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View Full Version : A sad loss of one of the greatest pilots ever - Janus Zurakowski



jensenpark
02-11-2004, 05:36 PM
Being a proud Canadian I feel especially sad, but this is a loss suffered by all the world when someone like this passes.
There are other good articles about him at globeandmail.com and Nationalpost.com

There is a story of how he would buzz a field in a jet, INVERTED and just a few feet off the runway, with land gear extended, do a quick 1/2 roll, then set the plane down for a perfect, smooth landing...as though this was how everyone landed.

BARRY'S BAY, Ont. (CP) - Janusz Zurakowski, the first test pilot of the revolutionary Avro Arrow aircraft, has died at age 89 more than four decades after the legendary plane's inaugural flight and its controversial cancellation soon after.

Zurakowski died Monday evening in this eastern Ontario town in Renfrew County's Madawaska Valley after a two-year battle with leukemia, his family said Tuesday.

George Zurakowski, the eldest of the late pilot's two sons, said his father served as an inspiration to budding flyers.

"I think he served as an inspiration and continues to serve as an inspiration to young people, especially (those) who looked up to him and who are thinking perhaps of becoming pilots themselves and read about some of his exploits," said Zurakowski, 54, from the small tourist lodge built by the family 43 years ago.

A decorated Polish-born ace aviator, Zurakowski fought for Poland in the Second World War, and like many other Polish airmen escaped to continue the fight from England before he put down roots in Canada.

In 1952, Zurakowski - already a legend and hero in Poland for having damaged a Dornier 17 over Poland after the Nazis attacked on Sept. 1, 1939 - was recruited by Avro Aircraft company as a test pilot for the Arrow, Canada's first supersonic jet. He eventually moved his family to the region of Kaszuby in northern Ontario.

The Arrow was conceived to protect Canada during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, when the Soviets had introduced new long-range bombers capable of flying over the North Pole to attack North America. It was intended to replace the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck as a supersonic all-weather receptor.

A short and unassuming man, Zurakowski climbed aboard the Avro Arrow RL-201 for its first flight at 9:51 p.m. on March 25, 1958, at Toronto Malton Airport under hazy sunshine.

Zurakowski pushed the jet to 1,600 kilometres an hour on its seventh flight and tests indicated the Arrow, with its twin Iroquois engines, could become the world's most advanced interceptor.

But soaring costs and the development of competing missile technology prompted Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to cancel the 10-year-old project in 1959, leading the aircraft company A.V. Roe to lay off 14,000 employees while the government ordered all plans and prototypes destroyed.

Zurakowski's widow, Anna, said Tuesday that calls were pouring in to the family home from across Canada, notably from members of the Canadian aviation industry and military.

In an interview with the Belleville Intelligencer, she said her husband held a special place in aviation history, from his start flying gliders in the mid-1930s with the Polish flying academy and into the Second World War when he was shot down during the Battle of Britain.

After several confirmed kills against the German Luftwaffe, Zurakowski was honoured with the Cross of Valour. Following the war, the celebrated fly-boy was posted to Britain's top test-pilot school and he embarked on a career of testing planes for some of the world's biggest manufacturers.

"Jan tested over 100 planes," said Anna Zurakowski, 82. "The Arrow was the last one he tested."

Zurakowski retired before the Arrow project was cancelled by the government, she said, adding that her husband remained bitter about the cancellation for numerous years.

"Any time he was reminded about these things, he became angry, yes," she said. "When someone talked to him about the Arrow, he became frustrated because it wasn't just about the plane."

"This was a very big asset for Canada. He was sad the day the program was stopped. Canada was trying to lead the aircraft industry. He believed Canada could do it, that it wasn't some dream."

In July 2003, Barry's Bay honoured Zurakowski by dedicating a park - featuring a small-scale prototype of the Avro Arrow - to their longtime resident.

http://images.ucomics.com/images/doonesbury/strip/thecast/duke2.jpg

"Death before unconsciousness" - Uncle Duke

jensenpark
02-11-2004, 05:36 PM
Being a proud Canadian I feel especially sad, but this is a loss suffered by all the world when someone like this passes.
There are other good articles about him at globeandmail.com and Nationalpost.com

There is a story of how he would buzz a field in a jet, INVERTED and just a few feet off the runway, with land gear extended, do a quick 1/2 roll, then set the plane down for a perfect, smooth landing...as though this was how everyone landed.

BARRY'S BAY, Ont. (CP) - Janusz Zurakowski, the first test pilot of the revolutionary Avro Arrow aircraft, has died at age 89 more than four decades after the legendary plane's inaugural flight and its controversial cancellation soon after.

Zurakowski died Monday evening in this eastern Ontario town in Renfrew County's Madawaska Valley after a two-year battle with leukemia, his family said Tuesday.

George Zurakowski, the eldest of the late pilot's two sons, said his father served as an inspiration to budding flyers.

"I think he served as an inspiration and continues to serve as an inspiration to young people, especially (those) who looked up to him and who are thinking perhaps of becoming pilots themselves and read about some of his exploits," said Zurakowski, 54, from the small tourist lodge built by the family 43 years ago.

A decorated Polish-born ace aviator, Zurakowski fought for Poland in the Second World War, and like many other Polish airmen escaped to continue the fight from England before he put down roots in Canada.

In 1952, Zurakowski - already a legend and hero in Poland for having damaged a Dornier 17 over Poland after the Nazis attacked on Sept. 1, 1939 - was recruited by Avro Aircraft company as a test pilot for the Arrow, Canada's first supersonic jet. He eventually moved his family to the region of Kaszuby in northern Ontario.

The Arrow was conceived to protect Canada during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, when the Soviets had introduced new long-range bombers capable of flying over the North Pole to attack North America. It was intended to replace the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck as a supersonic all-weather receptor.

