|ENGLISH ELECTRIC CANBERRA 60TH ANNIVERSARY|
Cheerfully ignoring the superstitions about Friday the 13th, on 13th May 1949 Roland Beamont flew Canberra prototype VN799 from the runway at Warton for the very first time. 60 years later, sadly there are no airworthy Canberras in the UK though Air Atlantique at Coventry are working on that!
So what's being done to mark the anniversary?
Newark Air Museum have a temporary Canberra Corner" display, established in Hangar 2 at the museum, alongside their National Benchmark Canberra B(I)8 airframe, WV787 and the quarter scale Radar Reflective B2 model. The display has been co-ordinated by Colin Savill, who is a second year student who is undertaking a placement from the Bishop Grosseteste University College in Lincoln. During his placement Colin has researched and re-labelled a collection of Canberra aircraft models, which have now been displayed alongside the B(I)8. These have been accompanied by a set of graphic panels that had been displayed at previous Canberra anniversary events at the museum. In the latter stages of the project Colin was assisted by fellow Bishop Grosseteste student, Jason Alcock-Towse and museum volunteer Martin Sibcy. The "Canberra Corner" display will be in-situ from May 1st until June 15th (after the Cockpit-Fest event). When volunteers are available to look after the airframe the museum hopes to allow some access to the Canberra B(I)8 cockpit – visitors need to check in advance to see whether this airframe is open. Click here for more details.
Aeroventure are holding a special Canberra weekend on the 16th and 17th May. The Canberra is well represented at the museum with no less than five Canberra cockpits of different marks, four of which are being specially restored for the weekend. The cockpits expected to be there will be B.2 WD935, T.4 XH584, B(I).6 WT319, PR.7 WT534, T.17 WJ565 and T.19 WJ975. The Canberra cockpits will be open throughout the weekend allowing visitors to try out the different crew positions. There will also be a display of the Avon jet engines used in the Canberra, its ejector seats and a presentation of the aircraft's development through the different marks. Click here for more details.
The Canberra WT333 operaring team have had a limited edition of Canberra 60th Anniversary patches produced - you can contact them by email to enquire about getting hold of some. WT333 herself has been adorned with some stickers to mark the occasion, on the tip tanks and tail as you can see in the photo here.