History, Musing

FROM THE ASHES.

If the Phoenix can rise from the ashes then why not an Arrow of the Gods. We did it once, we can do it again. After all “WE ARE CANADIAN”.

I was a young teenager when the Arrow was built and I saw her fly once. To say she was beautiful is inadequate. This was our plane and we showed the world just how great Canada could be. I realize a great mythology has grown up around her over the years and rightly so. She was our dream and it was stolen from us by politicians who caved in to veiled American threats. This plane sent shivers up and down the spine of both the Americans and the Soviets. Mainly for the same reason, they had nothing that could touch her. The Arrow with the Orenda “Iroquois” engine would have been unbeatable and the flexibility and innovation in her design would have kept her on top for decades. It was not to be, the Fates intervened and a “Prairie Lawyer” became Prime Minister and with a stroke of a pen destroyed her and became the first Canadian P.M. to enter the “History Books of Infamy. “

When one sifts through all the stories and fables  about the Arrow you come to realize that it was truly and engineering marvel. This aircraft had more first than anything previously designed or built. She had a ceiling of 60,000 plus feet and a speed of Mach 2.0 with in flight refuelling and interchangeable weapons pods, twin engines,  and twin crewed. She had the capability to intercept and destroy the American U-2 Spy plane, which scared the hell out of them. She was not perfect and had her birthing problems but if the program had not been so abruptly cancelled who knows what would have developed. One of the truly remarkable thing about the Arrow was it was designed and developed in Canada. Who would have thought that Canada of the 50s could accomplish such a thing. After all in a lot of peoples’ minds throughout the world we were still somewhat considered a colony of Great Britain. It’s Canada . Don’t they grow wheat and have a lot of ice and snow? What do they know about aircraft? They sure got one hell of an eye opener.

At this point in our History we are involved in seeking a new fighter craft for our Air Force and the Conservatives under Harper are looking to the American F-35 to replace our aging CF-18s. In an article to-day in the G&M a group of businessmen, with Lt. Gen. Lew McKenzie as spokesman, have put forth the proposal to resurrect the “ARROW” . If they were to succeed what a glorious accomplishment. A new Arrow designed and built in Canada by Canadians. We know we can do it. We just need a government with the courage to say yes. Harper and his Conservatives are big on Nationalism, well here is a great opportunity to show the world just how good we are. Let’s start beating our own chest and banging our own drum for a change. As my Dad use to say “If it’s Canadian. It has to be good’.

 

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