English Electric Canberra

English Electric Canberra

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The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber
Light bomber
A light bomber is a relatively small and fast class of military bomber aircraft which were primarily employed before the 1950s. Such aircraft would typically not carry more than one ton of ordnance....

 manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record
Flight altitude record
These are the records set for going the highest in the atmosphere from the age of ballooning onward. Some records are certified by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.-Fixed-wing aircraft:-Piston-driven propeller aeroplane:...

 of 70,310 ft (21,430 m) in 1957. Due to its ability to evade early interceptors and providing a significant performance advancement over piston-engined bombers then common, the Canberra was a popular export product and served with many nations.

In addition to being a tactical nuclear strike
Nuclear strike
Nuclear strike may refer to:* Nuclear warfare* An installation in the Strike series of video games* "Nuclear Strike", an episode of the BBC television series Spooks...

 aircraft, the Canberra proved to be highly adaptable, serving in varied roles such as tactical bombing
Tactical bomber
A tactical bomber is a bomber aircraft with an intended primary role of tactical bombing—attacking tactical targets, such as enemy's troops and military equipment. This implies that either aircraft's range or ordnance is insufficient to use it effectively as a strategic bomber.All light bombers,...

 and photographic and electronic reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

. Canberras served in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

, the Indo-Pakistani Wars
Indo-Pakistani Wars
Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of India and Pakistan, the two South Asian countries have been involved in four wars, including one undeclared war, as well as many border skirmishes and military stand-offs...

, and numerous African conflicts. In several wars, both of the opposing forces had Canberras in their air forces. The Canberra was retired by its first operator, the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF), in 23 June 2006, 57 years after its first flight; a few remain in service, performing meteorological work for NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

.

Background


The Canberra had its origins in a 1944 Air Ministry
Air Ministry
The Air Ministry was a department of the British Government with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964...

 requirement for a successor to the de Havilland Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

 – a high-altitude, high-speed bomber with no defensive armament. Several British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 aircraft manufacturers submitted proposals. Among the companies shortlisted to proceed with development studies was English Electric
English Electric
English Electric was a British industrial manufacturer. Founded in 1918, it initially specialised in industrial electric motors and transformers...

, a well-established industrial manufacturer with very little aircraft experience, though when a desperate need for bombers arose during the early years of the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, English Electric had begun to build the Handley-Page Hampden under licence.
In 1944, Westland Aircraft
Westland Aircraft
Westland Aircraft was a British aircraft manufacturer located in Yeovil in Somerset. Formed as a separate company by separation from Petters Ltd just before the start of the Second World War, Westland had been building aircraft since 1915...

's technical director and chief designer W. E. W. Petter
W. E. W. Petter
William Edward Willoughby "Teddy" Petter CBE was a British aircraft designer. He is noted for Westland's wartime aeroplanes, the Canberra, the early design of the Lightning, and his last plane, the Folland Gnat.-Early life:Edward was the son of Sir Ernest Petter , who founded the Petters Limited...

 prepared a design study for a twin-engined fighter bomber, the P.1056, based on two fuselage-mounted Metrovick F.2/4 "Beryl" engines. The authorities doubted its suitability for operations from unprepared fields and at low altitude but could see its potential as a bomber design; numerous manufacturers refused to take on the design. Petter left Westland to join the English Electric company in December 1944, where he was encouraged to develop his design, EE formed its own in-house aircraft design team in the following year.

The aircraft was named Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

after the capital of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 by Sir George Nelson
George Nelson, 1st Baron Nelson of Stafford
George Horatio Nelson, 1st Baron Nelson of Stafford , known as Sir George Nelson, 1st Baronet, from 1955 to 1960, was a British engineer, the chairman of the firm English Electric....

, chairman of English Electric, as Australia was the first export customer for the aircraft. The Canberra had a simple design, looking like a scaled-up Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

 with a shoulder wing. The fuselage was circular in cross section, tapered at both ends and, cockpit aside, entirely without protrusions; the line of the large, low-aspect ratio
Aspect ratio (wing)
In aerodynamics, the aspect ratio of a wing is essentially the ratio of its length to its breadth . A high aspect ratio indicates long, narrow wings, whereas a low aspect ratio indicates short, stubby wings....

 wings was broken only by the tubular engine nacelles.

Although jet powered, the Canberra design philosophy was very much in the Mosquito mould, providing room for a substantial bomb load, fitting two of the most powerful engines available, and wrapping it in the most compact and aerodynamic package possible. Rather than devote space and weight to defensive armament which historically could not overcome purpose-designed fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, the Canberra was designed to fly fast and high enough to avoid air-to-air combat entirely.

Prototypes and first flights



In May 1945, a contract was signed. The subsequent Air Ministry specification B.3/45 requested production of four prototypes. Construction began in early 1946, but due to post-war military reduction the first aircraft did not fly until 13 May 1949. In the interim, the Air Ministry had already ordered 132 production aircraft in bomber, reconnaissance, and training variants. The prototype proved vice-free and required only a few modifications. A new glazed nose had to be fitted to accommodate a bomb-aimer because the advanced H2S
H2S radar
H2S was the first airborne, ground scanning radar system. It was developed in Britain in World War II for the Royal Air Force and was used in various RAF bomber aircraft from 1943 to the 1990s. It was designed to identify targets on the ground for night and all-weather bombing...

 Mk9 bombing radar was not ready for production, the engines were upgraded to more powerful Avon R.A.3s, and the distinctive teardrop-shaped fuel tanks were fitted under the wingtips.

The resultant aircraft, designated
British military aircraft designation systems
British military aircraft designations are used to refer to aircraft types and variants operated by the armed forces of the United Kingdom.Since the end of the First World War, aircraft types in British military service have generally been known by a name British military aircraft designations are...

 the Canberra B2, first flew
Maiden flight
The maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord. This is similar to a ship's maiden voyage....

 on 21 April 1950, and entered squadron service with RAF No. 101 Squadron
No. 101 Squadron RAF
No. 101 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Vickers VC10 C1K, K3 and K4 from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. Since 10 Squadron disbanded in 2005, the squadron is the only operator of the VC10.-Formation and early years:...

 in May 1951. In a testament to the aircraft's benign handling characteristics, the transition program consisted of only 20 hours in the Gloster Meteor and three hours in the dual-control Canberra trainer. With a maximum speed of 470 kt (871 km/h), a standard service ceiling of 48,000 ft (14,600 m), and the ability to carry a 3.6 tonnes (7,936.6 lb) payload, the Canberra was an instant success. It was built in 27 versions that equipped 35 RAF squadrons, and were exported to Australia, Argentina, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, France, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

, South Africa, Sweden, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 and West Germany.

Photo-reconnaissance and conversion roles


The strategic reconnaissance role within the RAF had been carried out by the de Havilland Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

; in 1946 the Air Ministry issued Specification PR.31/46 as a jet-powered replacement for the Mosquito. To meet the requirement, the B2 design was modified by adding a 14 inches (35.6 cm) bay forward of the wing behind the cockpit to house seven cameras. It also had an additional fuel tank in the forward part of the bomb bay and only needed a two-man crew. The prototype, designated PR3, first flew on 19 March 1950, followed by the first of 35 production aircraft on the 31 July 1952. It entered service in December 1952 when No. 540 Squadron RAF
No. 540 Squadron RAF
No. 540 Squadron RAF was a photo-reconnasissance squadron of the Royal Air Force from 1942 to 1956.-Formation and World War II:The squadron was formed on 19 October 1942 from 'H' and 'L' flights of No...

 began to convert from the Mosquito PR.34.

To enable crews to convert to flying the Canberra, a trainer version was developed to meet Air Ministry Specification T2/49. The prototype designated T4 first flew on 12 June 1951. It was the same basic design as the B2 apart from the introduction of side-by-side seating for the pilot and the instructor and the replacement of the glazed nose with a solid nose. The first production T4 flew on 20 September 1953 and the variant entered service with No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit RAF
No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit RAF
No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit was a Royal Air Force Operational Conversion Unit. It first formed in the aftermath of World War II during 1947 at RAF Coningsby. Initially the OCU was formed from a nucleus provided by No. 16 OTU and was tasked with training crews of the "wooden wonder", the De...

 in early 1954. As well as the operational conversion unit, all the B2-equipped bomber squadrons received at least one T4 for training.

