Wings of the Free World: What If The Avro Arrow entered service?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Ming777, Feb 5, 2011.

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  1. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    If the Arrow was put into service regardless of the cost, could it have had a similar history and similar variants as the F-4 Phantom II?

    Both were designed as twin engined, two-seater interceptors with very powerful engines. Both were initially built without guns or gunsights.

    Differences: the Arrow used internal bays and used computer aided controls. The Arrow's proposed Iroquois engines gave the plane a thrust:weight ratio greater than 1:1.

    Any comments? Suggestions?
     
  2. Atomo Well-Known Member

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    I think the Arrow could have become a BAC TSR-2 type strike bomber/recon plane very easily. Nuclear delivery would have been a snap as well.
    It might have been the 'Wings of the Free World' if the Germans, the UK and other NATO partners started looking.

    I would like to see a detailed description of not why it failed someday but how it could have been triumphant.
     
  3. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    I am currently writing up an ATL Episode of Dogfights that centers on the Arrow.

    The major change is that early on in development (circa 1955 or earlier) Avro Canada decides to save development costs and time by using the off-the-shelf AIM-4 Falcon missiles and associated Hughes Radar system, rather than make everything Canadian. This is the key. Later on, more Canadian systems would be implemented in future Marks, but for now, that is on the back burner. The 1957 election sees a narrow minority government (who would you want as PM?). If Dief is PM, he is less set on killing the program since the aircraft is virtually complete, and killing it after its been completed would be the ultimate PR killer. It may be expensive, but it would be just as costly to cancel the Arrow at this point. If its St. Laurant, he will commit anyways.
    As a result, the first prototype is flown in 1956, with Ottawa ordering the Arrow in 1958, with formal introduction to service in 1960.

    What I've so far got is that the RCAF purchased around 200 Mark II Aircraft to replace the CF-100 Canuck as the main interceptor (Can someone suggest a good replacement for the Canadair Sabre that is not an accident-prone Lawn Dart for the fighter role). The RAF is the second order, purchasing 110 Arrow Mk.IIs in 1959, intended as an Interim for the F.155 project (which would be canned as they RAF sees the effectiveness of the Arrow.) Japan is also a major buyer, ordering 48 Arrows in 1959, followed by Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Israelis decide to order 60 Arrow Mk.IIs instead of Mirage IIIs, though this leads to Franch developing Mirages that go on the Orenda Iroquois engine.

    One thing that will happen is an ATL UN Mission see a flight of RCAF Arrows nearly engage Turkish Super Sabres, that expose the issues with having no guns. That leads to the introduction of the Mark III standard in 1964, featuring two nose-mounted M39 20mm cannons and a F-101 style windshield. Some of the Mark IIs will be retrofitted to this configuration. As a result, the Israelis will now have retrofitted Mark IIs with the upgrades in time for the Six-Day war. Saudi Arabia tactically positions its Arrows in its Eastern bases, not fully committed or trusting of Nasser's Arab Coalition against Israel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  4. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    Prologue...

    "Sir, you cannot kill the Arrow. You do that, you kiss the PM's Office Good-Bye."

    "Why can't I? It's a bloody (bleep)ing expensive boondoggle. Besides [data expunged]"

    "Dief, we know that, but the fact is its already completed and if you order the program cancelled, that's even more expensive and that will be the death of your career. I dont care what [redacted] says. The Commies have ICBMs, fine, but they still have bombers. And don't even use the nuke argument. The only system the Americans use are Bombarcs, and guess what? That use (bleep) nukes. That will make you look like a hypocrite. Do you want to be remembered as that idiot who actually cancelled a finished aircraft that may be armed with nukes, for a missile that only carries nukes. C'mon!"

    "(Grumbles)....."

    Wings Of the Free World: An Avro Arrow TL
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  5. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to use British AAMs? IIUC Firestreak was a good weapon for it's day and Red Top was top notch.

    I think at the very least the Arrow's persistence and weapon load would have made it an exellent escort fighter, which is an expansion of the role from day 1.
     
  6. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    Quite possibly. What I'm thinking is that Britain decides to adopt the Arrow for the F.155 project, in exchange for getting into the development process and the ability to use the new Spey Turbofans on their units. as well they will jointly develop new weapons for the Arrow, using the Firestreak as a starting point. Or perhaps British electronics are used to complete a less costly sparrow missile and the Velvet Glove. This cooperation will also lead to a turbofan derivative of the Orenda Iroquois Turbojet, called the Iroquois II.

