June Callwood claimed in a 1997 Macleans Magazine article:

Someone has flown an Arrow to safety.

CTV news says:

The discovery of an intact ejection seat from Canada's legendary Avro Arrow is fuelling[sic] a half-century-old conspiracy theory that one of the purportedly destroyed jets was smuggled to safety.

The Avro Arrow program was infamously shut down by then-Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker in 1959. All related materials, from the prototype jets right down to the blueprints, were ordered destroyed.


The customer told Wilson that as a teenager he often watched planes land at the base and he still remembered a strange incident in which a white, high delta wing aircraft with no national markings or registration landing at the base in the early 1960s. "He's still 100 per cent adamant he saw an Arrow aircraft land," Wilson said.

Did one CF-105 Avro Arrow get smuggled to safety, and avoid being destroyed?

  • 1
    the white aircraft would have been a CF-101 Voodoo, which from some angles appears to have a delta wing, and for a period was painted white (I don't know exactly what interval).
    – jwenting
    Sep 10, 2013 at 19:23
  • Where does the rumour of a saved Avro come from? Surely this: "The nosecone section of Avro Arrow RL-206, currently on display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, was smuggled out of the Avro Aircraft plant in Malton by members of the RCAF Flying Personnel Medical Establishment" Wikipedia Sep 12, 2013 at 7:28
  • @LennartRegebro there have been rumours because in some of the pictures of the aircraft lineup shot just prior to destruction one of the aircraft was missing. Of course it likely was missing because it either hadn't been flown to the place yet or was already being cut up.
    – jwenting
    Sep 15, 2013 at 17:33
  • Any story of one Arrow surviving, however hopeful it may seem, unfortunately, is false. The Hamilton Scrapyard, which took all the scrap resources from the Arrows, recorded the weight of materials they brought in. It totalled to the weight of all six Arrows that had been completed. Stories may be nice, but they are not always true. Source: Miller, Lawrence. "The Avro Arrow: a picture history" page 110.
    – Stephen
    Mar 4, 2015 at 20:31
  • 1
    the [sic] flags Canadian spelling - doubling the L is normal in that word, also traveller and some others. I don't think [sic]ing Canadian spelling in a quote from a Canadian source is necessary. Dec 24, 2016 at 3:34

1 Answer 1



The CTV article you cite says,

While Sipe is quite confident there were no Arrows saved, he does admit to one mystery that still lingers, allowing for the "romantic" possibility.
"(The) first pictures taken of the MK-1 Arrow aircraft sitting on the flight line after program cancellation show all of the Arrows, S/N RL-201 through RL-205. However, later pictures taken do not show aircraft RL-202. No one seems to know what happened to RL-202 which had just received major maintenance due to landing gear collapse experienced several months prior, and was just repaired and returned to flight worthiness immediately before program cancellation," he said.

Similarly http://members.shaw.ca/b.bogdan/Arrow/avro_arrow.htm says,

There are many legends of a lone Arrow escaping destruction. In addition to Callwood's speculation about an Iroquois-equipped arrow flying away at dawn, there are tales of an Arrow being spirited away on a covered flatbed truck. Some say that RL-202 cannot be seen in the aerial photos of the destruction, and may have been being fitted with missiles at a different location. None of these stories can be confirmed.

However in the The Arrow Scrapbook (by Peter Zuuring, published in 1999):

  • Page 118 shows RL-207 (the only Iroquois-equipped arrow) being disassembled
  • Page 125 shows RL-202 being dismantled
  • Page 131 describes June Callwood's reaction to this evidence of the destruction:

When I showed June these findings ... years of hope that one did get away were shattered with the realization that nothing flyable did!

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