Today In Aviation History – 2004 – Death of Janusz Zurakowski

aviation history


February 9, 2004 Janusz (Jan) Zurakowski dies in Barry’s Bay Ontario at the age of 89.

 In 1958, “Zura” was chosen as the chief development test pilot of the new CF-105 Avro Arrow program. On 25 March 1958, with Żurakowski at the controls, Arrow RL 25201 took off from Malton, Ontario for its first flight. The flight lasted 35 minutes and was problem-free. Żurakowski continued in the flight test program. He flew Arrows RL 201, 202, and 203, over a total of 21 flights, 23.75 hours, reaching speeds of Mach 1.89 and an altitude of 50,000 feet.

After flying Arrow 203 on 26 September 1958 and the entire program was cancelled, Żurakowski decided to give up test flying for good, fulfilling a promise he had made to his wife to stop experimental flying once he reached the age of 40, although he had already exceeded that age.

(picture above is a scan of an original print I received showing first flight of the Arrow)