Talk:English Electric Canberra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Just an FYI, I will be making B-57 a separate page. It was fairly different (especially the long-wingspan variants) from the British Canberra and had an extensive combat history. - Emt147 Burninate! 05:26, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Bomb Bay[edit]

"The fuselage contains two bomb bays with payload stored inside the rotating door."

The B-57 had a rotating bomb bay door but the British version didn't...

Source - Canberra - Operational Record

Yes, you are correct. The rotating bay was an XB-51 carryover by Martin. I'll fix the article. - Emt147 Burninate! 18:01, 1 May 2006 (UTC)


When was the Canberra so named? When it first flew Menzies had been out of power for 8 years, & had been Australian PM for only a little over 2 years between 1939 & 1941. GrahamBould 11:27, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

He probably had nothing to do with the naming - RAF bomber aircraft had a long tradition of being named after UK and Commonwealth cities and towns, and there had already been an earlier 'Canberra' - the de Havilland DH.72 back in the 1930s, although it was not accepted for service. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
My mistake - see Flight article on naming of aircraft by Menzies in ceremony at RAF Biggin Hill here: [1] - the name Canberra was originally proposed by Sir George Nelson, then Chairman and Managing Director of English Electric. The naming ceremony was on 19th January 1951. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Bit more in this Flight article here: [2] - nothing to do with 'exports', name was chosen because "... Canberra was the capital of the Commonwealth's farthest-flung country, the Commonwealth of Australia..."
BTW, the aeroplane was originally known as the English Electric A.1 before the 'Canberra' name was given. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Replacing the B 26 Marauder[edit]

It says that the B-57 was built to replace the B 26 Marauder. All information that I have indicates that the B-57 was chosen to replace the Douglas B-26 Invader. So I changed it...

Yup, whoever wrote it got the two B-26s confused. Thanks for catching that! - Emt147 Burninate! 07:51, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Interesting Statistic[edit]

One statistic given at the RIAT airshow 2006 was that the longevity of the Canberra would be equivalent to the Spitfire having remained in RAF service until 1993! Would this be something to add to the page?


Is the Canberra still in service or not? The first para says no, yet the "Service" section says it is still in service in the US. GrahamBould 10:56, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I wanted to know that. All the stuff on the web is about the PR9 (even tho it lacks a successor) but what about the other marks that are/were in RAF service (RN etc)? Of course the Canberra must still be in service elsewhere in the world isn't it? Also I read in a recent aviation mag that the PR9s are in private hands implying they could be leased back or at least their services some time soon. At least one will likely still fly at airshows too I suppose.

Cheers, Roy. 22nd August 2006

Maybe the key to this is the words "in service" - maybe that means with an air force. GrahamBould 11:58, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Service would be service in a military role, even if the aircraft is civilian operated. The hunter has recently re-entered service, being used for trials at Boscombe Down. Aircraft flown for airshows are not in service. The Vulcan was flown for several years, by the RAF, purely for airshows , after it had left service.

Aircraft description[edit]

I hope these are useful:

(1) “The pilot sits on a Martin-Baker ejection seat while the bombardier-navigator has to rely on a conventional escape hatch and parachute”.

My experience was of the bombers B2 and B15. The standard for this fuselage was to have the pilot to the left of the broad bubble canopy and two navigators sitting behind. All were provided with ejection seats. The bomb aimer would leave the right hand navigators seat to do his work in the nose, scrambling back to that ejector seat if necessary. However, on ferry or positioning flights, the walkway to the right of the pilot might be blocked by a folding jump-seat for the use of a fourth occupant. This person would wear a suitable harness and have a clip-on parachute; he would be expected to use the cabin entrance door for his departure. The marks B6 and B16 would have been identical (although the B16 might have only carried one navigator because of a sideways-looking-radar on the cabin starboard wall). Although the PR3 and PR7 normally operated with only one navigator, the front fuselage was effectively the same – I never found out how many ejection seats were provided in these aircraft. The T4 had two pilot seats with one navigator seat behind – again all ejection seats. The PR9 had room only for two crew, the navigator occupying an ejection seat in the nose in front of the pilot. I am not sure about the B8 and its overseas versions - in this case only, the given description may be correct.

