The Ottawa Citizen

January 14, 1997

Letters to the Editor

Arrow points

As a member of the Aviation Writers Association of America at the time of the Arrow controversy, I want to comment on the Jan. 9 story, "The man who flew the Arrow."

  • The Avro Arrow CF 105 was by no means a Canadian effort, though it was supported by Canadian government funding. A.V. Roe was U.K.-owned.
  • There was opposition to the project in the Armed Forces. The aircraft had to be considered part of a system requiring new hangars, radar, runways, spare parts.
  • The project was - as military aviation history has shown - too ambitious to be undertaken by one country. All advanced fighter aircraft for countries without a military aviation establishment of the size of the United States are co-operative projects.
  • Peter Newman wrote a devastating report on the inaugural flight, quoting popping rivets left on the runway. The aircraft was not taken to full speed. It was a PR exercise.
  • It remains a glorious chapter of the Diefenbaker years that he stood firm in the face of blatant blackmail by Crawford Gordon when he confronted Diefenbaker with the threat to fire 40,000 workers virtually overnight unless Diefenbaker knuckled under. He did not and maintained the primacy of the political as against the corporate agenda.

Edgar Sarton, Ottawa.


Icon in hiding

Rumor has it that one Arrow got away and that it was kept out of the destructive hands of Dief the theif. If so, whoever perpetrated such a dastardly act must be exonerated - venerated, even - and they should be persuaded to bring this Canadian national icon back into the light. There must be strict understanding that it can be very quickly hidden again, should the Conservatives threaten to regain power.
Peter Dobbing, Ottawa.

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