Avro Museum Arrow II project at Springbank Airport

One of Canada’s more ambitious aviation projects, a 60 per cent scale piloted flying replica of the Avro Arrow, is starting to take shape in the Avro Museum hangar at Springbank Airport, 26 kilometres west of downtown Calgary.

The Arrow II, as it’s known, has involved 21 years of planning, engineering and hard work by volunteers. Paul Gies, president of the museum, outlined the scope of the project in a presentation to the 2018 CAHS Convention in Calgary in June.

The Arrow II fuselage will be built of fibreglass, with the wing and fin consisting of carbon fibre, composite fuel tanks and touchscreen/autopilot instruments. Two Pratt and Whitney JT-15D-4 turbo fan engines of 2,500 pounds of thrust each will power the Arrow II. It’s the same powerplant used in the Cessna Citation II. Plans call for the Arrow II to be built within the limitations of Canadian recreational aircraft legislation.

The aircraft originally began as the Arrow 2000 project in a building on Ogden Road in Calgary. Plans called for a 2/3 scale replica of the legendary Avro Arrow. The Arrow 2000 project evolved into the Avro Museum, registered in 1997. Volunteers have devoted thousands of hours planning the engineering and design of the aircraft. Research and development during the initial eight years included the building of one-fifth scale replica models of the Arrow and the Avro Jetliner. Construction of the Arrow II began in 2007.

The Avro Museum moved to its current location in Springbank about three years ago in order to find space for the size of the equipment and room to build the aircraft. Designed to accommodate a pilot and a passenger, the Arrow II will be 46.7 feet long, with a wing span of 30 feet and height of 12.7 feet.

The group has so far spent close to $700,000 in donations. Once complete, the final price tag of the project is expected to be around $1 million.

The museum hopes to complete the aircraft for static display at the Springbank Air Show in 2019. A three-year program of taxi trials is then planned, with the first flight targeted for five years from now.

A group of convention attendees enjoyed a visit to the Avro Museum and its collection of artifacts after the convention closed on June 3. The museum has made a simulator of their aircraft and Paul used it to fly the Arrow II in a low pass over the Calgary downtown area.

The Avro Museum is open for visitors on the second Sunday of each month, from 12 to 3 p.m., at Springbank Airport. It is well worth a visit.

--- Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

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A group of CAHS 2018 Convention attendees enjoyed a visit to the Avro Museum shop, hosted by museum president Paul Gies. (J. Chalmers photo)

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A view from the front of the underside of the Arrow II fuselage. (G. McNulty photo)

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A simulator of the Arrow II is a popular attraction at the Avro Museum. (G. McNulty photo)

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A view from the rear of the underside of the Arrow II fuselage. (G. McNulty photo)

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One-fifth scale models of Arrow RL201 and the Avro Jetliner are displayed at the Avro Museum. (G. McNulty photo)

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Paul Gies, Avro Museum president, hosted an informative tour for a group of CAHS members after the convention, and is seen here with the three-screen simulator developed for the Arrow II. (J. Chalmers photo)


Avro Museum profile of the 'Arrow II' project at Springbank Airport, Alberta.