Sunday, February 19, 2012

Canadian Air and Space Museum: Black Friday

I grew up in the borough of #Toronto called North York, just outside Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Downsview while my father was posted to the base as part of the Army Signal Corps, so it brings back a lot of memories for me every time I visit the former military airfield. The closing of the base has turned much of the land into park and community areas, a good idea by the government.

Also located at Downsview was de Havilland who operated an airfield, hanger and factory which started in the late 1920s. The de Havilland site became home to the Canadian Air and Space Museum which was recently given an eviction notice by the Federal Government and told that their building at 65 Carl Hall Road would be demolished. Their plight seems eerily similar to the plight of one of their star attractions; the Avro Arrow.

Tomorrow (Monday, February 20, 2012) the aviation museum will have a mark the 53rd anniversary of the day in 1959 when the Avro Arrow program was cancelled. That day has become know as Toronto's 'Black Friday'.

From the museum "The cancellation of the Avro Arrow was a watershed event in Canadian aerospace history because almost everything associated with the supersonic program, from the advanced R&D work to the blueprints and six completed aircraft were ordered destroyed by Federal government bureaucrats who had no sense of Canadian history or the value of Canada's advanced technological achievements."

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