returned to CAF on 31 December 1971, then back to UAC at unknown date.  Had flown 850 test hours, in over flights, by January 1981.  Most tests were with JT15D engine.  Flew last flight of a CF-100 on 28 June 1982, on engine test flight from St. Hubert, Québec.  Now on display on pedestal at St. Hubert.

[16] Renumbered from RCAF 18747 on 23 October 1970.  Retired from Aerospace Engineering and Test Establishment in February 1973, their last Canuck.  Had been used for tests of infrared line scan equipment. To open storage at CFB Mountain View, Ontario, with only 1,275 hours hrs airframe time, early 1973.  Became Instructional Hrs airframe 792 B briefly in early 1982.  To ACAM in 1995.  On display at CFB Shearwater in April 1995.  On display at the ACAM in Halifax, NS, by 2007, marked as 18747.

[17] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18504) on 23 October 1970.  Flown by No. 414 (EW) Squadron at CFB North Bay, Ontario.  Last flight on 20 January 1982, when it was flown from North Bay to Castle AFB, California. On Display at Castle AFB.

[18] Renumbered from RCAF (Serial No. 18779) on 23 October 1970.  Used by Electronic Warfare Unit.  Still flew with this unit when it became No. 414 (EW) Squadron.  On display at NORAD HQ in Colorado, delivered there on 27 May 1976 by 414 Squadron crew.