Air International 2006-08
J.Lake - EE Canberra in RAF Service /Military/ (1)
No.61 Sqn was one of 12 Canberra units deployed to the Middle East during the Suez Crisis. During Operation Musketeer, the squadron carried out a number of daylight bombing raids, including attacks on airfields, marshalling yards and Cairo Radio. These three B.2s (WH924 and WH922 of 61 Sqn and WH741 of 109 Sqn) were photographed in 1955, prior to the conflict.
The type's accident rate was surprisingly low considering that the Canberra Operational Conversion Unit did not form until December 1951, the dedicated dual-control Canberra T.4 only entered service in 1953 and large numbers of inexperienced National Service pilots converted to the new type. Until the advent of the T.4 - prototype (WN467) is seen here - crews converted on the Meteor.
В то время как первые бомбардировщики B.Mk 2 снизу окрашивались в черный цвет, нижние поверхности разведчиков PR.Mk 3 красились в лазурный цвет или цвет "PRU blue". Такую окраску нашли эффективной и для бомбардировщиков, однако бомбардировщики сохранили камуфлированную окраску верхних поверхностей.
For its medium- to high-level reconnaissance duties, the Canberra PR.3 was finished in the then standard photo reconnaissance scheme of medium sea grey upper surfaces and PRU blue undersides. With its high-speed, high-altitude capability, the PR.3 was ideal for the Bomber Command primary task of pre- and post-attack photography.
First prototype VN799 in the hands of English Electric's chief test pilot Roland Beamont. It is seen with the modified squared fin/rudder and fin fillet. Shortly after this photograph was taken the fillet was removed.
Canberra PR.7 WH801 of 31 Sqn seen over the typical wooded landscape of Northern Germany. No.31 Sqn operated the Canberra for the longest period of any squadron in Germany, from March 1955 to March 1971.
Canberra B.2s of 98 Sqn were used for calibrating and testing radar installations in the UK and 2 ATAF in Germany. The squadron was created by renumbering 245 Sqn in April 1963. Note the fuselage legend 'Royal Air Force No.90 (Signals) Group' on B.2 WJ681 which was photographed at Cottesmore in August 1970.
B.Mk 6, оснащенные дополнительными топливными баками на законцовках и форсированными ТРД Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 109, поступили на вооружение ВВС в июне 1954 года. Эти три самолета принадлежали 12-й эскадрилье, о чем свидетельствует эмблема подразделения - лисья голова - на киле.
These three B.6s (WH948, WJ210 and WH958) of 12 Sqn sport the squadron crest on their green fin. Nos IX and 12 Sqns were the only UK-based units to be equipped with the LABS system. One of 12 Sqn's claims to fame was that it had perfected the 'over the shoulder' method of delivering a nuclear weapon - pulling up above the target and releasing the bomb when the aircraft was past the vertical.
When first introduced into service the Canberra B(I).8s had black-painted undersides and lower fuselage surfaces, as seen on an unidentified aircraft of 3 Sqn. Note the aircraft's individual code letter painted in white on the top surface of the nose, immediately behind the nose transparency.
'Sharkmouths' were added to all of the 16 Sqn Canberra B(I)8 fleet about a year before the unit disbanded in 1972. Apparently the officer commanding at the time saw a resemblance between the Canberra and the Martin Marauder (some of which were given 'sharkmouths') and thought the markings would equally well suit his aircraft.