Canada Kicks Ass

Legendary Arrow's first pilot dies
Date: Wednesday, February 11 2004
Topic: International News

BARRY'S BAY, Ont. -- Janusz Zurakowski, the first pilot of the revolutionary Avro Arrow aircraft, has died at age 89, more than four decades after the historic plane's inaugural flight. Zurakowski died Monday evening of leukemia at his home in this eastern Ontario town in Renfrew County's Madawaska Valley, his son, George, said yesterday.

A decorated Polish-born ace aviator, Zurakowski fled fascist and communist dictatorships in Poland and took up temporary residence in France and England before putting down roots in Canada.

In 1952, Zurakowski was recruited by the Avro Aircraft company as a test pilot for the Arrow, Canada's first supersonic jet. He eventually moved his family to the region of Kaszuby in northern Ontario.

The first flight of the Avro Arrow was March 25, 1958, at Toronto's Malton Airport, at 9:51 p.m. Later, the Arrow would travel at almost twice the speed of sound. Development of the plane was cancelled the next year.

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