Manufacturing abroad


In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where the US Air Force needed to replace the B-26 Invader, 403 Canberras were manufactured under licence
Licence-built
The term licence-built refers to an object manufactured by one organisation with the authorisation of the organisation that owns the intellectual property of the design...

 by Martin
Glenn L. Martin Company
The Glenn L. Martin Company was an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company that was founded by the aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin. The Martin Company produced many important aircraft for the defense of the United States and its allies, especially during World War II and the Cold War...

 as the B-57 Canberra in several versions. While these were initially almost exactly the same as the English Electric pattern aircraft apart from the tandem crew seating, later models featured a series of substantial modifications. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF) built 48 for the Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

, broadly similar to the British B2 but with a modified leading edge, increased fuel capacity and room for three starter cartridges
Coffman engine starter
The Coffman engine starter was a starting system used on many piston engines in aircraft and armored vehicles of the 1930s and 1940s. The Coffman system was one of the most common brands; another was the Breeze cartridge system, which was produced under Coffman patents...

, although in practice all three cartridges would sometimes fire, leading to the triple starter units being loaded singly.

In the United Kingdom, the demand for Canberras exceeded English Electric's ability to supply airframes, and so Handley Page, Avro
Avro
Avro was a British aircraft manufacturer, with numerous landmark designs such as the Avro 504 trainer in the First World War, the Avro Lancaster, one of the pre-eminent bombers of the Second World War, and the delta wing Avro Vulcan, a stalwart of the Cold War.-Early history:One of the world's...

 and Short Brothers
Short Brothers
Short Brothers plc is a British aerospace company, usually referred to simply as Shorts, that is now based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Founded in 1908, Shorts was the first company in the world to make production aircraft and was a manufacturer of flying boats during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s...

 manufactured them under licence. 901 Canberras were manufactured in the UK, making total worldwide Canberra production 1,352 (including 403 made in the USA and 48 in Australia).

Design


The Canberra is mostly a metal aircraft, only the forward portion of the fin being of wooden construction and covered with plywood. The fuselage is of semi-monocoque
Monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 construction with a pressurised nose compartment. Each crew member has a Martin-Baker
Martin-Baker
Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd. is a manufacturer of ejection seats and safety related equipment for aviation. The company origins were as an aircraft manufacturer before becoming a pioneer in the field of ejection seats...

 ejection seat except in the B(I)8 and its export versions where the navigator has to rely on a conventional escape hatch and parachute. The fuselage contains two bomb-bays with conventional clam-shell doors (a rotating door was implemented on the Martin-built B-57 Canberra). The wing is of single-spar construction, the spar passing through the fuselage. Outboard of the engine nacelles the wing has a leading-edge sweep of 4° and trailing-edge sweep of -14°. Controls are conventional with aileron
Aileron
Ailerons are hinged flight control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. The ailerons are used to control the aircraft in roll, which results in a change in heading due to the tilting of the lift vector...

s, four-section flaps, and airbrake
Air brake (aircraft)
In aeronautics, air brakes or speedbrakes are a type of flight control surface used on an aircraft to increase drag or increase the angle of approach during landing....

s on top and bottom surfaces of the wings.

Thrust was provided by a pair of 30 kN axial flow Rolls-Royce Avon
Rolls-Royce Avon
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:**** a 1955 Flight article on the development of the Avon...

 turbojets. The manufacturer specified that cordite
Cordite
Cordite is a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance...

 Coffman engine starter
Coffman engine starter
The Coffman engine starter was a starting system used on many piston engines in aircraft and armored vehicles of the 1930s and 1940s. The Coffman system was one of the most common brands; another was the Breeze cartridge system, which was produced under Coffman patents...

s should be used to trigger the starter motor and activate the engine. An improvised method of starting the engine using compressed air was heavily discouraged by Rolls-Royce, but some operators successfully operated the Canberra's engines in such a manner, the benefit being significant cost savings over cartridges.

It was designed for a crew of two under a fighter-style canopy but delays in the development of the intended automatic radar bombsight resulted in the addition of a bomb aimer's position in the nose. Wingspan and length were almost identical at just under 20 metres, maximum takeoff weight a little under 25 tonnes. In part due to its range limitation of just 2000 miles (3,218.7 km), and its inability to carry the early, bulky nuclear bombs, the Canberra became more of a tactical bomber than a strategic one. In some cases, Canberras stationed across the far reaches of the former British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 were not made nuclear capable until as late as 1957.

The Canberra could deploy many conventional weapons, typical weapons used were 250-pound, 500-pound, and 1000-pound bombs, the total bomb load could weigh up to 10000 pounds (4.5 t). Operators such as Rhodesia developed their own weapons such as anti-personnel bomblets, the Alpha bomb, to make the aircraft more effective in the operator's own operating context. Weapons such as anti-personnel flechette
Flechette
A flechette is a pointed steel projectile, with a vaned tail for stable flight. The name comes from French , "little arrow" or "dart", and sometimes retains the acute accent in English: fléchette.-Bulk and artillery use:...

 strikes were tested successfully from the Canberra, but not put into practice due to international agreements.

Due to the use of a new alloy, DTD683, the undercarriages of the Canberra suffered from stress corrosion, which caused them to decay within a few years. The extreme hazard posed of undercarriages collapsing during landings, especially if the aircraft were carrying nuclear weapons, led the RAF to institute regular inspections, at first using radiography
Radiography
Radiography is the use of X-rays to view a non-uniformly composed material such as the human body. By using the physical properties of the ray an image can be developed which displays areas of different density and composition....

 before moving to more effective and reliable ultrasound
Ultrasound
Ultrasound is cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is...

 technology.

Royal Air Force


The Canberra B2 started to enter service with 101 Squadron
No. 101 Squadron RAF
No. 101 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Vickers VC10 C1K, K3 and K4 from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. Since 10 Squadron disbanded in 2005, the squadron is the only operator of the VC10.-Formation and early years:...

 in January 1951, with 101 Squadron being fully equipped by May, and a further squadron, No. 9 Squadron equipping by the end of the year. The production of the Canberra was accelerated as a result of the outbreak of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, orders for the aircraft increased and outpaced production capacity, as the aircraft was designated as a "super priority". A further five squadrons were able to be equipped with the Canberra by the end of 1952; however, production in the 1951–52 period had only been half of the level planned, due to shortages in skilled manpower, material, and suitable machine tools.
The Canberra replaced Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

s, Lincolns
Avro Lincoln
The Avro Type 694, better known as the Avro Lincoln, was a British four-engined heavy bomber, which first flew on 9 June 1944. Developed from the Avro Lancaster, the first Lincoln variants were known initially as the Lancaster IV and V, but were renamed Lincoln I and II...

 and Washingtons as front line bombers, showing a drastically improved performance, proving to be effectively immune from interception during air defence exercises until the arrival of the Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

. The Canberra also replaced the RAF's Mosquitos in the reconnaissance role, with the Canberra PR3 entering service in December 1952.

The improved Canberra B6, with more powerful engines and more fuel, started to supplement the B2s in the UK based squadrons of Bomber Command from June 1954, when they replaced 101 Squadrons B2s. This freed up older B2s to allow Canberra squadrons to form overseas, with bomber and reconnaissance Canberra wings forming in RAF Germany and on Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, with squadrons also being deployed to the Far East.

The Canberra allegedly executed a 1953 reconnaissance flight over the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 rocket launch and development site at Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar is a Russian rocket launch and development site in Astrakhan Oblast, between Volgograd and Astrakhan. Known today as Znamensk , it was established 13 May 1946 and in the beginning used technology, material, and scientific support from defeated Germany...

, although the UK government has never admitted the existence of such a flight. Further reconnaissance flights are alleged to have taken place along, and over, the borders of the Soviet Union in 1954 under the code name
Code name
A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. Code names are often used for military purposes, or in espionage...

 Project Robin, using the Canberra B2 WH726
United Kingdom military aircraft serials
In the United Kingdom to identify individual aircraft, all military aircraft are allocated and display a unique serial number. A unified serial number system, maintained by the Air Ministry , and its successor the Ministry of Defence , is used for aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force , Fleet...

. The USAF also used the Canberra for reconnaissance flights, however the aircraft were no longer required after June 1956, the introduction of the US Lockheed U-2
Lockheed U-2
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency . It provides day and night, very high-altitude , all-weather intelligence gathering...

 purpose-built reconnaissance aircraft; Project Robin was then terminated.

The Canberra was the victorious plane flown in the The Last Great Air Race from London to Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...

 in 1953, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Roland (Monty) Burton
Roland (Monty) Burton
Flight Lieutenant Roland Louise Ernest Burton AFC and Bar Burton was born on May 18, 1918 and died in France in 1999.Monty Burton became the first man to fly from London to New Zealand in under 24 hours, when with his navigator Flight Lieutenant Don Gannon he won the 1953 London to Christchurch...

, which touched down at Christchurch 41 minutes ahead of its closest rival — after 23hr 51min in the air, to this day the record has never been broken.


