Chamberlain, James

Chamberlain, James

James was an aerospace designer and engineer (b 23 May 1915, Kamloops; d 8 Mar 1981, Houston, TX). He was educated at the University of Toronto and the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London England. James help engineer the ill-fated R.C.A.F. Avro Arrow. He and about 2,000 other engineers worked eight years to get the CF-105 supersonic Arrow interceptor into production as the world’s fastest jet fighter. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker scrapped the entire operation in 1959. Scrapping of the Arrow threw thousands out of work and Canada lost 100 key engineers to the U.S. and Britain. James and 23 other engineers promptly went to the U.S. and went to work with N.A.S.A. where he worked on the Mercury capsule in which astronaut John Glenn orbited the earth three times in 1962. Despite being the most advanced plane in the world, James had no regrets about the Arrow

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One thought on “Chamberlain, James

  1. Murray B says:

    The Arrow was fast but not the fastest aircraft at the time. RCAF records show the Arrow’s maximum continuous operating speed was Mach 1.9. Both the Starfighter and Thunderchief were Mach 2+ aircraft that were already in service.

    Scrapping the Arrow did not throw thousands out of work. All of those people lost their jobs because the company chose to fire them for no apparent reason. What is known for sure that it was not for financial reasons because Diefenbaker’s government gave the company $50 million to keep everyone working. Why the company chose to fire all their employees on the same day the Arrow was cancelled and then blame the government for it is a mystery. One thing is certain, though, all those thousands of people did not work for Diefenbaker and he could not fire them. It looks like Canadians have been blaming the wrong guy for more than fifty years. How did we get so foolish?

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