• Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Flickr
  • Vimeo
  • RSS

English Electric Canberra references, articles and publications

Image of Britain's Cold War Bombers

Britain's Cold War Bombers

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tim-McLelland/e/B0034PMJOS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1">Tim McLelland</a>

Britain's Cold War Bombers explores the creation and development of the jet bomber, tracing the emergence of the first jet designs to the first-generation jets that entered service with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm, through to the latest generation of Typhoon aircraft. From Valiant, to Vulcan, Canberra, Sperrin, Victor, Scimitar, Buccaneer, Nimrod, Phantom, Sea Harrier, Jaguar, Tornado GR1/4 and Typhoon, a careful examination of each aircraft from initial design to operational status reveals a linear progression in appearance and technology. Brilliantly illustrated with over 250 pictures (66 color), this is the definitive guide to the bombers that have shaped British air power.

Image of Listening In: Electronic Intelligence Gathering Since 1945 (Crecy Publishing)

Listening In: Electronic Intelligence Gathering Since 1945 (Crecy Publishing)

Chris Gibson

Listening In tells the full story of the evolution of the secretive ELINT aircraft, their equipment and operations, both actual and proposed.

Image of Listening In: Electronic Intelligence Gathering Since 1945 (Crecy Publishing)

Listening in: Electronic Intelligence Gathering Since 1945 (Crecy Publishing)

Dave Forster

Listening In tells the full story of the evolution of the secretive ELINT aircraft, their equipment and operations, both actual and proposed.

Image of RAF Canberra Units of the Cold War (Combat Aircraft)

RAF Canberra Units of the Cold War (Combat Aircraft)

Andrew Brookes

Throughout the Cold War, this 525mph bomber fulfilled the same role as the Mosquito fighter-bomber in World War II.

From its first public demonstration at the Farnborough Air Show of 1949, the English Electric Canberra bomber captured the attention of the aviation world. It could outmaneuver all the fighters of the time and it could climb way above their operating ceilings. Yet this bobmer was simple to maintain and a delight to fly, although it could punish any pilot who did not treat it with respect. The Canberra B 2 first flew on April 21, 1950 and entered frontline service with No 101 Sqn in May 1951. In a testament to the aircraft's benign handling characteristics, the transition program consisted of only 20 hours in the Gloster Meteor and three hours in the dual-control Canberra trainer. With a maximum speed of 470 knots (871 km/h), a standard service ceiling of 48,000 ft (14,600 m) and the ability to carry a 3.6-tonne (7,900-lb) payload, the Canberra was an instant success. Of the 42 RAF Canberra B 2 squadrons, 24 served in Bomber Command, four in Cyprus, one in the Far East and nine on special duties. The next bomber version was the B 6, of which ten squadrons served in Bomber Command, two in Cyprus and one in the Second Allied Tactical Air Force (2nd ATAF). Six B 15/B 16 squadrons served in Cyprus and the Far East, and five squadrons of B(I) 8s were assigned to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe's tactical nuclear force in 2nd ATAF. In addition, 19 squadrons of PR Canberras served in the photo-reconnaissance role. The Canberra PR 9, the last Canberra in RAF service, retired on June 23, 2006, 57 years after the first Canberra flight.


Volume 80, Issue 2, 2011, Air International

Dino Carrara

In his final report for AIR International Dino Carrara details the varied work undertaken by NASA’s two WB-57Fs.

Australian Air power - A time of Crisis

Volume 6, Issue 3, 1974, Air International

Isaccs K

As it enters its 54th year the Royal Australian Air Force finds itself subjected to major reductions in manpower and operational capability at the hands of a new government. Gp Gapt Kenh lsaacs, AFC, RAAF Retd. discusses the political background to this "time of crisis" and describes the current status of the RAAF.

Jm Grapple Years

Volume 24, Issue 02, 1996, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Former 100 Sqn Canberra pilot Mike Retallack con- cludes his recollections of taking part in Operation Grapple, the British H-bomb trials in the Pacific in the Fifties

Service briefs

Volume 12, Issue 12, August 1957, Royal Air Force Flying Review

Grapple Completed
More Powerful Bombers
Swifts win Recce contest
Time travel for RAF

Image of A Bucket of Sunshine: Life on a Cold War Canberra Squadron

A Bucket of Sunshine: Life in a Cold War Canberra Squadron

Mike Brooke

A Bucket of Sunshine, a term used for the use of a nuclear bomb, is a firsthand insight into life in the mid-1960s on a Royal Air Force Canberra nuclear-armed squadron in West Germany on the frontline in the Cold War. Mike Brooke describes not only the technical aspect of the aircraft and its nuclear and conventional roles and weapons, but also the low-level flying that went with the job of being ready to go to war at less than three minutes notice. Brooke uses many amusing overtones to tell his story of what was an extremely serious business when the world was standing on the brink of nuclear conflict. The English-Electric Canberra was a first generation, jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers in the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and due to its ability to evade early interceptors was a popular export product and served with many nations.


Volume 7, Issue 1, 1974, Air International

L J S Houston

o mark the 25th Anniversary of the first flight of the English Electric Canberra, an account is given of the working life of just one example, a trials aircraft used for 18 years by Ferranti Ltd.


Caught in the Middle: Air Combat Between Israel and the RAF

Volume 115, January 2005, Air Enthusiast

Bruce Williamson

Since the end of World War Two, only six RAF aircraft flown by RAF pilots have been lost in air-to-air engagements. The most recent was on November 6, 1956, when a Syrian Gloster Meteor F.8 shot down an English Electric Canberra PR.7 over Syria, killing one of the crew. The other five aircraft were shot down by a Canadian and three Americans, flying as volunteers for the Israeli Air Force in British-built aircraft, during three confused and controversial encounters between former comrades-in-arms in the skies over Israel and the barren Sinai Desert.

