Sentinel Chicken

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17 January 2006
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In AJ Jackson's book Avro Aircraft since 1908 reference is made to a predecessor design to the CF-105 Arrow that would have used two stacked turbojet engines (like the EE Lightning), a swept delta wing and conventional tailplane. This is the first I've heard of such a proposal and am wondering if anyone has a picture of what this aircraft was supposed to look like?
I have a three view in my arrow book by the arrowheads, two versions, one with nose intake, the other with NACA style flush lateral intakes. I do not have a scanner at home, will take book to work tomorrow and try to get it scanned for you. :)
As Overkiller says, nice CF-104 drawings can be found in "Arrow" by The Arrowheads. ISBN 1-55046-047-1 so we will wait for it ;)

If you love the Arrow and its development you need this book but also Avro Aircraft & Cold War Aviation by Randall Whitcomb. ISBN 1-55125-082-9.
An excellent article (as usual I'm a fan of its work ::)) comes from Tony Buttler in Air Enthusiast (back issues can be purchased and delivered to your home everywhere in the World at The reference is "Arrow Secrets. Items from the History of Canada's most famous fighter". Air Enthusiast Setember/October 2000 No89. Pg 34 to 43.

This CF-104 profile comes from Mr. Whitcomb book



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Here's an interesting documents I found some years ago (during my Arrow madness period which lasted two-years ??? :p :eek:)
It's the path from the CF-100 to the CF-105


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Archibald said:
Here's an interesting documents I found some years ago (during my Arrow madness period which lasted two-years ??? :p :eek:)
It's the path from the CF-100 to the CF-105

If Avro Canada had settled on the single engine 1-TR9 configuration of June 1952, Canada might have produced an aircraft as commercially successful as the F-104...or perhaps it would have been another F-102.
Archibald, this drawings are from "Arrow" by The Arrowheads. ISBN 1-55046-047-1
pometablava said:
Archibald, this drawings are from "Arrow" by The Arrowheads. ISBN 1-55046-047-1

That was exactly the image I was going to post! Got it scanned at work today, if anyone is interested I also have it as a PDF file.
Thanks Tin Wing. Sorry for not having mentionned the source...
I plan to do a Mirage G by merging a Mig-23 forward fuselage with a Mirage 2000D cockpit.
Now, what the link with the CF-104? ??? well, I realised that the remains of the Mirage and the MiG (delta wing+ square air intakes) would allowed the building of a CF-104 :) ... just have to found canadian decals.

Quote- If Avro Canada had settled on the single engine 1-TR9 configuration of June 1952, Canada might have produced an aircraft as commercially successful as the F-104...or perhaps it would have been another F-102. - Quote

You mean the Mirage III? ;D
Always thought the same thing concerning the Fairey Delta II...
Here's a comparison illustration Randall Whitcomb did of the CF-104 and other single-engined delta-winged fighters. It illustrates that the CF-104 was quite comparable.


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That Whitcomb design for the CF-104 strongly resembles the early pre-area rule F-102. How early in the design process was this iteration of the CF-104?
Design of the Arrow was frozen circa June 1955. Swept wing CF-100s were abnadoned after Zurakowski broke the sound barrier in December 1952. Seems the CF-104 design dates back from 1953 - 54. Not too far from the early F-102s you mention (October 1953).
Okay, hoping that someone with more knowledge than me can resolve a minor conundrum.

How many Sparrows could the CF-105 Arrow actually carry?

I've got three answers so far:

1. Eight. This is clearly nonsense, probably stemming from a misunderstanding of imprecise statements like "eight Falcons, later replaced by Sparrows", but it gets repeated in book after book......

2. Four. This seems logical: one Sparrow in place of each tandem pair of Falcons. Furthermore, a picture exists* of an Arrow wind-tunnel model, which clearly shows four Sparrows extended from the bay, two on short arms and two on long ones.

3. Three. Diagrams exist* showing both Falcon and Sparrow fits, with one missile extended. On the Falcon one, the legend next to the extended missile says "8 Falcon Guided Missiles". On the Sparrow one, the same legend says "3 Sparrow 2 guided missiles", and deciphering the diagram as best I can, I count three hydraulic jacks and three cradles....

*The photos and the cutaways are in the Boston Mills book "Arrow" by "The Arrowheads": R.Organ, R.Page, D.Watson and L.Wilkinson. Published 1980, ISBN 1-55046-0471. The 4 x Sparrow photo is on page 16. The diagrams are on Page 132.
You may have seen these already but the answer seems to be first three (+ eight Falcons), then increased to four.

Proposed Installation of Four Internally Stowed "Sparrow 2" Missiles in the CF-105 Aircraft. February, 1955. AVRO Aircraft Ltd. Malton, Ontario.

