Political Environment of the Avro Arrow

The demise of the Avro CF-105 Arrow and why our Canadian government canceled the “State of the Art” fighter jet. I think we have to understand the Political Environment at the time and what really happened to the Avro Arrow Program.

wikimedia .org Avro Arrow

image from Wikimedia .org


In 1960, the elect Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was trying to distance Canada from the neighbors to the south. Canada’s PM thought at the time the United States was getting too pushy and demanding. And now he’s worried about with the newly elected President John F Kennedy. He thought JFK was an inexperienced rich guy and a bully.

So as research shows, there was a toxic environment between US President Kennedy and Prime Minister Diefenbaker right from the get-go. There was no shortage of articles on their dislike for each other.

 “Rostow Memo”

Now, with the Cuban and the USSR crisis escalating and Canada being “geographically” in a bad situation, our heads of state had to put their differences aside and come up with a plan on how best to defend our two nations, these two bulldogs agreed to form NORAD

“North American Aerospace Defense Command”

Keep in mind; the story is about our Avro Arrow jet fighter. It was designed solely for that reason to help ward off the threat from anything flying over the North Pole, and over our sovereign territory.

Having agreed to form Norad, the US also wanted, no insisted that these Bomarc Missiles be-armed with nuke warheads. Again, our prime minister didn’t like being bullied by the United States, who was still trying to force Canada into having nuclear warheads on Canadian soil, “that was out,” he said.


Kennedy would refer to our Prime Minister, “That, WHATEVER HIS NAME IS”

I guess Kennedy at the time must have forgotten that Canada was between the USSR and the United States and that, in fact, they did need Canada’s help. I guess by the US showing their appreciation; the President would slander our PM,  deliberately mispronounce his name because he had German heritage, and he did it not privately, but PUBLICLY.


Behind the scenes and downplaying our State of The Art Jet Fighter that they would no longer be needed in the future conflicts of the world, missiles are where the future was taking us.  But having said that, (they, the US) did not give up their aerospace industry, they just wanted Canada’s industry — gone.

So, as the Avro Arrow was outperforming anything in the sky at that time and capable of doing MACH 2+. It did turn some heads in other foreign Government agencies. Our contribution to World War 2 in the aviation industry made many skilled workers and talented engineers. Everybody knew Canada had talent and technology.

Our overworked engineers that played a vital role in the war effort just a few years before helped to implement the construction and design of this futuristic CF-105 Interceptor. It was the pride and envy of the Canada aerospace industry.

This whole project was taken on by our government because at the time, we needed a high altitude and a supersonic plane that would meet our Canadian environment and commitments to NATO and the newly formed Norad.

As the story goes, there was nothing to be bought.  The Americans had a Voodoo F101 jet fighter to sell, but our political leaders didn’t think it was up to the task.

So, the Canadian government decided to manufacture our own, to our specifications, to our environment. And thus came the CF-105 Interceptor.



*The Americans wanted and demanded consolations from the Canadian government during and after the missile crisis

*Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker wanted to distance Canada from the US and that, was before the noticeable feuding and the demanding President Kennedy, he thought the US as a whole were getting too pushy.

*Avro Arrow was state of the art, and the pride of all Canadians.

* Behind the scenes, the US convinced our Canadian Defense Department to abandon the Avro Arrow and not to endorse it because missiles were the way of the future, knowing completely well, they weren’t giving up their industry. It just seemed they wanted Canada’s …gone.

*The Americans not endorsing our CF-105 Jet Fighter supposedly put an end to all our aerospace achievements in Canada …… Like any industry, the Avro Aerospace Company needed sales and endorsements of their jet fighter. By our brothers from the south not endorsing or wanting to buy any part of the Avro, put the last nail in the coffin.

* At the end of the day, our Aerospace industry disappeared as we knew it, NEVER TO RETURN in Canada.

*We needed replacement aircraft and in the end, ended up buying surplus Voodoo F101 Jets Fighters from the US “The same jets our war department didn’t think we’re up to the task.”

* After the fall of the Diefenbaker government and new US Friendlier government was in place. Bomarc Missiles were armed with nuclear warheads, “On Canadian soil.” And in the end, as history claims, they turned out to be expensive duds.

Feb. 20/1959, John Diefenbaker after being strong-armed into canceling the Avro Arrow and the future of Canada’s aerospace industry. Ultimately all our engineers /brains on the Avro Project went south to the United States. That on its own, adding insult to injury.

I think today they call it a  Canadian ‘BRAIN DRAIN”

Did the US government influence the media and that the Avro Arrow was a waste of Canadian tax dollars. And in the end, they published not so pleasant news, putting doubts in the minds of all Canadians. Their tax money was being wasted on, that old technology.

A Supersonic airplane that Canada built, was capable of doing Mach 2+ and, nobody wanted it! (Mach 2 is pretty FAST) That’s twice the speed of sound.

  • In comparison, the Avro Arrow was the fastest plane flying at the time “short of the US Spy plane” Most did Planes only did MACH 1

After the Arrow cancellation, when our Prime Minister ordered everything gone like it never happened and only as ─ the story goes. Foreign Companies lined up at the door wanting to buy something, anything of the advanced Avro Technology.  I have to wonder, where were our NATO “friends” before? “The Demise Of The Avro Arrow”.

I can hear our PM John Diefenbaker saying



Even though the same engineers went south and took their knowledge with them and ultimately helped our ”brother” in  their NASA program, and, we all know without the Canadian engineers helping the Americans with their projects,

Hell, the Americans would still be working on the first generation jetpack.

At the end of the day, there is no real proof that there were outside influences at work, Canada’s Ex-Prime Minister Diefenbaker made the call ─ he alone.

