Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 6: Jets, Avro CF-105 Arrow

Canadian Warplanes, Jets,

Avro CF-105 Arrow

Data current to 10 Sep 2019.

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25201).  (Avro Photo)

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft designed and built by Avro Canada.  The CF-105 held the promise of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet (15,000 m) and was intended to serve as the RCAF's primary interceptor into the 1960s and beyond.  The Arrow was the culmination of a series of design studies begun in 1953 that examined improved versions of the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck.  After considerable study, the RCAF selected a dramatically more powerful design, and serious development began in March 1955.  The aircraft was intended to be built directly from the production line, skipping the traditional hand-built prototype phase.  The first Arrow Mk. I, RL-201, was rolled out for public viewing on 4 October 1957, the same day as the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik I satellite.

Flight testing began with RL-201 on 25 March 1958, and the design quickly demonstrated excellent handling and overall performance, reaching Mach 1.9 in level flight.  Powered by the Pratt & Whitney J75, another three Mk. Is were completed, RL-202 through -204.  The lighter and more powerful Orenda Iroquois engine was soon ready for testing, and the first Mk. II with the Iroquois, RL-206, was ready for taxi testing in preparation for flight and acceptance tests by RCAF pilots by early 1959.

On 20 February 1959, the development of the Arrow (and its Iroquois engines) was abruptly halted before a planned project review had taken place.  Canada tried to sell the Arrow to the US and Britain, but no agreements were concluded.  Two months later, the assembly line, tooling, plans and existing airframes and engines were ordered to be destroyed.  The cancellation was the topic of considerable political controversy at the time, and the subsequent destruction of the aircraft in production remains a contentious topic.  (Wikipedia)

Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk. I (5), (Serial Nos. 25201-25205)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25201), on rollout, Downsview, Ontario. 4 Oct 1957.  (Library & Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 359416)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25201).  (RCAF Photos)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25202).  (Avro and RCAF Photos)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25203).  (RCAF Photo)

 (Don Rogers Photo)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25204).

 (RCAF Photo)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25205).

 (Author Photo)

 (AHunt Photo)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 25206), Canada Air & Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.


 (EyeNo Photo)

Avro CF-105 Arrow (Serial No. 252003), full size replica with the Toronto Aerospace Museum, Toronto, Ontario.

Artwork by Thorium, projecting what might have been the colours of Avro CF-105s in service.  Each illustration shows an Arrow armed with one of the possible missile configurations, either the AIM-4A Falcon, the cancelled Canadair Velvet Glove or the AIM-7 Sparrow II.  One illustration depicts an Arrow armed with an early anti-ship air-to-sea missile, the Nord SS.12/AS.12.  The Arrows are drawn with the weapons bay deployed in order to show their weaponry.

Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk. I (Serial No. 25456), coded VQ, armed with eight AIM-4A Falcon Anti-aircraft missiles, No. 419 All Weather Fighter Squadron, RCAF, hypothetical colours, CFB Baden Soellingen, Germany, 1964.  (Thorium illustration)

Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk. I (Serial No. 25837), coded E, armed with three AIM-7 Sparrow II missiles, No. 439 All Weather Fighter Squadron, RCAF, hypothetical colours, CFB Marville, France, 1968.  (Thorium illustration)

Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk. I (Serial No. 25523), armed with Canadair Blue Velvet missile, No. 414 All Weather Fighter Squadron, RCAF, hypothetical colours, CFB St. Hubert, Quebec, 1967.  (Thorium illustration)

Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk. I (Serial No. 25428), armed with four NORD SS.12/AS.12, No. 405 Patrol Squadron, RCAF, hypothetical colours, CFB Comox, British Columbia, 1967.  (Thorium illustration)

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