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Anglo-German Week RAF Jever Open Day Canberra visitor the day before - 5Jun1959.
(Thanks to John Smith)

English Electric Canberra

     Originally designed as a replacement for the de Havilland Mosquito, the English Electric Canberra was the greatest success story of Britain's postwar aviation industry and is still in service in the 21st Century, more than 50 years after the prototype was rolled out.   Four prototypes of the Canberra B. Mk.1 were produced, and the first of these flew on 13 May 1949, powered by Rolls Royce Avon turbojets.   Problems with the radar bomb-aiming equipment, however, led to the redesign of the nose with a visual bomb-aiming position, and with this modification the fifth aircraft became the Canberra B.2, the type entering service with No. 101 Squadron R.A.F. Bomber Command in May 1951.   By this time a photo-reconnaissance version, the Canberra PR.3, had also flown; this was basically a B.2 with a battery of 7 cameras for high-level photo-reconnaissance, and entered service with No. 540 Squadron in 1953.
     The next variant was the T.4 dual-control trainer, which entered service in 1954.   This was followed by the B.5, a converted PR.3 intended for target marking, but only a few examples of the B.5 were produced before it was superseded by the B.6, a version with more powerful Avon 109 engines.   The B(I)Mk.6 was an interim night interdiction version, while the PR.7 was a photo-reconnaissance variant.   The Canberra B(I).8, which entered service in 1856, featured some radical modifications, the most notable being an entirely redesigned fuselage nose and an offset fighter-type cockpit, the navigator being 'buried' in the starboard fuselage.
     In October 1955, Peru ordered eight B(I).8s and a similar number, together with two T.4s, was ordered by Venezuela in January 1957.   The Canberra PR.9 high-altitude photo-reconnaissance variant also had an offset cockpit and an increased wing span, as well as RR Avon 206 engines.
     In January 1957 the Indian Air Force became a major Canberra customer, ordering 54 B(I).58s and eight PR.57s with further aircraft acquired at a later date.   The Canberra B.15/16 was a modified B.6 with underwing points for bombs or rocket packs.   Other Canberra variants included the unmanned U.Mk.10 target aircraft, the T.17 ECM trainer, the E.15 electronic reconnaissance variant, the T.18 target tug, the T.19 target facilities aircraft, and the T.22 trainer for the Royal Navy.   The Canberra was built under licence in the USA as the Martin B-57 and in Australia it was built as the B.20 and T.21.
     During their lengthy career, Canberras saw action in many parts of the world.   RAF aircraft operated against communist terrorists in Malaya in the 1950s and bombed Egyptian airfields during the Suez crisis of 1956, and Indian Air Force aircraft fought in the Indo-Pakistan conflicts of 1965 and 1971.   Refurbished Canberras were sold to Argentina (two being lost in the Falklands war), Chile, Ecuador, France, Peru, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), South Africa, Sweden, Venezuela and West Germany.

     Specification refers to the English Electric Canberra B.Mk.6:   Crew; 3; Powerplant: two 339Kg (7500lb) thrust Rolls Royce Avon Mk.109 turbojet engines. Performance: max speed 917 km/h (570mph); range 4274 Km (2656 miles); service ceiling 14,630m (48,000ft).   Dimensions wingspan 19.49m (63ft 11in), length 19.96m (65ft 6in), height 4.78m (15ft 8in).   Weight: 24,925kg (54,950lb) loaded.   Armament: up to 2727kg (6000lb) of bombs internally with provision for 907kg (2000lbs) of external stores on underwing pylons; B.15/16 armed with 'Red Beard' 15-kiloton 792Kg (1750lb) nuclear bomb; B(I).8 with US Mk.7/43.   (Thanks to The Encyclopedia of Aircraft edited by Robert Jackson).
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