In the late 1950s, the Cold War was in full swing with the United States at each other’s throats. If the Russians were to launch an attack on the United States their bombers were likely to travel through Canada. The Avro Canada aircraft manufacturing division took it upon themselves to develop the fighter that would keep North America safe from those attacks, the Avro Arrow.
The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft. The Arrow is considered to have been an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry.
The CF-105 (Mark 2) held the promise of near-Mach 2 speeds at altitudes of 50,000 feet (15,000 m)The first Arrow Prototype Mk. I, RL-201, was rolled out to the public on 4 October 1957. 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
The Avro Arrow was the most advanced fighter jet in the world when it debuted in 1958. The Arrow had avionics, radar, agility, reaching speeds over Mach 2.5, and weaponry far beyond that of any other fighter taking to the skies at the time. Even its titanium airframe was something unheard of in aviation enabling it to achieve incredible performance. But the feature that stood out about the Avro Arrow was its amazing range, which would have allowed it to patrol the vast airspace over Canada.
Needless to that that the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was an astounding fighter jet. However, just as things were nearing completion the Avro Plant received the news over the radio from the Canadian Prime Minister as he addressed the House of Commons.
The news came as a shock to the Avro Canada corporation who soon had to lay off the nearly 15,000 workings on the Arrow project. The best fighter the world had ever seen was canceled, the factory shut down and all existing fighters were destroyed without even being preserved for museum displays.
On 20 February 1959, the development of the Arrow was abruptly halted before a planned project review had taken place. 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 topic for debate among historians and industry pundits. “This action effectively put Avro out of business and its highly skilled engineering and production personnel scattered.