I agree. The PR7 navigator had an option of staying in his ejector seat or going to lie down on his front on a couch to look out of / visually navigate through the glass nose dome. He was provided with a minimal instrumentation in that position. In the event of an emergency, there was a scramble to get back into the ejector seat whilst the pilot handled the situation. Every navigator who went forward to the couch would, at one time or another, have been subjected to the pilot's little joke of a bunt (application of a small amount of negative G) and airbrakes - resulting in a barely controllable 'float' into the very front of the glass nose dome... Similarly, the T17 and T17A variants were both equipped with 3 ejection seats, one for the pilot and one each in the rear cabin for the navigator and EW Officer. EWoc 14:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

(2) “The fuselage contains two bomb bays with conventional clamshell doors”.

The norm would surely be the B2/B6/B15/B16 bomb bay, which was a continuous chamber running the full length of the cylindrical fuselage up to the cabin rear wall. There were three suspension points spaced equally along its length - a representative operational full internal load would be three pairs of 1000 lb bombs. I think you might only be describing the B8 which (usually ?) carried a heavy gun pack in the front section of the bomb bay, with two pairs of bombs behind. The PR types enclosed a lot of the lower fuselage to accommodate cameras and had a much shorter flare bay as a result.

best wishes


Short Brothers[edit]

No mention on Short Bros article about making Canberras, surprising... GrahamBould 16:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Has been remedied in the meantime. --TraceyR 16:42, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

In my reccolection of three years of working on all marks of Canberra (including lots of strange visiting aircraft like T17s) all but the B(I)8 had a single bomb-bay. The B(I)8 had a single bay but split doors to accomodate the (rarely fitted) gun-pack in the bay forward end.

It may be worth adding to the page that the T4 had what I believe to have been a unique "hinged" right-hand front ejection seat which swung forward, allowing the navigators access to the rear compartment through the normal a/c access door on the fuselage right. Once the Nav' was in place the seat was lowered and locked back.

I did sometimes wonder how the Nav' would exit if there was an uncontrolled starboard engine fire on start-up, since the seats were not "0/0" use (Zero speed, zero altitude) and while the two pilots might unstrap and "leg it" through the access door, messing about with that seat would have likely been a lost cause from outside the aircraft (right next to the engine) and it couldn't be unlocked from the rear!

The Nav would exit by firing the explosive bolts that held the hatch on and the climbing out onto the roof. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceesquared (talkcontribs) 15:37, 10 September 2014 (UTC)


Extremely picky - but while present-day Pakistan is blue on the map, Banga Desh is not. Bangla Desh (then East Pakistan) was part of Pakistan until 1971, the period when the combined Pakistan had Canberras. So shouldn't Bangla Desh be blue on the map? GrahamBould 08:51, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, the light & dark blue in the map both appear the same dark blue - probably my monitor... GrahamBould 12:23, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding Bangladesh - that's a interesting question, as the timespan of Pakistani B-57 use ("28 years" per Aeroplane) falls both before and after the seperation of East Pakistan/Bangladesh. My inclination would be not to color in the eastern part because of that, anyone else have an opinion yea/nay?
With regard to the colors - they should be fine, they're the same as on the F-16 Fighting Falcon map. (As a note, I considered using a different map, but chose the "current world" one as a few countries are still flying Cranberries.) - Aerobird Target locked - Fox One! 15:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
OK that's just old version of the map, that had been overwritten, was loading. <_< I've reuploaded the map at an entirely new filename and changed it on the page, so that should work now. - Aerobird Target locked - Fox One! 15:27, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Export Customers[edit]

Given that the aircraft was named Canberra by virtue of Australia being the first export-customer, why is Australia not listed with the others, under Origins?

The Australian-operated Canberras were built in Australia under license, with the exception of the pattern aircraft, which were supplied from Britain. Therefore, while it was certainly an overseas sale of the aircraft, it technically couldn't be called an export sale. Baclightning 03:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Canberra Details[edit]

I've been poking around for some Canberra details that turn out to be surprisingly hard to find. Barry Jones' book on the subject is thorough but oddly ignores a good number of engineering specifics: Was the nose gear steerable, or was ground handling by differential braking? Was the landing gear hydraulically retracted? Were the flight surfaces power boosted? Cheers / MrG 03:06, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

1 nosegear not steerable differential braking using rudder pedals and handle on the spade grip/controlhandle

2 u/c retracted hydraulically 3 Manual controls except for some research aircraft. (talk) 12:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Steering. Most, if not all, Canberra's had brake pedals on the rudder bar. ( not sure about the PR9) Power controls. : All 'normal' Canberras had manual controls. The PR9 had a powered rudder ( more powerful engines = big asymmetric problem!). I cannot remember if the ailerons were powered but the elevators were not. On the PR7 and PR9 the forward half of the bomber bomb bay became a fuel tank ( the belly tank), the rear half was used to carry either 5 high level photoflash, a crate with a mix of low level photoflash/flares, (over 100) or, most importantly, a luggage crate when going away.

