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Avro Arrow hits the road | PLANT

Metcom delivers the replica to CMTS.


The Avro CF 105 Arrow never made it into full production. Built in the late 1950s the twin-engined supersonic interceptor was brought down by budgets and politics. The six planes, parts and all the plans were destroyed in 1959 to keep them from falling into Soviet hands.

But a 26-metre replica put together by aerospace volunteers between 1998 and 2006 hit the road for the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) where it was on display from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.

The replica had been housed at the Canadian Air & Space Museum at Downsview Park but the museum was closed in 2011. The Arrow made its stop at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont., where CMTS attendees got a closer look at the interceptor before it went into storage at a facility near Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Getting to the International Centre fell to The Matcom Group, an industrial solutions provider based in Vaughan, Ont. that includes among its services heavy lifting and the logistics that go with it.

The replica Arrow wasn’t built to be moved, says Emma O’Dwyer, vice-president of market development for Matcom.

“We were asked if we would help out as we had moved most of the other exhibit models from the museum over the past year and a half.”

Matcom worked on the logistics of the move for over a year, and donated its services including engineering and fabrication of the beam holding the landing gear frame for transport.

“We brought in Equipment Express for the actual transportation, and a special (Goldhofer) hydraulic truck bed system, which protected the plane from bending and vibration, and could lower for some of the tight bridge spaces.”

Equipment Express and Matcom planned the route together. It took one and half days to take the wings and tail off the 20,000 pound model and load the pieces, two and half days to get the plane out of Downsview Park in a three-trailer convoy followed by two truckloads of equipment, and five hours to move the plane from Sheppard Ave. to the International Centre on Airport Road.

Putting the Arrow back together took another one and half days.

All together, it took two riggers, two millwrights and three drivers to do the job, which allowed CMTS attendees to get a last look at what could have been Canada’s greatest aeronautics achievement.

This article appears in the Nov./Dec. 2013 issue of PLANT.