Plans underway to move historic Avro Arrow replica for public show
Published Saturday, September 21, 2013 6:46PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 21, 2013 9:40PM EDT
A piece of Canadian aviation history is set to be transported to its new home in Mississauga, west of Toronto, Sunday, where it will be put on display for the first time in two years.
A replica of the legendary Avro Arrow jet was loaded onto a trailer at Downsview Park Saturday, as the Toronto-based Canadian Air and Space Museum prepares to move the 85-foot long structure to The International Centre in Mississauga.
Kenneth Swartz, a member of the board of directors for the museum, said the journey is a symbolic return home, as the original Avro Arrow was built on Airport Road which is just steps from the International Centre.
“Some of the buildings at the International Centre were actually part of the Avro (Canada) factory,” Swartz said in an interview with CTVNews.ca Saturday.
Once considered a major feat in aviation technology, the original plane was unveiled to much fanfare in 1957. However, the aircraft program was cancelled less than two years later, and the fleet was destroyed.
Decades later, a determined group of volunteers that included war veterans and aviation industry retirees set to work re-creating the scrapped aircraft “to fill a gap in local Toronto history,” Swartz said.
Work began in 1998, and the full-scale replica was completed in 2006.
“The Arrow is always this touchstone for many people in aviation,” Swartz said. “Esthetically, it was very attractive … almost a timeless design.”
The reason for the move to Mississauga, Swartz said, was a request to display the replica at the SME Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show taking place at the International Centre from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.
The truck convoy, which will include a police escort, is expected to take place between 10 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.
Some parts of the replica, including the wing tips, rocket pod and nose gear, will be moved separately and reinstalled next week.
The public will have the opportunity to take a look, as the Arrow will be on display for “Doors Open Mississauga” at the International Centre on Saturday, Sept. 28.
After the shows, the aircraft replica will be moved into a storage facility near Pearson International Airport, Swartz said.
The Canadian Air and Space Museum was closed to the public after its lease was terminated at Downsview Park in September 2011. Swartz said the board is still actively trying to find a new home for the museum near Pearson.
A replica of the Avro Arrow is loaded onto a trailer at Downsview Park on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. (CASM / Kenneth I. Swartz)
A wing tip from the Avro Arrow's replica is loaded onto a trailer at Downsview Park on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. (CASM / Kenneth I. Swartz)