‘Raise the Ar­row’ mis­sion gets un­der­way

National Post (National Edition) - - CANADA - The Cana­dian Press

LAKE SEARCH

project as part of Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tions and to co­in­cide with next year’s 60th an­niver­sary of Avro Ar­row’s first test flight.

A pro­gram­mable sub­ma­rine sup­plied by Kraken Sonar Inc. spent eight hours Fri­day sur­vey­ing an area just off Point Pe­tre in On­tario’s Prince Ed­ward County where it’s be­lieved the miss­ing free-flight pro­to­types were launched from.

Burzyn­ski said he came up with the project af­ter fol­low­ing news re­ports of Kraken’s in­volve­ment in re­cov­er­ing one of the ships be­long­ing to the Franklin Ex­pe­di­tion of 1845.

David Shea, Kraken’s vi­cepres­i­dent of en­gi­neer­ing, was part of the five-per­son crew, fol­low­ing the sub­ma­rine on a boat to make sure no one nav­i­gated over it.

The sub­ma­rine is equipped with a mil­i­tary­grade sonar, which records acous­tic data at a range of 300 me­tres and turns it into a high-res­o­lu­tion acous­tic im­age, Shea told The Cana­dian Press in an in­ter­view from the boat on Fri­day.

They have 64 square kilo­me­tres Scale work­ing model of one of nine Avro Ar­row free flight mod­els launched over Lake On­tario in the 1950s. to cover and Burzyn­ski said it’s likely the mod­els will be among a lot of de­bris, which could in­clude ship­wrecks from the 1700s and 1800s and two planes that crashed in 1945 and 1960.

The search is ex­pected to take two weeks, but could be ex­tended to a month due to weather or other fac­tors.

If the mod­els are lo­cated, project arche­ol­o­gist Scar­lett Janusas said she will send divers down to check on the in­tegrity of the pro­to­types.

“I hope that they will be in one piece, but it’s un­likely,” she said while on site at Point Pe­tre.

“We have to make sure that the struc­tures are to­tally sup­ported as we are bring­ing them out of the wa­ter, so they don’t col­lapse on them­selves,” Janusas said.

She added that they will keep the mod­els sub­merged un­til they first re­move the biomass, which in­cludes or­ganic ma­te­rial and ze­bra mus­sels, so they can ac­tu­ally see the sur­face of the pro­to­types.

“It doesn’t take much time for ze­bra mus­sels to take over some­thing and ob­scure its ap­pear­ance to the point that it looks like a rock,” she said, not­ing it helps that they know the ex­act di­men­sions of the mod­els, which are an eighth of the size of the full CF-105 Ar­row.

Richard Mayne, di­rec­tor of Royal Cana­dian Air Force His­tory and Her­itage, which pro­vided re­search for the project, says the Ar­row left many Cana­di­ans with a sense of “what if” when the all-Cana­dian air­craft pro­gram was shut down by the fed­eral govern­ment.

“Would Canada still be com­pet­ing in mod­ern fighter de­sign of our own air­craft to­day?” Mayne said. “We were part of an elite club of na­tions that were build­ing topof-the-line fight­ers.”

The Canada Avi­a­tion and Space Mu­seum in Ot­tawa al­ready houses a nose sec­tion and two wingtips, but much of the Avro Ar­row didn’t sur­vive.

“The Avro Ar­row is a re­minder of what Cana­di­ans are ca­pa­ble of build­ing,” Burzyn­ski said.

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