    For Now:

    In April 1953, Avro Canada engineers hold and important meeting regarding the newest project of the company. It was to be a high-performance, delta-wing interceptor based on design AIR 7-3. However, one of the engineer had an interesting suggestion. Since no one knew if the planned Canadian-developed weapons and Sparrow II would actually be developed, the engineer suggested the use of off-the-shelf weapons, so that the plane could be put to service ASAP. He argued that the development of the missiles was still uncertain and reminded everyone that politics was the key. There were rumors that Opposition Leader John Diefenbaker was not comfortable with the overly extravagant proposed systems of the design. With the ever rowdy situation it Ottawa, he could easily become PM and cancel the Project. The sooner they get the plane finished, he said, the smaller the chance that Ottawa would reconsider the project. One other engineer proposed the use of the Hughes MX-1179 Fire Control System and the AIM-4 Falcon missiles. The Aircraft itself could later be fitted with other weapons. After a few more meetings, this proposal was accepted, and the RCAF approved the design with the Hughes/Falcon combination in June, 1953.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  7. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    1955:
    -the first Aircraft, RL-201, is completed and prepared for the first flight. This plane was unveiled to the public on October 10, 1955, to great Fanfare. Canadian, American, British, and other news agencies in NATO countries are present to report on the event. This date is soon marked as one of the greatest moments in Canadian Aviation History after the first Canadian flight of the Silver Dart.

    Prototypes RL-201 to 204 will be fitted with a P&W J57 Turbojet. 205 and 206 will be fitted with the Orenda Iroquois Turbojet. are heading to Avro's Fulton facility to watch the first flight. Also note that the prototypes were built with production tooling, meaning that the preproduction aircraft were combat capable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  8. Thande Gold! Always believe in your so-oul!

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    Maybe it's just my sense of irony, but I have this odd feeling that given how the Avro Arrow is so idolised and moped about by Canadians in OTL, it would be rich if in the TL where it was actually built and put into production, ATL Canadians spend all their time bemoaning this expensive white elephant project that sapped their defence budget and means they don't have (something they have in OTL) when they could have just bought American planes instead.
     
  9. fortyseven Mastermind

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    :)

    "In a time of our greatest need, the Arrows will return and rain fire on our enemies!"

    Recently, I've been wondering about a working Avrocar in a Arrow Not Cancelled Timeline. Canadian Flying Saucers FTW!
     
  10. Readman I Accidentally POTUS'd

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    I'm always a big Avro Arrow fan and like seeing TL's where that travesty of a decision is avoided. Good luck
     
  11. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    March 25, 1956

    Avro Canada Facility Malton (Present Day Pearson International Airport)
    Representatives from the RCAF, RAF, Israeli Air Force, RSAF, and JASDF are sitting in chairs on the tarmac, chitchatting and enjoying the day. Even so, their eyes were all fixed on the plane sitting a few hundred feet away. RL-201 was being readied for the first ever flight of the Avro Arrow. Chief Test Pilot S/L Janusz Żurakowski was getting ready for this momentous event. Outside of the fences, there were crowds of people and reporters, awaiting the sound of the J57 turbojets and the sight of Canada's newest interceptor in the sky.

    At 11:09:28 AM, the Arrow Taxis onto Runway 05, with the sound of its engines causing cheers from the crowd.

    At 11:10:47 AM, RL-201 is given the go-ahead from Air Traffic Control. The Aircraft's engines roar even louder, and the aircraft begins to accelerate. In the rear seat, one of the senior engineers of Avro Canada was monitoring the dials and readouts. As the plane accelerated, S/L Żurakowski started to pull up on the joystick.

    The Aircraft employed the world's first "Fly-by-wire" system, using transducers to detect pilot input and send signals to an electronic control servo that operated the hydraulic systems which move the flight control surfaces. The aircraft also had artificial feedback, an innovation that was lost on the competition until decades later.

    The plane gently pitched up, the nose almost completely off the ground. Soon, the rest of the plane left the runway, and a legend took its first flight. The aircraft made some basic maneuvers, a few tests, before landing on the ground to the jubilation of the spectators. The top brass were stunned, amazed that a plane made in almost record time, had that level of performance. The head of the RAF dropped his cigar when the plane flew past, the roar of its engines permeating the airport. After the flight, he looked at the Relations officer from Avro and said, "My Friend, you've got a winner here. I don't know how the hell is Britain going to match that!"

    Tidbit from wikipedia:
    The Arrow's thin wing required aviation's first 4,000 lb/in2 (28 MPa) hydraulic system to supply enough force to the control surfaces, while using small actuators and piping. A rudimentary fly-by-wire system was employed, in which the pilot's input was detected by a series of pressure-sensitive transducers in the stick, and their signal was sent to an electronic control servo that operated the valves in the hydraulic system to move the various flight controls. This resulted in a lack of control feel; because the control stick input was not mechanically connected to the hydraulic system, the variations in back-pressure from the flight control surfaces that would normally be felt by the pilot could no longer be transmitted back into the stick. To re-create a sense of feel, the same electronic control box rapidly responded to the hydraulic back-pressure fluctuations and triggered actuators in the stick, making it move slightly; this system, called "artificial feel", was also a first.
     