The Vickers Valiant
Vickers Valiant
The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet bomber, once part of the Royal Air Force's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s...

 entered service in 1955, capable of carrying much heavier weapon loads (including the Blue Danube
Blue Danube (nuclear weapon)
Blue Danube was the first operational British nuclear weapon. It also went by a variety of other names, including Smallboy, the Mk.1 Atom Bomb, Special Bomb and OR.1001, a reference to the Operational Requirement it was built to fill...

 atomic bomb) over longer ranges than the Canberra. This led to the Bomber Command force of Canberras equipped for high-level conventional bombing to be gradually phased out. This did not mean the end of the Canberra in front line service, however, as it proved suitable for the low-level strike and ground attack role, and versions dedicated to this role were brought into service. The interim B(I)6, converted from the B6 by adding provision for a pack of four 20 mm cannon in the rear bomb bay and underwing pylons for bombs and rockets, entered service in 1955, with the definitive, new build B(I)8, which added a new forward fuselage with a fighter-style canopy for the pilot, entering service in January 1956.

An important role for the new low-level force was tactical nuclear strike, using the Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS) to allow a nuclear bomb to be delivered from low level while allowing the bomber to escape the blast of the weapon. RAF Germany's force of four squadrons equipped with the B(I)6 and B(I)8 were equipped to carry US-owned Mark 7 nuclear bomb
Mark 7 nuclear bomb
Mark 7 "Thor" was the first tactical nuclear bomb adopted by US armed forces. It was also the first weapon to be delivered using the toss method with the help of the low-altitude bombing system . The weapon was tested in Operation Buster-Jangle. To facilitate external carry by fighter bomber...

s, while three squadrons based on Cyprus and one at Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 were armed with British-owned Red Beard
Red Beard (nuclear weapon)
Red Beard was the first British tactical nuclear weapon. It was carried by the English Electric Canberra and the V bombers of the Royal Air Force, and by the Blackburn Buccaneers, Sea Vixens and Supermarine Scimitars of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm...

 nuclear weapons.

Bomber Command retired the last of its Canberras on 11 September 1961, but the Germany, Cyprus and Singapore based squadrons continued in the nuclear strike role. The Cyprus based squadrons and one of the RAF Germany squadrons disbanded in 1969, with the Singapore based unit followed in 1970. The three remaining RAF Germany units, which by now had replaced the old Mark 7 bombs with newer (but still US-owned) B43 nuclear bomb
B43 nuclear bomb
The B43 was a United States air-dropped variable yield nuclear weapon used by a wide variety of fighter bomber and bomber aircraft.The B43 was developed from 1956 by Los Alamos National Laboratory, entering production in 1959. It entered service in April 1961. Total production was 2,000 weapons,...

s, remained operational until 1972, the last Canberra bombers in RAF service.


The RAF continued to operate the Canberra after 1972, employing it for reconnaissance (with Squadrons equipped with PR7s and PR9s being based at RAF Wyton
RAF Wyton
RAF Wyton is a Royal Air Force station near St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, England.In terms of organisation RAF Wyton is now part of the combined station RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow, a merger of Wyton with two previously separate bases, RAF Brampton and RAF Henlow. Wyton is the largest of the three. It...

 in the UK and RAF Luqa
RAF Luqa
Royal Air Force Luqa was a flying station and location of RAF Mediterranean Command headquarters of the Royal Air Force on the island of Malta during World War II...

 in Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

. The PR9s were fitted with special LOROP (Long-Range Optical Photography) cameras, reportedly based on those used by the Lockheed U-2
Lockheed U-2
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency . It provides day and night, very high-altitude , all-weather intelligence gathering...

, to allow high-altitude of targets deep into Eastern Europe while flying along the inner German border, as well as infrared linescan cameras for low level night reconnaissance. The RAF used Canberras to search for hidden arms dumps using false-colour photography
False-color
A false-color image is an image that depicts a subject in colors that differ from those a full-color photograph would show.-True- and false-color:...

 during Operation Motorman
Operation Motorman
Operation Motorman was a large operation carried out by the British Army in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The operation took place in the early hours of 31 July 1972 with the aim of retaking the "no-go areas" that had been established in Belfast, Derry and other large towns.-Background:The...

 in July 1972, when the British Army re-took Irish republican held "no go areas" in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 and Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

. Canberras were used for reconnaissance over Bosnia during the war
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

 during the 1990s, where they were used to locate mass graves and during the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 in 1999. They were also operated from Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 during the First Congo War
First Congo War
The First Congo War was a revolution in Zaire that replaced President Mobutu Sésé Seko, a decades-long dictator, with rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Destabilization in eastern Zaire that resulted from the Rwandan genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external actors...

, where they were used to search for refugees. Small numbers of specially equipped Canberras were also used for Signals Intelligence, being operated by 192 Squadron
No. 192 Squadron RAF
No. 192 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron, operational during the First World War as a night training squadron, and during the Second World War as a radar countermeasure unit. After the war the squadron served again in the Electronic Intelligence role, until disbanded.-Formation in World War...

 and then 51 Squadron
No. 51 Squadron RAF
No. 51 Squadron of the Royal Air Force most recently operated the Nimrod R1 from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire until June 2011. Crews from No. 51 Squadron are currently training alongside the US Air Force on the Boeing RC-135, which is planned to enter service with the RAF over the next seven years...

 from 1953 to 1976.

The PR9 variant remained in service with No. 39 (1 PRU) Squadron
No. 39 Squadron RAF
No. 39 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the MQ-9 Reaper since 2007, operating from Creech AFB, Nevada, USA.-World War I:39 Squadron was founded at Hounslow Heath Aerodrome in April 1916 with B.E.2s and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12s in an attempt to defend against German Zeppelin raids on...

 until July 2006 for strategic reconnaissance and photographic mapping, seeing service in the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 and, up to June 2006, in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

. During a ceremony to mark the standing down of 39 (1 PRU) Squadron at RAF Marham
RAF Marham
Royal Air Force Station Marham, more commonly known as RAF Marham, is a Royal Air Force station; a military airbase, near the village of Marham in the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia....

 on 28 July 2006, a flypast by a Canberra PR9 on its last ever sortie was conducted.

Royal Australian Air Force


Shortly after the end of the Second World War, the Australian government began reorganising the armed forces. The Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 (RAAF) developed Plan "D" for its postwar structure, built around the concept of a small, agile air arm employing leading edge technology. The RAAF decided to acquire the Canberra to replace or complement the Avro Lincoln
Avro Lincoln
The Avro Type 694, better known as the Avro Lincoln, was a British four-engined heavy bomber, which first flew on 9 June 1944. Developed from the Avro Lancaster, the first Lincoln variants were known initially as the Lancaster IV and V, but were renamed Lincoln I and II...

, though fears were raised that the new design was not especially advanced. While Australia never introduced nuclear weapons into service, the Canberra's ability to carry such a payload was a factor in its acquisition; Australia's planned force of 48 Canberras, with the potential for being nuclear-armed, was viewed as far more potent and deterring than the entire RAAF's wartime forces of 254 heavy bombers. The first Australian-built Canberra first flew on 29 May 1953 at Avalon and was delivered to the RAAF for service trials a few weeks later. The Canberra entered Australian service in December 1953.
From July 1950 to July 1960, during the Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army , the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960....

, Canberras from Australia, New Zealand and the UK were deployed into the Malaysia to fight against Communist guerillas
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

. In 1967, the RAAF deployed a squadron of Canberras to Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. The unit, No. 2 Squadron
No. 2 Squadron RAAF
No. 2 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force squadron. From its formation in 1916, it has operated a variety of aircraft types including fighters, bombers, and Airborne Early Warning & Control.-World War I:No...

, was later commended for its performance by the United States Air Force. The Canberras were typically operated in the low-level bombing role. They were withdrawn from Vietnam in 1971, two of the aircraft having been lost in combat.

As early as 1954, Australia recognised that the Canberra was becoming outdated, and evaluated aircraft such as the Avro Vulcan
Avro Vulcan
The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, was a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, operated by the Royal Air Force from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A V Roe & Co designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced,...

 and Handley-Page Victor as potential replacements. The Canberra was incapable of providing adequate coverage of Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 from Australian bases, and was evaluated as having a "very low" chance of survival if it encounted modern fighters like the MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

. Political pressure for a Canberra replacement rose to a head in 1962. Australia evaluated the BAC TSR-2
BAC TSR-2
The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation for the Royal Air Force in the late 1950s and early 1960s...

, Dassault Mirage IV
Dassault Mirage IV
The Dassault Mirage IV was a French jet-propelled supersonic strategic bomber and deep-reconnaissance aircraft. For many years it was a vital part of the nuclear triad of the Force de Frappe, France's nuclear deterrent striking force.-Development:...

, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and North American A-5 Vigilante, and initially appeared to favour the TSR-2, but chose to procure the General Dynamics F-111C
General Dynamics F-111C
The General Dynamics F-111C is a variant of the F-111 Aardvark medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft, developed by General Dynamics to meet Australian requirements. The design was based on the F-111A model but included longer wings and strengthened undercarriage...

 in October 1963. Due in part to delays in the delivery of the F-111Cs, the Canberra continued to be used by Australia for a total of 29 years before its retirement in June 1982.

Indian Air Force


The Canberra was the backbone of the Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

 (IAF) for bombing raids and photo-reconnaissance for many decades. Negotiations to acquire the Canberra as a replacement for the short-lived and obsolete Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers then being used by India began in 1954. During the extended negotiations between Britain and India, the Soviet Union is alleged to have offered their own jet bomber, the Ilyushin Il-28
Ilyushin Il-28
The Ilyushin Il-28 is a jet bomber aircraft of the immediate postwar period that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Force. It was the USSR's first such aircraft to enter large-scale production. It was also licence-built in China as the Harbin H-5. Total production in the USSR was 6,316...

, at a significantly lower price than that asked for the Canberra; by April 1956, however, the Indian government was in favour of the purchase. In January 1957 India placed a large order for the Canberra; a total of fifty-four B(I)58 bombers, eight PR57 photo-reconnaissance aircraft, and six T4 training aircraft were ordered, deliveries began in the summer of that same year. 12 more Canberras were ordered in September 1957, as many as 30 more may have also been purchased by 1962.

First used in combat by the IAF in 1962, the Canberra was employed during the UN campaign against the breakaway Republic of Katanga
State of Katanga
Katanga was a breakaway state proclaimed on 11 July 1960 separating itself from the newly independent Democratic Republic of the Congo. In revolt against the new government of Patrice Lumumba in July, Katanga declared independence under Moise Tshombe, leader of the local CONAKAT party...

 in Africa. During the Indo-Pakistani Wars
Indo-Pakistani Wars
Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of India and Pakistan, the two South Asian countries have been involved in four wars, including one undeclared war, as well as many border skirmishes and military stand-offs...

 of the 1960s and 1970s, the Canberra was used by both sides. One of the worst combat loss incidents occurred on 1 September 1965, when four Indian Canberras were shot down by Pakistani fighters. The most audacious use of the bomber was in the "Raid on Badin" during the Second Kashmir War, when the Indian Air Force sent in the Canberra to attack a critical Pakistani radar post in West Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan , common name West-Pakistan , in the period between its establishment on 22 November 1955 to disintegration on December 16, 1971. This period, during which, Pakistan was divided, ended when East-Pakistan was disintegrated and succeeded to become which is now what is known as Bangladesh...

. The raid was a complete success, the radars in Badin having been badly damaged by the bombing and put out of commission. A later raid by the IAF was attempted on Peshawar Air base with the aim of destroying, amongst other targets, several Pakistani B-57 bombers, American-built Canberras. Due to poor visibility, a road outside of the base was bombed, instead of the runway where PAF B-57 bombers were parked.

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

, Indian Canberras flew a strategically important sortie against the Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 oil tanks, this had the effect of helping the Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

 in their own operations, a series of missile boat
Missile boat
A Missile Boat is a small craft armed with anti-ship missiles. Being a small craft, missile boats are popular with nations interested in forming an inexpensive navy...

 attacks against the Pakistani coast. On 21 May 1999, prior to the commencement of the Kargil War
Kargil War
The Kargil War ,, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control...

, the Indian Air Force Air HQ assigned a Canberra PR57 aircraft on a photographic mission near the LOC (Line of Control
Line of Control
The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border...

), where it took a severe blow from a FIM-92 Stinger
FIM-92 Stinger
The FIM-92 Stinger is a personal portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile , which can be adapted to fire from ground vehicles and helicopters , developed in the United States and entered into service in 1981. Used by the militaries of the U.S...

 infrared homing
Infrared homing
Infrared homing refers to a passive missile guidance system which uses the emission from a target of electromagnetic radiation in the infrared part of the spectrum to track and follow it. Missiles which use infrared seeking are often referred to as "heat-seekers", since infrared is just below the...

 missile on the starboard engine; although it was left with only one operational engine, the aircraft successfully returned to base.

The entire Indian Air Force Canberra fleet was grounded and then retired following the crash of an IAF Canberra in December 2005. After 50 years of service, the Canberra was finally retired by the IAF on 11 May 2007.

Africa



During the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 the RAF employed around 100 Canberras, flying conventional bombing and reconnaissance missions from airfields in both Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 and Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. A total of 278 Canberra sorties were flown, dropping 1,439 1000 lb (450 kg) bombs; however low-level strikes by smaller fighters were judged to be more effective than the night time bombing operations performed by both the Canberra and the Vickers Valiant. In addition, many of the bombs, intended to hit Egyptian airfields, missed their targets, failing to inflict much damage to the Egyptian Air Force or to badly demoralise the enemy. While interception of the Canberra was within the capabilities of Egypt's MiG-15
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in...

s and MiG-17s, as shown by the interception of Canberras by MiG-15s prior to the Anglo-French invasion, these did not result in any losses. The only Canberra shot down during the Suez campaign was a PR7 shot down by a Syrian Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

 fighter on 6 November 1956, the last day of the war.

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as the Central African Federation , was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia,...

 considered the Canberra an important objective to holding greater diplomatic sway in the African continent, and ongoing negotiations over the Baghdad treaty, and a step towards decolonisation. The Suez Crisis caused a delay in the sale, but in August 1957 18 Canberras had been earmarked to be refurbished and transferred from the RAF to the Royal Rhodesian Air Force
Royal Rhodesian Air Force
The Rhodesian Air Force was the air arm of the British colonial state of Rhodesia. It existed between 1935 and 1980 under various names, and is now the Air Force of Zimbabwe.-History:...

 (RRAF). Both Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

 and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 used Canberras in their respective Bush War
Rhodesian Bush War
The Rhodesian Bush War – also known as the Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation – was a civil war which took place between July 1964 and December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia...

s; numerous aircraft were lost in the conflicts. Rhodesian Canberras carried out attacks on Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

, often armed with cluster bombs, more limited raids on Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, and an attack upon a terrorist base in Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

. Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

n Canberras were used against Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 and again against Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 during the 1970s.

Europe


The Swedish Air Force
Swedish Air Force
The Swedish Air Force is the air force branch of the Swedish Armed Forces.-History:The Swedish Air Force was created on July 1, 1926 when the aircraft units of the Army and Navy were merged. Because of the escalating international tension during the 1930s the Air Force was reorganized and expanded...

 purchased two Canberras from the RAF in 1960 and had these modified to T11s by Boulton Paul. The aircraft were secretly modified in Sweden as espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 aircraft for eavesdropping on primarily Soviet, Polish and East German military radio transmissions, although this was not publicly admitted until 10 years later. The Canberras were given the designation Tp 52, and taken into service as "testing aircraft", until they were replaced by two Tp 85 Caravelle
Sud Aviation Caravelle
The Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle was the first short/medium-range jet airliner produced by the French Sud Aviation firm starting in 1955 . The Caravelle was one of the more successful European first generation jetliners, selling throughout Europe and even penetrating the United States market, with...

s in 1971.

South America



The Argentine Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

 received 10 B62s and two T64 trainers at the beginning of the 1970s. During the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 in 1982, eight of them were deployed to Trelew
Trelew
-References:La Pasión según Trelew, Espejo de la Argentina, 1997, Editorial Planeta Argentina S.A.I.C.; Third Edition: April 2000, Buenos Aires, ISBN 950-742-859-3-External links:* * * *...

, a distance of 670 miles (1,080 km) from the islands, to avoid congestion on the closer southern airfields. They were within operating range of the British task force, but the Canberra was judged to be a limited threat due to its poor manoeuvrability compared with the Sea Harriers on air defence duties. On 1 May 1982, during an attack on the British ships sailing towards the islands by several Israeli-made Dagger
IAI Nesher
The Israel Aircraft Industries Nesher is the Israeli version of the Dassault Mirage 5 multi-role fighter aircraft...

s and a sole Canberra, the bomber, along with at least one of the Daggers, was shot down by the responding Sea Harriers for no losses on the British side. Following this engagement, Argentina stopped using the Canberra on such missions.

Nonetheless, from 1 May to 14 June 1982, the Argentine Canberras made 54 sorties; 36 of them bombing missions, of which 22 were at night against ground troops. Two aircraft were lost in combat, one to a Sea Harrier using an AIM-9L Sidewinder
AIM-9 Sidewinder
The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

 air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

 on 1 May 1982, and another to a Sea Dart missile
Sea Dart missile
Sea Dart or Guided Weapon System 30 is a British surface-to-air missile system designed by Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and built by British Aerospace from 1977...

 on 13 June fired by HMS Cardiff
HMS Cardiff (D108)
HMS Cardiff was a British Type 42 destroyer and the third ship of the Royal Navy to be named in honour of the Welsh capital city of Cardiff. Construction was started by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and completed by Swan Hunter in Tyne and Wear...

