|Aircraft :: Canberra|
Updated: 15 Feb 05
Full Official Name: English Electric Canberra
B2 :: In service May 1951 with 101 Sqn.
B6 :: In service with 101 Sqn Jun 1954, featuring ejection seats for all the crew .
B(I)8 :: In service with 88 Sqn in 1956 to fulfil a tactical bombing role in Cold-War Germany.
PR3 :: In service Dec 1952 with 540 Sqn to replace photo-reconnaissance Mosquitos. PR3 had a 2-man crew with 4 or 6 cameras for daytime ops or 2 x F.89 cameras for night ops. The fuselage was 14 inches longer in order to house the flare bay and additional fuel.
PR9 :: Still in service with 39 Sqn.
Crew: 3 - Pilot, Navigator, Bombardier.
Operated by: (Sqns with Lincolnshire connection only)
Over 1000 Canberras were built from 1949 to 1963 and operated in 16 countries' air forces including Australia, South Africa, India, USA and Germany. The original medium jet bomber aircraft also saw service as reconnaissance, ECM and target towing platforms.
101 Sqn was the first line sqn to be equipped with Canberra and was based in Lincolnshire, at RAF Binbrook, at the time. It received its first Canberra B2 on 25 May 1951. Delays in Bomber Command's strategic bomber programme (which would deliver the the Valiant, Vulcan and Victor) meant that the Canberra was pressed into the strategic bombing role.
By 1953 the Binbrook, Coningsby and Scampton Wings had all re-equipped to Canberra B2, joined by Marham and Wittering Wings in 1954. 1955 - 1962 saw the strategic role being gradually passed over to the new V-bombers and the removal of Canberra from RAF bombing duties. For a detailed history see FAS.org :: click here.
The USAF B-57 is a modified version of the English Electric Canberra purchased by the USA to replace the Douglas B-26 Invader. The Glenn Martin Company was contracted to build the Canberra in Mar 1951 under a licensing agreement with English Electric. The first USAF Canberra flew in 1951 with the first license-built airframe in 1953 Over 400 Canberra were built for the US, with production models also being sold to Turkey.
The Canberra was a first-generation jet-bomber with straight wing layout.
2 x 11,000-pound thrust Rolls-Royce Avon 206 turbojets (PR9)
4 x 20mm cannons or 8 x .50 calibre machine guns (B-57)
Internal bomb load - 6000 lbs
External bomb load on 4 pylons - 2000 lbs
Service ceiling: Set an altitude record in 1957 achieving 70 000 ft.
Canberra history on FAS.org
Story of the B-57 Canberra on FAS.org
Australian Aviation museum historical details and cockpit shots
57 Sqn Canberra at the North East Aircraft Museum
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