Gallery No: 6 - English Electric Canberra

Aircraft - 5 Images

My thanks to Roger Dunn and the MOD for supplying these images.Wikipedia for text.

History: The RAF's first bomber, the Canberra, is still serving on the frontlines today, 51 years after it was first flown. Chief designer W. Petter had just joined the design team at English Electric when work began on the Canberra. He changed the swept wings of the original design to a more unconventional design with the engines part way out on, and embedded in, the wing. The end sections of the wings were broad and square, and two powerful Rolls-Royce Avon engines completed the design. The crew of two sat side-by-side in a pressurized cabin. With good fuel economy, and excellent maneuverability at all altitudes, the EE.A1 was an instant success.

The prototype was first flown on May 13, 1949, and was problem-free. The first four prototypes were designated the Canberra B.MK 1, and were intended for use with a radar-assisted bomb aiming system. A delay in this system led to the production of a day bomber prototype, the Canberra B.MK 2, and the first operational aircraft were delivered on May 25, 1951. The Canberra B.MK 2 differed in having a crew of three, the added member being the bombardier. The Canberra carried no defensive armament, placing its safety in speed and altitude. Indeed, for many years, the Canberra flew higher than any other aircraft, and in 1957 it captured a world altitude record of 70,000 feet. Well liked around the world, the US Air Force even built the Canberra as the Martin B-57 to replace its B-26 medium bombers. The B-57 saw combat over Vietnam beside other Canberras from Australia. In recent years, the Canberra has mostly been relegated to photographic reconnaissance (PR.Mk 9) and electronic warfare duties . A total of 1,352 Canberras were built before production ceased.

Today, seven privately owned Canberras can be found, several of which are actively airworthy. Three can be found in the UK, five in the USA, and one in South Africa. In addition, with the gradual and continued retirement of the type in the UK, Canberra fuselage sections have been auctioned off to collectors worldwide. [History by David MacGillivray]

Nicknames: Cranberry; Caterpillar (Derogatory name given to USAF B-57s by Vietcong); Marrow.

Specifications (PR.Mk 9):
Engines: Two 11,000-pound thrust Rolls-Royce Avon 206 turbojets
Weight: Max Takeoff 54,950 lbs.
Wing Span: 67ft. 10in.
Length: 66ft. 8in.
Height: 15ft. 8in.
Performance:
Maximum Speed at 40,000 ft: 541 mph
Ceiling: 48,000 ft.
Range: 3,630 miles
Armament: None (Bomber versions carried up to 8,000 pounds of bombs -- 6,000 internally / 2,000 externally)

Number Built: 1,352

Number Still Airworthy: At least 9 on civil registers, 4 believed airworthy.

Some aircraft may appear identical but there are differences which will not be discernible from the image.

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10 Squadron
21 Squadron
39 Squadron
115 Squadron
343 XH-173 15/Oct/82 PR.Mk.9 Currently at the Aeronautics Museum at Santiago.

 

 

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