( my authority for this is that I was a navigator on the PR9 and the PR7) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceesquared (talkcontribs) 15:33, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

first non-stop transatlantic flight by a jet?[edit]

What about "1950: Col. David C. Schilling (USAF) flew 3,300 mi from England to Limestone, Maine". This receives several Google hits. Is the Canberra 'record' incorrect? --TraceyR (talk) 18:37, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

No, the Canberra record is the official one, and it was the first non-stop jet flight across the Atlantic. The previous first jet Atlantic crossing was done in stages, via Iceland, by Vampires some time earlier - see the de Havilland Vampire article. Schilling's achievement was for the first non-stop flight by jet fighters.

Long Life Span?[edit]

I feel the article lacks information on WHY the Canberra had such a long service life. Most aircraft designed since the Canberra had short flight lives. In fact, in a quick thought, only the DC-3/C-47 and B-52 will probably exceed the life of the Canberra (for military aircraft). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

The answer is that the Canberra was generally an excellent design that proved useful longer than many other aircraft. It's performance (for its day) was excellent and it was simple to fly and maintain and it filled an operational niche that other later aircraft were unable to do so well. Also it's replacement (the BAC TSR-2) was cancelled, so it had to soldier-on longer than was intended. The early name of the Panavia Tornado (MRCA) was alleged to stand for Must Replace Canberra AGAIN. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


Every time someone writes here, nowadays, must keep attenction: almost surely someone else will come and, disliking the edit, he will revert. Not i am saying every is written, it's good, but hell, atleast a bit of common sense. This article, as example, should be far enlarged than it is now. And it's not deleting all someone writes that the result will be done. I said, basically, that Il-28 is not so good at high levels (ceiling is 12 km, not 14+), but relies on defensive armament, and basically is a medium-low level bomber, rather than an stratospheric one. Since both bombers were successful and rougly, of the same era, then what's the 'editorial', in pointing out the difference in conception? 4 NR-23 vs nothing, a small wing vs a bigger one, as example. This is really basic. And my encyclopedia War machine takes care to point out that Camberra could OUTFLY, OUTRUN and OUTMANOUVER both Meteor and Vampire, the RAF interceptor at that time (1951). This should be pointed: as Mosquito, Camberra too was meant to be 'untouchable' by interceptors. Until 1956, when Egyptian managed to 'touch' a Camberra, and Syrians did even worse, with a Meteor too..--Stefanomencarelli (talk) 11:47, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

And without reliable sources any comparison is OR - and should be tagged or deleted. And the aircraft us the CANBERRA - not the Camberra - the standard of English of some of the additions is such that other editors have little choice but to revert or severely edit in order to preserve the readabilty of the article.Nigel Ish (talk) 14:48, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Missing Info[edit]

There's not much (there's almost nothing) about the weapons this bomber could deliver, and the article does not say if it was capable of carrying nuclear weapons--something that should be clearly stated in an entry devoted to a bomber!-- (talk) 18:26, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a work in progress with no claim to being complete, if you have a reliable source for the information and it is notable to the aircraft then you can add it. MilborneOne (talk) 18:39, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
The Canberra was able to carry the Red Beard and was also cleared to carry the US Mk 7. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

"Replacement for the Mosquito"?[edit]

I've always been under the impression that the Mosquito earned its stripes as a low-altitude bomber rather than a high-altitude one, despite what this article says. If the article is going to draw parallels between the two planes, I think it should only mention the lack of armament, and the use of (at least some) wood construction in an era of otherwise entirely metal planes. Your thoughts?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Naymetayken (talkcontribs)

I think it may be referring to high altitude transit, rather than bombing from high altitude. (Hohum @) 04:23, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
The Mosquito was used in both high-level and low-level bombing roles. The B.IX, B.XVI and B.35 variants, among others, were intended for high altitude missions.[3] Letdorf (talk) 23:26, 3 January 2011 (UTC).
The Canberra was intended as a jet replacement for the high-altitude Mosquito B.IX and B.XVI bomber variants, as they had proved practically immune from interception. It was for this reason that Petter gave the Canberra a large wing area with a reasonable critical Mach number at high altitude. Later the Canberra also carried out many of the roles of the low-altitude Mosquito FB.VI fighter bombers and similar, e.g., intruding, for which the generous wing area again came in useful, for manoeuvring at low levels.
Like the Mosquito, the Canberra was also very good at these other roles, better than - or at least as good as - some purpose-designed aircraft, and that is almost certainly one of the reasons for the Canberra's longevity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:16, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

