October 14, 2020

AVRO Arrow Flight Test Model Found


After a four-year search for any of the five one-eighth scale AVRO Arrow test models launched from a Canadian military base at Prince Edward County, Ontario’s Point Petre during the early days of the supersonic Arrow program from 1954 to 1957, the first test model has been found at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

As reported in the January 31, 2020 edition of eFlight, the privately funded organization, OEX Recovery Group Incorporated, launched the exploration project, dubbed ‘Raise the Arrow Project’, in 2016. OEX was founded by Osisko Mining Inc. CEO John Burzynski.

Scale test models of the CF-105 Arrow were used as there were no wind tunnels large enough to accommodate a full-scale mock-up.

In order to narrow down the search area, OEX enlisted the support of the RCAF, who made their chief historian, Richard Mayne, available. Using archival material, including documents in the National Research Council, Mayne was able to come up with possible landing zones in the lake. These covered about 100 square kilometres of lakebed.

“John [Burzynski] and his team had a lot of these details,” Mayne told the National Post. “What they were able to do is put everything together in a way that it hadn’t been before.”

Using sonar imaging, last September OEX spotted an image on the lakebed that matched the blueprints of the test model, albeit in pieces. “I immediately knew what it was and my first reaction was ‘fantastic. Darn,’” said Burzynski. “It was immediately evident to me that the model, and almost certainly the other ones, when they hit the water, they had come apart at the welds and settled as pieces on the floor.”

OEX is in the process of determining the best way to recover the pieces.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Aviation and Space Museum