. This latter aircraft was the last Argentine aircraft to be lost in combat during the Falklands War. Argentina retired its last Canberras in April 2000.

Peruvian Air Force
Peruvian Air Force
The Peruvian Air Force is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with defending the nation and its interests through the use of air power...

 Canberras flew combat sorties against Ecuadorian positions during the Cenepa War
Cenepa War
The Cenepa War , also known as the Alto Cenepa War, was a brief and localized military conflict between Ecuador and Peru, fought over control of a disputed area on the border between the two countries...

 in 1995. On 6 February 1995, a Canberra Mk.68 disappeared over the operations zone; the aircraft had apparently struck a hill in poor weather conditions. Peru retired its Canberras in June 2008.

Development and trials aircraft



A number of Canberras were used by English Electric for development work and trials on new equipment. It was also used by government establishments such as the Royal Aircraft Establishment
Royal Aircraft Establishment
The Royal Aircraft Establishment , was a British research establishment, known by several different names during its history, that eventually came under the aegis of the UK Ministry of Defence , before finally losing its identity in mergers with other institutions.The first site was at Farnborough...

 and the Royal Radar Establishment
Royal Radar Establishment
The name Royal Radar Establishment was given to the existing Radar Research Establishment following a visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. Both names were abbreviated to RRE. The establishment had been formed, under its first name, in 1953 by merging the Telecommunications Research Establishment ...

. The Canberra proved to be a useful platform for such work and was used by a number of British tests and trials establishments. As well as those operated by English Electric, a number of engine manufacturers were also loaned Canberras as engine test beds; Armstrong Siddeley
Armstrong Siddeley
Armstrong Siddeley was a British engineering group that operated during the first half of the 20th century. It was formed in 1919 and is best known for the production of luxury motor cars and aircraft engines.-Siddeley Autocars:...

 for the Sapphire, Bristol Siddeley
Bristol Siddeley
Bristol Siddeley Engines Ltd was a British aero engine manufacturer. The company was formed in 1959 by a merger of Bristol Aero-Engines Limited and Armstrong Siddeley Motors Limited. In 1961 the company was expanded by the purchase of the de Havilland Engine Company and the engine division of...

 for the Olympus
Rolls-Royce Olympus
The Rolls-Royce Olympus was one of the world's first two-spool axial-flow turbojet aircraft engines, originally developed and produced by Bristol Aero Engines. First running in 1950, its initial use was as the powerplant of the Avro Vulcan V Bomber...

, de Havilland Engine Company
De Havilland Engine Company
The de Havilland Engine Company was an offshoot of the de Havilland aircraft building company, which started life as the 'Engine Division of the de Havilland Aircraft Company' in 1926 producing the famous de Havilland Gipsy aero-engine...

 for the Gyron Junior
De Havilland Gyron Junior
|-See also:-External links:* *...

 turbojet and Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904....

 for the Avon
Rolls-Royce Avon
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:**** a 1955 Flight article on the development of the Avon...

. Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 used four different Canberra B2s for avionics development work.

One example is WV787 which was built as a Canberra B2 in 1952, it was loaned to Armstrong Siddeley
Armstrong Siddeley
Armstrong Siddeley was a British engineering group that operated during the first half of the 20th century. It was formed in 1919 and is best known for the production of luxury motor cars and aircraft engines.-Siddeley Autocars:...

 and was fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire engines. It was later transferred to Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 for trials for the Blackburn Buccaneer
Blackburn Buccaneer
The Blackburn Buccaneer was a British low-level subsonic strike aircraft with nuclear weapon delivery capability serving with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force between 1962 and 1994, including service in the 1991 Gulf War...

 radar and fitted with a B(I)8 type nose and a Buccaneer style radome. It next was moved to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
The Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment was a research facility for British military aviation from 1918 to 1992.-History:...

 where it was modified to be used as a water-spray tanker aircraft for de-icing trials. It would fly in front of the aircraft being tested which would fly into the artificial cloud created by the sprayed water to induce icing. It was retired in 1984 and later preserved at the Newark Air Museum
Newark Air Museum
right|thumb|200px|[[Handley Page Hastings]] T5 TG517 at the Newark Air Museum.Newark Air Museum is an air museum located on a former Royal Air Force station at Winthorpe, near Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire, England. The museum contains a variety of aircraft...

 and is a National Benchmark airframe on the National Aviation Heritage Register.

Flight records set by Canberras

  • 21 January 1951 – first non-stop unrefuelled transatlantic crossing
    Transatlantic flight
    Transatlantic flight is the flight of an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. A transatlantic flight may proceed east-to-west, originating in Europe or Africa and terminating in North America or South America, or it may go in the reverse direction, west-to-east...

     by a jet.
  • 26 August 1952 – the prototype B5 made the first double transatlantic crossing by a jet, with a total time of 10 hr 3 min.
  • 4 May 1953 – Canberra B2 WD952, fitted with Rolls-Royce Olympus
    Rolls-Royce Olympus
    The Rolls-Royce Olympus was one of the world's first two-spool axial-flow turbojet aircraft engines, originally developed and produced by Bristol Aero Engines. First running in 1950, its initial use was as the powerplant of the Avro Vulcan V Bomber...

     engines set a world altitude record, flying at 63668 ft (19,406 m)
  • 29 August 1955 – altitude record, 65889 ft (20,083 m)
  • 28 August 1957 – altitude record, 70310 ft (21,430.5 m): Canberra B2 (WK163
    United Kingdom military aircraft serials
    In the United Kingdom to identify individual aircraft, all military aircraft are allocated and display a unique serial number. A unified serial number system, maintained by the Air Ministry , and its successor the Ministry of Defence , is used for aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force , Fleet...

    ) with a Napier
    Napier & Son
    D. Napier & Son Limited was a British engine and pre-Great War automobile manufacturer and one of the most important aircraft engine manufacturers in the early to mid-20th century...

     Double Scorpion rocket motor.

Variants


See B-57 Canberra article for the US-built variants.


English Electric A.1
Company designation for the first four aircraft before being named Canberra.

Canberra B1
Prototypes for type development work and research at first known by the company designation A1, four built.

Canberra B2
First production version, crew increased to three with addition of bomb aimer
Bombardier (air force)
A bombardier , in the United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force, or a bomb aimer, in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces, was the crewman of a bomber responsible for assisting the navigator in guiding the plane to a bombing target and releasing the aircraft's bomb...

, Avon R.A.3 engines with 6,500 lbf (28.91 kN) of thrust, wingtip fuel tanks. 418 built by English Electric (208), Avro
Avro
Avro was a British aircraft manufacturer, with numerous landmark designs such as the Avro 504 trainer in the First World War, the Avro Lancaster, one of the pre-eminent bombers of the Second World War, and the delta wing Avro Vulcan, a stalwart of the Cold War.-Early history:One of the world's...

 (75), Handley Page (75) and Short Brothers & Harland (60) including eight for export (Australia, United States and Venezuela).

Canberra PR3
Photo-reconnaissance version of B2, it had a 14 inch section added to the fuselage to house the camera bay, internal fuel was increased and flat panel in the nose was removed. Needed only two crew. The prototype was flown on 19 March 1950 and the variant entered service in 1953.

Canberra T4
First trainer variant with dual controls and a crew of three.

Canberra B5
Prototype of second-generation Canberra with fuel tanks in the wings and Avon R.A.7 engines with 7,490 lbf (33.32 kN) of thrust, one built.

Canberra B6
Production version based on B5 with a 1 ft (0.3 m) fuselage stretch, 106 built by English Electric (57) and Short Brothers & Harland (49), includes 12 for export.

Canberra B6(RC)
RC = Radio Countermeasures (also known as B6(Mod) or PR16) - Specialist ELINT version with enlarged nose and Blue Shadow Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR). Only four produced, extended nose.

Canberra B(I)6
Interim interdictor
Interdictor
An interdictor is a type of ground-attack aircraft that operates far behind enemy lines, with the express intent of interdicting the enemy's military targets, most notably those involved in logistics. The term has generally fallen from use...

 version for the RAF pending delivery of the B(I)8. Based on B6 with a detachable ventral pack housing four 20 mm Hispano
Hispano-Suiza HS.404
The Hispano-Suiza HS.404 was an autocannon widely used as both an aircraft and land weapon in the 20th century by British, American, French, and numerous other military services. The cannon is also referred to as Birkigt type 404, after its designer. Firing a 20 mm caliber projectile, it delivered...

 cannon for strafing; also had provision for two wing hard points. 22 produced.

Canberra PR7
Photo-reconnaissance version based on B6, had similar equipment to the PR3 but had the uprated Avon 109 engines of the B6 and increased internal fuel capacity, 74 built.