"Cordite Charge" contradiction[edit]

This misunderstanding is basically down to official opinion verses practical experience. The referenced material explains this perfectly, I'd recommend reading it; but it boils down to: Rolls-Royce declared that the Cordite Charge to kick the engine into life was the absolutely only, absolutely necessary, no-other-way-possible-in-the-whole-wide-world to achieve this feat. As nations like Rhoesia had embargos on them, or wanted to cut down on their foreign expenditure, they tried an old engine trick to start them, which is basically blasting high pressure air at the right point and crossing your fingers. Losing nothing but air to do so, rather than costly cordite charges, is cheaper; but it takes some figuring out, some unofficial equipment, trial and error, inventiveness, and persistence in the face of official pooh-poohing. You couldn't just walk up to any Canberra, or even most, and expect to be able to start it without a charge. But if an industry really put its mind to it, it could be done by air. Without the extra equipment, ignoring official advice, and experience in doing so, it isn't possible to get by without cordite. For most operators, cordite was the way they went and the only way to start the engine. But if anybody really wanted to get inventive on their aircraft, not just the Canberra (The Hawk was specifically mentioned too, but the air-starting method was highly impractical in that aircraft due to the need to insert and remove hoses every time), then by all means a botch-job could be achieved. It's like rebooting a laptop. I could use the UI to do it, and let it perform the task over the course of a minute or two; or I could hold the laptop up in the air, and slam it hard into the table. Both are 'proven' methods of getting the job done practically, only one is officially recommended, while the other is a sloppy job that may do untold damage to the machine and is COMPLETELY against what the manufacturer instructs; you makes your choices. Kyteto (talk) 21:17, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I've made an edit based on your info above to avoid the contradiction. DexDor (talk) 22:13, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I really don't like the "manufacture specified" as it sounds like an optional peice to the process, rather than a compulsorary component under all plausable circumstances. It'd like starting your car; you could rip of the ignition switch and touch the wires together, so there's technically another way around it.... but it isn't a plausable one. The use of the cordite charges is essential, unless you go through the complicated jiggery-pokery of inventing what is a rather contrived method of subverting the original mechanism. It even involved ramming non-standard equipment into the plane, arguably the air-starting method is an invalid way of starting the Canberra because it takes the plane outside of its normal specification and limitations. Kyteto (talk) 22:37, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
The air start method was not really a bodge as implied, it was a pipe fed from some air bottles connected to a dummy cartridge that was inserted in appropriate hole. Some of the Canberras (cant remember which) used AVPIN to start rather than cordite cartridges.MilborneOne (talk) 22:54, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the "should" could be changed to "must" - in which case the "heavily discouraged" bit would probably be redundant. I haven't got the book cited so you're probably in a better position than me to make the wording stronger. My problem with the original text was that I read "required" (with no mention of man'fr) as meaning that starting without cartridges was physically impossible. DexDor (talk) 23:05, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Stored compressed air was briefly used as a starting method for aero and tank engines in the 1920s or 30s until it was discovered that the cold air from the air bottles could cause damage to an already warm or hot engine due to irregular rapid cooling of components.
Rolls-Royce probably didn't care how anyone started their engines - that was the owner's business - but if they then came back to them complaining of premature Avon compressor or turbine fatigue failure they would have been happy to point out why it had occurred. Generally, if RR states something needs to be done a certain way they usually have a good engineering reason for stating so - and it may not be an obvious one.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Numbers built by different manufacturers[edit]

Since there were so many Canberas built, it might be useful to have a table giving the numbers built by EE and by other manufacturers under licence. The article mentions some built in Australia and that Shorts built some; which other companies were involved? Barnes & James (Putnam, 1989, p.509.) mention that Shorts built 60 B.2s, 49 B.6s, 23 PR.9s, 2 U.10 prototypes (unmanned target drones), 24 production U.10s, 6 U.14s (aka S.C.6) and one S.C.9 (a PR.9, XH132 converted for missile guidance system research). There was also an S.D.1.