RAF Air-to-Air Refuelling

Volume 15, Issue 01, January 2002, Air Forces Monthly Magazine (AFM)

Jon Lake

Jon Lake reviews the development and operation of ait-to-air refuelling in the Royal Air Force, from its early days to the retirement of the Victor.

The RAF's tanker force is the proud inheritor of an air-to-air (AAR) capability largely designed and developed in Britain, and over the rears has refined the technique into a military art which has become vital. But before exploring the state of RAF AAR today, it is necessary to explain how the role developed from its foundation in the 1920s. Air to air refueling was pioneered by Britain before World War Two....

Personal album

Volume 20, Issue 06, 1992, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

R Cavill

Military colour photographs taken at RAF Nicosia by R. Cavill in the mid-Sixties
During the mid-sixties R.Cavill of Worle, Weston-super-Mare, Avon, was serving as an RAF fitter at RAF Nicosia in Cyprus, a normally "sleepy hollow" occupied by 70 Squadron Hastings, the Station Flights Pembroke and the occasional United Nations traffic. Most of these photographs were taken during an unusually busy period while the runway at RAF Akrotiri was closed during resurfacing

English Electric Canberra, Pt 2: RAF Fighter Canopy Variants and Canberra in Worldwide Service

On Target Profiles Gary Madgwick , Glenn Sands

The English Electric Canberra first flew on 13th May 1949 and is still active in some parts of the world today. On Target Profile 11 tracks this service from those early days right up to the retirement of the last RAF Canberra PR.9 in 2006.

The fact that this book has had much success on the market is principally due to the fact that the aircraft has attained such a great following across the world. It has been a veritable workhorse for not far short of half a century - a fine achievement for any machine but this one has that extra element of class.

In the new perfect bound format, the book will continue to provide a valuable source of information to any individual seeking to expand their knowledge of this great aeroplane.

Sharkmouths at Laarbruch

Volume 5 Issue 05, 1972, Aircraft illustrated

Fairly recent innovation on the Canberra B(I) 8s of 16 Squadron, RAF Germany, based at Laarbruch, are these vicious looking shark's teeth, also shown in full colour on our cover.

The evergreen Canberra

Volume 5 Issue 03, 1972, Aircraft illustrated

A Brief look at a famous plane's past, present and future.

It us now nearly twenty-one years since the English Electric A.l Canberra entered service With the Royal Air Force in the summer of 1951 101 Squadron received Its first Canberra B2s at Binbrook and the type remained in front line service With Bomber Command until 1961. Since that time a series of developed variants have equipped Squadrons at home and abroad. By far tne longest continuous user of the Canberra is 231 Operational Conversion Unit at Cottesmore, Rutland. It received Its first B2s at Bassingbourn. Cambs, in February 1952 and 20 years tater It is still training pilots and navigators on this mark and the dual -control trainer. the T4.

Flying the dream machine

Volume 22, Issue 09, 1994, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Flt Lt Mike Retallack continues his recollections of flying the English Electric Canberra
Continuing his recollections of the English Electric Canberra, Flt Lt Mike Retallack recounts his posting to 82 Squadron at Wyton, conversion to the PR.7, and various exercises, squadron training and operational routings

Disposal - Canberra Part II

Number 70, May 1987, Flypast magazine

Philip D Chinnery

We examine the B-57 Canberra's operational career at war

Part Two. USAF B-57's and RAAF Canberra B.20s saw considerable service during the Vietnam conflict. Phil Chinnery concludes his review of the B-57's retirement with the type's wartime experiences - from Patricia Lynn to the Doom Pussies

50 years of the RAAF

Volume 4 Issue 08, 1971, Aircraft illustrated

"THIS year- 1971- marks the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Australian Air Force, an organisation which, from small beginnings relying on the Royal Air Force, has now developed into one of the finest air forces for its size in the world. In its comparatively brief history it has taken an active part in three wars and in doing so has earned wide-spread and unstinted praise .

Australia has always been an air-minded country. As early as 1909 Australians ivented and flew flying machines, just six years after Orville Wright's sensational first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903.

Late in 1911 the Commonwealth Govemmcnt decided on the formation of a military aviation corps, and in response to advertisements for aviators and mechanics to form the new organisation, it selected two pilots- Henry Petre, an English barrister, and Eric Harrison, an Australian working for the Bristol and Colonial Aeroplane Company in England..."

'Properly to Test' - A&AEE, Boscombe, Down 1971

Volume 4 Issue 06, 1971, Aircraft illustrated

Peter R March

"ON March 18/19 the Ministry of Aviation Supply airfield at Boscombe Down, Wilts, opened its gates to visitors to give a rare glimpse of the work of the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

The A&AEE is the government's official centre for the acceptance testing of all military aircraft and associated equipment destined for use by the services, Other establishments of the MAS are responsible for research and development of many items which go into a modern aeroplane ; for exam ple RAE Farnborough and RAE Bedford being responsible for basic research in structures, aerodynamics avionics etc, while the A&AEE at Boscombe Down evaluates the complete aircraft against the operational requirements set down for it. In this sense the MAS is acting as an agent between the manufacturing company and the purchaser, the Ministry of Defence.

After the initial flying trials of a new type of aircraft it goes to...

'To defeat the elements'

Volume 3 Issue 11, 1970, Aircraft illustrated

Peter R March

The role and equipment of 90 (Signals) Group. RAF

TODAY, air power is utterly dependent upon electronics (in its widest sense) to complete its mission in whatever sphere ; and it can only be applied subject to control and direction transmit ted by electronic means"-Air Commodore P. M. S. Hedgeland, OBE, former SASO. Signals Command. Without the efficient working of 90 (Signals) Group, which provides and maintains ground radio, radar and electronic equipment at all RAF stations throughout the world, the wings of the air force would undoubtedly be severely clipped .