Canberra B(I)8
Third-generation Canberra derived from B6 as an interdictor
Interdictor
An interdictor is a type of ground-attack aircraft that operates far behind enemy lines, with the express intent of interdicting the enemy's military targets, most notably those involved in logistics. The term has generally fallen from use...

. Fitted with a new forward fuselage with teardrop canopy on the port side, and Navigator station forward of pilot (early marks had the navigator behind the pilot. Provision for a ventral pack similar to the B(I)6 with 4 x 20 mm Hispano cannon, one external hardpoint under each wing for up to 1,000 lb (454 kg) of bombs or unguided rockets, LABS (Low-Altitude Bombing System) for delivery of nuclear bombs. Prototype converted from the only B5 and first flown 23 July 1954, 72 built including 17 for export and two converted from B2s.


Canberra PR9
Photo-reconnaissance version based on B(I)8 with fuselage stretched to 68 ft (27.72 m), wingspan increased by 4 ft (1.22 m), and Avon R.A.27 (Avon 206) engines with 10,030 lbf (44.6 kN) of thrust. Had the offset canopy of the B(I)8 with a hinged nose to allow fitment of an ejection seat for the navigator. A total of 23 built by Short Brothers & Harland with three transferred to Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 after the Falklands War.

Canberra U10 (later designated D10)
Remote-controlled target drones converted from B2. 18 converted.

Canberra T11
Nine B2s converted to trainers for pilots and navigators of all-weather interceptors to operate the Airborne Intercept radar, crew of four.

Canberra B(I)12
Canberra B(I)8 bombers built for New Zealand and South Africa.

Canberra T13
Training version of the T4 for New Zealand, one built new and one conversion from T4.

Canberra U14 (later designated D14)
Remote-controlled target drones converted from the B2 for Royal Navy. Six converted.

Canberra B15
Upgraded B6 for use in the Far and Near East with underwing hardpoints for 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs or rockets. New avionics and fitting of three cameras, 39 conversions.

Canberra B16
Similar to B15 for use in Germany and fitted with Blue Shadow, 19 conversions

Canberra T17
Electronic warfare training variant used to train surface-based radar and missile operators and airborne fighter and Airborne Early Warning crews in handling jamming (including chaff dropping) aircraft. 24 conversions from B2 with extended nose for sensors.

Canberra T17A
Updated version of the T17 with improved navigation aids, a spectrum analyser in place of the previously fitted AN/APR-20, and a powerful communications jammer.

Canberra TT18
Target tug conversion of B2 for the Royal Navy, 22 conversions.

Canberra T19
T11 with radar removed as silent target.

Canberra B20
B2 with additional fuel tanks in the wings, licence-built
Licence-built
The term licence-built refers to an object manufactured by one organisation with the authorisation of the organisation that owns the intellectual property of the design...

 in Australia.

Canberra T21
Trainers converted from B2 and B20.

Canberra T22
Conversion of the PR7 for Royal Navy's Fleet Requirement and Air Direction Unit, used for training Buccaneer navigators.

Canberra Mk.52
Refurbished B2 bombers sold to Ethiopia.

Canberra Mk.56
Refurbished B(I)6 bombers sold to Peru.

Canberra PR57
Tropicalized PR7 for India.

Canberra B(I)58
Tropicalized B(I)8 for India.

Canberra Mk.62
10 refurbished B2 bombers sold to Argentina.

Canberra Mk.64
2 refurbished T4 trainers sold to Argentina.

Canberra Mk.66
10 refurbished B(I)6 bombers sold to India.

Canberra Mk.67
2 refurbished PR7s sold to India.

Canberra Mk.68
1 refurbished B(I)8 bomber sold to Peru.

Canberra B92
1 modified B2 for Argentina, not delivered and embargoed in 1982.

Canberra T94
1 modified T4 for Argentina, not delivered and embargoed in 1982.

Short SC.9
1 Canberra PR9 rebuilt by Shorts fitted with an AI.23 radar, plus IR installation in the nose for Red Top
Hawker Siddeley Red Top
The Hawker Siddeley Red Top was the third indigenous British air-to-air missile to enter service, following the de Havilland Firestreak and limited-service Fairey Fireflash.-Development:...

 air-to-air missile trials. Continued in use for radar missile development work.

Short SD.1
1 Canberra PR3 modified to carry two Short SD.2 variants of the Beech AQM-37A
AQM-37 Jayhawk
-References:***This article contains material that originally came from the web article by Greg Goebel, which exists in the Public Domain....

 high-speed target missiles for trials by the Royal Aircraft Establishment.

Operators


  • Argentine Air Force
    Argentine Air Force
    The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

     purchased 10 refurbished ex-RAF B2s and 2 T4s (redesignated B62 and B64 respectively in 1967. Two further aircraft were ordered in 1981 but were not delivered owing to the Falklands War.

  • Royal Australian Air Force
    Royal Australian Air Force
    The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

     (58)
    • No. 1 Squadron RAAF
      No. 1 Squadron RAAF
      No. 1 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force squadron based at RAAF Amberley. The squadron is currently being re-equipped with F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighters.-World War I:...

    • No. 2 Squadron RAAF
      No. 2 Squadron RAAF
      No. 2 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force squadron. From its formation in 1916, it has operated a variety of aircraft types including fighters, bombers, and Airborne Early Warning & Control.-World War I:No...

    • No. 6 Squadron RAAF
      No. 6 Squadron RAAF
      No. 6 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force training and bomber squadron. The squadron was first formed in 1917 and served as a training unit based in England during World War I. It was disbanded in 1919 but re-formed at the start of 1939...

    • No. 1 Operational Conversion Unit RAAF
    • Aircraft Research and Development Unit RAAF
      Aircraft Research and Development Unit RAAF
      The Royal Australian Air Force's Aircraft Research and Development Unit was responsible for the test and evaluation of aircraft and weapons used by the RAAF. The ARDU was first established as the Special Duties and Performance Flight in 1941. ARDU also operated the Woomera Test Facility located...

    • No. 1 Long Range Flight RAAF
      No. 1 Long Range Flight RAAF
      No. 1 Long Range Flight was a temporary Royal Australian Air Force unit formed to participate in the 1953 London-to-Christchurch air race . The flight was established in February 1953 and was equipped with three Canberra bombers, specially modified between June and August...


  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

     (3)

  • Ecuadorian Air Force
    Ecuadorian Air Force
    The Ecuadorian Air Force is the Air arm of the Military of Ecuador and responsible for the protection of the Ecuadorian airspace.-Mission:To develop the military air wing, in order to execute institutional objectives which guarantee sovereignty and contribute towards the nation's security and...

     (6) Six new-build B2 variants delivered in 1955.

  • Ethiopian Air Force
    Ethiopian Air Force
    The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

     (4)

  • French Air Force
    French Air Force
    The French Air Force , literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1933...

     (6)
    • Centre d'Essais en Vol
    • Centre du Tir et de Bombardement

  • Luftwaffe
    Luftwaffe
    Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

     (3)

  • Indian Air Force
    Indian Air Force
    The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

     (107)

  • Royal New Zealand Air Force
    Royal New Zealand Air Force
    The Royal New Zealand Air Force is the air arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

     (31)
    • No. 14 Squadron RNZAF
      No. 14 Squadron RNZAF
      14 Squadron RNZAF was a squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.- New Zealand fighters before 1941 :Until World War II, New Zealand's air force concentrated on training, transport and maritime attack. The vast distance of the Pacific Ocean seemed a defence against attack by air...

    • No. 75 Squadron RNZAF
      No. 75 Squadron RNZAF
      No. 75 Squadron RNZAF was an air combat squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. It was formed from the RAF's World War II bomber squadron, No. 75 Squadron, which had been initially equipped by the New Zealand government and was largely manned by New Zealanders...


  • Peruvian Air Force
    Peruvian Air Force
    The Peruvian Air Force is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with defending the nation and its interests through the use of air power...

     (60)

 Rhodesia
  • Royal Rhodesian Air Force
    Royal Rhodesian Air Force
    The Rhodesian Air Force was the air arm of the British colonial state of Rhodesia. It existed between 1935 and 1980 under various names, and is now the Air Force of Zimbabwe.-History:...

     (20)

 South Africa
  • South African Air Force
    South African Air Force
    The South African Air Force is the air force of South Africa, with headquarters in Pretoria. It is the world's second oldest independent air force, and its motto is Per Aspera Ad Astra...

     (9)

  • Swedish Air Force
    Swedish Air Force
    The Swedish Air Force is the air force branch of the Swedish Armed Forces.-History:The Swedish Air Force was created on July 1, 1926 when the aircraft units of the Army and Navy were merged. Because of the escalating international tension during the 1930s the Air Force was reorganized and expanded...

