Avro Arrow Story, The (Amazing Stories)
- Softcover128 pages
The Revolutionary Airplane and its Courageous Test Pilots
In the 1950s, A. V. Roe Canada was at the forefront of aviation development worldwide. After building one of the first jet airliners and completing production of Canada's first jet fighter, the company was poised to launch its most revolutionary design - the Avro Arrow. Despite the efforts of courageous test pilots and some of the world’s best designers, engineers, and technicians, the dream was shattered.
Streaking along the corridor from its home base of Malton, Ontario, to Lake Superior, the CF-105 Arrow, with a burst of its afterburners, accelerated effortlessly past the sound barrier, then zoomed straight up. Avro Aircraft Test Pilot Janusz "Zura" Zurakowski intended to fly RL-201, the first Mk.1 Arrow produced, faster and higher than ever before on this seventh test flight. The date was April 18, 1958.
The CF-105 clawed for altitude; Zura carefully set the dual throttles at just below maximum power as instructed by the Flight Engineering Department. After the first series of five test aircraft were evaluated, only then would the Arrow Mk.2 be used to set new world speed and altitude records. Gerald Barbour had just finished his shift at the Avro plant, and, as was his habit, he parked his car alongside Dixon Road. A number of other cars eased to a stop behind him. Straining up into the sky, Barbour could make out the faint contrails of the Arrow and its chase planes.
High above, Zura stood the Arrow on its tail, pulling away from his chase planes as he passed 50,000 feet, still accelerating. Easing the throttles back, he noted while still climbing, the Machmeter had reached 1.52. Levelling out, he tested the handling characteristics of Canada's newest supersonic aircraft. Satisfied that the scheduled 40-minute flight was proceeding satisfactorily, he held station until the two chase planes finally came alongside.
Glancing over at test pilots Peter Cope in the CF-100 and Flight Lieutenant Jack Woodman in the Sabre, he gave them both a big grin. Although they were flying in the Royal Canadian Air Force's latest fighters, the CF-105 had left them far behind during this test fight. The incredible potential of the Avro Arrow was just beginning to be fulfilled.
About the Author
Bill Zuk is an aviation historian and author whose interest in the Avro Arrow dates back to a time when he was an Air Cadet. He is an active member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society and the Western Canada Aviation Museum. Currently a teacher-librarian in Pembina Trails School Division in Winnipeg, he also works as the training coordinator for the aviation industry in Manitoba. His writing career began in 1997 when he was involved in the Arrow mini-series. He is the author of Avrocar: Canada's Flying Saucer and Janusz Zurakowski: Legend in the Skies. He also worked on the documentary Avrocar: Saucer Secrets from the Past, which was based on his book. He was able to fulfill an improbable dream of actually building a flying saucer, albeit, a movie version. In 2003, he served as the curator of a travelling exhibition, The Avro Arrow: A Dream is Denied and directed two film documentaries, Bearing His Soul and Zero Over the Prairies, for CTV and PBS
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