Canada’s Response to the Avro Saga

In the wake of the Avro Arrow’s demise, Canada found itself at a crossroads in its defense strategy. Freed from the Avro contract, the Canadian government made a strategic move by purchasing 66 second-hand Voodoo fighter jets from the United States. These jets, though not matching the speed prowess of the Arrow, provided a crucial supplement to Canada’s defense capabilities. Additionally, Canada joined the Bomarc program, an initiative stemming from the 1957 NORAD agreement with the United States, aimed at bolstering surface-to-air defense with guided missile systems.

Shifting Sentiments and Policy Changes

However, as the decade unfolded, a wave of anti-nuclear sentiment swept through Canadian public opinion, prompting a significant shift in defense policy. In response to these sentiments, Canada opted to withdraw its armed forces from nuclear roles and ultimately shut down the Bomarc system. Ironically, the combined cost of acquiring the Voodoo jets and the Bomarc system exceeded the entire expenditure of the Arrow program.

The Tragic Demise of Avro

The downfall of Avro was swift and tragic in the aftermath of the Arrow’s cancellation. The resignation of Avro’s president, Gordon, in July 1959 marked the beginning of the end. His untimely death in 1967, likely due to alcoholism, further added to the somber narrative. Fred Smye, Avro’s vice president and general manager during the Arrow program, followed suit with his resignation in 1959. By April 1962, Avro met its demise as the parent company, Hawker Siddeley Group, dissolved it, selling off its assets for $15.6 million.

The Legacy of Sir Roy Dobson and Crawford Gordon Jr.

Sir Roy Dobson, representing Avro’s parent company Hawker Siddeley, and Avro president Crawford Gordon Jr., stood at the helm during the tumultuous period of the Arrow’s development. Their leadership, though marked by the program’s ultimate failure, remains intertwined with the legacy of Canadian aerospace history.

Short-Term Disarray, Long-Term Resilience

In the immediate aftermath of the Arrow’s cancellation, Canada’s aerospace industry faced a period of turmoil. Top engineers migrated to other countries, with some contributing to groundbreaking projects such as the Concorde and various initiatives within NASA. However, despite the initial setback, Canada’s aviation and scientific communities proved resilient. Spar Aerospace, a key player in the Arrow project, transitioned to designing the iconic Canadarm, symbolizing Canada’s continued prowess in space exploration.

Looking Ahead: A Thriving Aerospace Sector

Today, Canada’s aerospace industry stands as a testament to resilience and innovation. With a contribution of nearly $25 billion to the gross domestic product and approximately 190,000 jobs, it remains a vital component of the Canadian economy. Despite the challenges of the past, the legacy of the Avro Arrow serves as a reminder of Canada’s enduring commitment to excellence in aviation and technology.

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3 thoughts on “Canada’s Response to the Avro Saga

  1. Despite the challenges of the past, the legacy of the Avro Arrow serves as a reminder of Canada’s enduring commitment to excellence in aviation and technology.

  2. What an awesome series on the Avro Arrow, even though the story is both sad and excitingly thrilling, even more so with the new development and rebuilding news found at and the

    so refreshing to have the journalism that is not always canada bashing like the mainstream bullshit news.

    We are lucky to have Canada’s mystery billionaire that you wrote about before, otherwise we would never know, that is nationalist and pro canada, not like some maniacs we hear about all the time in the news that people don’t know their real character. At least he is not a narc (narcissistic publicity hound dog) and likes real people more than robots and doesn’t do shit genocide at the expense of the common people, and is like many Canadians non-chalant and prefer a private life even though a genius super achiever. We should call him Mr. Space or Captain Avro and give him the Order of Canada medal or something.
    Keep digging up the news, the truth is out there, thanks for writing about something many people don’t know about. We do really have a lot of awesome talent in Canada and maybe people will be optimistic again and have made in canada jobs and careers, and not have to buy foreign aircraft with remote disabling and foreign technology dependent deals and parts and service. something really ultra-nationalist, give you a whole new meaning to white supremacy, hahahaha, get it, white avro arrow, of course, the next one may be more stealth or invisible with crazy light bending technology and be DEW proof and capable of hypersonic missile launch, as it is an interceptor and not a fighter. I remember going to the toronto Aerospace museum and the Wetaskawin museum? in Alberta, and to stand underneath it gives you the pure awesomeness of how big that aircraft is, totally awesome dude, like holy crap that’s a big plane.
    Of course we need to re-invent education and trades and get rid of all the traitors, socialists and communists in canada and have someone really pro canadian, not wimpy, faggoty imbeciles, so to do that again would be a challenge especially since that last 4 years of de-industrialization and the war on private enterprise and stupid endless debt money from the government for stupid countries that we should have nothing to do with, that’s another story. thanks for the avro arrow series again, that’s great.

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