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Avro Arrow (CF-105)

An artist's drawing of a CF 105 AVRO Arrow
Source

This guide consists of specific references to government sources on the CF-105, the Avro Arrow. While the Arrow had a very short existence, the project directly involved three government departments. The records in this guide are identified accordingly, beginning with the records of executive decision making at the Privy Council Office, followed by the Records of the Department of National Defence with overall responsibility for the project, and finally the Records of the Department of Defence Production, charged with the administration of the contract between the Crown and A.V. Roe. In addition, the researcher will find references to Sessional Papers from the House of Commons. These papers relate to the political debate triggered by the decision to cancel the project.

This guide was revised in December 2000.

Government Records

Records of the Privy Council Office (RG 2)

Cabinet Conclusions

Given the profile of the Arrow project, the CF-105 was discussed a number of times by the St. Laurent and Diefenbaker Cabinets. The following references identify records of the Cabinet Meetings where the Arrow was on the agenda: (reference is RG 2, volume number followed by the date of the meeting).

Cabinet Defence Committee Report (including reference to CF-105)
(RG 2, vol. 2656, 24/11/1954)
Pre-Production Program for Supersonic Fighter (CF-105) and Development of PS-13 Engine
(RG 2, vol. 2657, 08/03/1955)
RCAF Development of CF-105
(RG 2, vol. 2657, 23/03/1955)
Cabinet Defence Committee Report (including reference to CF-105)
(RG 2, vol. 2658, 28/09/1955)
National Defence; Policy on Aircraft Development (CF-105)
(RG 2, vol. 2659, 07/12/1955)
Cabinet Defence Committee Report (including reference to CF-105)
(RG 2, vol. 5775, 15/08/1956)
Cabinet Defence Committee Report (including reference to CF-105)
(RG 2, vol. 1892, 17/02/1957)
Cabinet Defence Committee Report
(RG 2, vol. 1893, 20/09/1957)
A.V. Roe Canada
(RG 2, vol. 1893, 24/10/1957)
Air Defence Requirements; Recommendations of Cabinet Defence Committee
(RG 2, vol. 1899, 28/08/1958)
Air Defence Requirements; Recommendations of Cabinet Defence Committee
(RG 2, vol. 1899, 03/09/1958)
Air Defence Requirements; Recommendations of Cabinet Defence Committee
(RG 2, vol. 1899 07/09/1958)
Air Defence Requirements; Recommendations of Cabinet Defence Committee
(RG 2, vol. 1899, 21/09/1958)
Statements of Air Marshal Slemon at NORAD Headquarters
(RG 2, vol. 1899, 27/11/1958)
Statements of Air Marshal Slemon at NORAD Headquarters
(RG 2, vol. 1899, 02/12/1958)
Air Defence Requirements; Recommendations of Cabinet Defence Committee
(RG 2, vol. 1899, 22/12/1958)
Report on Arrow (CF-105) Aircraft Program
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 13/1/59)
Arrow Aircraft; Alternative Aircraft Program
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 28/1/59)
Estimates 1959-1960; Possible Announcement on the CF-105 Arrow Aircraft
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 3/2/59)
CF-105 Arrow Program
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 4/2/59)
CF-105 Arrow Program; Report of Cabinet Defence Committee
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 10/2/59)
Arrow (CF-105) Aircraft; Undertaking to Pay Development Costs; Decision to Terminate Development
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 14/2/59)
Arrow (CF-105) Aircraft; Report of Cabinet Defence Committee; Decision to Terminate Development
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 17/2/59)
Statement on the Arrow
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 19/2/59)
Arrow (CF-105); Cancellation of Development; Parliamentary Tactics
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 23/2/59)
Discussions with A.V. Roe Company Officials; Statements
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 26/2/59)
Arrow (CF-105); Statement on Continuance of Avro Plants in Operation; Discussions with Company Officials
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 27/2/59)
Proposal for Production by Avro of U.S. Interceptor Aircraft
(RG 2, vol. 2744, 14/5/59)
Policy Concerning Re-Equipment of the Air Division
(RG 2, vol. 2745, 19/6/59)

Cabinet Defence Committee Conclusions

The Cabinet Defence Committee was a sub-committee of Cabinet with purview over defence policy and programming. At a number of key junctures in the life of the Arrow the aircraft was discussed by the Cabinet Defence Committee. The following are the references to those discussions.