Volume 3 Issue 11, 1970, Aircraft illustrated

The 27th SBAC Display was held at Farnborough from September 7 to 13 and this photo feature depicts some of the aircraft shown . A check list of all exhibits appears on page 467

Image of Canberra: Pt. 1 (On Target Profiles)

English Electric Canberra Part 1: Bomber Canopy Variants in British Service

On Target Profiles Jon Freeman

Fifty years of service by any aeroplane is a record that cannot be sniffed at but this particular aircraft has a little extra "va-va-voom!" The English Electric Canberra has seen so many variants and sub-types that even we have lost count! That does however make for an excellent subject to concentrate on.

Unit markings are numerous where the "bubble canopy" Canberra is involved and there are often several variations on a theme. We hope not to have missed too much whilst compiling this one and if the sales to date are anything to go by then this book has been enjoyed by many since its release.

At last there is a good selection of Canberra kits becoming available and you'll find plenty of ideas within this book!

"Second T.A.F" - A Visit to the RAF in Germany

Volume 18, Issue 07, 1956, Air Pictorial

William Courtenay

NEW types of British aircraft with which 2nd Tactical Air Force (conunanded by Air Marshal the Earl of Bandon) are now being equipped provide a heartening and indeed glowing picture of the manner in which British air strength is rising after being in the doldrums these past ten years. All the heroic effort being made by the nation through heavy taxation so cheerfully borne and in the factories of the aircraft industry are now bearing fruit. By courtesy of the Facilities Section of the Information Department of the Air Ministry, I was able to spend a week with 2nd T.A.F. during May to see these new aircraft and the new tactical doctrine which is gradually being fashioned for any war in Europe.
It is of course based on the premise that in the opening phase of a world war both sides would employ atomic weapons ; that both would attempt to immobilise the other's air forces on the ground as the best means of protecting their own battle area, back yard, and home cities from utter...

St. Mawgan's varied roles

Volume 35, Issue 06, 1973, Air Pictorial

John D R Rawlings

SPRAWLING INLAND FROM the cliff tops of some of Cornwall's prettiest bays is the Royal Air Force's only maritime airfield in England-St. Mawgan. It has one of the longest runways in the country, 9,099 ft., and is much used, being one of the nine master diversion airfields. With a basically good weather record, St. Mawgan is at times filled with aircraft from many nations. It also has a civil terminal, with scheduled services to the Scilly Isles in the summer (see January 1973 issue)   and, starting shortly, to London by British Midland Viscount, plus a steady quota of  executive aircraft.
Four RA.F. flying units operate from the airfield, using three different basic types, the  Whirlwind helicopter, Canberra target aircraft and the Nimrod maritirnereconnaissance aircraft. Primary function of the base is to provide  maritime cover for the Western Approaches and surrounding sea areas

Zaire Reece Mission

Volume 10, Issue 02, February 1997, Air Forces Monthly Magazine (AFM)

A report on the RAF photo reconnaissance coverage of the Rwandan refugee crisis .

"RAF CANBERRA PR.9 XH169 of 39 (lPRU) Sqn returned to its home base at RAF Marham on December 19 following a four week detachment to Entebbe, Uganda (see AFM January News Briefs p3)

The aircraft was part of an RAF photo reconnaissance party sent to the region in response to the latest Rwandan refugee crisis . The RAF component of the party comprised some 40 personnel from 39 Sqn including engineers, a fully equipped photo processing and interpretation unit , a small RAF Police unit and a medic from the Tactical Medical Wing at RAF lyneham

The Team was flown to Entebbe Airport in Uganda by a 10 SQn VC-10 and the detachment was supported by regular Hercules flights from RAF Lyneham...


Volume 47, Issue 6, 1994, Air International

Alexander M Wooley

Alexander M Wooley describes the fundamentals of synthetic aperture radar and its operational use.

"One of the most important facets of the Gulf War was the provision of timely intelligence data, particuarly concerning the movement of Iraqi ground forces. To this end, the Synthetic Aperture Radar equipped Lockheek U-2/TR-1's and Boeing/Grumman E-8A J-STARS were invaluable assets. Indeed, such surveillance and targeting capabilities will continue to be an essential element of future land/air battles. Alexander M Wooley describes the fundamentals of SAR and its operational uses.


Volume 47, Issue 4, 1994, Air International

Peter J Cooper

In the second of a three part feature Peter J Cooper brings the profile of Farnborough up to date with the need for commercial profitability, transfer of experimental test flying to Boscombe Down and plans for the future of the airfield.

"THE Society of British Aircraft Constructors (SBAC) moved its annual show site to Farnborough in 1948. and as the size of the show and exhibition centre grew, a more perman entsite was allocated on the southeastern part of the airfield on rising ground; very close to where Cody first flew. The SBAC (now known as the Society of British Aerospace Companies) show, albeit now biennially, has the current site secured until the year 2000.

A more recent lodger unit to arrive at Farnborough is British International Helicopters (known as Brintel for short). It arrived in 1989 with its Chinook simulator having relocated from its Aberdeen base to be nearer to RAP Odiham - the prime user of
this valuable training aid.

During the...


Volume 47, Issue 2, 1994, Air International

Matthew Wright

Conceived in 1921, the Royal Australian Air Force is responsible for protecting an area of over 7,000,000km2
and a population of some 17 million. Matthew Wright reviews the current structure and aircraft, and outlines its history.

"ESTABLISHED on March 31. 1921. the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is one of the oldest air forces in the world. and today has an establishment numbering 24,142 personnel and more than 150 aircraft. From a widespread network of bases, the force provides air defence for the Australian sub-continent which. with its immense coastline and huge desert expanses , has always posed problems to defence planners...."

