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After a year of discussion with aviation companies
beginning in the late summer of 1956, CIA focused its
attention on building a jet that could fly at extremely
high speeds and altitudes while incorporating
state-of-the-art techniques in radar absorption or
deflection. This effort was codenamed GUSTO. In
the fall of 1957, U-2 project manager Richard Bissell
established an advisory committee to help select a
design for the U-2’s successor.
Convair and Lockheed completed new proposals
in August 1959. Convair’s entry, known as the
KINGFISH, was a ground-launched, single-pilot jet
with two Pratt & Whitney J58 engines—the most
powerful available—and a small RCS. Lockheed’s
design, the A-12, also would use the J58 engines.
It would reach Mach 3.2 at up to 97,600 feet and
have a range of around 4,600 miles. To save weight,
Johnson decided not to construct the aircraft out of
steel. Because standard lightweight metals such as
aluminum could not withstand the heat generated at
Mach 3 speeds, Johnson chose a titanium alloy. The
A-12’s design incorporated a continuously curving
airframe, a forebody with tightly slanted edges
called chines, engine housings (nacelles) located
mid-wing, canted rudders, and nonmetallic parts
to decrease the RCS. A cesium fuel additive would
reduce the radar detectability of the afterburner
The J75 had a dry thrust of 76.5 kN (7,800 kgp / 17,200 lbf) and an afterburning thrust of 109 kN (11,110 kgp / 24,500 lbf). The Iroquois was the most powerful engine in North America, with a dry thrust of 82.4 kN (8,400 kgp / 18,500 lbf) and an afterburning thrust of 115.8 kN (11,800 kgp / 26,000 lbf). It had an unprecedented 5:1 thrust-to-weight ratio, achieved partly by extensive use of titanium. The Iroquois was ground-tested in 1955. In 1957, the US Air Force loaned a B-47E Stratojet bomber to the Canadians for a flight-test platform. The engine was bolted to the side of the aircraft, near the tail; the lopsided bomber was apparently something of a handful to fly. Some snags were encountered in testing, but in general the engine development effort went well. The Iroquois was removed from the B-47E after the completion of trials, and the bomber was returned to the United States. However, apparently its airframe had been warped by the asymmetric thrust of the Iroquois, and the aircraft was scrapped. Interestingly, this particular B-47E was the only American strategic jet bomber that was ever operated by a foreign country.
In 1956, the USAF loaned B-47B serial number 51-2059 to the Royal Canadian Air Force for use as a flying test bed for the 20,000 lb. static thrust Orenda Iroquois turbojet. A pair of Iroquois engines were to power the projected Avro CF-105 Arrow long-range interceptor, which was currently under development in Canada. After delivery, the RCAF turned the plane over to Canadair, Ltd. to complete the required modifications. A separate pod for the test engine was installed on the starboard side of the rear fuselage underneath the horizontal tail. The pod was 30 feet long and about six feet in diameter. The company assigned its own model number of CL-52 to the project. The CL-52/B-47B flew in RCAF markings, but retained the last three digits of its USAF serial number, which followed the prefix "X" to become the RCAF serial number.
The CL-52 spent a total of 31 hours in the air with the Iroquois engine.
After the termination of the Arrow/Iroquois program, the Iroquois engine was removed from the CL-52 and the aircraft was returned to the USA. The plane was scrapped at Davis-Monthan AFB shortly thereafter.
An automatic flight control system (AFCS) was developed that could operate in several modes, and in principle could even land the Arrow automatically or compensate for severe damage to the aircraft. Control surfaces were hydraulically operated and electronically controlled; the Arrow was one of the first "fly-by-wire" aircraft ever built.
The armament system was devised as a replaceable pack that could be plugged into the aircraft's big weapons bay, which was 5.5 meters (18 feet) long. This allowed different weapons systems or fuel tanks to be fitted as required, with all armament carried internally.
originally posted by: Daalder
a reply to: Fools
Why would they develop anything when a Saab, Dassault, Eurofighter etc. can be bought?
7.8 billion buys you a 100 Dassault Rafale that do the job pretty good I suppose.
And I'm sure France wouldn't oppose to that deal.
One way to modernize it would be to take a "clean sheet" design and reimagine the Arrow for the 21st century. Artist Joe Green has done this with his concept, The Super Arrow.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: moebius
At this point, Canada would be better off license building something to start off with. Their aerospace industry isn't what it used to be and has taken some serious hits in recent years. If they license build something, they can build it back up to where they can design and build their own again.
The Blackbird is faster than the Avro, but The Blackbird SR 71 design was started in September of 1959, after the Arrow cancellation. Avro had a design for a Ramjet assisted aircraft that would have reached the speeds and altitude of the SR 71. They also provided the US with information about designing an advanced Arrow capable of speeds like those of the SR 71. The SR 71 was designed by the Lockheed Skunkworks. After the cancellation some Avro engineers ended up working on the blackbird.
originally posted by: Trillium
originally posted by: CrapAsUsual
a reply to: Fools
The AVRO Arrow was possibly the best plane of its day. The US killed it while it was a baby.
Ya and 90% off the engineer and technology went down south
to build the SR 71