(POINT PETRE, ON) The search for nine free-flight Avro Arrow models in Lake Ontario got underway last summer. The exploration, called Raise the Arrow, begins with the launch of the ThunderFish autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), a programmable submarine, that is now surveying the area thought to contain the missing free-flight test models of the Avro Arrow. The search-and-recovery project is a Canada 150 collaborative effort spearheaded by OEX Recovery Group Incorporated (OEX), which is entirely funded by a group of Canadian mining companies and financial institutions.
“Today’s launch of the search marks an important milestone in bringing back a lost piece of Canadian history to the public,” said John Burzynski, President and CEO of Osisko Mining, and leader of the OEX 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.”
Measuring three metres long by two metres wide, the nine free-flight test models are roughly one-eighth the size of the full CF-105 Arrow and have been submerged since they were launched over Lake Ontario in a series of tests during 1954 to 1957.
Kraken Sonar Inc., a team of scientists and archeologists from Newfoundland engaged to search for the replicas using their Thunderfish AUV, is focusing on an area just off Point Petre in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.
“I can’t think of a better example of how advanced Canadian ocean technology is being used to search and find advanced Canadian aerospace technology,” said Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO. “We are proud to be part of what we believe will be the first successful search for the Avro Arrow replicas. This expedition is sure to be nostalgic for the countless Avro fans across our country.”
Once recovered, the free-flight test models will be housed at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario.
The museums, in collaboration with the Canadian Conservation Institute, will provide historical information to support the conservation, treatment, and collection of any recovered models or materials.
“Our museum is honoured to be partnering on this historically significant search-and-recovery project,” said Fern Proulx, interim President and CEO of Ingenium, Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, which includes the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. “The Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s collection comprises the largest surviving pieces of the Avro Arrow: a nose section and two wingtips. A free-flight model would be a wonderful addition to our collection, and to the Arrow story we share with Canadians.”
OEX, the group spearheading Raise the Arrow, is sponsored by Osisko group companies Osisko Mining Inc. and Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., in collaboration with their financial partners at National Bank, the Bank of Montreal, Canaccord Genuity, Maxit Capital, Eight Capital, Northfield Capital and Rosseau Asset Management; the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Canadian Conservation Institute, and Bennett Jones LLP. Support for this project is also being provided by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Scarlett Janusas Archaeology, Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Military Institute and Canada Company.
For ongoing updates about Raise the Arrow, visit www.raisethearrow.com.