Image of Flying to the Limit: Reminiscences of Air Combat, Test Flying and the Aircraft Industry

Flying to the Limit: Reminiscences of Air Combat, Test Flying and the Aircraft Industry

Roland Beamont

Book by Beamont, Roland

Roland Beamont - One of Britains best-known test pilots tells his own story, from his first flight in the 1930's through participation in the Battles of Britain and France flying in a Hurricane, to test flying Lightening Supersonic fighters, Canberra jet bombers and the controversial and highly advances supersonic bomber - the TSR.2

Airshow Jets: The Canberra

Number 201, April 1998, Flypast magazine

Dan Griffiths

Display pilot Dan Griffiths looks at the world of private military jets

Testing to perfection

Volume 25, Issue 1, 1983, Air International

The work of the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down is seldom publicised. In this account, the editors describe its role in proving the integrity of new equipment for the British Armed Forces

The South Atlantic Air War

Volume 24, Issue 5, 1983, Air International

Salvador Mafe Huertas

Supplementing the series of articles published by Air International in the past six months to record British air operations during the Falklands campaign, we present "the other side of the coin" - a survey of the aerial conflict from the Argentinian viewpoint, by Salvador Mafe Huertas

Goodbye 360 Squadron

Number 162, January 1995, Flypast magazine

Ken Delve

Canberra squadron history and disbandment.

After operating the Canberra for 28 years, the RAF's only dedicated electronic warfare training squadron bows out

Canberra act

Number 172, November 1995, Flypast magazine

Thoughts on the 1995 air display season with WJ680, plis part two of conberra survivors


Volume 1, Issue 5, 1971, Air International

Details and illustrations of a long-life English Electric Canberra and a well-preserved Messerschmitt Bf 109G

Journal of an Air War

Volume 2, Issue 4, 1972, Air International

Pushpindar Singh Chopra

Air Enthusiasts correspondent in New Delhi, Pushpindar S Chopra, recounts in diary form the air operations that tok place during the recent hostilities between India and Pakistan, and the skirmishes that immediately preceded the full-scale, though shorth-lived, war between the two countries in which Soviet, American, British and French fighters were engaged.

Canberra Farewell

Number 303, October 2006, Flypast magazine

Canberra PR.9 XH134 in its element, shortly before it became a civilian. After 55 years of service, the RAF has finally paid off a loyal servant. The retirement was a high-profile event and we reveal what the future holds for the three 'flyers'

Going Out in Style

Number 303, October 2006, Flypast magazine

Jarrod Cotter

After an incredible 55-year career, the Canberra has bowed out of RAF service. Jarrod Cotter reports on its high-profile retirement.

Martin B-57 Canberra In Usaf Service

Volume 69, Issue 6, 2005, Air International

Lindsay Peacock

Canberras have proved to be versatile aircraft for many air forces. Lindsay Peacock describes the evolution of the US-built variant, the Martin B-57 and its numerous roles.

English Electric Canberra - The Bomber Years

Volume 71, Issue 2, 2006, Air International

Jon Lake

To coincide with its phasing out of service with the RAF, in the first of a two-part feature Jon Lake recalls the development and early deployment of the Canberra, in particular with bomber squadrons.

Canberra - The Final Years

Volume 71, Issue 3, 2006, Air International

Jon Lake

In July the RAF retired the English Electric Canberra. Jon Lake tells of the final chapter in the type's RAF career.

Farewell 360 Sqn

Issue 5 - January 1995, Air Power International

Peter R Foster

Peter Foster looks back at the history and missions performed by this unit since 1966

AIRFILE 13 – Canberra Bombers for the RAF

Volume 8 Issue 5, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Paul Lucas

Looks at the camouflage and markings of the Canberra B.2, B.6, B(I).6, B.15 and B.16 in frontline RAF service, with illustrations by Peter Scott

Candid Canberra – in colour

Volume 8 Issue 5, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Martin Derry

Provides a photographic miscellany of the English Electric Canberra B.2 and its various derivatives in RAF and Ministry service Finnish Hawk by Randy Lutz

‘Patricia Lynn’

Volume 7 Issue 12, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Ross Marven

Builds the Airfix 1/72 scale Martin RB-57E kit – straight from the box... well almost!

Scaled Up - Last of the Breed

Volume 7 Issue 11, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Des Brennan

Des Brennan takes a photographic look at the last few years of the last of the Canberras

‘Cosmic Canberra’

Volume 6 Issue 11, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Andy Evans

Sniffing on the Edge of Space. Andy looks at a little known Canberra variant used by NASA

Cold War Camouflage Cul-de-sac

Volume 6 Issue 11, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Paul Lucas

Describes a British experiment in stealth technology carried out using Radar Absorbing Material on a Ministry of Aviation Canberra in 1958-59

Canberras ‘Down Under’

Volume 4 Issue 12, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Jim Grant

To round off our coverage of the EE Canberra, (at least for the time being!), Jim looks at the type’s service in the RAAF

RAF and RN Canberras

Volume 4 Issue 7, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Glenn Sands

Following on from the previous two issue’s coverage of the immortal Canberra, Glenn takes a closer look at some of the specialised versions that served in a number of support roles

English Electric’s Canberra - Part Two

Volume 4 Issue 6, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

David James

Concludes his two-part homage to the immortal Canberra, covering its run-down as a conventional bomber up to the specialist roles of the present day

English Electric’s Canberra Part One: The epoch maker - from initial design to the Suez Crisis

Volume 4 Issue 5, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

David James

In the first installment of this two-part homage to one of ‘britain’s Best’, David, describes the development history from the prototype through to the first B(I).8s

Image of The Years Flew Past

The Years Flew Past

Roland Beamont

Bee Beamont has deservedly won the reputation of being one of Britain's greatest pilots. This book includes his reminiscences and observations of forty years flying at the leading edge of high-speed flight. At the age of twenty-two Bee commanded No 609 Squadron equipped with the Hawker Typhoon. In 1944 he formed No 150 Wing, equipped with the Hawker Tempest fighter. In the final months of WWII a new design team was set up at English Electric to create the first British jet bomber. Bee, as Chief Test Pilot, was the first man to fly the Canberra through all stages of its development. Then Britain's first and only supersonic fighter, the Lightening, appeared on the scene. Bee soon found himself at Mach 2 exploring the boundaries of space. This book also includes some of his remarkable experiences test-flying the TSr 2. From 1965 to 1978, Bee became heavily involved with the design, manufacture and introduction of the Panavia Tornado.

