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The Avro Arrow Models October 28, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Diving Books and Films, Shipwrecks, Technical Diving.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I just watched, not for the first time, a Sea Hunters episode from 2005 on a search for several models of the famous Canadian fighter aircraft, the Avro Arrow, in Lake Ontario. In this episode, the crew took their boat from Port Dover in Lake Erie to Point Petre in Prince Edward County in Lake Ontario, where during the mid-to late 50s Avro Aircraft Limited shot models of their aircraft into the lake at supersonic speeds, on the nose of a rocket.

They didn’t find it. They found an unidentified sailboat from the mid 19th century in great condition at a depth of 200′. They also found a rocket which  they believed to be a Canadair rocket booster used to test the Velvet Glove Missile, which was being designed as armament for the  Arrow. This booster was designed in part by Gerald Bull, a Canadian engineer who was assassinated (reputedly by the Mossad) while working on Project Babylon, a supergun for the Iraqi government.

The show then rambled on into a rather pointless expedition off the Virginia coast  where the visibility was so back they could only feel the object they were trying to investigate.

Despite the squirrely storyline, the Sea Hunters is my favourite underwater TV show. It’s short on the wonders of the ocean environment and long on hard core diving and exploration (not that I’m against the environment, sharks or pretty fish, it just gets repetitive after a while). In Lake Ontario they were diving surface supplied trimix with a hardhat and ship to diver voice communications, running sidescan sonar, and a ROV. What could be more fun than that?



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