The path not taken 60 years ago has a nation still wondering what might have been.
On February 19th, 1959 Wladyslaw "Spud" Potocki was test flying the sparkling white Avro Arrow RL-201 in the fair but chilly skies near Malton, Ontario. On that particular flight the World War II veteran fighter pilot was testing the Arrow's roll rates at Mach 1.7. While fast, it was still well below the nearly twice the speed-of-sound the sharp, delta-wing aircraft had already achieved on previous test flights. As aeronautical engineers like to say, the Arrow had 'flown off the drawing board'. The celestial expectations for the all new, Canadian designed and built supersonic interceptor were being met or exceeded with each passing day...
Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. The text version of this essay can be found on Medium where it was published contemporaneously. (photo: The first of six Arrows produced on the near production ready Avro Canada assembly line in Malton, Ontario in the late 1950s.)