English Electric Canberra at Bournemouth Airshow

August 28, 2015 | Categories:

The Canberra served a the Royal Air force from 1951 onwards for 55 years. It resembles a larger version of the Gloster Meteor.

Canberra jet bomber flying overhead, Dorset

(Above: An English Electric Canberra, Below: the Canberra alongside a Hawker Hunter)


The prototype test flights had discovered no need for any major modifications. The aircraft was stable, safe and relatively easy to fly.  In the canberra's early days (1950s), it could fly higher and faster then it's opponents, therefore it needed no self defence weapons to get it to a bombing target. With the arrival of the Hawker Hunter this was no longer so and canons/missiles could be added.

 Canberra and Hunter jet aircraft, Dorset

(Below: From left to right - de Havilland Sea Vixen, English Electric Canberra and a Hawker Hunter)

Canberra, Hunter and Sea Vixen jet aircraft, Dorset, formation overhead, image 2

The English Electric Canberra

Role: Reconnaissance and medium bomber, Crew:
Maximum Speed: 580mph (mach .88) at 12 192m, thrust/weight: 0.37, rate of climb: 17 m/s
Range: 3380 miles, combat radius: 810 miles, service ceiling: 15 000m
Wingspan: 19.51m, length: 19.96m, height: 7.77m, wing loading: 234 kg/m2
First Flight: 1949, In Use with Royal Air Force: 1951-2006
Production Total: 900 UK, 49 Australia

The statistics above were for Canberra B mk.16, but just like the de Havilland Vulcan bomber there were many varients, being increadably versatile through history. Extra fuel tanks, cameras could be added and adapted to varoius roles so exports around the world were very good.

In the UK the Canberra was superseded in 1955 by the Vickers Vallient as a strategic nuclear bomber. However the Canberra was used as a tactical bomber in conflicts, crisises and wars. Reconnaisance seems it most succesful purpose, including top secret RAF flights over the USSR during the cold war.

Three Martin B-57 varients of the Canberra are still used in meteorological work for NASA in 2015.

The English Electric Canberra, an early jet bomber, reconnaissance and trainer, Dorset

(Above: The Canberras unsusual shape from below)

(Below: The Canberra flying ahead of a de Havilland Sea Vixen and Hawker Hunter)

Canberra, Hawker Hunter and De Havilland Sea Vixen jet aircraft, Dorset


See all images of the English Electric Canberra in the gallery here