Avro Arrow Memorabilia Auction Nets $32,000

December 10, 2007

Avro CF-105 Rollout, 1957

Avro Arrow aviation memorabilia sold at auction for $32,000 at Empire Auctions in Toronto, Ontario yesterday. The anonymous buyer, who bid by phone, is Canadian and says the collection will remain in Canada. The sale included models and photos of the legendary aircraft, as well as company papers and a copy of the 1959 “Black Friday” speech in the House of Commons which immediately terminated Avro construction and led to the lay-off of 15,000 factory workers at the Orenda plant and a total of 60,000 people laid off altogether. Avro was Canada’s third largest employer at the time.

The Avro Arrow, which used cutting-edge aviation technology and was considered superior to similar American planes, was first unveiled in October 1957, but was scrapped in February 1959, when Prime Minister John Diefenbaker told the House of Commons that the Avro Arrow program was cancelled, effective immediately. There were cries that Diefenbaker had caved into American pressure to use American-built jets, and that sentiment remains undiminished. Two years later, Canada took possession of 66 used McDonnell F-101 Voodoo jet fighter planes from the states — a plane they’d considered as inadequate before Avro Arrow development.

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