Canberra down!

Volume 62, Issue 05, 2000, Air Pictorial

David Micelle

Told for the frist time by Dr David Micelle, the full story behind the shooting down of an RAF Canberra by the Syrian AF during the Suez crisis.

Operation Eastbound

Volume 62, Issue 02, 2000, Air Pictorial

Jim Grant

In 1960, three Australian Canberra bombers visited the' Nigerian independence celebrations and subsequently circumnavigated the world. Jim Grant relates the story.

Canberra - 50 years on

Volume 61, Issue 07, 1999, Air Pictorial

Neville Beckett reports from Warton on an august gathering.

Image of FROM FLEDGLING TO EAGLE: The South African Air Force during the Border War

From Fledgling to Eagle: The South African Air Force During the Border War

Brigadier-General Dick Lord

The crucible of combat over 23 years forged the fledgling South African Air Force into a formidable strike weapon, capable of defeating the best Soviet air defences of the time. From Fledgling to Eagle chronicles the evolution of the SAAF in the 'Border War' that raged in Angola and South West Africa (Namibia) from 1966 to 1989, covering all the major South African Defence Force (SADF) operations from Ongulumbashe to the 'April Fools' Day war' in 1989. Dick Lord, who writes in a 'from the cockpit' style, has drawn on his own first-hand operational reports and diaries, incorporating anecdotes from dozens of aviators from a wide variety of squadrons-Buccaneers, Canberras, Mirages, Impalas, Bosboks, C-160s and -130s, Dakotas and helicopters. He also expands on the close relationship the SAAF had with the ground troops in a variety of operations-such units as the Parabats, Recces and Koevoet.However, Lord studies the broader ramifications of the conflict in that it was not a simple black-white war. Angola was really just a sideshow for the Soviets who wanted to bleed the SAAF in a war of attrition before attempting total domination of South Africa-their ultimate goal. He is unafraid to admit SADF mistakes-of Operations Hooper and Packer he says: "Lines of communications were too long to ably support the battle, which is why we did not clear them off the east bank of the Cuito River and why they captured the three Oliphant tanks which was their only propaganda victory." Although he gives credit to the enemy when they put up a stiff fight, he clearly outlines the overwhelming South African successes and dispels, in accurate detail, all enemy claims by giving an accurate account of each battle. He says: "I agree with General Geldenhuys that we thrashed them severely on the Lomba in '85 and '87 ... much recent publicity has also been given to the so-called victory of the Forces of Liberation [SWAPO, MPLA, and 50,000 Cubans and Soviets] over the SADF at Cuito Cuanavale in 1988. Nothing could be further from the truth-it is blatant propaganda." Brigadier-General Dick Lord joined the Royal Navy as an air cadet in 1958, where he qualified as a fighter pilot. Flying Sea Venoms and Sea Vixens, he served on board the aircraft carriers Centaur, Victorious, Hermes and Ark Royal on cruises around the world. In the mid '60s, he was selected for a two-year exchange tour with the US Navy, flying A4 Skyhawks and F4 Phantoms out of San Diego, California. He completed tours of air warfare instruction, flying Hunters out of the naval air stations at Lossiemouth, Scotland and Brawdy, Wales. He returned to South Africa in early '70s and joined the South African Air Force (SAAF), flying Impalas, Sabres and Mirage IIIs. During the Border War, he commanded 1 Squadron, flying Mirage F1AZs into Angola, followed by running air force operations out of Oshikati, Windhoek and SAAF Headquarters in Pretoria. A highlight of his career was organizing the successful fly-past of 76 aircraft for Nelson Mandela's inauguration as President of South Africa in 1994.

Image of English Electric Canberra and Martin B-57 (Crowood Aviation)

English Electric Canberra and Martin B-57 (Crowood Aviation)

Barry Jones

From its introduction as the RAF's first jet bomber in 1951, the English Electric Canberra has risen to be one of the longest serving military aircraft of all time. In this well-researched and entertaining volume, Barry Jones delivers the full and fascinating story of the English Electric Canberra through a combination of rare photographs and in-depth text. A fitting tribute to this reliable and capable performer.


Image of Martin B-57 Canberra: The Complete Record

Martin B-57 Canberra: The Complete Record

Robert C Mikesh

No story about one type of aircraft could be more complete than this coverage about the B-57 Canberra. A brief history of its British inception sets the stage for the conversion that took place to American standards for production in the United States. The Canberra was needed to fill the night intruder role in the USAF that was identified during the Korean War. The B-57, did that, and far more. The author, who flew the B-57 over a 15-year period, covers all aspects of the 28 years of operational service of the B-57. Initially, the B-57 outfitted four combat wings in the bomber version, along with many units in the reconnaissance role. Missions changed and units faded, but the Vietnam War set the history for this remarkable airplane. It remained in combat for eight years, and many of these daring missions are covered in detail in this book. This becomes another informative reference book dealing with the lively aaspect of the Vietnam War. The book is filled with many rare action pictures of this airplane in color and black and white. The expanded appendices contain many historical points such as units and time period of assignment, production records, individual line entries for the history of each aircraft, and many more details that appeal to the airplane historian. Robert C. Mikesh had accumulated 2,000 hours in flying the B-57 Canberra, beginning with the first USAF unit to receive the bomber version. Enamored from the very beginning with this airplane, the thought of one day writing a book about the B-57 inspired him to gather detailed notes over the years while the airplane was operational. This brings to life this airplane story that could not be compiled any other way than through this first hand experience. Mikesh served a 21-year career in the USAF as a pilot, having spent much of this time in the Far East. During the Korean War he flew a tour in Douglas B-26 night intruder missions over North Korea, and during the Vietnam War he was a Forward Air Controller in the Cessna 0-2A, directing air strikes, many being his comrades in B-57s. After retiring from the Air Force in 1970, Mikesh joined the National Air and Space Museum as curator. He became responsible for managing the world's foremost collection of historic aircraft. This not only included locating and gathering historic and technologically significant aircraft and acquisitions, but overseeing their restoration as well. Now retired from NASM as of 1991, Mikesh devotes much of his time to aviation writing and consulting work for museums and aircraft restorers.