Supersonic All-Weather Interceptor Aircraft CF-105
(RG 2, vol. 2749, 2/12/53, see doc. 49-1953)
General Review of Defence Policy and Commitments (reference to CF-105 in the discussion)
(RG 2, vol. 2749, 19/9/57)
Air Defence Requirements
(RG 2, vol. 2749, 15/8/58, see doc. 9-1958)
Air Defence Requirements
(RG 2, vol. 2749, 21/8/58, see doc. 10-1958)
CF-105 Arrow Program
(RG 2, vol. 2749, 5/2/59)

* Note that meetings between July 1954 and August 1957 (nos. 100-113) are missing.

Cabinet Defence Committee Documents

Cabinet Defence Committee Document 22-1955 "Reappraisal of the CF-105 Development Program"
(RG 2, vol. 2752, 4/11/55)

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Records of the Department of National Defence (RG 24)

Royal Canadian Air Force

The records listed below are subject files created and maintained at RCAF Headquarters, arranged in the Central Registry. These files document the role of the RCAF in setting the operational requirements for the aircraft and its role as overseeing the development project.

Operational Requirements; Systems Evaluation; Arrow, 1955-1958
(RG 24, vol. 18166, file 983-11)
Operational Requirements; Supersonic All-Weather Interceptor, 1952-1958
(RG 24, vol. 18143, file 981-101-63)
Operational Requirements; Arrow (CF-105) Simulator
(RG 24, vol. 18154, file 981-114-65/7)
Training Aids; Ex Audio Visual; Operator Trainers; Operational Flight and Tactics Trainers; Arrow, 1955-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6219, file 0074-4-38CN)
Training Aids; Ex Audio Visual; Operator Trainers; Operational Flight and Tactics Trainers; Arrow, 1956-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6225, file 0074-104-38CN)
Arrow Armament Sub-Committee, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file HQS 801-100-A125)
Training Aids; Ex Audio Visual; Technician Trainers; Aircraft Systems Trainers; Arrow, 1956-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6231, file 0075-3-38CN)
Research Projects; Emergency Runway Barrier; Arrow; Project 58/35, 1958-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/049, box 4100, file 1905-58-35)
Committees; Arrow Steering Committee, 1955-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2474, file 801-A119)
Committees; Arrow Project Committee, 1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2474, file 801-A120)
Committees; Arrow Training Aids Sub-Committee, 1955-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2474, file 801-A123)
Committees; Arrow Flight Test Advisory Committee, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2474, file 801-A128)
Arrow Aircraft Development Steering Committee, 1953-1955
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2506, file 801-100-A104)
Arrow Aircraft Committees; General, 1954-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2506, file 801-100-A105)
Arrow Development Co-Ordinating Committee, 1955-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2506, file 801-100-A106, parts 1-2)
Ad Hoc Arrow Development Co-Ordinating Committee, 1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2506, file 801-100-A107)
Arrow Aircraft Co-Ordinating Committee, 1955-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2507, file 801-100-A108)
Arrow Aircraft Maintenance Advisory Committee, 1954-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A109, pts .1-2)
Arrow Aircraft Maintenance and Servicing Sub-Committee, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A110)
Arrow Aircraft Sub-Committee for Aerodynamics and Structural Testing, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A111)
Arrow Sub-Committee for Readiness Equipment, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A112)
Arrow Instrumentation and Guidance Sub-Committee, 1954-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A113)
Arrow Cockpit Sub-Committee, 1954-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A114)
Arrow Flight Test Sub-Committee, 1956-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file C 801-100-A115)
Arrow Ground Support Equipment Sub-Committee, 1956-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A116)
Arrow; RCA Steering Committee, 1956-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A117)
Arrow Sub-Steering Committee, 1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2507, file 801-100-A118)
Arrow Weapon Steering Committee, 1955-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2507, file 801-100-A121)
Arrow Weapon System Co-Ordinated Projects Programming Committee, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2507, file 801-100-A122)
Arrow Electronics Sub-Committee, 1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2507, file C 801-100-A124)
Arrow Armament Sub-Committee, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A125)
Arrow Sub-Committee, 1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A126)
Arrow Associate Contractor Co-Ordinating Committee, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A127)
Ad Hoc Arrow Weapons System Flight Test Advisory Committee, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file C 801-100-A129)
Arrow Operational Proving Committee, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file C 801-100-A133)
Minutes of Meetings; CF-105 Sub-Committee, 1954-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A135)
