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Navy Hunts Lake Ontario For Avro Arrow Models

Posted on Friday, July 09 at 16:52 by Canadaka

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In 1959, citing cost concerns, the Canadian government ordered all the prototypes of the most advanced fighter jet in the world chopped up and the blueprints destroyed.

All that's left of the Arrow are three-metre test models fired out over the lake from a missile testing range.

Bill Coyle, with the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada, was an engineer who watched two of the tests.

"To be able to display that for all future generations to see and touch is going to mean an awful lot," said Coyle.

Coyle requested help from the navy to locate the models. HMCS Glace Bay was already on Lake Ontario for training exercises.

Crew member Cpt. Scott Healy says he's glad to help in the search.

"It would be nice to know that we helped out in some small capacity in fulfilling their dream of putting a piece of Canadian aerospace history on the map again," said Healy.

If crew members find a model at the bottom of the lake, they won't retrieve it, but will mark its location.


It could take up to a year before a model could be raised from the lake to avoid causing any further damage.

"You want to avoid any more damage then has been caused by 50 years of sitting on the lake bottom," says Nancy Binnie, with the Canadian Conservation Institute.

Arrow experts say the models are of historical importance because they're all that's left of the once-promising $400-million project.

The first flight of the Avro Arrow prototype took place on March 25, 1958. Less than a year later, the entire project was scrapped by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker because of escalating costs.

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