End of Era?

Number 124, November 1991, Flypast magazine

Ken Delve

Ken Delve reports on the quiet demise of 231 OCU and the end of Canberra training in the UK.

Canberra at 40

Number 94, May 1989, Flypast magazine

Ken Delve , Peter Green

Ken Delve considers how 'user friendly' the Canberra is; Peter Green looks at its complex evolution.

Disposal: B-57

Number 68, March 1987, Flypast magazine

Philip D Chinnery

Phil Chinnery starts a two-part examination of the American Canberra — the Martin B-57

Long Life Canberras

Number 43, February 1985, Flypast magazine

Full colour cutaway of a Canberra B.2 and introducing the RAF's oldest operational aircraft

The Last Export Canberra?

Number 253, August 2002, Flypast magazine

Stewart Ross

Stewart Ross Details Canberra W)68O's Flight From The Uk To Its New Home In Australia.

Canberra Gatefold

Number 214, May 1999, Flypast magazine

A Cutaway Of The B.2; Olympus-Engined High-Climber Artwork And The Uk Variants, Mks.I To 22.

Flying Laboratories

Number 214, May 1999, Flypast magazine

William Sleigh

Incredibly Versatile, The Canberra Excelled At Test-Bed Roles. William Sleigh Pays Tribute To Its Experimental Attributes.

Double Flameout

Number 214, May 1999, Flypast magazine

'Jock' Dobie Remembers When A Lone Ranger Exercise In A Canberra Produced A Heart-Stopping Double Flameout Over The 'Med'.

A Special Number — Vn799

Number 214, May 1999, Flypast magazine

To Kick Off Our Celebration Of 50 Years Of The Canberra, Daniel Ford Pays Homage To The Prototype.

Avons To Africa

Number 169, August 1995, Flypast magazine

Canberra And Hunter Flight From The Uk To South Africa.

Avons To Africa

Number 169, August 1995, Flypast magazine

Canberra And Hunter Flight From The Uk To South Africa.

Image of B-57 Canberra Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft)

B-57 Canberra Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft)

Bell TE

Osprey's examination of B-57 Canberra Units during the Veitnam War period (1955-1975). While not receiving as much publicity as the F-105 and F-4 fighter-bombers, which took the fight into the heart of North Vietnam, the B-57 Canberra was nevertheless the first jet-powered American attack aircraft committed to the conflict. It was involved in day-to-day interdiction missions against traffic coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, shooting up trucks and bombing and strafing sampans in the Mekong Delta. And, not least, the aircraft flew classified 'black' missions over the border into Laos and Cambodia.

The B-57B medium bomber began hitting targets in North and South Vietnam at the beginning of 1965. Although B-57B crews had already made a name for themselves during the hair-raising night missions during Op Rolling Thunder, late in the war many aircraft were upgraded to the then-state-of-the-art B-57G Night Intruder, which became one of the most valuable weapons in the USAF inventory.

The B-57E, in its electronic eavesdropping and countermeasures roles, starred in the so-called Patricia Lynn missions, parts of which are still classified today. Also operating alongside the USAF B-57 units, were the Canberra B 20s of the Royal Australian Air Force,attached to the USAF's 35th Bomb Wing - the exploits of the Australian Canberras will be fully documented in this book. The unit flew interdiction missions in support of troops in the field from 1967 to 1971. At the time the Canberra was called to action, the USAF, which considered the aircraft too slow, limited in its mission and not 'sexy' enough, was attempting to phase it out of the inventory. In the event, the B-57 continued to serve for another 20 years, echoing the story of the A-10 Warthog.

The author has obtained scores of previously unpublished photographs from the first deployment of the B-57s to Bien Hoa, all the way up to very rare photos of the B-57G being armed and readied for night combat missions. The story of the B-57 in Vietnam has never been told in detail, and since the aeroplane served in virtually every role for the duration the US involvement in Vietnam, the story of the B-57 is, in effect, the story of that war.

Image of Britain's Military Aircraft in Colour 1960-1970: Hunter, Canberra (Part 1), Valetta and Vampire T.11

Britain's Military Aircraft in Colour 1960-1970: Hunter, Canberra (Part 1), Valetta and Vampire T.11 (Consign)

Martin Derry

This book, together with 2 subsequent volumes, offers a nostalgic selection of color images featuring four types of aircraft in British military, or Ministry service. Full advantage has been taken of a relatively scarce photographic opportunity from a period when a roll of color film (eight exposures) cost approximately $7 a weeks average wage in the early 1960s.
Each volume contains fighter, bomber, transport, and trainer aircraft each having an introduction and comprehensive captions to explain the various types in full detail. Serial numbers, units, and aircraft histories are all covered and four-view artwork derived from specific photographs is included to provide in depth information for the enthusiast, historian, or modeler.
Together with volumes 2 and 3, Britain s Military Aircraft in Colour Volume 1 will form a comprehensive record of British military aircraft of the 1960s.

Image of Royal Air Force Germany Since 1945

Royal Air Force Germany Since 1945

Bill Taylor

This detailed survey takes the lid off RAF operations in Germany from establishment of the British Air Forces of Occupation in July 1945 to the tense days of the Berlin Airlift and the establishment of NATO and its tripwire strategy which placed Germany firmly in the front line.

