Venezuela was English Electric's first overseas customer for the redoubtable Canberra. The Fuerza Aerea Venezolana (FAV) became the major operator of Canberras in South America using bomber, interdictor and PR variants.

The first order was placed in 1953 for six B.2s with the initial aircraft arriving at Maracay on 1 April 1953 flown in by an RAF crew. Civilian delivery crews were supplied by "Silver City Airways" but some of the Canberras were delivered by the RAF using aircrews from 12 Sqd, RAF Binbrook.

Eight B(I)8 Canberras were added in 1957 (with gun-packs) as well as two three-seat T.4 trainers. These were all delivered by February 1958.

The FAV equipped two squadrons with Canberras, Esc 38 and Esc 39 of the Grupo de Bombardeo 13 at Barcelona. Over the years, the FAV added to their Canberra inventory by placing new orders and converting existing aircraft until it had no less than seven marks in service. These were:

  • B.2
  • B.82
  • B(I)82
  • B(I)88
  • T.4
  • T.84
  • PR.3/PR.83

The Venezuelan Canberras were equipped with the full range of air-to-ground weapons including Air to Surface Missiles.

In late 1990, the Grupo de Bombardeo 13 finally withdrew its remaining seven B.82s, one PR.83, two T.84s and one B(I)88. The Canberra had been liked by the FAV crews and had served them well as an excellent low-level aircraft well suited to its primary roles of interdiction and CAS.

Photographs  Click to View

 B.2, 1131 [ex-RAF WH647]

 B(I)82, 1425 [ex-RAF WH712]

 B(I)82, 1425 [ex-RAF WH712]

 B.82, 3246 [ex-RAF WH736]

 B(I)88, B.82 formation

 B(I)8, 4B-39 [FAV 0923]


I am grateful to Aldofo Alfonzo of Barcelona, Venezuela for the use of his excellent photographs of FAV Canberras.

Aldofo, a keen Canberra enthusiast, is also an accomplished model aircraft builder. This model diorama showing an FAV B(I)88 and ground crew was built by him.

Aldofo says he enjoys the appreciation of detail in modelling and has gathered a fairly large archive of information about Canberras in general and FAV Canberras in particular to help him with his hobby of model making.

B(I)88 Diorama