It could look something like this:

Variant English Electric Shorts Handley-Page Avro Government
B.2  ? 60  ?  ?  ?  ?
B.6  ? 49  ?  ?  ?  ?
PR.9  ? 23  ?  ?  ?  ?
U.10 prototype 0 (2)  ?  ?  ?  ?
U.10  ? (24)  ?  ?  ?  ?
U.14 (S.C.6)  ? 6 0 0 0 0
S.C.9 (ex-PR.9) 0 (1) 0 0 0 0
S.D.1 (ex-PR.3) 0 (1) 0 0 0 0
Totals  ? 138  ?  ? 48  ?

These are the numbers available in Barnes & James (165 in total); there will be some duplicates in addition to the S.C.9 and S.D.1, e.g. the two U.10 prototypes were converted from one H-P and one Avro aircraft. I'm sure that some of you will have more comprehensive data. Would this be a useful addition? --TraceyR (talk) 19:13, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Seems a reasonable idea the English Electric Putnam book "English Electric Aircraft" lists all the contracts, strange has not been used as a reference yet. Although it may be better leave out conversions and just list new build otherwise it would be a bit of a mess. MilborneOne (talk) 19:20, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree about the conversions, especially if they are mentioned elsewhere. If the U.10s etc are omitted, the Shorts' total would be 138. If the U.14s were also conversions, it would be 132. --TraceyR (talk) 20:18, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


Putnam's English Electric Aircraft has a different total built to that in the infobox and in the Manufacturing abroad section (which strangely talks about all production not just abroad"). No problem with the Martin 451 403 and the Aussie 48 but it gives UK production as 631 by EE, 144 by Shorts, 75 by Avro and 75 by Handley Page which gives 925 not 901 as in the article. This gives a different total (inc B-57) of 1376 not 1352. Putnam books are a pretty reliable resource and it lists most of the contracts, any comments? MilborneOne (talk) 19:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The Barry Jones article in October 2006 Aeroplane (p. 86) gives UK production as 631 by EE, 75 by Avro, 75 by HP and 144 by Shorts - the same figures as the Putnam - it does however give 403 built by Martin.Nigel Ish (talk) 19:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Francis K Mason's The British Bomber since 1914 (p371) (another Putnam) gives a UK total of 901, including 412 B2s (202 by EE, 75 Avro, 75 HP and 60 Shorts), 32 PR3, 75 T4, 106 B6, 79 PR7, 135 B(I)8, 23 PR9, 16 B(I)12 and 1 T13. Licence production is 48 by GAF and 403 by Martin.Nigel Ish (talk) 20:09, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry agree US was 403 451 was total foreign production, still have a difference between 901 and 925! I will have a look and see if I can find where the difference is. MilborneOne (talk) 20:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
In Appendix G to Barnes and James are listed the constructor's numbers of the Short-built Canberras, which I take to mean those aircraft actually built by Shorts, excluding modifications. This gives a total of 60 B2s, 49 B6s and 23 PR9s, making 132 in all. A further 18 aircraft were ordered but later cancelled , the rest were modifications, sometimes extensive, of existing aircraft. Where did the figure 144 first come from? --TraceyR (talk) 07:42, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Possible because of 12 B(I)8s built without SH numbers:

  • November 1950 - Air Ministry contract for 100 B2s but actually built as 60 B2s (WH853-WH887, WH902-925 and WH944) and 40 B6s (WH945-WH984)
  • April 1951- Air Ministry contract for 50 B6s most cancelled and only 9 built (WT205-WT213)
  • November 1956 - sub-contract from EE for 12 B(I)8s WT337, WT340, WT342, WT345, WT347, WT363, WT366, XH204, XH208, XH228, XH231 and XH234 dont appear to have been allocated SH numbers.
  • November 1956 - 43 PR9s later reduced to 23 (XH129-XH137, XH164-XH177)

Which as you say is 60 x B2s, 49 x B6s, 23 x PR9s plus the 12 B(I)8s = 144 MilborneOne (talk) 19:51, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


  • November 1950 one contract for 100 B2s, 25 later cancelled (75 built)
  • April 1951 - second contract for 50 B2s all cancelled

Which gives a total of 75 B2s MilborneOne (talk) 19:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


  • November 1950 one contract for 100 B2s, 25 later cancelled (75 built)
  • April 1951 second contract for 50 B2s all cancelled.