Proposed Missile Installations for CF-105 Aircraft A.V. Roe Canada Ltd. Aircraft Division. October 1954.

"Initially, it was planned that the Arrow would carry eight Falcons and three Sparrows in its immense missile bay. Later the number of Sparrow missiles was increased to four. After the cancellation of Sparrow II, the armament was changed to four Falcon missiles, and one or two unguided Genie missiles."
The Arrow would carry four Sparrow IIs as well as the eight Falcons.
Petrus said:
Take a look at, where you may see a photo showing the Arrow's weapon pack. Its drawing may be seen at (scroll down up to 'Weapon Pack' and click the thumbnail).

Apparently the number of the Sparrows was four.


I wasn't going to argue the toss until I'd got my book in front of me, but the pictures there appear to settle the matter: there is no way on Earth the Arrow could have carried 8 x Sparrows or 3 x Sparrows plus 8 x Falcons! The weapons pack was just too small: the book listed in my first post has lots of detailed diagrams with measurments on them, and this is what got me wondering: the weapons pack wasn't much longer than a single Sparrow and not much wider than four of them. I think that in some of the contrary statements being quoted, the word "and" has been erroneously used instead of "or".

So the only mystery left is the three-or-four Sparrows question. I didn't know until now that the four-Sparrow scheme had them only semi-recessed, and that might be the answer: the weapon pack could initially hold three rounds fully internally, but they thought that wasn't enough, so they squeezed in another by making them only semi-recessed.....

Wonder what the effect on the aircraft would have been if they'd filled the pack with fuel and hung the four Sparrows off the corners of the fuselage, F-15 style?
Right, back home now with books, measurements, calculator and maybe an answer:

1. Weapon pack size.

The test of my book and many other sources quote this as 18' x 8' x 3', but examination of the (calibrated) drawings shows that the actual missle tray was only about 16' long. The discrepancy is probably due to the missile avionics crates ahead of the pack, (which were separately detachable) being included in the overall figure.

2. Sparrow II size.

I've noticed something here: the 3 x missile drawing and many photographs of Sparrow II show a similar missile to Sparrow I, with a sharply pointed nose and long root-chord wings. However, the 4 x missile photograph (and another drawing in the book, which I've just noticed) show a Sparrow III-style missile with a blunter nose and narrower wing-root chord. I also have two different sets of dimensions quoted for Sparrow II: one from the 3 x missile drawing and one from a missile reference book ( Slamander's Modern Airborne Missiles by Bill Gunston). The latter dimensions are closer to Sparrow III's than the former, so it seems reasonable to infer that the sharp-nosed Sparrow II was the "early" version, and the blunt-nosed one the "later".

Early Sparrow II: Length: 12' 11.5", Span: 3',4.5"

Late Sparrow II: Length: 12' dead, Span: 3', 3"

Since the missiles were stowed with wings diagonal, we need to know the size of the "box" around their tips for fit-purposes, and that works out to be 2',4" square.

It's plain from the above that the weapons pack could initially only hold three Sparrows (and no Falcons) side-by-side, so how did they get four in? Well the 4 x missile illustrations (which all show the late missile, remember) show alternate long and short launch arms for the missiles, and an illustration on one of the websites quoted above shows a head-on view of them stowed with the wings overlapping. It seems reasonable to infer that the pack only held three Sparrows initially, but as the missile evolved it got shorter, and this allowed the designers to re-arrange the pack to carry four weapons in a staggered pattern with their wings overlapping. I can't find a primary source to back this up, but it seems persuasive.

Conundrum solved - unless you know different, of course......... ;)
OK, I'm starting this thread. Lantinian got my curiosity going. Was there a proposal to use the CF-105 Arrow for air-launching satellites? We all know Project NOTSNIK was going on out in California at roughly the same time. There's one of example of fighters being put to that use.

I just find it interesting that a similar idea would be proposed for the Arrow. Perhaps if Diefenbacker had had more vision, that proposal could have been a quick 'n dirty way for Canada to join the Space Race. Who knows.

By the time the CF-105 Arrow was around, the Canadian space program was already emphasizing the Bristol Aerospace series of Black Brant rockets. Of course, the Black Brants were sounding rockets not satellite boosters.

When Alouette 1, the first Canadian satellite (S27-3), was launched in 1962, it rode a Thor Agena-B from Vandenberg AFB in California.

Dief did lack vision. I note, though, that the RCAF concluded that Velvet Glove was unsuited to supersonic launches. If Canada had taken the aircraft-launched satellite route, one question would be: what booster would be used/developed?
See that's what I'm wondering also. My guesses would be either a) modified sounding rockets like 'ol Black Brant, sized for fighter carriage and release. Or b) a Martlet, again sized for aircraft carriage. What was Martlet? For those unfamiliar with it, here you go:

But, this is all just guessing for now.

