Saturday, 21 February 2009

Remembering the Avro Arrrow

Fifty years ago, on February 20, 1959 (Black Friday), the Conservatives under John Diefenbaker killed the world's most advanced fighter interceptor, the Canadian-designed and built Avro Arrow and the Iroquois jet engine, then the world's most powerful jet engine. In doing that, they destroyed the Canadian aircraft industry for 25 years and also destroyed the livelihood of about 15,000 highly skilled Canadian workers and professionals at A.V. Roe and another 35,000 who worked in plants that supplied A.V. Roe. They did it because they had no vision of Canada, because they didn't believe in Canadian excellence, they preferred mediocrity then just as Conservatives do now.

Here are a few more pictures of what might have been one of Canada's greatest triumphs:

First flight on March 25, 1958

Jan Zurakowski, Arrow chief test pilot in 1998

The Arrow was the only plane in the world in 1959 that could fly at Mach 2 (about 2,500 km/hr).

Want to know more? Click here for the Wikipedia Arrow entry.

And here's a YouTube video of the first flight.

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