    (2)

  • Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     (782)

  • No. 3 Squadron RAF
    No. 3 Squadron RAF
    No 3 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Typhoon F2, FGR4 and T3 from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.No 3 Squadron, which celebrated its 95th anniversary over the weekend of 11-13 May 2007, is unique in the RAF for having two official crests....

  • No. 6 Squadron RAF
    No. 6 Squadron RAF
    No. 6 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 at RAF Leuchars.It was previously equipped with the Jaguar GR.3 in the close air support and tactical reconnaissance roles, and was based at RAF Coltishall, Norfolk until April 2006, moving to RAF Coningsby until...

  • No. 7 Squadron RAF
    No. 7 Squadron RAF
    No. 7 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Boeing Chinook HC.2 from RAF Odiham, Hampshire.-Formation and early years:No. 7 Squadron was formed at Farnborough Airfield on 1 May 1914 as the last squadron of the RFC to be formed before the First World War, but has been disbanded and reformed...

  • No. 9 Squadron RAF
  • No. 10 Squadron RAF
    No. 10 Squadron RAF
    No. 10 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron. The squadron served in a variety of roles over its 90 year history...

  • No. 12 Squadron RAF
    No. 12 Squadron RAF
    No. 12 Squadron of the Royal Air Force currently operates the Tornado GR4 from RAF Lossiemouth.-History:No. 12 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed in February 1915 from a flight of No. 1 Squadron RFC at Netheravon. The squadron moved to France in September 1915 and operated a variety of aircraft...

  • No. 13 Squadron RAF
  • No. 14 Squadron RAF
    No. 14 Squadron RAF
    No. 14 Squadron of the Royal Air Force currently operates the Beechcraft Shadow R1 in the ISTAR role from RAF Waddington.-World War I:...

  • No. 15 Squadron RAF
  • No. 16 Squadron RAF
    No. 16 Squadron RAF
    No. 16 Squadron is a flying squadron of the Royal Air Force. It formed in 1915 at Saint-Omer to carry out a mixture of offensive patrolling and reconnaissance and was disbanded in 1919 with the end of the First World War...

  • No. 17 Squadron RAF
  • No. 18 Squadron RAF
    No. 18 Squadron RAF
    No. 18 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the CH-47 Chinook HC.2 from RAF Odiham. No. 18 Squadron was the first and is currently the largest RAF operator of the Chinook.-First World War:...

  • No. 21 Squadron RAF
    No. 21 Squadron RAF
    No. 21 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1915 and was disbanded for the last time in 1979.The squadron is famous for Operation Jericho: on 18 February 1944, the crews of de Havilland Mosquitoes breached the walls of a Gestapo prison at Amiens, France, allowing members of the French...

  • No. 27 Squadron RAF
    No. 27 Squadron RAF
    No. 27 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Boeing Chinook HC2 from RAF Odiham.-The Great War:27 Squadron formed at Hounslow Heath Aerodrome on 5 November 1915, soon being equipped with Martinsyde Elephant fighter aircraft, hence the use of an elephant for the squadron badge...

  • No. 31 Squadron RAF
    No. 31 Squadron RAF
    No. 31 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, known as the 'Goldstars', currently operates the Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham, Norfolk.-History:The squadron was formed at Farnborough on October 11, 1915. Its first deployment was to Risulpur, India with its BE2Cs and Farmans, and during this time it took...

  • No. 32 Squadron RAF
  • No. 35 Squadron RAF
  • No. 39 Squadron RAF
    No. 39 Squadron RAF
    No. 39 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the MQ-9 Reaper since 2007, operating from Creech AFB, Nevada, USA.-World War I:39 Squadron was founded at Hounslow Heath Aerodrome in April 1916 with B.E.2s and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12s in an attempt to defend against German Zeppelin raids on...

  • No. 40 Squadron RAF
    No. 40 Squadron RAF
    No. 40 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1916 at Gosport as No 40 Squadron RFC and was disbanded for the last time in 1957.Edward Mannock gained 16 of his 73 victories while with 40 Squadron, 15 of which he shot down while flying a Nieuport Scout...

  • No. 44 Squadron RAF
    No. 44 Squadron RAF
    No. 44 Squadron of the Royal Air Force is no longer operational. For most of its history it served as a heavy bomber squadron.-History:...

  • No. 45 Squadron RAF
    No. 45 Squadron RAF
    -First World War:Formed during World War I at Gosport on 1 March 1916 as Number 45 Squadron, the unit was first equipped with Sopwith 1½ Strutters which it was to fly in the Scout role. Deployed to France in October of that year, the Squadron found itself suffering heavy losses due to the quality...


  • No. 50 Squadron RAF
    No. 50 Squadron RAF
    No. 50 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It was formed during the First World War as a home defence fighter squadron, and operated as a bomber squadron during the Second World War and the Cold War. It disbanded for the last time in 1984....

  • No. 51 Squadron RAF
    No. 51 Squadron RAF
    No. 51 Squadron of the Royal Air Force most recently operated the Nimrod R1 from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire until June 2011. Crews from No. 51 Squadron are currently training alongside the US Air Force on the Boeing RC-135, which is planned to enter service with the RAF over the next seven years...

  • No. 57 Squadron RAF
    No. 57 Squadron RAF
    -History:57 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was formed on 8 June 1916 at Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire. In December 1916 the squadron was posted to France equipped with the FE2d. The squadron re-equipped with Airco DH4s in May 1917 and commenced long range bombing and reconnaissance operations near...

  • No. 58 Squadron RAF
    No. 58 Squadron RAF
    No. 58 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force.- History :No. 58 Squadron was first formed at Cramlington, Northumberland, on 8 June 1916 as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps....

  • No. 59 Squadron RAF
    No. 59 Squadron RAF
    No. 59 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force.- History :No.59 Squadron first became operational on 1 August 1916 at Narborough Airfield in Norfolk as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. During the Second World War it was attached to RAF Fighter Command , Bomber Command and Coastal Command...

  • No. 61 Squadron RAF
  • No. 69 Squadron RAF
    No. 69 Squadron RAF
    The name No. 69 Squadron has been used by the Royal Air Force for two quite different units.No. 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps was formed at Point Cook, Victoria, Australia on 19 September 1916. To avoid confusion with No. 3 Squadron, RAF, it was known to the British military as "No...

  • No. 73 Squadron RAF
    No. 73 Squadron RAF
    -World War I:It was initially a unit of the Royal Flying Corps and was formed out of the Central Flying School, based at Upavon, Wiltshire. Eight days after, the new unit moved to Lilbourne, near Rugby....

  • No. 76 Squadron RAF
    No. 76 Squadron RAF
    No. 76 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It was formed during World War I as a home defence fighter squadron and in its second incarnation during World War II flew as a bomber squadron, first as an operational training unit and later as an active bomber squadron...

  • No. 80 Squadron RAF
    No. 80 Squadron RAF
    No. 80 Squadron RAF was a Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force squadron active from 1917 until 1969. It was operative during both World War I and World War II.-Establishment and early service:...

  • No. 81 Squadron RAF
    No. 81 Squadron RAF
    No 81 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It flew Fighter aircraft during the Second World War, and reconnaissance aircraft in the Far East after the war, but was disbanded in 1970.-First World War:No...

  • No. 82 Squadron RAF
    No. 82 Squadron RAF
    No. 82 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force squadron that was first formed in 1917 and last disbanded in 1963. It served at times as a bomber unit, a reconnaissance unit and lastly as a Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile unit...

  • No. 85 Squadron RAF
    No. 85 Squadron RAF
    No. 85 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It most recently served as No. 85 Squadron based at RAF Church Fenton.-In World War I:...

  • No. 88 Squadron RAF
    No. 88 Squadron RAF
    No 88 Squadron RAF was an aircraft squadron of the Royal Air Force formed at Gosport, Hampshire in July 1917.-Involvement in World War I:The squadron was moved to France in April 1918 where it undertook fighter-reconnaissance duties...

  • No. 90 Squadron RAF
  • No. 97 Squadron RAF
    No. 97 Squadron RAF
    No. 97 Squadron, was a Royal Air Force squadron formed on December 1, 1917 at Waddington, Lincolnshire, first as a training unit, until moving to Netheravon in March 1918, and re-equipping with the Handley Page O/400 heavy bomber. The squadron served in France for the remainder of the war...

  • No. 98 Squadron RAF
  • No. 100 Squadron RAF
    No. 100 Squadron RAF
    No. 100 Squadron of the Royal Air Force is based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, UK, and operates the Hawker-Siddeley Hawk.-World War I:No. 100 was established on 23 February 1917 at Hingham in Norfolk as the Royal Flying Corps' first squadron formed specifically as a night bombing unit and...

