Ottawa

Rescue planned to recover sunken Avro Arrow models from Lake Ontario

Aircraft designed to intercept Soviet planes over the arctic

Avro Arrow

The Avro Arrow was designed to intercept Russian jets over Canada's north, shoot them down and then return to base to reload another missile. (Avro Museum)

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Officials hope to recover nine Avro Arrow plane models from Lake Ontario as part of Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

Three museums, including Ottawa's Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, will oversee the historical conservation and restoration of the test models of the iconic Canadian jets. 

"We initiated this program about a year ago with the idea of bringing back a piece of lost Canadian history to the Canadian public," said John Burzynski, head of OEX, the group leading the recovery efforts, in a media release Friday. 

"We all have the same goal in mind: to find and return these beautiful pieces of Canadian technology to the public eye during this anniversary year of our incredible country."

The Avro Arrow was the first and only supersonic interceptor built by the Canadian military. The missile-laden planes were developed in the mid-1950s to respond to Soviet bombers targeting North America's Arctic. 

In 1959, the Arrow program was suddenly cancelled for a still-unknown reason. The six completed planes and related construction material were destroyed. 

Searching and recovering the aircraft models will help test the aerodynamics of new models of Canadian planes, according to OEX. 

The Avro Arrows were flown over Lake Ontario for testing between 1954 and 1957. 

No launch date has been announced for the recovery efforts.

The Arrow's maiden flight 4:04