B-47 Stratojet Association


Chapter 27

 

The CL-52/B-47B

 

CL-52/B-47B

 


 

In spite of the large numbers of B-47s built, none of them ever ended up in the service of foreign air forces. There is, however, one significant exception, a B-47 loaned to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a flying testbed for the Orenda Iroquois turbojet. 


In 1956, the USAF loaned B-47B serial number 51-2059 to the Royal Canadian Air Force for use as a flying test bed for the 20,000 lb. static thrust Orenda Iroquois turbojet. A pair of Iroquois engines were to power the projected Avro CF-105 Arrow long-range interceptor, which was currently under development in Canada. After delivery, the RCAF turned the plane over to Canadair, Ltd. to complete the required modifications. A separate pod for the test engine was installed on the starboard side of the rear fuselage underneath the horizontal tail. The pod was 30 feet long and about six feet in diameter. The company assigned its own model number of CL-52 to the project. The CL-52/B-47B flew in RCAF markings, but retained the last three digits of its USAF serial number, which followed the prefix "X" to become the RCAF serial number. 


The CL-52 spent a total of 31 hours in the air with the Iroquois engine.

The first five Arrows (RCAF serials 25201 through 25205) were all powered by Pratt and Whitney J75 turbojets for the initial flight tests. The first Iroquois-powered Arrow was to be number 25206, which was being readied for its first flight when the entire Arrow/Iroquois project was canceled by the Canadian government on February 20, 1959. 


Following cancellation of the Arrow/Iroquois program, all Arrow airframes were ordered to be scrapped, including those in partially-completed state on the production line. All that survives today is the front end of Arrow 25206 plus a couple of outer wing panels on display at the National Aviation Museum of Ottawa. A pair of Iroquois engines still survive, one in the National Aviation Museum and the other at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.

After the termination of the Arrow/Iroquois program, the Iroquois engine was removed from the CL-52 and the aircraft was returned to the USA. The plane was scrapped at Davis-Monthan AFB shortly thereafter.

 

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