On the Avro Arrow


A historian walks into a bar, where some regulars are debating the grassy knoll. "What do you do?" one of the guys asks him. He pauses. "Bricklayer." This week decades of accumulated mythology about the ill-fated Avro Arrow—the Canadian fighter plane scrapped by the scoundrel Diefenbaker in 1959—breathed new life, as a new search of Lake Ontario for the lost prototypes commenced. All of the old yarns about Canada's vanquished aviation supremacy and the mother-of-all-brain-drains have been exhumed. Sadly, the late Michael Bliss—the U of T historian who once dismissed Arrow mythology a "fantasy about scientific miracles" and "nationalist longings"—did not live to see it.