Image of English Electric Canberra: The History and Development of a Classic Jet (Pen and Sword Large Format Aviation Books)

ENGLISH ELECTRIC CANBERRA: The History and Development of a Classic Jet

Bruce Halpenny

This amazing airplane first flew in 1949 and is still in front-line service with the RAF. It has served in a variety of roles including those of tactical bomber, photo-reconnaissance, navigational trainer, maritime strike, electronic countermeasures and target-towing. It was manufactured in the USA under license as the Martin B-57 and has been exported to Argentina, Chile, India, Peru, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries.

This book looks at the development of the aircraft during the early days of jet power and especially at its Rolls-Royce Avon power-plant. Each of the many marks and variants are described and illustrated by many remarkable and rare photographs. The type's record of service with RAF squadrons throughout its service life is given together with descriptions of the many experimental models that were used in the development of a variety of weapons and avionic systems.

Image of Wings over Suez: The Only Authoritative Account of Air Operations During the Sinai and Suez Wars of 1956

WINGS OVER SUEZ: The Only Authoritative Account of Air Operations During the Sinai and Suez Wars of 1956

Brian Cull

Guiding the reader meticulously through the details of the air conflict between the Israelis and their Arab neighbors from the end of the 1948-49 war, the authors, each an expert in his own field then accurately reconstruct a blow-by-blow account of the Anglo-French air attacks on Egyptian airfields and other targets. With contributions by many of the pilots involved, the book is profusely illustrated with 200 photographs, many extremely rare.

Image of Britain's Greatest Aircraft


Robert Jackson

During the last century the British aircraft industry created and produced many outstanding airplanes. These aircraft were world leaders in advanced technology, utilizing inventions by British engineers and scientists such as radar, the jet engine, the ejector seat and vertical take-off and landing. This book describes the design-history, development and operational careers of twenty-two legendary military and civil airplanes. Each one has played a significant part in aviation history.

Sopwith Camel, SE.5, Bristol F2B Fighter and the Airco DH4 were all great successes in the relatively early days of flight. In the thirties the Bristol Bulldog fighter was an outstanding export success and the Short ‘C’ Class flying boat, later to become the Sunderland of World War II fame, pioneered the long-distance routes to the Empire. The pugnacious foreign policy of Hitler’s Reich rung sudden alarm bells, rapid advances in fighting aircraft for the RAF became a premium objective. The brilliant Geodic construction of the Vickers Wellington bomber helped it survive terrible punishment throughout World War II, both the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire saved England from invasion and the Bristol Beaufighter, de Havilland Mosquito and Avro Lancaster took the war to enemy soil.

The Gloster Meteor became the word’s first operational jet fighter and the English Electric Canberra became the RAF’s first jet bomber and was manufactured under license in the USA as the Martin B-57. In post-war years the Vickers Viscount became the world’s first turboprop airliner and eventually became Britain’s best selling commercial aircraft, whilst the de Havilland Comet became the world’s first jet airliner. Despite Britain’s recessionary years in the 50s and early 60s, military success came with the beautiful Hawker Hunter, the super-sonic Fairey Delta experimental aircraft that broke the World Air Speed Record and the Vickers Valiant that pioneered the operational techniques to deliver Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Later, there followed the Mach 2 English Electric Lightning and the ill-fated TSR-2, the cancellation of which is still regarded as one of the greatest mistakes ever made in British aviation history. Finally, the Harrier, the world’s first vertical take-off and landing jet fighter that is still in service and now only being built in the USA.

Finally the Harrier, the world’s first vertical take-off and landing jet fighter, still in service and now being further developed in the USA.

Canberra: First And Last

Volume 27, Issue 06, 1999, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

DR Branchett

As the Canberra celebrates its 50th anniversary, D.R. Branchett reveals what might have been

Ten Years Too Late

Volume 25, Issue 06, 1997, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Flt Lt Mike Retallack recalls flying RAF Canberra T.11s on night-fighter aircrew training in the Fifties and Sixties

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Volume 24, Issue 11, 1996, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Philip Shaw

Commander Philip Shaw RN concludes his two-part account of how, after 21 years as a naval helicopter pilot, he made the transition to RAF Canberras

The Grapple Years

Volume 24, Issue 01, 1996, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Former 100 Sqn Canberra pilot Mike Retallack recalls the dropping of the first British H-bombs in the Fifties

The Grapple Years

Volume 23, Issue 11, 1995, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Fit Lt Mike Retallack recalls his involve- ment, as a Canberra pilot of 100 Sqn, in the first British H-bomb trials in 1957


Volume 23, Issue 02, 1995, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Gordon Bain

Gordon Bain photographed the Electronics Warfare Canberra T.1 7s of 360 Sqn shortly before the unit's recent disbandment

Canberras over the USSR

Volume 23, Issue 02, 1995, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Paul Lashmar

Did RAF reconnaissance aircraft secretly fly above Soviet air defences in the Fifties to photograph a Russian missile centre on the Volga? Paul Lashmar looks at the evidence

Flying the dream machine

Volume 22, Issue 10, 1994, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Flt Lt Mike Retallack concludes his recollections of flying the English Electric Canberra in the Fifties

Flying the dream machine

Volume 22, Issue 08, 1994, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Mike Retallack

Mike Retallack recalls his conversion on to the Canberra in the mid-Fifties

The demise Of WD933

Volume 20, Issue 07, 1992, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Peter A Taylor

Former test observer Peter A. Taylor recalls an eventful flight in an experimental Canberra

Atlantic double

Volume 18, Issue 07, 1990, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Roland Beamont

Former English Electric Company chief test pilot Roland Beamont recalls an early Canberra test operation which created a famous world record

Canberra camaraderie

Volume 17, Issue 08, 1989, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Trevor Oakey

Wg Cdr Trevor Oakey AFC RAF reports on the type's 40th birthday celebrations

Farnborough 1949

Volume 16, Issue 09, 1988, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

A pictorial reminder of the SBA C show that marked the debut of the Comet, Brabazon, Shackleton and Canberra

