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Search finds one Avro Arrow model off shore of Prince Edward County

Sonar imagery and underwater video footage from the Raise the Arrow expedition near Pt. Petre shows an iconic Avro Arrow flight test model at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

UPDATE SEPT 8: “Well, we found one,” John Burzynski leader of the Raise the Arrow expedition told a news conference Friday, Sept. 8. He said the expedition’s engineers located one of nine models of the Avro Arrow that have been sitting at the bottom of Lake Ontario since they were launched in test flights between 1954 and 1957.
The expedition has spent a total of 12 days since the end of July searching the lake.

JULY 30 – Another search to find nine Avro Arrow prototypes is under way off the shores of Prince Edward County, from Point Petre.

Nine free-flight test models were launched over Lake Ontario in a series of flights conducted between 1954 and 1957. The one-eighth scale replicas of the famed fighter jet are believed to be on the bottom of Lake Ontario. They were part of the final flight design test work done prior to the production of the CF-105 Arrow.

Friday, the ThunderFish, an autonomous underwater vehicle was launched off Quinte’s Isle to make its way to Point Petre. The unmanned, battery-powered vessel is expected to search a 100-square-kilometre grid area over the next few weeks, producing high-resolution images from the bottom of Lake Ontario. Several searches have been conducted over the years, but not with this level of technology.

If found, the three metre by two metre models are to be housed at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, and at the National Air Force Museum in Trenton.

“Today’s launch marks an important milestone in bringing back a lost piece of Canadian history,” said John Burzynski, CEO of Osisko Mining, and leader of the expedition. “The Arrow was meant to be the future of aviation – by finding and retrieving these marvelous examples of Canadian advanced technological design, this project is a proud reminder of what we as Canadians have done, and what we Canadians can do.”
The CF-105 Arrow, designed and built by A.V. Roe (Avro) Canada, at Malton, Ontario, was a delta-winged interceptor, innovative for the time, as the most advanced and fastest, and considered by many to be one of the greatest technological achievements in Canadian aviation history.

To meet an aggressive delivery deadline, Avro Canada adopted what is known as the Cook-Craigie production plan, which eliminates the prototype phase of development. Instead, the company focused on extensive preliminary research and model-testing. Part of this process involved the construction of 11 instrumented stainless-steel free-flight models. Nine of these were mounted on rocket boosters, and launched into Lake Ontario from a military range at Point Petre.

The Arrow program was cancelled abruptly in 1959. Thousands lost their jobs and the six completed Arrow airplanes, along with materials related to their development, were ordered destroyed.

The Raise the Arrow project is a Canada 150 collaborative effort spearheaded by OEX, sponsored by Osisko group companies Osisko Mining Inc and Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd, in collaboration with several financial partners.

“As professional explorers in the mining business, we initiated this program about a year ago with the idea of bringing back a piece of lost Canadian history to the Canadian public,” said Burzynski. “As individuals, as a company, as a group and with our partners and our project participants in this search effort, we all have the same goal in mind: to find and return these beautiful pieces of Canadian technology to the public eye during this anniversary year of our incredible country.”

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