March, 1953, Aviation and Airport
Oft criticized Avro Canada seems to have got its house in order during the past year and, though actual reported deliveries of completed aircraft are still on the low side (16, according to Mr. Howe), the pipelines feeding the sub and final assembly lines are full to bursting. The effect should be that the picture should change rapidly within the next six months, with the 70 Mark 3 CF-100s being completed and the Mark 4 started.
In all, it is expected that the Aircraft Division will be called on to produce upwards of 650 CF-100 aircraft, practically all of them Mark 4’s. To help do this, a second CF-100 final assembly line is in the process of being set up.
The Division has a total of 1,500,000 square feet of plant area and employs a constantly growing number of workers, now over the 8,500 mark. It has had to branch out from its main plant to find additional space for some of its projects. Across Malton it has taken over four DoT hangars, where the Lancaster overhaul and conversion work is now carried on. In Leaside, near Toronto, a spare parts manufacturing and overhaul depot has been established and employs 200 on two shifts.
During the past year, the Aircraft Division has also completed the construction of two new hangars, each of 100,000 square feet. One is for expanding flight operations, the other for the production-line installation of CF-100’s radar equipment.
The Gas Turbine Division has got its new plant into operation without delay. Its 4,500 employees are now turning out completed engines much faster than aircraft are being completed in which to install them. Deliveries are being made to Canadair, where they are being stockpiled until production starts on the Sabre 5. Engines reaching the production line have now passed the 200 mark by a comfortable margin. The engine plant has had two additions since it was opened last fall, bringing its total area up to something like 1,000,000 square feet.
Development of the Orenda continues at an impressive pace. In a recent speech, Avro President Crawford Gordon, Jr., said that the current production version developed 6,500 lbs. th. “New models will give us 7,500 pounds and then 8,500. What is more, the Orenda can be developed to 12,000 pounds.”
In the design and development field, Avro Canada has two projects in hand. One is the CF-104, a delta wing fighter of advanced design, on which the design work has largely been completed. It has not progressed to the mock-up stage and further work awaits the go-ahead from Ottawa, where the Government is wrestling with the question of whether or not to proceed with the fostering of original designs in Canada, as opposed to simply adapting other nation’s designs to meet Canadian requirements.
The other is one which the newspapers described as a “flying saucer” and a “gyro fighter”. Most news reports were highly exaggerated, but at the same time they were ostensibly quite correct in their implication that a new concept of aircraft design is being investigated at Avro Canada, in collaboration with various Government research bodies. However, the indications are that the project is in the “thinking with a slide rule“ stage. It is still only a research program, introduced with the designing of flying machines capable of vertical take-offs and yet able to fly supersonically in level flight. This is the sort of performance that proponents of the “convertiplane” in the U.S. hope to attain.
In the meantime, Avro Canada has a big job ahead to arm the RCAF with CF-100s. Its progress is satisfactory and improving in the Aircraft Division, and excellent in the Gas Turbine Division.
This article originally appeared in the March, 1953 edition of Aviation & Airport magazine.