James C. Floyd

James Charles Floyd (born October 20, 1914) is a Canadian aerospace engineer, born in Manchester, England. Floyd was the Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) chief design engineer. His ensuing involvement, ultimately as vice-president (engineering), in the design and development of the Avro Jetliner, CF-100 and CF-105 Arrow aircraft designs, over a period which is viewed by many as the "Golden Age" of the Canadian aviation industry.

James C. Floyd
James C. Floyd stands next to the Avro Arrow replica at the Canadian Air and Space Museum c.2006
Born (1914-10-20) October 20, 1914 (age 105)
Occupationaeronautical engineer

Early careerEdit

Floyd started in January 1930 as an apprentice with A.V. Roe and Company in England (a position which was gained through connections with Roy Dobson). Floyd moved up the chain finally ending as Senior Vice President and Director of Engineering at A.V. Roe Canada.

During his early career, Floyd was employed as a design engineer on the Anson, Manchester, Lancaster, York, Lincoln and Tudor projects at A. V. Roe. He also spent time at Hawkers, another aircraft company in the Hawker Siddeley group. He worked under two British aircraft designers: Roy Chadwick and Sydney Camm. He was later appointed Chief Project Engineer of a special projects group at the Avro Aircraft location in Yorkshire, where he worked on the application of jet engine technology to transport aircraft.

Avro CanadaEdit

Model of the Avro Jetliner

He moved to Canada to join the new A.V. Roe Canada, more commonly known as Avro Canada, in 1946, and, in 1952, he was named Chief Engineer. He worked on such aircraft as the C102 Avro Jetliner, CF-100 Canuck jet fighter, and the highly advanced CF-105 Avro Arrow supersonic interceptor, through which he and Canada were recognized as international leaders in aeronautical engineering.

Floyd's work on jet transport in the UK led to the Avro Canada C102 Jetliner. The Jetliner had been designed for the Trans Canada Airlines (TCA) requirement of 1946. Despite being the first jet-powered airliner in North America, and the second to fly worldwide, the Jetliner was never destined to go into production. When the Canadian government insisted that Avro concentrate on its jet engine and CF-100 designs, Floyd was named as Project Designer for the CF-100 in 1952. As of 1958, Floyd had recently moved from "south Peel" (now southern Mississauga) to Oakville.[1]

Like thousands of other Avro Canada employees, Floyd was laid off in the wake of the Avro CF-105 Arrow/Orenda Iroquois engine cancellation of February 20, 1959, "Black Friday." After securing positions in other companies for many of the engineers in his department, Floyd and his family moved back to England in 1959. He headed up Hawker Siddeley's Advanced Projects Group that developed the HSA.1000 SST design evaluated as part of a joint research study with Bristol whose design ultimately became the Concorde. Floyd later worked as a consultant from 1965 to 1972.[2][Note 1]

Since his retirement in 1979, Floyd has devoted free time to a number of educational and youth-oriented projects. Floyd and his family returned to Canada in 1981.[3] and, as of 2014, is living in the Greater Toronto area near the razed Avro Canada company buildings in Malton, Ontario.


In 1950 Floyd was awarded the Wright Brothers Medal from the Society of Automotive Engineers for his paper on the ground-breaking work on the Jetliner [1](the first non-American recipient); in 1993, he was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and named a Companion of the Order of Flight by the City of Edmonton. Floyd also was awarded the J.A. McCurdy trophy in 1958 for his work on the Avro Arrow. In May 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering Design by the Royal Military College of Canada.

July 20, 2009

On July 20, 2009 Floyd was awarded the first Canadian Air and Space Pioneer Award in a ceremony at the former Canadian Air and Space Museum at Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada.[4][5] He turned 100 in October 2014.[6]



  1. ^ An entire chapter, "The SST Saga: Canadian Contributions Exposed" in Avro Aircraft and Cold War Aviation is devoted to the work of Floyd in the UK. His role in SST development is fully detailed.


  1. ^ http://pub.canadiana.ca/view/omcn.PortCreditWeekly15/1070?r=0&s=4
  2. ^ Whitcomb 2002, pp. 251–259.
  3. ^ McArthur, Scott. "The James Floyd Citation". Arrow Digital Archives, 2009. Retrieved: December 4, 2014.
  4. ^ Kyonka, Nick. "Before Apollo, there was Arrow." The Toronto Star, July 21, 2009.
  5. ^ "From Canada to the Moon; Canadian space story 40 years in the making." Canadian Air & Space Museum, July 15, 2009. Retrieved: December 4, 2014.
  6. ^ VanderHoek, Kristen. "News & Events: 2014 James C. Floyd Award Recipient for Aerospace Excellence." Archived 2014-12-08 at the Wayback Machine Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, November 19, 2014. Retrieved: December 1, 2014.


  • Floyd, Jim. The Avro Canada C102 Jetliner. Erin, Ontario, Canada: Boston Mills Press, 1986. ISBN 978-0-91978-366-9.
  • "Jim Floyd Bio". Avro Arrow Recovery Canada.
  • Gainor, Chris. Arrows To The Moon: Avro's Engineers and the Space Race. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Apogee Books, 2001. ISBN 978-1-89652-283-8.
  • Whitcomb, Randall. Avro Aircraft and Cold War Aviation. St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada: Vanwell Publishing, 2002. ISBN 978-1-55125-082-3.