Which gives a total of 75 B2s. MilborneOne (talk) 19:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Variant English Electric Shorts Handley-Page Avro Government
B.1 4 0 0 0 0 4
B.2 208 60 75 75 0 418
PR.3 36 0 0 0 0 36
T.4 75 0 0 0 0 75
B.5 1 0 0 0 0 1
B.6 55 49 0 0 0 104
B(I)6 24 0 0 0 0 24
PR.7 74 0 0 0 0 74
B(I)8 59 12 0 0 0 71
PR.9 0 23 0 0 0 23
B(I)12 18 0 0 0 0 18
T.13 1 0 0 0 0 1
B.20 0 0 0 0 48 48
PR.57 5 0 0 0 0 5
B(I)58 72 0 0 0 0 72
Totals 632 144 75 75 48 974
Were the B(I)6 new builds or conversions?Nigel Ish (talk) 20:54, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
All the ones on the table (not yet finished!) are new-builds only MilborneOne (talk) 21:06, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
There is a website here] which claims that only 20 B(I)6s were built, all converted B6s. Is the table 'safe' in saying 24 new-builds? It's looking excellent, by the way. I have 'emboldened' the totals. --TraceyR (talk) 21:56, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I understand that they were converted as they were built so where B(I)6s when they first flew. The first batch WT207 to WT325 adds up to 19. I also have XG554, XJ249 and XJ257 plus two French Air Force ones. I will go through the small print again and double check. MilborneOne (talk) 13:02, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

(ec):::Finished for now the table gives uk production at 928 so looks like 3 out somewhere but certainly more than 901, comments welcome (serials are in the table as notes. MilborneOne (talk) 21:54, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

re B(I)8: According to this excellent website dedicated to the B(I)8, 82 were built, including the prototype, which was a converted PR3/B5 (VX185). The WP article mentions two other converted airframes. This would make either 79 or 81 genuine B(I)8s in all, i.e. including the 12 Shorts-built B(I)8 you list above. Unfortunately the B(I)8 website doesn't say who built the aircraft (except for WT345,WT363, WT366, XH228, XH231 and XH234, all Shorts). --TraceyR (talk) 21:49, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

As in the table I have the B(I)8s as WT326-WT348, WT362-WT368, XH203-XH209, XH227-XH244, XK951-XK953, XK959, XM244-XM245, XM262-XM279, XM936, 4A-39, 5A-39, 4B-39, 5B-39, 1C-39, 2C-39, 3C-39, 4C-39, 479-482, 208 (WT337, WT340, WT342, WT345, WT347, WT363, WT366, XH204, XH208, XH228, XH231 and XH234 built by Shorts) I have only counted the initial build mark so the prototype is not in the number as it was a conversion. MilborneOne (talk) 21:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I suspect the difference are the ones diverted of contract to India as B(I)58s, WT338(IF906), XH203(IF896), XH205 (IF897), XH227 (IF899), XH229 (IF900), XH230 (IF901), XH232 (IF902), XH233 (IF903), XH235 (IF904), XH236 (IF905), XH237 (IF907), XH238 (IF908), XH239 (IF909), XH240 (IF910), XH241 (IF911), XH242 (IF912), XH243 (IF913) which are 17 should really be B(I)58s. MilborneOne (talk) 22:17, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry two more XK953 and XK959 also went direct to the Indians. MilborneOne (talk) 22:34, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Any new build T54s? The Jones Aeroplane article suggests the Indians ordered 80 Canberras (65 B(I)8s, 8 PR.57s and 7 T54s in 1957), of which 24 were diverted from RAF contracts, with a further six new build B(I)58s in about 1960.Nigel Ish (talk) 22:21, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I have five new-build T4s for India no mention of them being T54s in the Putnam book, the other two were diverted off RAF contracts (XK647/IQ994 XK650/IQ995). Where they converted later or were they T54s on delivery? MilborneOne (talk) 22:34, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
This is extremely impressive work. Well done! Kyteto (talk) 00:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I second that. Excellent! --07:46, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks it is still I think one or two out in the EE production as the total should be 631, probably aircraft diverted to other customers counted twice. Still working on it, when we are happy I think it would be a good addition to the article. MilborneOne (talk) 12:54, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Of the B(I)8s, where do the unusual numbers (4A-39, 5A-39, 4B-39, 5B-39, 1C-39, 2C-39, 3C-39, 4C-39, 479-482, 208) belong? Thanks. --TraceyR (talk) 13:41, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

