NWORA Remembrance Vol.4 - NE99

NE99

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I 'm always suspicious when something starts with "This....is absolutely true...." Interesting reading though....food for thought as they say. This particular story is absolutely true. In 1953 (when I was 11 and in Canada), the government got in a panic over the fact that WWIII was then quite likely and that it would be fought over the most populated areas of Canada, between Soviet bombers laden with H-bombs and short range US interceptors using nuclear anti-aircraft missiles (yes, we had them). Whoever won, Canada would have been left a pile of radioactive waste, and the US attitude amounted to "So?". So, the Canadian government decided to spend a colossal amount of money to make its airspace unattractive to the Russkies. They decided to build a flying missile platform so fast that it could reach the Arctic border before the Russians, and unleash nuclear air-to-air missiles on Russian territory. This required a Mach 3 heavy airplane: a missile platform without the maneuverability of a fighter, but flying at speeds that make dogfights impossible. They literally collected the whole British aeronautical talent at a time when Britain led the world in aircraft design. In October 1957, just as I went to TCS, they rolled out the CF-105, a design way ahead of every other aircraft in the world. In the process, they had discovered the Area Rule (which makes supersonic flight possible), the delta wing, and a slew of other major breakthroughs. The aircraft, designed for Mach 3.2, broke the sound barrier on its third flight and 1000 mph on its seventh, and was ordered into full production. Suddenly, with no warning, the program was cancelled in February 1959. "all aircraft, engines, production tooling and technical data were ordered scrapped. Officially, the reason given for the destruction order from Cabinet and the Chiefs of Staff was to destroy classified and "secret" materials utilized in the Arrow/Iroquois programs. The action has been attributed to Royal Canadian Mounted Police fears that Soviets had infiltrated Avro, later confirmed in the Mitrokhin archives. All aircraft, engines, production tooling and technical data were ordered scrapped. (Wikipedia)". The seven aircraft already flying were secretly cut up and disposed of without a trace. The reason given at the time was that the new Diefenbaker government had decided to save money, which seemed like an insane reason for destroying every trace of the most advanced aircraft program in the world. I did not buy it, but the declassification of documents did not provide answers until 2009. It seems that we got wind that the Soviets were just as busy on the program as Canada was...and we were also sharing the technology with the US, resulting in the secret F-108 program. The mounties tried to find the Soviet spies, but determined that the program was so totally infiltrated as to make that impossible (you will recall that all the scientists were Brits, at a time when many Brits were pro-Soviet). The Mounties and the CIA, however, determined that one key secret was still secret: the metallurgy of the turbine blades which allowed a speed of Mach 3.2 at a time when all known alloys were theoretically limited to Mach 2.8, and this was the reason for the speedy destruction of the seven planes that had already been rolled out, and could have gone to Museums or simply stored. It was also the reason that the Canadian government denied a request to establish new speed and altitude records before all planes were scrapped, since the Mach 3.2 capability had to be kept secret. Newspaper stories had referred to the Arrow only as "Mach 2+". Both Soviets and Americans, of course, went on with their parallel program. The Soviets rolled out their version of the Arrow, the Mig-25, in 1964. As you can see, the plane is almost identical and has a top speed of Mach 2.8. It is still (as far as we know) the fastest plane ever flown by them. It set seven world records (the ones the Arrow was not allowed to set), including speed and altitude (123,000 ft.), since beaten only by the SR-71. In the meantime the US kept its Arrow, the F-108, secret, and here it is, declassified at last. Does it look familiar? Now, let's remember that the Arrow, Mig-25 and F-108 were all useless as fighters. Their only role was to fly to the stratosphere at lightning speed, and fire missiles at something going very fast....a some- thing that did not exist. In fact, the US had secretly started designing that something, the B-70 Valkyrie, in 1954; and the Soviets later copied it as the Sukhoi T-4 (the spies were busy!). But by the time we rolled out a working Valkyrie in May 1964, the Mig 25 had appeared (we are not talking coincidences here), making the B-70 vulnerable. Since we had known that the Soviets had the Arrow (pardon...the Mig-25!) since 1960, we had been developing our own Arrow, the F-108, to escort the B-70, but giving it big enough fuel tanks proved impossible. That made the B-70 useless, and we scrapped it: unlike the Arrow, it went to a museum in Ohio. The development of Soviet land-based missiles that could shoot Gary Powers out of the stratosphere in 1960 had taken all the fun out of super-planes anyway, and both the US and Russia gave them up (undoubtedly by secret treaty). We scrapped the B-70 and F-108; they retired the Mig-25 and scrapped the T-4, also now in a museum. No Mach-3 planes have been designed since, with the sole exception of the SR-71, the two-engine development of the F-108, which is unarmed. The Soviets briefly put the Mig-25 back into production to counter the Blackbird, but when the two met, the Blackbird flew at Mach 3.2, and the Mig-25 suffered turbine meltdown trying to catch up. As all that the SR-71 was designed to do can now be done by satellites, it too went to various museums. Why the Avro Arrow was Killed! Now the truth comes out Submitted article: Author Unknown Forget-me-not Remembrance Vol.4 31

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