Canberra Gallery 1


Prototype - VN799
(Photo : Unknown)
The first Canberra. Its first flight was on 13th May 1949 at Warton piloted by English Electric's Chief Test Pilot Roland "Bea" Beamont. Painted all-over sky-blue, the prototype had a larger, rounded rudder and fin strake. The rudder was subsequently modified to the now familiar squared off shape after the first flight to cure rudder overbalance. This, and the removal of the fin strake, were the only major changes made to the aircraft. VN799 eventually crashed when the engines failed on approach to Sutton Heath in August 1953 and was stuck off charge in September of the same year.

T.4 - WT478
(Photo : Paul Crawley)
Masquerading as the Canberra prototype RAF Wyton's T.4, WT478, is seen here at the Canberra's 40th anniversary at Wyton in 1989. "Bee" Beamont flew in it on that weekend - 40 years on.

This T.4 was deliverd to 15 MU in April 1955 and was subsequently owned by many users starting with 231 OCU. Then on to Station Flight RAF Akrotiri, then to 39Sqd, to 13Sqd, 360Sqd, 100Sqd and then back to 231 OCU. It finished its days as "BA" on 231 OCU at RAF Wyton and was in open storage there in 1992.

B.6 - WH958
(Via Rick Kent)
A classic shot of a B.6 showing it peeling away to starboard from the chase plane. Note the clean lines of the plane and the simplicity of design. The Canberra looks good even with tip-tanks fitted.
This aircraft, WH958, was based at RAF Binbrook (first "home" of the Canberra). In 1964, at Kai Tak (Hong Kong), it suffered a bird-strike and went off the end of the runway into the sea sustaining Cat 5 damage (un-recoverable).

B.2 - WD965

(Photo : Unknown) On a wet and windy May day at Bovingdon, WD965 is shown in the intial Bomber Command colour scheme of black and grey. Into service initially with 10 Sqd, WD965 also served with 15 and 44 Sqds before being sold as scrap from 15 MU in Sept 1970. It is shown here with 10 Sqd's red Speedbird on the nose. The fin symbol is RAF Honnington's "Rising Pheasant".

WT323 B(I)6
B(I)6 - WT323
(Photo : Unknown)
Standing next to an IRIS Argosy, B(I)6 WT323 of 213 Sqd is shown in the sun at Akrotiri. 213 Sqd was one of four Strike squadrons in Germany in the 1960s but, unlike the others, wasn't equipped with B(I)8s, their B(I)6s could also carry the gun pack though. WT323 joined 213 Sqd around 1956/57 and spent its whole service life there. It was sold to BAC in December 1969 for possible export but was subsequently broken up in 1976 at Samlesbury.

B.2 - WJ728
(Photo : Unknown)
As with the picture of WH958, this colourful shot shows the clasical Canberra outline of the B.2 - this one decked out in dayglo strips. This B.2 entered service in 1954 with 9 Sqd. It then became a traveller in its career transferring to 18 Sqd, 61 Sqd, 50 Sqd, 231OCU and, finally, 100 Sqd.

In 1976, WJ728's final move was to the Royal Aircraft Establishment where it was used for apprentice training. It was broken up at Farnbourgh in 1984.

WJ775 B.6
B.6 - WJ775
One of 51 Sqd's four modifed B.6 Canberras shown here in 1970. This modified B.6 was first delivered to 192 Sqd at RAF Watton and was then moved to 51 Sqd at RAF Wyton. (It was whilst on 51 Sqd that I met up with and worked on this particular Canberra.) Both these squadrons were "wiggly amps" outfits (nowadays called "Secret Squirrels").However, WJ775 eventually ended its ECM career and was transferred to Central Servicing Development Establishment (1974) subsequently becoming ground instructional airframe number 8581M in 1977. It was still in existence in 1992 and any information as to its fate would be appreciated

B.2 - WE113
(Photo : Brian Pickering)
A really old Canberra this B.2 initially entered service in 1952 with 231 OCU. It then moved around during its long career first to 245 Sqd, then 98 Sqd, 85 Sqd, 100 Sqd and finally, in 1991, back to 231 OCU as "BJ". WE113 was put into open storage at RAF Wyton in 1992 but was bought by Chris Cannon. Chris cut the nose off and now this cockpit section is a travelling exhibit - see Survivors - WE113

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