They XX-39 were for Venezuela, 479-482 and 208 were for Peru, the first Peru order was for eight B(I)8s four diverted from RAF contracts (474 ex WT343, 475 ex WT348, 476 ex WT367, 478 ex XH206) and four new ones (479-482), in service the six survivors were re-numbered in the low two hundreds and after one crashed a replacement was bought new and became 208. MilborneOne (talk) 17:04, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, very interesting! Given the history of some the aircraft, e.g. VX185, which went from PR3 to B5 to P(I)8, would it be feasible (and notable!) to have a table of converted aircraft, showing their various metamorphoses? I have no concrete idea as to how many aircraft would be involved, it's just a thought that occurred to me. It would underline the Canberra's flexibility as a platform. --TraceyR (talk) 17:48, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I would have thought that some of the prototypes and engine test beds would be worth a mention in the text, VX185 was never a PR3 it built against contract 6/Acft/4689/CB96)b as a B5 prototype. I will have a think about if we could present conversions in a meaningfull way. MilborneOne (talk) 18:05, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
About 99 aircraft were modified to other designations plus other special test beds and development aircraft. MilborneOne (talk) 19:02, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Modification history table[edit]

Is this any good as a first draft? The idea is that the airframe build year goes in the column for the build type, and the modification/conversion year(s) (and new a/c number, if applicable) go in the appropriate column(s). For 99 airframes it would be a big table, of course, but it would be informative, at least. The table contents are just examples, not intended to be accurate! As an aside, the VX185 data are taken from the B(I)8 site mentioned above; even if they are inaccurate, they show an example of three types on one airframe ("Originally built as a PR.3, this Canberra was re-worked into the B.5 prototype and first flew in August 1951. Before conversion to B(I)8, VX185 made a record breaking flight across the Atlantic, you can find more details about this Canberra in the Survivors pages." see

Canberra type modifications and conversions
Serial B.1 B.2 PR.3 T.4 B.5 B.6 B(I)6 PR.7 B(I)8 PR.9 B(I)12 T.13 B.20 PR.57 B(I)58 B(I)68
VX181 (EE) - - 1953 (P) - - - - - - - - - - - - -
VX185 (EE) - - (?) - 1951 (P) - - - 1954 (P) - - - - - - -
WT340 (EE) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1975: Peru:No. 251
WT342 (HP) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1975: Peru:No. 249
WT343 (AV) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1956: Peru:No. 474
WT344 (EE) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1975: Peru:No. 245
WT348 (EE) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1956: Peru:No. 475
WT364 (HP) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1975: Peru:No. 250
WT368 (HP) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1975: Peru:No. 247
XH203 (EE) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - 1958: India: No. IF896 -
XH205 (EE) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - 1958: India: No. IF897 -
XH206 (EE) - - - - - - - - (year) - - - - - - 1956: Peru:No. 478

Any comments, other ideas? --TraceyR (talk) 00:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

At the risk of trying to pack too much data into one table, the Serial No. column could have a qualifier in brackets e.g. (EE), (HP), (AV) and (SH) to indicate the manufacturer (examples added for effect). (P) could replace ""prototype. Only airframes with a conversion/modification history should be included (i.e. VX181 would not be there). Type columns without entries could be deleted from the finished table. If the table were deemed too long, it could become a separate List article linked into the main Canberra page. --TraceyR (talk) 12:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The main problem I have is listing all 99 serials is a bit overe the top, generally we dont list serials/registrations unless the aircraft are notable we leave that to the enthusiast sites. The table could have very large amount of blank spaces as most of the aircraft were fairly straightforward moves from one variant to another which could be grouped together. MilborneOne (talk) 15:44, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Variant New Conversion
Notes Total
B.1 4 0 4
B.2 418 0 Conversions to T4 (18), U10 (17), U14 (3), T17 (24), TT18 (20), T19 (7) , B52 (4), B(I)56 (3), B62 (10), B92 (1) and Tp52 (2) 418
PR.3 36 0 One converted to SD.1 36
T.4 75 18 Converted from B2, Conversion to T13 (1), T64 (2) and T94 (1) 94
B.5 1 0 Converted to B(I)8 Prototype 1
B.6 104 0 Conversions to B15 (35), B16 (19), B(I)56 (3) and T19 (1) 104
B(I)6 24 0 24
PR.7 74 0 Conversion to PR9 prototype (1), PR67 (2), T22 (6) 74
B(I)8 71 1 Prototype converted from B5, conversions to B(I)12 (1) and B(I)68 (1) 72
PR.9 23 1 Prototype converted from PR7, one converted to SC.9 24
U.10 0 17 Converted from B2 17
T.11 0 7 Converted from B2, 6 later converted to T19 7
B(I)12 18 1 Converted from B(I)8 19
T.13 1 1 Comverted from T4 2
U.14 0 3 Converted from B2 3
B.15 0 35 Converted from B6 35
E.15 0 6 Converted from B15 6
B.16 0 19 Converted from B6 19
T.17 0 24 Converted from B2 24
TT.18 0 20 Converted from B2 20
T.19 0 7 Six converted from T11, one from a B6 7
B.20 48 0 48
T.22 0 6 Converted from PR7 6
B.52 0 4 Converted from B2 4
B(I)56 0 6 Converted from B2 (3) and B6 (3) 6
PR.57 5 0 5
(B(I)58 72 0 72
B.62 0 10 Converted from B2 10
T.64 0 2 Converted from T4 2
B(I)66 0 10 Converted from B15 and B16 10
PR.67 0 2 Converted from PR7 2
B(I)68 0 1 Converted from B(I)8 1
B.92 0 1 Converted from B2 1
T.94 0 1 Converted from T4 1
SC.9 0 1 Converted from PR9 1
SD.1 0 1 Converted from PR3 1
Tp52 0 2 Converted from B2 2