Minutes of Meetings; CF-105 Sub-Committee for Readiness Equipment, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A135)
Minutes of Meetings; CF-105 Sub-Committee on Maintenance and Servicing, 1954-1956
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/216, box 2508, file 801-100-A135)
Arrow Weapon System, 1958-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6422, file 1038CN-78)
CF-105 Arrow; Electronic System, 1957-1962
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6422, file 1038CN-79, pts. 1-9)
Arrow Aircraft; Electronic System; Visits and Trips on the Astra Program, 1957-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6422, file 1038CN-79-1)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment and Supplies; General, 1955-1962
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, boxes 6422-6423, file 1038CN-80, pts. 1-8, 10-11)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Procurement, 1955-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6423, file 1038CN-81)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Telecommunications Installations, 1955-1960
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6423, file 1038CN-82, pts. 1-2)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Armament Installations, 1956-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6423, file 1038CN-83)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Overhaul, Maintenance and Repair, 1956-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6423, file 1038CN-84)
Arrow Aircraft; Pilots' Operating Instructions, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6423, file 1038CN-85)
Arrow Aircraft; Instruments and Automatic Controls, 1956-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6423, file 1038CN-89, pts. 1-3)
Arrow Aircraft; Weapons System, 1957-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6425, file 1038CN-178, pts. 1-2)
Arrow Aircraft; Electronic System, 1956-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6425, file 1038CN-179, pts. 1-7)
CF-105 Arrow Aircraft; General, 1952-1962
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, boxes 6426-6429, file 1038CN-180, pts. 1-26)
Arrow Aircraft; General; AAEM Local Correspondence, 1955-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, boxes 6429-6433, file 1038CN-180A, pts. 2-27)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment Procurement, 1954-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6433, file 1038CN-181, pts. 1-2)
Arrow Aircraft; Telecommunications Installations, 1953-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6433, file 1038CN-182, pts. 1-5)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installations, 1953-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, boxes 6434-6435, file 1038CN-183, pts. 1-10)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installation; Sparrow II, 1955-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-183-1, pts. 1-2)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installation; Fire Control System, 1957-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-183-2)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installation; Missile Auxiliaries, 1957-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-183-3)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installation; Missile Pack, 1958-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-183-4)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installation; Genie Installation, 1957-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-183-5)
Arrow Aircraft; Armament Installation; 1 R Sub-System, 1957-1963
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-183-6)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Repair, Overhaul and Maintenance, 1954-1963
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-184)
Arrow Aircraft; Pilots' Operating Instructions, 1958-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6435, file 1038CN-185)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Progress Reports, 1954-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6436, file 1038CN-186)
Arrow Aircraft; Equipment; Instruments and Automatic Controls, 1954-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, boxes 6436-6437, file 1038CN-189, pts. 1-12)
Arrow Aircraft; Instruments; Navigation, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6437, file 1038CN-189-1)
Arrow Aircraft; Automatic Flight Control System, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6437, file 1038CN-189-2)
Arrow Aircraft; Cockpit Instruments, 1957-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6437, file 1038CN-189-3)
Arrow Aircraft; Lighting Instruments, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, box 6437, file 1038CN-189-4)
Aircraft; CF-105 Aircraft, 1953-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1997-98/260, box 75, file 1038CN-280)
Arrow Aircraft; Electronic System, 1958
(RG 24, acc. 1997-98/260, box 76, file 1038CN-179)
Equipment and Supplies; Section 38CN Equipment; CF-105 Aircraft; General, 1956-1957
(RG 24, acc. 1997-98/260, box 76, file 1038CN-179)
Section 38CN Equipment; CF-105 Aircraft; Armament Installations; IR Sub-System, 1957
(RG 24, acc. 1997-98/260, box 76, file 1038CN-179)
Equipment and Supplies; Section 38CN Aircraft; CF-105 Arrow Aircraft; Instruments and Automatic Controls, 1956-1958
(RG 24, acc. 1997-98/260, box 76, file 1038CN-179)

