|Yes, it looked cool, and the idea of Canada being|
on par with the UK, France and the US was patriotic
The Arrow was a second generation jet fighter, the first generation of ones that were designed to be able to fly at supersonic speeds. The F-35 is a fifth generation jet fighter. It is sort of like saying the Edsel could be a safer and more fuel efficient car than the latest Prius.
The Avro CF100 Canuck was a middling first generation jet fighter and came to the scene in 1952 to very shortly be out classed by the likes of the F-100, Javelin, Dassault Mystere and Saab Lansen. The CF100 did seem to make some sense for patrolling the vast expanse of the Canadian north in the 1950s. Avro only managed to sell 53 CF100s to Belgium. Meanwhile Canadair had more success in selling their Canadiar Sabre, a licensed but improved version of the F-86. They build 756 for export and RCAF sold a further 155 second hand. Canadiar would later have similar success in selling their version of the F-5.
In my opinion the fate of the CF100 was going to happen to the CF105, it would late to the party, expensive and not been purchased by any other countries. Cancelling the Arrow in 1959 made sense then and still does today.
Let us compare the Arrow to some competitors from the era: The Convair F-102 Delta Dart and F-106 Delta Dagger, English Electric Lightning, Saab Draken, Dassault Mirage III and the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.
CF105 F102 F106 Lightning Draken Mirage III F-4
Crew 2 1 1 1 1 1 2
Combat Radius 660km 1,050km 1,450km 685km 1,100km 1,200km 680km
Weight 22,245kg 11,100kg 11,077kg 14,092kg 7,865kg 7,050kg 13,757kg
Wing Area 113.8m2 61.5m2 61.5m2 44.1m2 49.2m2 34.9m2 49.2m2
First Flight Mar 58 Oct 53 June 59 Apr 57 Oct 55 Nov 56 May 58
Max Speed Mach 2.0 Mach 1.3 Mach 2.3 Mach 2.0 Mach 2+ Mach 2.2 Mach 2.3
price est$4.3 mil $1.2 mil $4.7mil ????? ?????? ?????? $2.4 mil
The CF105 Arrow was going to be a huge aircraft, two to three times the size of the competitors. It would have been larger than the F-111 and Mirage IV, both of which were intended as bombers. It was not going to be in production any sooner than the competitors. It really had no advantages that I can see at all.
Let us compare the CF105 to planes Canada did acquire at the time, the McDonnell Douglas CF101 Voodoo and the Canadair CF104 Starfighter and the 1980s replacement CF18 and the proposed F-35
CF105 CF101 CF104 CF18 F35
Crew 2 2 1 1 or 2 1
Combat Radius 660km 1,225km 670km 537km 1,080km
Weight 22,245kg 12,925kg 6,350kg 10,455kg 13,300kg
Wing Area 113.8m2 34.2m2 18.2m2 37.2m2 42.7m2
First Flight Mar 58 Sept 54 Mar 54 Nov 78 Dec 06
Max Speed Mach 2.0 Mach 1.7 Mach 2.0 Mach 1.8 Mach1.6+
price est$4.3 mil $1.8mil $1.4 mil $35mil est $200mil
The CF101 Voodoo was a better plane for Canada than the CF105 would have been. Buying the CF101 Voodoos saved Canada about $330,000,000 in the early 1960s just in the purchase price, roughly $2.6 billion in today's terms.
Operating the CF105 would have been more expensive because it would have used a lot more fuel and parts would have likely been a cost plus deal with Avro. The CF101 used the same parts as the F101 in the US of which a much larger number were manufactured.
Starting again with the CF105 would be beyond belief in expense. If one were to start now, realistically it would be 12 years before the plane would be ready for production. The cost would likely be $400,000,000 to $500,000,000 per plane if Canada built 200 of them. If only 100 were to be built it would be a cost of more like $700,000,000 per plane.
The first generation of jet fighters saw about a ten countries produce at least one with 40 or more proposed designs. Each generation since then has seen fewer countries design and build a jet fighter and fewer over all designs. Now with the fifth generation there are really only the US, China and Russia that are seriously trying to build one and only the F-22 is flying which cost $66.7 billion to get 195 in the air.