The AVRO Arrow is born (Again)

At a public meeting held in Brampton on the evening of February 28th and sponsored by Heritage Mississauga a presentation was given entitled, “Flying Into History / Remembering the Avro Arrow”.  A panel discussion was part of the evening and included a representative from Heritage Mississauga, former Mississauga Councillor, Dave Cook, and Special guest panelist, Mr. Claude Sherwood.  The event recognized the 60th Anniversary of “Black Friday”, February 20, 1959.   On that date Prime Minister John Diefenbaker announced the immediate cancellation of the AVRO Arrow program.  All traces of the program – planes, parts and plans- were ordered to be destroyed.  In the weeks and months following the cancellation, the five flying Arrows were cut into scrap, and all in-production aircrafts, including the nearly finished RL-206, were destroyed.  By an amazing coincidence the nose cone of RL-206 survived and is now on display in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.  The five flying Arrows engaged in the test program were powered by Pratt & Whitney J75 engines.  In early 1959 the first Mark II Arrow, RL-206, was nearing completion and was to be fitted with the more powerful Orenda PS-13 “Iroquois” engine, but that never happened.  Panelist, Dave Cook, told the story of a PS-13 engine being shipped to the UK but never returning.  He said that the dimensions of the Olympus Engines that powered the Concorde Airliner have dimensions amazingly close to that of the PS-13.

Nearly five decades later In October 2006 a full-scale replica of the “Arrow” was built by volunteers of the then Canadian Air and Space Museum located, at Downsview Airport.  Claude Sherwood was the Chief Engineer for the project.  The Arrow was on public display for some five years until the museum was evicted by Downsview Park.   In 2013 the Arrow was moved to Pearson Airport for storage until a site could be secured.  Many options were exercised without success.  In early November 2018, the museum transformed into the “Canadian Air and Space Conservancy” based at Edenvale Aerodrome, Hwy. 26, Simcoe County.  When the City of Mississauga became aware of the impending move of the Arrow to Edenvale, it made an offer to the “Conservancy” to retain the Arrow in Mississauga, but that possibility was declined.  With that news, Mississauga Councillor, Carolyn Parrish held a meeting at Mississauga City Hall, attending were city staff, Dave Cook, CAHS Toronto Chapter President Sheldon Benner, Bob Winson and Bill Tee.  Councillor Parrish then made the decision to proceed with the construction and display of a full-scale mounted Arrow Replica at Wildwood Park, off Derry road at a site just south of the present CF-100.   In the intervening time Councillor Parrish has received offers of assistance from corporations, the Malton BIA and the federal government.  At the end of the meeting in Brampton, Councillor Parrish made the formal announcement of the Arrow Project with a construction timeline of two years.  A construction team has already been formed.

Compiled by Bob Winson  March 2019