Secret blueprints help tell the story of the ill-fated Avro Arrow project

All material associated with the Avro Arrow were ordered destroyed by the Canadian government when the project was cancelled in 1959.

Ken Barnes ignored the order — he kept a set of the original blueprints he had drafted.

The Arrow was meant to be the first fighter jet designed, built and operational in Canada.

It was axed by then-prime minister John Diefenbaker in 1959 during its testing phase due to escalating costs.

Diefenbaker’s government said it was a cost-cutting measure as the program was taking up to 25 per cent of the Air Force’s annual budget.

“The budget was just going way too high to maintain the Arrow the way it was and continue to fund everything else with the defence budget,” Gessner explained.

“While it really negatively impacted people directly in the east who (were) working there, as they moved further west, people’s feelings changed and they were like ‘great, we’re cutting spending.’”

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