Defence Research Board

The Defence Research Board (DRB) provided the research and development facilities and personnel for all defence science related subjects. The three part file identified below relates to liaison between the DRB and the project.

Supersonic All-Weather Interceptor; CF-105, 1953-1959
(RG 24, acc. 1983-84/167, file DRBS-0315-02, pts. 1-3)

Directorate of Public Relations

This single file comes from the Department of National Defence's Directorate of Public Relations and contains clippings from key events in the short life of the Arrow.

Arrow; DND Public Relations File
(RG 24, vol. 20054)

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Records of the Department of Defence Production (RG 49)

The records of the Department of Defence Production (RG 49) in the custody of the Government Archives Division also contain a number of files relating to the Avro Arrow. Defence Production had responsibility for administering the contract between National Defence and A.V. Roe. The list below only references those files which refer to the CF-105 in the file title. There are additional files in RG 49 containing information relating to A.V. Roe Ltd., Orenda Engines Ltd. and other sub-contractors.

Radar and Asdic Equipment in CF-105, 1954-1958
(RG 49, vol. 298, file 152-4-3, pts. 1-2)
Chief Aeronautical Engineer; CF-105 Aircraft and PS 13 Engine Program, 1955-1956
(RG 49, vol. 423, file 159-29-6-1)
CF-105 Aircraft and PS 13 Engine Program; Funding and Schedule, 1956
(RG 49, vol. 423, file 159-29-6-2)
CF-105 Aircraft Cost Group, 1955
(RG 49, vol. 423, file 159-29-6-3)
CF-105 Aircraft; Electronic and Control System Proposals, 1955-1956
(RG 49, vol. 423, file 159-29-6-4)
CF-105 Aircraft Meetings; Electronic System Co-Ordinators, 1956
(RG 49, vol. 423, file 159-29-6-4-1)
Meetings; CF-105 Aircraft Damping System, 1956
(RG 49, vol. 423, file 159-29-6-5)
A.V. Roe; Arrow Test Facilities, Contracts, Production Modifications, 1952-1962
(RG 49, vol. 430, file 159-R1, pts. 1-2)
Arrow Weapons System; Project Office, 1957-1959
(RG 49, vol. 431, file 159-RA-2)
Arrow Weapons System; Programming Committee, 1957-1959
(RG 49, vol. 431, file 159-RA-2-1)
Flight Tests and Instrumentation, 1954-1957
(RG 49, vol. 432, file 159-RA-7, pts. 1-2)
Contract Settlement Committee; Policy; Arrow, 1959-1963
(RG 49, vols. 781-782, file 207-6-3, pts. 1-5)
Contract Settlement Committee; Arrow Policy; Severance Pay, 1959-1963
(RG 49, vol. 782, file 207-6-3/3)
Contract Settlement Committee; Arrow Policy; Pension Plan, 1960-1961
(RG 49, vol. 782, file 207-6-3/4)
Avro Aircraft Ltd., 1951-1965
(RG 49, vol. 5, file 159-RA-1, pts. 1-5)
Avro Aircraft Ltd.; Surplus Material, 1952-1965
(RG 49, vol. 5, file 159-RA-13, pts. 1-2)
Avro Sub-Contractors; Profit Limitations, 1955-1964
(RG 49, vol. 6, file 159-RA-26)
