The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck is one of the largest fighters ever built and It was designed to meet the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) requirement to meet the threat of a trans-polar bomber attack. The CF-100 was the first straight wing fighter to break the sound barrier on December 18, 1952 by S/L Janusz Zurakowski (Avro Canada's Chief Development Test Pilot and WWII Ace), but it had to do so in a dive from 30,000 feet.
The Canuck first flew in January 1950 and a total of five versions, or Marks, were produced. The Canuck was affectionately known as "Clunk" for the noise the landing gear made as it retracted into its well after takeoff.
In the 1970s, CF-100s were assigned to an electronic warfare role. The RCAF's 414 Squadron would fly missions in them to simulate enemy attacks, thus testing friendly air defenses.
Initially produced Mk. IVs were powered by Orenda 8 powerplants and were known as Mk. IVAs. 137 of the 330 Mk. IVs built fit this category, however, the remaining 193 were powered by Orenda 11s and the last 50 of these to be produced were kept at Avro for later conversion to Mk. Vs. Besides the Mk. IVs remarkable squadron service in Canada and Europe, it made headlines in the English newspapers when it became the first military jet Aircraft produced outside England to perform at the Farnborough Air show in 1955. The Aircraft was one of three Mk. IVBs that had been sent to England for evaluation at Boscombe Down Test Establishment.
The only Canadian designed and built jet fighter to enter operational service. From 1950-1958, 692 Canucks were built. At one time, CF-100s were flown by 13 front-line, all-weather squadrons. They remained in service until 1981.
The aircraft on display at Castle Air Museum is a Mark 5 version which last served with the 414 Electronics Warfare (EW) Squadron, 'Black Knights'. It flew into Castle Air Force Base as a gift to the Museum from the Canadian government in January of 1982 and was gratefully accepted by the Museum. Its presence here marks the friendship between our country and its northern neighbor and allie.
Canada and Belgium were the only countries to ever fly the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck.