Avro Arrow (CF-105), an advanced, supersonic, twin-engined, all-weather interceptor jet aircraft developed by A.V. Roe of Canada from 1949 until the government's controversial cancellation of the project in 1959.
Avro Arrow (CF-105), an advanced, supersonic, twin-engined, all-weather interceptor jet aircraft developed by A.V. Roe of Canada from 1949 until the government's controversial cancellation of the project in 1959. Encouraged by A.V. Roe's success in developing the Avro CF-100 Canuck and recognizing the need for an aircraft to counter the threat of Soviet bombers over the demanding Canadian North, enthusiastic RCAF officers, defence scientists and defence-industry officials had persuaded the Liberal government by December 1953 to authorize two prototype airframes in anticipation of a production run of up to 600 aircraft costing $2 million apiece.
Canada was also forced to develop the Arrow's engine and fire-control and missile systems, and estimated costs rose to $12.5 million per aircraft. Test flights indicated that with the proper engines the plane could well be the world's fastest and most advanced interceptor. However, doubts mounted as the government's order shrank to 100 and unit costs rose. In October 1958, to cut costs, the new Conservative government terminated Canadian fire-control and missile development, and renewed efforts to sell the aircraft to the US, just when the US was promoting Bomarc missiles and the USSR's launch of an ICBM missile was raising doubts about the priority of the Soviet bomber threat.
After export efforts again failed, the project was cancelled on 20 February 1959. A.V. Roe bitterly fired 14,000 employees; the government ordered all plans and prototypes destroyed; and many Canadians bemoaned the devastation of Canada's aircraft industry, the resulting flight of scientists and engineers to the US, and Canada's renewed dependence on the US for interceptor aircraft.