Sing a song of shock-stall -part 2

Volume 13, Issue 02, 1985, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Roland Beamont

Last month Roland Beamont described compressibility Trials in the Gloster Meteor in 1946. He now concludes his article with how, as chief test pilot of English Electric in 1947. he used his experience in preparation both for the Canberra programme and for a projected future RAF fighter

Showing off the Canberra: Part 2

Volume 12, Issue 03, 1984, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Roland Beamont

Lst month Wg Cdr Roland Beamont, ex-Chief Test Pilot of English Electric, described his test flying and airshow demonstrations of the prototype Canberra in the Fifties. This month he concludes his two-part article with an account of demonstrating later variants of the aircraft

Showing off the Canberra -part 1

Volume 12, Issue 02, 1984, Aeroplane / Aeroplane Monthly

Roland Beamont

Wg Cdr Roland Beamont relives his first Farnborough demonstration of the prototype Canberra in September 1949

Q&A: NASA High Flyers

Volume 38 Issue 12, 2005, Aircraft illustrated

Richard Cooper

All you ever wanted to know about the ground-breaking NASA WB-57F deployment to Mildenhall in October

PR Agency

Volume 38 Issue 11, 2005, Aircraft illustrated

Steve Davies

It's due for retirement next year, but the Canberra PR9 remains the RAF's most valuable reconnaissance asset. Al brings you an exclusive insight into operating and flying this remarkable aircraft, including details of its recent 'high-flying' operations around the globe

Canberra Salute

Volume 32 Issue 07, 1999, Aircraft illustrated

Denis J Calvert

Denis J. Calvert joins the party to celebrate the venerable Canberra's 50th anniversary

Never too old to rock and roll!

Volume 32 Issue 06, 1999, Aircraft illustrated

Dan Griffith

50 years old and still looking great, the Canberra is one of the all-time classics. Dan Griffith describes flying the 'beast' and the story behind flying one of these historic aircraft

39 Steps

Volume 29 Issue 05, 1996, Aircraft illustrated

Denis J Calvert , Richard Hannay

Our very own Richard Hannay and resident 'sleuth' Denis J. Calvert turns the magnifying glass on the operations and aircraft of No 39 Squadron, the last unit in the RAF to fly the venerable Canberra

Candid Canberra: Flying'Charlie Tango'

Volume 28 Issue 02, 1995, Aircraft illustrated

Robert Metcalfe

In this 'AT exclusive, Canberra pilot WgCdr Robert Metcalfe talks us through his display routine, flying Ron Mitchell's privately-owned Canberra.

Canberra on camera

Volume 22 Issue 09, 1989, Aircraft illustrated

Jonathan Falconer

A colourful view of the Canberra meet held at RAF Wyton to celebrate the type's 40th birthday. Accompanying words by Jonathan Falconer

No. 77 - B-57 Canberra in Action

Aircraft in Action Jim Mesko

In 1951 the United States broke a long-standing tradition by purchasing a foreign military aircraft to be manufactured in quantity for the US Air Force. Why had the US Government opted to purchase a foreign aircraft in preference to an American designed aircraft? The answers to this question are many many and varied, but in retrospect the decision proved to be a correct one and resulted in one of the most capable and enduring aircraft in US military aviation history — the B-57 Canberra. The origins of the B-57 Canberra can be traced indirectly to the latter part of World War II when the Luftwaffe began combat operations with two jet propelled aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 twin engined fighter and the Arado Ar 234 twin engined light bomber. Although the introduction of these two jet aircraft took place far too late to affect the outcome of the war, they nevertheless sent shock waves through the Allied air forces.

Aircraft Profile 54 - English Electric Canberra Mk.I & IV

Profile Publications Kenneth Munson

" The English Electric company, formed in 1918 by the amalgamation of five Midlands engineering firms, made a brief but scarcely spectacular appearance in the aeronautical arena between 1918 and 1926; after which it suspended its aviation activities until 1938, when it received a contract to build 75 Handley Page Hampdens for the R.A.F. By March 1942 it had completed 770 of these bombers, following with 2,145 Halifaxes between 1942-45 and 1,369 Vampire jet fighters from 1945-50.A liaison office had been set up at Preston in 1939, and it was here that W. E. W. Petter began to build the team that was eventually to produce Britain's first jet-propelled bomber. Although lacking adequate facilities (the first wooden mock-up of the Canberra was built in a converted garage basement), Petter and his staff began to evolve a design for a high speed, high altitude medium bomber to replace the Lincoln, which later became Air Ministry specification B.3/45. By June 1945 they had decided on a mid...

American Canberra

Volume 7 Issue 10, 2007, Combat Aircraft Magazine

Guy Martin

The tale of how a British-designed bomber became a surprise success in America… where it is still in service 50 years on. Guy Martin looks back at the varied history of the B-57 Canberra PLUS! Cutaway

Farewell, Old Timer

Volume 7 Issue 9, 2006, Combat Aircraft Magazine

Denis J Calvert

After more than 50 years of service, the Royal Air Force has finally retired the magnificent English Electric Canberra. Denis J. Calvert was at the ceremonies, and tells the story of the last operational variant, the photo-recce PR9


Volume 14, Issue 3, 1978, Air International

Britain's traditional military presence in Malta is soon to end, and as the RAF component runs down, No 13 Squadron has become the last operational unit to be based on the island. Dave Thomas reports on this Canberra-equipped reconnaissance unit


Volume 19, Issue 4, 1980, Air International

Larry Milberry

Two squadrons — one Canadian, and one American — have a unique role and fly unique aircraft to provide electronic warfare training within NORAD, as described here by Larry Milberry.


Volume 21, Issue 05, May 2008, Air Forces Monthly Magazine (AFM)

Dave Allport

AFM's Dave Allport covers the world's recent aviation crashes and more.


Please login using your credentials recived by email when you register.

I forgot my password | Resend activation e-mail