Avro Canada arose from the ashes of the government-owned Victory Aircraft to become a subsidiary of the Hawker Siddeley Group on 1 December 1945. It was Sir Roy Dobson who became interested in purchasing Victory at the end of the Second World War when he realised that there were many capable aircraft technicians who were going to be unemployed.
The financial backing came from Hawker Siddeley, as in the war Victory Aircraft had an excellent production record completing 736 Ansons, 430 Lancasters, one York and one Lincoln. Later, as Avro Canada, the company built the CF-100 jet fighter which was used in large numbers by the Royal Canadian Air Force and was also supplied to Belgium.
The company also designed and built the Avro Model 1 Avrocar which was a disc-shaped vehicle to test the suitability of a ‘saucer’ type aircraft. The Project Office at Avro Chadderton assisted in the design under the code-name Project Y. The programme was taken over and financed by the U.S. Department, but the after excellent performance predictions, the trials were a complete failure and the project was cancelled in 1951.
Avro Canada also owned a Gas Turbine Division which later became known as Orenda Engines manufacturing Canada’s first jet engine.
A jet airliner, the C-102, was designed and flown, but no orders were received and only one prototype was built. This shot shows the maiden flight.
The futuristic CF-105 Arrow jet fighter was showing promise when the Canadian government cancelled the project in February 1959 after just five aircraft had been completed. The Hawker Siddeley Group had invested much into Canadian heavy industry and the cancellation had grave consequences for the Group as the whole of the Canadian work force had to be laid off.