A satellite-launching Arrow. Would have been nice.

XP67_Moonbat said:
Yes. Nice BSG drop, BTW.
Black Knight is in the correct time frame, reliable and about right mass?At the time single stage world record holder for height , 600 miles?
Yes the Avro Canada team and Avro UK did want to launch a satellite.
Spark said:
... Yes the Avro Canada team and Avro UK did want to launch a satellite.

Cool. Do you have a source with more details Spark?

I'm not sure about the politics of using Black Knight. With its own rocket program underway, I doubt that Canada would have used a British booster. Bristol didn't have much luck with 2-stage Black Brants (witness the BB IV launch failures). But maybe a 'stacked' Black Brant I derivative (with both stages using 15KS25000 motors)?

Thrust would be in the range of 50,000 lbf, length 10.4 m (which might dictate an off-centre mounting). The big advantage would be the proven reliability of the solid-fuel 15KS25000. A Secondary advantage would be feeding into CARDE's original interest in ABM system (either just as rocket test vehicles or possible even as potential future air-launched ABM systems).
X-15/Blue Scout:

OK, it's not the Arrow, but it is another example of high performance aircraft considered for launching satellites.
I see that after letting the rabbit out of the box I will have to go and get some screenshots tomorrow. ;)
Much obliged, Lant! ;D You are right though, the genie's out of the bottle now. So since I'm on the subject, I have another air-launch proposal I just thought of. From Orionblamblam's APR Extras:
Here are some screenshots of the movie everyone visiting this forum should watch. "The Arrow" from 1997 with Dan Aykroyd.

I don't know why I was left with the impression that the missile bay is on top. ::)

So Mach 3 Arrow. Notable are the rounded intakes and the bulged up middle fuselage section.


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Don't make too much of the "Mach 3" design. It was just something cooked up for the movie. Note at the end when the offices are being trashed, the AMT XB-70 with RCAF roundels. IIRC there was an Airfix lunar lander also.
I'm not sure about the politics of using Black Knight.

Not sure of the timing, but I do reccal the UK tried to interest several Commonwealth states in a joint effort for space launchers. No one was willing to stump up any funds and it stood not a cat in hells chance.
Don't make too much of the "Mach 3" design. It was just something cooked up for the movie.

not so! see the attached, from page 154 of 'Avro Arrow', boston mills press 1980, ISBN 0-919822-35-5, also page 157 of the same:-

"...the general picture, out of this survey, is as follows:

Range: as close to 1,000 miles as possible

Speed: Mach 3 for as long as possible (depending on achieving a practical aircraft weight and runway length).

Altitude: Around 60,000feet ( it was anticipated that the weapon would climb 15 to 20,000 feet above this altitude).

Enter the Arrow Mach 3 [not _mark3_ ], still not built but in the planning stage.This is 1959, before Black Friday. [February 20th, 1959, cancellation day]
This new arrow would have variable engine intakes, modified skin section and the further developed Iroquois engine, thus extending the state of the art a step further. The ultimate Arrow would give it maximum range and speed within the basic configuration. ..."

also. on the subject of Arrow space launchers, this, from page 156 of the same:-

"Study of Anti-ICBM Missile for the Arrow

For some time AVRO considered the possibility of carrying an anti-missile missile on the Arrow. This would provide a mobile launching platform, giving better weapon mobility, and dispersion."



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I can't believe there isn't a topic for the CF-105!

I recall that there were mach three and mach five design studies, as well as an extremely long range patrol variant.

Are there any others?
In "Avro Aircraft & the Cold War", Randall Whitcomb has a painting depicting the 6-engined Arrow PS-2 launching an ABM at high altitude -- although it was planned that the PS-13 ABM could be launched from any model of Arrow.

The basis of the PS-13 was to be derived from Nike-Zeus, including a scaled-down Nike booster. Might that booster have also been powerful enough to launch a satellite?
From THE ARROW SCRAPBOOK by Peter Zuuring.

"One thing about the Arrow, it capacity to grow. With inlet changes, new skin metallurgy, and a Mach 3 Iroquois, voila, a Mach 3 Arrow.

the drawing is credited to the Marc Andre Valiquette Collection

Picked up my copy when the Truman made a port visit to Halifax. I was going thru some of my put-away books today and I rediscovered it.


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I found some artowrk of the Mach-3 Arrow today on a Google image search.

Also, here's a link to to Apogee Books. On the cover is what appears to be a six-engined variant of the Arrow. Talk about things that make you go "Hmmm".


PS- Mods, I think we should merge CF-105 threads. What you do think?

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