  12. Archibald Well-Known Member

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    The POD is fine - the very reason why the Arrow failed was because of the radar and missiles.
    Everything else - the airframe, engines - was well on budget and delays. It was quite a remarkable effort !
    They changed the system too many times - Velvet glove > F-106 radar / missiles > Sparrow II > back to the F-106 system, too late.

    Have the F-102 or F-106 systems from the start, and never depart from them until the aircraft is "safe".

    By the way, having those radars on board the Arrow has some others advantages
    a) They did that for the CF-100, which had the F-89 system, and that worked fine. Keep on the good cooperation.
    b) having a similar radar between the F-102 / 106 and the Arrow might help the CF-105 integration within the NORAD.
    Canada bought BOMARCS to streamline its air defence system along the Air Force mold.
     
  13. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    What I figure is that if the USAF wants Bomarcs in Canada, do it themselves and maintain them. We give them spots, they can place the missiles there.
     
  14. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    June 10, 1957

    The 1957 Federal Election was one of the closest elections ever in Canadian History. For the most part, the Progressive-Conservatives led by John Diefenbaker faced increasing accusations of attempting to kill the virtually completed development of the CF-105 Arrow. In the middle of the campaign trail, Diefenbaker had made a few remarks on the subject, arguing about its costs. However, the other parties used his words to portray Diefenbaker as unpatriotic and pandering to what many suspected was American interests. Dief the Chief constantly defended himself and thus lost the initiative. Even so, the election was still a close call

    Progressive Conservatives- 108 Seats
    Liberal Party- 107 Seats
    CCF Party- 26 Seats
    Social Credit- 19 Seats

    With these results, Diefenbaker became the first PC Prime Minister in over 30 years. However, the one seat plurality over the Liberals meant that they were at the mercy of the other parties, who could easily ally themselves with the Liberals. The two minor parties soon privately threatened to topple down the government unless Diefenbaker's rhetoric against the Avro Arrow ceased. The SoCreds wanted to see Canada gain a foothold in the Aerospace Industry; the CCF wanted to keep Canadian jobs associated with the Arrow. St. Laurant decided to stay as party leader until the next Liberal leader could be elected. However, he had made a pact with the other opposition leaders. Should Diefenbaker even make any plans to scrap the Arrows, the government would fall.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  15. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    1958:

    A defense review shows that the Avro Arrow project is surprisingly on time and under-budget, driving the final nail in any plans for Cancellation. Diefenbaker is further spooked when three Avro Arrows overflew 24 Sussex Drive and made an impressive display. Diefenbaker knows too well that the public is now firmly behind the aircraft, and with foreign interest in the plane, he was resigned to the public's view. On February 21, John Diefenbaker announces the order for 200 Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow Mark IIs for service in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

    At this time, RL-206, the first Arrow Mark II was undergoing flight tests at the facility in Malton. These showed the impressive performance of the plane with the Orenda Iroquois nngine. It is followed by the RL-207 up to RL-212, the last of the pre-production aircraft. With the Long-Awaited order from Ottawa, engineers worked to refit the original five with the Orenda Engines, and removed the ballasts that were installed to compensate for the heavier J57s. In the factory, the first-Production Arrow, RC-213 was being prepared for final assembly. Following RC-213 were the other aircraft up to RC-240, which were part of the original contract from Ottawa.

    The Avro Canada Malton facility will be designated RCAF Station Malton, and will be temporarily used to train the first RCAF pilots on the Arrow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  16. tallwingedgoat Well-Known Member

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    They were very different planes. The F-4 was a multirole aircraft and the Arrow was a pure interceptor. The closest aircraft to the Arrow was the MiG-25, but the MiG came later and was faster.
     
  17. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    If you look at its history, it was in fact designed as a carrier-based interceptor. It was only after it's introduction into service that the multirole potential of the aircraft was developed. Hence why it has the maneuverability of a flying bathtub.
     
  18. AHIMPERIALIST Well-Known Member

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    Even if the Arrow were to be adopted, due to the rather inept defense policies of the 60’s, the Arrow wouldn’t have lasted much past Unification (’68).

    An interesting concept though!
     
  19. Ming777 ATL Aviator

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    Since the POD is 1953, there are plenty of butterflies to occur....
     
  20. RCAF Brat Vanguard of your destruction

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    I'm guessing that Pearson might not become PM, let alone Trudeau. So, no unification of the armed forces in '68 and no bass-ackwards defence policies (among many other things) in the '70s...
     
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