Arrow Pre-Termination Inventories, 1959-1962
(RG 49, vol. 6, file 159-RA-32, pts. 1-3)
Inventories Resulting from Arrow Termination, 1959-1960
(RG 49, vols. 6-8, file 159-RA-32-A3, pts. 1-13)
Dowty Equipment of Canada Ltd.; Inventories Resulting from Arrow Termination, 1960-1961
(RG 49, vol. 9, file 159-RA-32-D8)
Garrett Manufacturing Corp.; Inventories Resulting from Arrow Termination, 1960-1961
(RG 49, vol. 9, file 159-RA-32-G2, pts. 2-3)
B.F. Goodrich; Inventories Resulting from Arrow Termination, 1960-1962
(RG 49, vol. 9, file 159-RA-32-G6)
Jarry Hydraulics; Inventories Resulting from Arrow Termination, 1960-1968
(RG 49, vol. 9, file 159-RA-32-J2)
Orenda Engines Ltd.; Iroquois Pre-Termination Inventories, 1959-1963
(RG 49, vol. 11, file 159-RO-18)
Orenda Engines Ltd.; Inventories Resulting from Arrow Termination, 1959-1962
(RG 49, vol. 11-12, file 159-RO-18-O2, pts. 1-7)
Orenda Engines Ltd.; Iroquois Termination; General, 1959-1962
(RG 49, vol. 12, file 159-RO-02-1)
CF-105 Co-Ordinating Committee, 1954-1957
(RG 49, vol. 432, file 159-RA-7, pts. 1-2)
CF-105 Aircraft; General, 1957-1960
(RG 49, vol. 433, file 159-RA-17)
A.V. Roe; Contract Expenditures and Financial Limitations, 1957-1959
(RG 49, vol. 433, file 159-RA-20)
Arrow Armament, 1957-1958
(RG 49, vol. 433, file 159-RA-21)
Arrow Armament; IES Pre-Production, 1958
(RG 49, vol. 433, file 159-RA-21-1)
Visits to and from A.V. Roe Plants, 1952-1958
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RI-8)
A.V. Roe; Profit Allowance, 1952-1960
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RI-11)
Orenda Engines; Forecast Estimates and Expenditures, 1953-1959
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RO-5, pts. 1-2)
Orenda Engines; Co-Ordinating Committee, 1956-1957
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RO-7)
Orenda Engines; Iroquois Co-Ordinating Committee, 1957
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RO-7-1)
Orenda Engines; Steering Committee, 1953-1957
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RO-8)
Orenda Engines; Specifications, 1953-1957
(RG 49, vol. 434, file 159-RO-9)
CF-105 Aircraft; Scheduling and Planning, 1955-1958
(RG 49, vol. 443, file 161-4-9, pts. 1-2)
CF-105 Aircraft; Scheduling of Requirements; GSM Listings, 1956-1958
(RG 49, vol. 443, file 161-4-9-1-1)
CF-105 Aircraft; Scheduling and Planning; Specifications, 1956
(RG 49, vol. 443, file 161-4-9-2)

Records of Parliament (RG 14)

In the last two years of the Arrow Program the aircraft was discussed in Parliament. The references below are to relevant Sessional Papers held by Library and Archives Canada. (For records of Hansard, researchers should consult a library holding government documents.)

Sessional Papers 1957; Paper 217
(RG 14, vol. 650)
Sessional Papers 1959; Papers 198a, 198b, 198c and 198d
(RG 14, vols. 837-838)

Thematic Guides