• Status: On display
  • Airworthiness: Static display
  • Type: Fighter
  • Built: 1958
  • Serial Number: RCAF 18785
  • Construction Number: 685
  • Current Markings: CAF 100785
  • Length: 54 ft 2 in
  • Wingspan: 60 ft 10 in
  • Power: 7,400 lbs thrust each
  • Engine: 2 x Avro Canada Orenda 11 Turbojet
  • Maximum Speed: 550 mph
  • Cruising Speed: 475 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 45,000 ft
  • Range: 2,000 miles

Aircraft Description

The CF-100 Canuck was the first fighter aircraft to be designed and built in large quantities in Canada. Avro Canada started development in 1946 in response to an RCAF requirement for a two seat, all-weather fighter. The CF-100 first flew from Malton (Toronto) in January 1950. Although not quite as fast as smaller contemporary fighters, its excellent climb, fine radar and fire control systems, twin engine reliability and all-weather capability made the CF-100 probably the best all-weather fighter of its time. It entered RCAF service with No. 3 OTU, North Bay, in July 1952 and at its peak equipped nine interceptor squadrons across Canada. In 1956, a further four squadrons were moved to Europe to serve with NATO.

The CF-100’s main role was interception of Soviet bombers that penetrated Canadian and Western European airspace. Early versions were armed with machine guns, while later versions were equipped with rockets. When retired from their fighter role some aircraft were fitted with electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment. It was intended originally that the CF-100 should be replaced with the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, but this project was cancelled in 1959. The CF-100 was replaced eventually as an interceptor by the McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo in 1962. The Canadian Forces continued to operate the CF-100 until December 1981, when it was finally phased out. A total of 692 CF-100s, spread over five marks, were produced between 1950 and 1958.

The Museum's aircraft was one of the last CF-100s off the production line at Avro Canada. It was first flown on December 9, 1958, and taken on strength on May 19, 1959, by the RCAF as 18785. The Canuck was initially assigned to 414 Squadron at Uplands, Ontario. In June 1964, it was converted to a Mk. 5D version at de Havilland Canada in Malton. The CF-100 was re-fitted with wing tip fuel tanks instead of rocket pods to extend its range for Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) duties. On October 23, 1970, the aircraft was renumbered by the CAF as 100785.

In 1981, the Museum's CF-100 was given an overall gloss black paint scheme with a white lightning stripe to represent the prototype CF-100 Canuck. The black CF-100, along with 100784 painted camouflage, completed a cross-Canada service-ending tour and was officially struck off strength on December 3, 1981. However, at the end of the tour, it had the distinction of performing the last military flight of a CF-100, on February 10, 1982, when it landed at the National Aviation Museum (now Canada Aviation and Space Museum) for permanent static display. It has been on loan to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum since 1996. In October 2022, ownership was transferred to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

© Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024