Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Virtual Reality of The Avro Arrow, The F-35, Bourdeau Industries, And The Canadian Media?

With the whole ongoing Jersey Shore type saga over the governments proposed purchase of F-35 jets, the media has never missed an opportunity to try and make the government look bad. This includes distorting facts, figures, and apparently running stories with little due diligence. Case in point,

 In 2010, all the Canadian media sources ran similar stories like this One by the CBC. That's interesting. I always found the Avro Arrow story very intriguing, as I think most Canadians do. Giving the story validity was the fact retired major general Lewis Mackenzie was quoted in all the stories as endorsing the plan, which was being put forth by a company by the name of Bourdeau Industries. At the time of the story, I did a google search of this company and could find nothing, no website, offices, contact information. Nada, nothing, nilch, zippo. I just kind of forgot about it.

 But with news this week that the government was now considering other jets as possible replacements, I again saw the Avro Arrow, both in the media and comments by people posting on news board comments section. So again I searched Bordeau Industries, and found one thing, this Facebook Page. Again, no website, address, contact info, nothing.

 So I politely asked where this company was located, as I could find nothing at all on it. The "official" replied it it was a registered U.K. House company. After doing some searching, I found a company registered in the U.K. with this name, and the companies business was listed as sports activities, notably F1 racing. So I went back to the Facebook page, and asked where the Canadian offices were located, receiving the "officials" reply they were based in Ottawa, close to the GoC offices. Another search for a company with this name came up fruitless, no address, phone number, contact info whatsoever.

 So again I went back, asking why I could find nothing about this company, and this is the response given:

"  Avro Arrow - Bourdeau Industries (Official) If you are looking for a factory or an office with large staff in Ottawa, sorry to disappoint. One of the reasons we can offer the pricing to GoC guaranteed is we have only what we need for the moment. While some may see this as a weakness in fact it demonstrates that the money will go into the actual program elements, not things we don't need that don't directly support moving forward.The Ottawa presence is a virtual one to eliminate any significant overheads; resources are provided by members of our team from their locations around Canada and northern US. Once a funding source is finalized to move forward, our "concurrency" ramp-up plan will see the factory up and running in two years at the location where the GoC wants the" hub jobs" while the deign updates/upgrades and engine development programs will deliver the infrastructure we need to begin parts manufacture in the same initial two year time frame. And yes, we will follow the Cook-Craggie methods used in the original CF105 program (which, by the way, are in much wider application today.) At that point everything will come under one roof."

 So the Ottawa presence is a virtual one? I guess the same goes for the U.K. as well? From the CBC article, which was included by ALL MEDIA SOURCES: "In an interview on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, MacKenzie said he first approached officials about a year ago about the plan by Bourdeau Industries, which has offices in Canada and the U.K., to redesign the Avro Arrow CF-105 as an alternative to the F-35 stealth fighter jet.

 Maybe it's just me, but something seems a little odd with this whole thing. I'm not making any allegations whatsoever. But given the governments seeming willingness to now look at other jets for procurement, perhaps some in the Canadian media might want to do some investigating into this company and whether the claims made are legit. I mean who wouldn't want a jet built in Canada, by Canadians, supplying Canadian jobs, taxes, and putting us on the world stage in the manufacturing of fighter jets?

 Even if the company is just a virtual presence?


Thucydides said...

The real problem with the CF-35 program is failed communications; not in the sense that the GoC did not present a case for the CF-35, but a deeper fail in that there has been no large scale debate about Canadian defense for decades.

Look at the geography of Canada. Why do we buy short range jets like the CF-18 or consider the CF-35 when we need long range jets like the F-15 Eagle or the F-22 Raptor to cover our own airspace? Because the CF-35 is cheaper, and the only factor that is ever discussed (and in a very flawed fashion at that) is the cost, not the requirements or the effectiveness of the proposed solutions.

You can apply the same logic for all three services, the organizational layout of the CF and Canada's grand strategy or strategic needs; we focus on how much money we are willing to spend, not what we actually need to do and what would be the most effective means of achieving these aims.

J MacQueen said...

I've read the comments and agree with what is said the military has to do with what ever comes down the pike.We talk a good talk but come up short at the end of the day,our service people do a great job when called upon to tackle the task's at hand.They have given so much yet keep getting the short end of the stick.

Carl Ross said...

I appreciate your blog. My name is Carl Ross. I have been telling Bourdeau industries to produce a prototype, like all the other contenders, or shut up. I too investigated the "Company" BIL Bourdeau Industries Limited and came up with a postal box type address in Brighton. No physical office. And a search of the address in Ottawa turned up a residential address.
I also criticized Bourdeau directly on Facebook when he started posting old Avro documents, that I feel were presented to ramp up funding efforts by public/private donation, and also posted was a digital image of an Arrow doctored to look like one with about 6 engines on it. I am a Pilot, had some engineering education, and know the craft presented would not fly well. This is when I figured that my friends, who were getting caught up in it needed to be warned.
I Googled the company today, as I again had commented on another AVRO ARROW BIL Facebook post where I was commenting to build a prototype or stop criticizing the government, who at least is trying to get a plane to replace an aging CF-18 fleet.
I found that the company has moved its UK "offices" to Bourdeau Industries Ltd 2nd Floor, Stanford Gate, South Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6SB according to my research. It is listed with a $ 1 pound value. COMPANY NO 04877569 Private Limited Company. It has existed since 2003. All public information. Which of course is again located in a Residential looking building, not an Aircraft factory. I appreciate home offices can conduct businesses, however the lack of production or even research facilities is striking.
When the BIL letter was sent to the Government where Bourdeau bemoans being left out of the procurement proces( viewable on the facebook sites own photos) the addresses on BIL letterhead purports a Canadian and UK office. The letter is dated Feb 7th , 2013 Considering ALL UK company directors had resigned by 2004, the company existed in the UK only as an address - no staff - I personally do not trust that the Company would not just take the money and run so to speak, as it is difficult to get straight answers to straight questions.
I have tried to research Marc Ronald Bourdeau in reference to F1 racing and can find no connection. He told me he supplied parts, automotive parts.. but operated like a broker using other companies to manufacture etc. Knowing what I do of British "sporting clubs" - which is not a lot, it could have been a legitimate F1 team, but a reference should show up on Google. Hopefully the Government did its homework. At least A.V. Roe existed as a physical, operational aircraft factory.

Anonymous said...