Avro Arrow replica could take to the skies after decades of work

Avro Arrow replica could take to the skies after decades of work

SubscriptionsGo to the Subscriptions Centre to manage your:My ProfileOver the years, people have built replicas for display purposes, but a group of volunteers in Calgary have much higher hopes for their model they’re building a 0.6 scale replica of the famous jet that could one day take flight.Paul Gies stands in front of the Arrow II. Roe Aviation Museum Association.”It was unfortunate that that much technology and achievement was lost.”The Avro Arrow was designed to intercept Russian jets over Canada’s north, shoot them down and then return to base to reload another missile. Roe Canada in Malton, Ont., the Arrow was built to intercept Soviet bombers that might have entered North American airspace over the North Pole during the Cold War.Hailed for the advanced technology it represented, the program was halted suddenly on Feb. 20, 1959 by Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.The program, supported by his Liberal predecessor, Louis St. Laurent, was expected to have a final cost of $1 billion and was deemed too expensive. All existing prototypes were destroyed.”It’s almost legendary because of the way the program was terminated, but also what it did,” said Gies. “At the time it was built, it was the fastest, highest flying aircraft. It was a program that put Canada on the forefront of aviation development.”Labour of loveAt a small hangar at Calgary’s Springbank Airport, a handful of volunteers gather each Tuesday for build night.They’ve been meeting over the last 20 years, and spent the first eight years in research and development.Building a model of the plane will be difficult enough, but the group is also ensuring that the aircraft called the Arrow II is built to conform to the amateur build regulations of Canada, making it an even more painstaking process.”There are some departures [from the original plane] to make it compatible with how we have to fly it,” Gies said. “It will operate under a special certificate of airworthiness when we do fly it.”
Avro Arrow replica could take to the skies after decades of work