PR.3 - WF922
March 2007 : (Photo : SEngO)

Restoration Project
Reports and Gallery

Individual Project Reports
January 2004
July 2004
December 2004
March 2005
June 2005
September 2005
December 2005

Reflections on Static Aircraft Restoration
by Malcolm Lambert

One Year On . . .
My Canberra Love Affair
by Malcolm Lambert

Les Bywaters
In Memoriam

In Flight
Landing at Boscombe Down, October 1974 : (Photo : Richard Vandervord)
Scroll down for Pre-Restoration photos.
Link to some In-Service photos.
This is an interesting Canberra, one of only two PR.3's left, and with quite a diverse career. It entered service in 1953 with 82 Sqn and for the next few years was owned variously by 58 Sqn, 69 Sqn and 39 Sqn. It went to the Ministry of Aircraft who placed it with Boulton Paul at Seighford for modifications. In 1963 it transferred to Marshall's of Cambridge for Trials Installations and flight trials of survey cameras.

In 1967 it was at 15 MU (RAF Wroughton) before transferring to the Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down in 1968. While at A&AEE, WF922 was engaged in trials of Lindholme gear for use on the PR.9 in the Near East Air Force. In 1969, still at A&AEE, it had more camera mods carried out and also was fitted with a Sperry vertical gyro for evaluation trials.

1970 saw WF922 at the Radar Research Establishment where it underwent overhaul with further new photo equipment being fitted in 1971.

Eventually this PR.3 was sold to BAC and flown to Marshall's of Cambridge. There, the record says, it was broken up! But as you can see, the photos show it intact at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry.

My photo (below) of WF922 shows the condition of this PR.3 at the Midland Air Museum in September 1999 fitted with tip tanks having the 39 Sqn device (black and yellow triangles). WF922 did see service with 39 Sqn but, I think, with these tip tanks it should also have white 'V' on blue noseweel doors, carried over to 39 from 69 Sqn.

At the top of the page, the upper photo shows WF922 as it is now after much tender loving care had been (and is still being) lavished on it by Malcolm Lambert. It looks, and is, in much better condition including a "working" cockpit and many working systems. The lower photo (at the top) comes from Richard Vandervord and shows WF922 in 1974 landing at Boscombe Down whilst in service with A&AAE.

The Canberra Tribute Site was contacted by Mr Malcolm Lambert who has taken on the task of lavishing some tender loving care on WF922 with the intention of restoring it to a quality static display condition. Full accounts, with later updates, are given under the links at the head of this page but in summary Malcolm says. . .

I was an electrician on 58 Sqn (RAF Wyton) from 1960-1963 mostly on B flight PR.9's. This was before the RAF amalgamated trades and I became both Electrician and Instrument Trade.
I have re-established the old girl with some ground power but it has had a few, less than careful, owners in the past and a lot of re-wiring and safety checks went on before that momentous moment, it's one thing powering up a cockpit but a whole aircraft is a bit different. The nav's area is however, except for about one instrument, original (well as original as a moded PR3 can be). The pilot's port panel was blanked off and I managed to get a B(I)8 panel that has the trim controls and bomb bay door switches on so that it looks the part but I will have to rewire it from scratch (without the diagrams!). The other panels have been re-worked/rebuilt at some time with a "fill up the hole" philosphy, but for static display it looks OK, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist and would like to get it correct.
The cockpit area once cleaned out and powered up is really only the second priority to the main job of combating the corrosion on the airframe, but it is responding well. Just to think they used to pay me to do all this and now its all done for love.

Incidently Malcolm reports that the RAF History site is wrong on the Canberra bit when they say that PR.9s were out taking pics of Cuba during the crisis, He was on detachment with two PR.7s at Piarco (Trinidad) airport from Oct '62 until Dec '62, but the RAF site doesn't have an email address to query the facts so that's that. Supposedly surveying Belize (they said).

Collection of WF922 from Marshalls of Cambridge - 1984
Pickup 1 Pickup 2 Pickup 3 At MAM
At Marshalls and deposited at MAM (Click for larger images) : (Photos : MAM Archives)
Condition in September 1999 (Photo : Les Bywaters)