Mach 2 jet transport
AVRO CX-110 StratoQuarrel experimental transport
At the start of the OMEGA project, it was recognized that swift intercontinental transport would be required for the teams if they were to be effective in their investigations of Anomalies around the world. After numerous research projects and requests for proposals, a contract was awarded to Avro Canada for the creation of a covert high-speed transport suitable for OMEGA’s needs. Avro responded with the StratoQuarrel, a converted bomber variation on the Arrow and Vulcan, their supersonic interceptor and bomber respectively, both slated for production in 1960.
The “Bolt”, as these planes are known, is a hybrid of the sleek high-speed Arrow interceptor and the sturdy maneuverable Vulcan heavy bomber. Special ducted outlets allow the Bolts to do vertical takeoff, and emergency vertical landing. Vertical landing is not recommended except in an emergency, as the thrust outlets allow extremely short runway landings, and very few pilots have the ability to balance a vertically-thrusting jet while gently landing.
Without the need to accommodate bombs and the associated heavy-duty framework required for them, the Bolt has an increased fuel capacity, and is usually outfitted with a luxury cabin that seats a maximum of fifteen, with three dedicated service seats for stewardesses. Cargo capacity is 300 cubic feet / 20,000 lbs. All seats are equipped with emergency ejection capability, but they are artificially limited by the status of the pilot’s seat. No passenger seat will eject prior to the pilot or copilot seat being set to released status for ejection. The cabin has full communication capability with OMEGA ground facilities via dedicated shortwave radio frequencies.
Three Orenda Iriquois turbofan jet engines generate over 57,000 pounds of thrust, sufficient to send the Bolt into Mach 2 speeds. A top-secret process of blending titanium and Inconel for the engine compressor fan and airframe construction creates an extremely lightweight aircraft, and allows the Bolt to achieve an unprecedented thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.62, extraordinary for a non-fighter aircraft.
The Bolt is protected by standard chaff and flare countermeasures, and exterior hardpoints can be loaded with up to 10 air-to-air missles. The Bolt has a remote-controlled turrent at the rear with 2 radar-guided 20 mm autocannons, and a radar-guided 6-barrel 20 mm Vulcan gatling gun in the nose.
OMEGA has recently accepted receipt of their fourth Bolt, and to date the airplanes are performing exceedingly well. One pilot was quoted in reference to flying the Bolt, “It’s smooth as a nice highball of Johnny Red. Hey, get away from those controls…”