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CANBERRA B.2 Cockpit

Canberra B2 Cockpit nose at the Ulster Aviation Society
Hangar Volunteers Ian Hendry and Mal Deeley with top section of the Canberra B2 Cockpit

Canberra Prototype VN799 had its first flight May 1949 and the first production Canberra was delivered to 101 Sqn in May 1951.

Production total 1,376, UK built 925, 451 under licence USA (includes Glenn Martin B-57 off which 2 still operating for NASA), 48 under licence Australia, over 40 variants, operated by 15 Countries. The Canberra B2 completed 55 years' RAF service last airframe retired in June 2006.

On 31/08/1951 Aldergrove to Gander Canberra B.2 WD940 in 4hr 18mins and the first Atlantic double crossing 26th August 1952 Aldergrove ~ Gander ~ Aldergrove was 10hrs 3mins 29secs.


Canberra PR.3 WE139 won the London to Christchurch air race 8-9th October 1953 with the range of 12,270mi taking 23hrs 51mins including ground time (air time was actually 22hrs 25mins).  This record is still unbroken. Various point-to-point records also set from London to Capetown in Canberra WD952 on 4th May 1953 new altitude record 63,668ft.

In addition to being a Tactical Nuclear Strike aircraft the Canberra proved to be highly adaptable serving in varied roles such as Tactical bombing and Photographic, Electronic Reconnaissance. Served in the Suez crisis, Falklands War, Bosnia, Iraq 2003 and Afghanistan where the last three PR9’s flew back from into retirement 2006.


Worldwide operated in the Vietnam War with Royal Australian air Force and in both Indo-Pakistan wars 1960’s and 1970’s operated by both India and Pakistan.

Manufacturer: English Electric

Model: Canberra B.2

UAS Location: Hangar 2

Registration:  WF911 c/n 710983

Maximum Speed: 518mph at sea level, 570mph at high altitude

Range: 2,660 miles

Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce Avon RA3 6,500lbf thrust each

Service Ceiling: 48,000 ft

Length & Height: 63ft 6" x 15ft 8"

Wing Span: 63ft 

Empty Weight: 21,630 lbs; , Max Take off 55,000lbs. Bomb payload 6,000lbs

Service Life: 1952 ~ 1969, 
scrapped 1976, cockpit to Cotswold Aero Club until June 2004 then to private collector Alveley, Shropshire then to the UAS in 2010

Ordnance: 2 x internal bomb bays, combination 250lb, 500lb and 1,000lb bombs, or removable gun pack 4 x 20mm Hispano cannon. Two hard points under each wing. UK also carried Nuclear Bombs.
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