  • No. 101 Squadron RAF
    No. 101 Squadron RAF
    No. 101 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Vickers VC10 C1K, K3 and K4 from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. Since 10 Squadron disbanded in 2005, the squadron is the only operator of the VC10.-Formation and early years:...

  • No. 102 Squadron RAF
    No. 102 Squadron RAF
    No. 102 Squadron was a Royal Air Force night bomber squadron in World War I and a heavy bomber squadron in World War II. After the war it flew briefly as a transport squadron before being reformed a light bomber unit with the Second Tactical Air Force within RAF Germany. Its last existence was as a...

  • No. 103 Squadron RAF
    No. 103 Squadron RAF
    No. 103 Squadron was a Royal Air Force bomber squadron during World War I, World War II and the Cold War, switching to helicopters in the late 1950s until it was disbanded for the last time in 1975.-Formation in World War I:...


  • No. 104 Squadron RAF
    No. 104 Squadron RAF
    No. 104 Squadron RAF was formed at Wyton on 4 September 1917 and was equipped with the DH 9. It then moved to Andover, prior to being posted to France in May 1918. The squadron later began re-equipping with the DH 10, however the armistice arrived before this was completed and the squadron returned...

  • No. 109 Squadron RAF
    No. 109 Squadron RAF
    No. 109 Squadron RAF was an aircraft squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II. It operated Wellington VIs.-History:The squadron first formed on 1 November 1917 as 109 Squadron Royal Flying Corps at South Carlton in 1917 operating the de Havilland DH.9 until it was disbanded on 19 August...

  • No. 115 Squadron RAF
    No. 115 Squadron RAF
    No. 115 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force squadron during World War I. It was then equipped with Handley Page O/400 heavy bombers. During World War II the squadron served as a bomber squadron and after the war it flew in a similar role till 1958, when it was engaged as a radio calibration unit...

  • No. 139 Squadron RAF
    No. 139 Squadron RAF
    No. 139 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron that was fighter unit in World War I and a bomber unit from World War II until the 1960s.-Formation and World War I:...

  • No. 149 Squadron RAF
    No. 149 Squadron RAF
    No. 149 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron between 1918 and 1956. Formed 1918 in the Royal Flying Corps as a night-bomber unit, it remained in that role for the rest of its existence which spanned three periods between 1918 and 1956.-World War I:...

  • No. 151 Squadron RAF
    No. 151 Squadron RAF
    -World War I:No. 151 squadron was founded at Hainault Farm in Essex on 12 June 1918, and was equipped with Sopwith Camel aircraft.During the five months in which 151 Squadron had taken part in hostilities overseas, the total number of hours flown by night was 1443 hrs 26 mins.Sixteen enemy aircraft...

  • No. 192 Squadron RAF
    No. 192 Squadron RAF
    No. 192 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron, operational during the First World War as a night training squadron, and during the Second World War as a radar countermeasure unit. After the war the squadron served again in the Electronic Intelligence role, until disbanded.-Formation in World War...

  • No. 199 Squadron RAF
    No. 199 Squadron RAF
    No. 199 Squadron was a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron that operated during the second world war and later in the 1950s as a radar countermeasures squadron.-History:...

  • No. 207 Squadron RAF
  • No. 213 Squadron RAF
    No. 213 Squadron RAF
    No. 213 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. The squadron was formed on 1 April 1918 from No. 13 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service...

  • No. 245 Squadron RAF
    No. 245 Squadron RAF
    No. 245 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It flew as an anti-submarine squadron during World War I and as a fighter squadron during World War II. After the war it was first a jet-fighter squadron and its last role was as a radar-calibration unit....

  • No. 249 Squadron RAF
    No. 249 Squadron RAF
    No. 249 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force squadron, active in the sea-patrol, fighter and bomber roles during its existence.-First formation:...

  • No. 360 Squadron RAF
    No. 360 Squadron RAF
    No. 360 Squadron RAF was an electronic countermeasures squadron of the Royal Air Force.-History:The squadron was created from the merger of the personnel of 831 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm and 'B' Flight, No. 97 Squadron RAF at RAF Watton on 1 April 1966...

  • No. 361 Squadron RAF
    No. 361 Squadron RAF
    No. 361 Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Air Force.- History :It was formed on 2 January 1967 at RAF Watton as a joint RAF/Royal Navy unit, to provide ECM training for the two services, initially sharing the Canberra T.17 aircraft of No. 360 Squadron RAF. Unlike its sister squadron, it was...

  • No. 527 Squadron RAF
    No. 527 Squadron RAF
    No. 527 Squadron RAF was a radar calibration unit of the Royal Air Force between 1943 and 1958.-Formation:No. 527 Squadron was formed from various calibration flights at RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire on 15 June 1943 for radar calibration duties with Bristol Blenheims and Hawker Hurricanes...

  • No. 540 Squadron RAF
    No. 540 Squadron RAF
    No. 540 Squadron RAF was a photo-reconnasissance squadron of the Royal Air Force from 1942 to 1956.-Formation and World War II:The squadron was formed on 19 October 1942 from 'H' and 'L' flights of No...

  • No. 542 Squadron RAF
    No. 542 Squadron RAF
    No. 542 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed as a photographic reconnaissance squadron in World War II that reformed in the post war period.-Formation in World War II:...

  • No. 617 Squadron RAF
    No. 617 Squadron RAF
    No. 617 Squadron is a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. It currently operates the Tornado GR4 in the ground attack and reconnaissance role...

  • No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit RAF
    No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit RAF
    No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit was a Royal Air Force Operational Conversion Unit. It first formed in the aftermath of World War II during 1947 at RAF Coningsby. Initially the OCU was formed from a nucleus provided by No. 16 OTU and was tasked with training crews of the "wooden wonder", the De...


  • Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     Fleet Air Arm
    Fleet Air Arm
    The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

     (69)
    • 728B NAS - RNAS Hal Far, Malta
    • Fleet Requirements Unit (FRU)
    • Fleet Requirements and Aircraft Direction Unit
      Fleet Requirements and Aircraft Direction Unit
      The Fleet Requirements Air Direction Unit is operated by the contractor Serco Defence and Aerospace, using 13 Bae Hawk T1 advanced jet trainer aircraft on lease to the Royal Navy from the Royal Air Force and based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall...

       (FRADU)

  • Royal Aircraft Establishment
    Royal Aircraft Establishment
    The Royal Aircraft Establishment , was a British research establishment, known by several different names during its history, that eventually came under the aegis of the UK Ministry of Defence , before finally losing its identity in mergers with other institutions.The first site was at Farnborough...

    /DERA
    Defence Evaluation and Research Agency
    The Defence Evaluation and Research Agency was a part of the UK Ministry of Defence until July 2, 2001. At the time it was the United Kingdom's largest science and technology organisation...

     (2), RAE Bedford
    RAE Bedford
    RAE Bedford based near the village of Thurleigh, north of the town of Bedford in England, has been the site of major aircraft experimental development work....

     & DERA Llanbder


  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

     (two only for B-57 development)

 Venezuela
  • Venezuelan Air Force (46)

  • Air Force of Zimbabwe
    Air Force of Zimbabwe
    The Air Force of Zimbabwe is the air force of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. It was known as the Rhodesian Air Force until 1980. The Air Force of Zimbabwe saw service in the Mozambican Civil War in 1985 and the Second Congo War of 1998–2001....


Survivors


Several ex-RAF machines and RB-57s remain flying in the US for research and mapping work. About 10 airworthy Canberras are in private hands today, and are flown at air displays. The Temora Aviation Museum
Temora Aviation Museum
The Temora Aviation Museum is an Australian aerospace museum located in Temora, New South Wales. The Museum was established in late 1999, based on the collection of warbird aircraft owned by David Lowy...

, in Australia, has a former RAF Canberra which it acquired in 2001. The aircraft was fully restored to airworthiness and painted to represent the Canberras flown by the Royal Australian Air Force 2 Squadron during the Vietnam war. It is Australia's only airworthy Canberra. The only Canberras, albeit US variants, remaining in active service are two American-built B-57s operated by NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 for high altitude research.

At least two Canberras retired from the Argentine Air Force have been preserved in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

:
  • B Mk.62 B-102 (ex-RAF WJ713). Retired in 1998, and assigned to "Museo Nacional de Malvinas", Oliva, province of Córdoba.
  • B Mk.62 B-105. On display at Mar del Plata
    Mar del Plata
    Mar del Plata is an Argentine city located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, south of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is the second largest city of Buenos Aires Province. The name "Mar del Plata" had apparently the sense of "sea of the Río de la Plata region" or "adjoining sea to the Río de la Plata"...

     Air Base, province of Buenos Aires.

Specifications (Canberra B6)




See also


External links