When Canada suddenly ended the Avro Arrow program in 1959, it left the country with a lingering "what if" question, the director of Royal Canadian Air Force History and Heritage tells the Canadian Press: "Would Canada still be competing in modern fighter design of our own aircraft today?" The Avro Arrow was the only supersonic interceptor jet ever designed and built in Canada, the BBC reports. According to CBC, it was meant to respond to Soviet bombers in the Arctic during the Cold War. When the program was canceled—largely over cost—many of its engineers fled Canada to work at Lockheed, Boeing, NASA, and others in the US and UK. "It tugs at the Canadian psyche of what could have been in Canada," mining CEO John Burzynski tells the BBC.
Burzynski is leading an effort to reclaim a piece of Canadian military history. When the Avro Arrow program was ended, pretty much everything was destroyed. But it's believed nine missing one-eighth-sized Arrow models launched over Lake Ontario in the 1950s to test the jet's flight design are still somewhere at the bottom of the lake. On Friday, an underwater vehicle equipped with military-grade sonar was deployed to find the missing Avro Arrow models, which would get new, drier homes in museums. "By finding and retrieving these marvelous examples of Canadian advanced technological design, this project is a proud reminder of what we as Canadians have done, and what we Canadians can do," the Global News quotes Burzynski as saying. (The search is on for Caligula's 2,000-year-old orgy boat.)