A short and unassuming man, Zurakowski climbed aboard the Avro Arrow RL-201 for its first flight at 9:51 p.m. on March 25, 1958, at Toronto Malton Airport under hazy sunshine.

Zurakowski pushed the jet to 1,600 kilometres an hour on its seventh flight and tests indicated the Arrow, with its twin Iroquois engines, could become the world's most advanced interceptor.

But soaring costs and the development of competing missile technology prompted Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to cancel the 10-year-old project in 1959, leading the aircraft company A.V. Roe to lay off 14,000 employees while the government ordered all plans and prototypes destroyed.

Zurakowski's widow, Anna, said Tuesday that calls were pouring in to the family home from across Canada, notably from members of the Canadian aviation industry and military.

In an interview with the Belleville Intelligencer, she said her husband held a special place in aviation history, from his start flying gliders in the mid-1930s with the Polish flying academy and into the Second World War when he was shot down during the Battle of Britain.

After several confirmed kills against the German Luftwaffe, Zurakowski was honoured with the Cross of Valour. Following the war, the celebrated fly-boy was posted to Britain's top test-pilot school and he embarked on a career of testing planes for some of the world's biggest manufacturers.

"Jan tested over 100 planes," said Anna Zurakowski, 82. "The Arrow was the last one he tested."

Zurakowski retired before the Arrow project was cancelled by the government, she said, adding that her husband remained bitter about the cancellation for numerous years.

"Any time he was reminded about these things, he became angry, yes," she said. "When someone talked to him about the Arrow, he became frustrated because it wasn't just about the plane."

"This was a very big asset for Canada. He was sad the day the program was stopped. Canada was trying to lead the aircraft industry. He believed Canada could do it, that it wasn't some dream."

In July 2003, Barry's Bay honoured Zurakowski by dedicating a park - featuring a small-scale prototype of the Avro Arrow - to their longtime resident.

http://images.ucomics.com/images/doonesbury/strip/thecast/duke2.jpg

"Death before unconsciousness" - Uncle Duke

p1ngu666
02-11-2004, 06:04 PM
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

http://www.pingu666.etglobalsolution.co.uk/sig/mysig3.jpg

dragonhart38
02-11-2004, 06:43 PM
Another Legend passes.

A Great Canadian and a hero no doubt.

My condolances. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

http://www.elleemmeshop.com/model1/Hann_a/eduard/EDK4827.jpg
The best of the best

LEXX_Luthor
02-11-2004, 06:57 PM
http://www.avroarrow.org/images/Zura/JanZura.jpg

---> http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/Zurapark.html

Worse, I heard we (USA) pressured Canada into F~106 instead. A raw deal, although F~106 is my fave plane of all time, maybe cos Arrow never had a chance with the Bully south of the Border. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif


But, we did get LEXX. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif



__________________
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tenmmike
02-11-2004, 07:44 PM
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif R.I.P...S!

http://images.ar15.com/forums/smiles/anim_50cal.gif U.S INFANTRY 1984-1991

Bearcat99
02-11-2004, 09:11 PM
~S~ Rest In Peace....

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Vladimir_No2
02-11-2004, 09:14 PM
How terribly unfortunate. The Arrow program itself was a terrible loss. Blame it on Capitalism.

http://www.doyle.com.au/images/scharnhorst2.JPG
"Engage the enemy more closely" -Rear Admiral Cradock

Zyzbot
02-11-2004, 09:24 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
http://www.avroarrow.org/images/Zura/JanZura.jpg

---&gt; http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/Zurapark.html

Worse, I heard we (USA) pressured Canada into F~106 instead. A raw deal, although F~106 is my fave plane of all time, maybe cos Arrow never had a chance with the Bully south of the Border. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif


-------------------------------------------


Perhaps you meant the F-101.

The F-106 was never exported:

Perhaps due to its high cost and complexity, the Delta Dart was never exported to foreign air forces. A pair of F-106s were displayed at the 25th Paris Air Show in June of 1963, but no customers were forthcoming. Convair tried to interest Canada in a Canadian version-not merely as in interceptor but also for the strike role. Nothing ever came of this idea. There were also plans for F-106 final assembly and production in Germany, but these plans never reached fruition. There was a proposal for an F-106 version for Japan with an MG-10 fire control system (the same one that was fitted to the F-102A Delta Dagger) and six Super Falcon missiles. It was also to have ground-attack capability, with a pair of pylons underneath each wing capable of carrying bombs or fuel tanks. The Japanese sale never took place and several year later Japan undertook manufacture of the F-4EJ Phantom.

http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/f106_5.html

Urist
02-12-2004, 12:11 AM
salute

Rajvosa
02-12-2004, 01:10 AM
Salute! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

http://stu.wccnet.org/~ecrnovrs/inp150/finalp/sarajevo1/images/sarajevo.jpg

LEXX_Luthor
02-12-2004, 02:31 AM
Thanks Zyzbot. Yes, my memory about reading this may be messed up. I read it at that arrow site somewhere.

__________________
RUSSIAN lexx website http://www.lexx.ufo.ru/members.shtml
Stanly is a moron, kai is a walking dead beet, Xev just want sex.
:
you will still have FB , you will lose nothing ~WUAF_Badsight
I had actually pre ordered CFS3 and I couldnt wait... ~Bearcat99
Gladiator and Falco, elegant weapons of a more civilized age ~ElAurens

gatling_gun
02-12-2004, 03:04 AM
He was great Polish pilot. He was the nventor of Zurabatic Carthweel on Gloster Meteor - one of the most complicated aerobatic manouver at that time.

Salute!!

JorBR
02-12-2004, 07:25 AM
Another ace went upstairs. Sad http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

"Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty but the pig enjoys it!"