Diefenbaker paid the ultimate price Come elections time.

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Searching Lake Ontario For The Avro Arrow/

Please check out  “The demise of the Avro Arrow-PART- 1”

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Size of the Avro Arrow

Comparing Plane Sizes

Their are many articles on Canada’s history and where Canada turned right when Canada should have turned left and the story of the Avro Arrow CF-105 Interceptor was one of those times.

Canada’s very own state of the art Avro Arrow CF-105 Supersonic Interceptor was the pride of all Canadian’s

There’s no shortage of books and material on the subject of the Canadian built Avro Arrow Fighter Jet Interceptor. But you would be hard-pressed to find any information on this engineering feet south of the border.

But this post is about the demise, the cancellation of the Avro Arrow program and why did it happen?

It was homegrown, born, built, and manufactured right here on Canadian soil. It was the pride of all Canadians citizens and the military elites.

The sudden cancelation of the Avro Arrow Interceptor in 1959 was and still is a big mystery then and today. Most articles on this “state of the art” Jet Fighter is fascinating reading and with many different authors perspective and conspiracies.

The demise of the Avro Arrow and this is my theory.

“What happened on Canada’s Black Friday?”

Just in case know body knows what this Canadian blogger is talking about, The CF-105 Interceptor was built in Canada to ward off the threat of a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union in the early 60s. It did the speed of Mach 2 and rumor has it, that with the new engines, it could reach Mach 3. After four where completed and airworthy, the project was suddenly, canceled by Canada’s lustiest leaders. But the question is always — why.

The demise of the Avro Arrow is still a mystery, why.

So now I’m reading the latest article with still no clear answer, why our former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker decided to lay off 15,000 of his countryman and— thousands more Canadians that were indirectly affected by his sudden decision. But all writers and historians agree on one major thing, and all wondered −− WHY?

Did our Prime Minister wake up in a bad mood, did he not get his breakfast on time. No BOOM-BOOM that night. What made him make such a drastic move that would affect so many people in his own country?

To know the answer, we have to think the way he thought, and the pressure he was under at the time. Through this series of three, hopefully, I will share my thinking on the demise of the Avro Arrow.

The Canadian people voted and trusted the Progressive Conservative party back then. The mainstream thinking and still today that, the elected politician, officials would have Canadians as their number one priority. Keeping Canadians and all of Canada in their best interest.

The sudden demise of the Avro Arrow is still a mystery today and has affected Canada’s growth in the aeronautics industry then and even up to today.

History might say that was not one of Canadian Prime Ministers Diefenbaker’s better moves.

Avro Arrow Untold StoryWhen Prime Minister John Diefenbaker finally decided to shut down the program, he kept his decision well hidden from everybody, and even his closest aides didn’t know. It was a top-secret to everybody until he announced in Parliament. Surprised by some and a disappointment by others.

Keeping this decision hidden from everybody does show a human nature side of him, he knew the consequences would be significant. Not to his wildest dreams, thinking it would affect Canadians 60 years later and up until today.

Conspiracy theorist believes the demise of the Avro Arrow Interceptor program that there was — something different going on.

So was this spontaneous thinking or was as theorist would believe he was strong-armed into canceling this state of the art airplane.


As of today, I decided to “lay off 15,000”, I mean cancel the Avro Arrow Program. And laying off all our faithful workers in our aviation industry effective as of, NOW, as we speak, Disbanded all making of the Avro Arrow program, “we want it … GONE!”

Our fearless Government at the time could not have given this a long-term THOUGHT?

Please check out this YouTube video on the Avro Arrow.

The teletypes couldn’t print the news fast enough. In the factories at lightning speed, they got the news. The management was instructed by a higher-up to read this message out loud to the workers, so on October 14, 1959, “Black Friday,” it was said, effective immediately, send your workers home. Shut her down boys, take the rest of the day off, and don’t forget to take all your personals with you — just in case you don’t come back, “Which they didn’t.”

So, that day was labeled Black Friday by the unemployed Avro workers, Canada’s Aviation Industry, as we knew it was gone. And still today we have no aviation industry we can say is our own and that Canada could be proud of with the saying, Made in Canada, Eh.

But going back to Canada’s state of the art Avro Arrow CF-105, What made our Prime Minister do such a thing?

 Did this have anything to do with it?

The US under-handedly leaking to the press that they would not buy any of Canada’s “State of the art Interceptors” — could that have sealed the fate of the Avro Arrow CF-105 program. “The Domino Effect.”

At the time, publicly, it was well known that the Kennedy administration didn’t get along with, “As they put it, boring” Canadian Prime Minister,” but that couldn’t be a deciding factor or, did it have something to do with it? …  Eh

  • Did the US President John F Kennedy meddle in Canada’s affairs and elections and HAPPILY cause the cancelation of the Arrow program because it wasn’t  US made?

At the time, CF- 105 was better than anything in the United States or that anybody flew in the air.

The demise of Canada’s Avro Arrow, “could it have been caused by Political Interference?” — Na, that doesn’t happen, Eh.

Eventually, the fallout from the canceling of the Avro took its toile on the Diefenbaker’s Conservative Government.

If this is true, I will remove Kennedy from my favorite US Presidents list, and it’s, getting pretty short.

*** (Note) At the end of the day, with all remnants of Canada’s Jets Fighter gone like they never existed, Canada still had commitments to fill with Nato and the newly committed “NORAD.”  So, we still had to purchase much-needed jet fighters for the task of warding off the “Enemy.”

So, where do you think the new additions to Canada’s Air Forces where bought?

“Outside Canada — USA” Eh

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What really happened to the Avro Arrow part 2


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