Mission StatementThe Avro Arrow is a Canadian icon, over 50 years after it was abandoned and destroyed. We discovered a group of dedicated volunteers in Calgary who are working to recreate this masterpiece of aviation–to right a historical wrong, and inspire a nation to believe that together we can do great things.
About The Project
At Springbank airport in Calgary, a small group of dedicated volunteers is working to recreate a national legend. The Avro Arrow is Canada’s greatest aircraft that never was... a once iconic piece of Canadiana that many today have not even heard about.
A little background: the history of the Arrow
On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union conducted its first successful nuclear test, beginning the decades-long nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States.
When the threat of Soviet bombers crossing the North Pole became apparent, Canada, an aviation powerhouse after the Second World War, rose to the challenge. The Avro Arrow was an airplane so advanced, so ahead of its time, that it would require designing everything, from the engines to the avionics, from scratch. The Arrow was the West’s defender against nuclear aggression from the Soviet bloc, but all that changed on one fateful day
The same day the Arrow was unveiled to the public, the Russians launched the rocket, Sputnik. The West assumed that it wouldn’t be long before the Soviets armed their rockets not with satellites, but with nuclear warheads. Even the most advanced airplane was no match for a missile. Even though the bomber-threat was still real for many more years, the writing was on the wall and due to a series of events nearly all traces of this Canadian National icon were destroyed.
The story today:
A group of hobbyists in Calgary, Alberta decided is inspired to design and build an exact replica of the Arrow, although 60% of its size, the maximum size allowable by Canadian law. Based on original blueprints and collected documents, the Arrow II is being constructed from advanced materials in a hangar at the Springbank airport in Calgary.
Even more incredible than the actual plane, is the dedication of the volunteers who are creating it. This is a project unlike any hobbyist has ever taken on. The home-built aircraft is more advanced and faster than many civilian planes. To the volunteers recreating it, it is a joy to try and right a historical wrong. It is an attempt to re-live and rediscover one of our proudest moments, a golden age when Canada led the aerospace industry and briefly had the most technologically advanced airplane in the world.
Along the way, we discover that the Arrow is about more than just the plane, it's about the people involved, and thier passion. It is a symbol of what we can accomplish if we believe.
This film will be released in two parts. Version I will be released at the end of 2021, documenting the difficult journey of making this aircraft. Version II will be released when the Arrow II finally takes flight, and completes the saga. We will have a very limited festival run, because we want to get the film to you as soon as it's done. We plan to screen the film at participating locations (museums) across the country, pending agreements. It will be a great opportunity to meet other Arrow-heads and celebrate this great plane and the people who built it. The film will also be offered to be screened in participating schools, as part of their history program–the goal being to remind and educate Canadians about this great achievement.
Soon after completion, backers will receive the film for free via Vimeo on Demand. Finally, we will submit it to online services such as Amazon Prime and iTunes.
Whether we get picked up by other networks and streaming services depends on you. We rely on you to spread the word and help create demand for the movie!
A note on COVID-19:
While I was still working on the crowdfunding video above, Mike Ward, the man in the blue shirt in the promo video passed away. It wasn't from COVID-19, but it was a stark reminder that although these folk seem young at heart, Time and this world take a toll.
Many of the people who will be the subject of this film are older than us, so this means we will be going to exceptional lengths to use protective equipment and to keep our distances. The only one of us liasing with the guys in Calgary is Brad of Polyus Studios. The rest of us are stuck where we are for the time being, which is fine. It's important to protect ourselves and the people we care about from the virus.
July 1st (Canada-day) seemed to be a great day to launch the campaign, and we are hoping that over the next 45 days of the campaign, we will see the infection rates go down and the danger decrease. This is a long-term project (at least a year, and then a revised version in four years) and so we feel comfortable raising the money now. However, if things don't get safer, we will push the production of the project later until they are. We hope you are OK with that, but for people who have already waited over fifty years to see the Arrow fly, we think you will understand.
I am told that Mike wished he could have seen the Arrow II fly. I have no doubt that it will.
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About This Team
Noah Leon recently produced and directed a successful feature documentary, Love Notes to Newton. A seasoned guerilla filmmaker and former wedding filmmaker, he is used to working with a small budget to make beautiful films. Noah will be coordinating this project.
Patrick Saad is a meticulous filmmaker and business owner who left a successful web business to become a filmmaker. After honing his skills in the wedding and corporate world, Patrick is branching out into narrative and documentary projects. Patrick will be involved in the production and direction of the shooting of this project.
Denise Lodde Roberts is a former news reporter and current news producer with CTV and has over two decades experience as a journalist telling stories worldwide. With her skills as a researcher, interviewer and writer, she will be involved in crafting the story of this film.
Frank Orlando is a 30 year veteran of design and advertising. When he's not being a total ass, he can be found teaching future generations of designers to avoid the business. Most recently, he has extended his talents to documentary and webseries. As he did with Noah on his last project, Love Notes to Newton, Frank will be providing creative direction for Chasing Arrows, all social media and production materials.
We are pleased to announce that we will be partnering with Polyus Studios in Calgary to help document the Arrow II. Brad at Polyus is the creator of the great Youtube series on Canadian aerospace projects.
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