Draft table MilborneOne (talk) 20:16, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
That's definitely more compact! I think that the B(I)8, B(I)12 and B(I)68 rows were inconsistent. Are my minor amendments correct? --TraceyR (talk) 21:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
No problem it is just my first attempt to see what others think I have bound to make some mistakes! I think I have found my error in the main production table when I have sorted it out I will correct the draft tables. If you think anything is wrong then please raise it. Just noticed some of the B15 and B16s went to India so I need to sort that out . MilborneOne (talk) 21:23, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Covert RAF PR9 ops from Chile?[edit]

The British air services in the Falklands War article says "No. 39 Squadron - (Canberra PR.9) 2; Clandestine operations from Chile" and cites the MOD website ([4]) which says "The Falkland Islands - A history of the 1982 conflict - Aircraft and units of the Royal Air Force - Canberra PR9 - 39 Squadron". An unofficial website ([5]) provides details including that the PR9s could not have reached the Falklands from Ascension. Should a sentence be added to this article along the lines of "At least one RAF Canberra PR9 participated in the Falklands conflict. It has been suggested that RAF Canberras were covertly based in Chile during the conflict." ? DexDor (talk) 23:31, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I think that a strong reference would be needed for that. That RAF website lists a number of units which didn't actually fly over the Falklands during the war (for instance, No. 29 Squadron). Nick-D (talk) 07:31, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Photos available[edit]

From this link there are quite a few old Canberra photos available, including from Indian and Venezuelan Air Forces. They are available for use as per Commons:Template:MikeFreer. If anyone wants to use any of the photos, do so and upload to Commons. Russavia Let's dialogue 12:35, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

B(I)6 also equipped to use LABS method.[edit]

213 squadron, based at RAF Bruggen, Germany, flew B(I)6 variant and were also operationally equipped and trained for LABS. LABS reference for B(I)8 can be equally added to B(I)6. Source: Published 213 Squadron history.

I've copied the LABS statement from B(I)8 and similarly included it for B(I)6. Gracht Café (talk) 03:28, 11 January 2012 (UTC)


I edited the stuff not because the Canberra article was bad written, or because i want to disrupt it, but reading that on 1th May, there were a 'SOLE BOMBER', when it is known from then that the Canberra were 3, not one (one of them shot down by a Sea Harrier with AIM-9Ls, another two engaged with AIM-9s by Broadwater's Sea Harrier, but without appreciable effects) is frankly speaking, not correct. I hope that the good faith contributions will be not deleted as already happened before. Regards. Stefanomencarelli (talk) 12:45, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

More nukes[edit]

The article currently says "Many Canberras that were stationed at remote overseas locations did not undertake modifications to become nuclear-capable until as late as 1957." - This statement seems misleading as the RAF didn't get US Mark 7 nuclear bombs until 1958 according to the Project E article, while the first British bomb which the Canberra could carry, Red Beard (nuclear weapon) (which was the first nuclear weapon available for deployment to "remote overseas locations" such as Cyprus and Singapore) appently didn't enter substantial production until 1959 [6] and operational service in 1961.Nigel Ish (talk) 20:31, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree, it seems misleading to me; I'm not confortable with it. The claim that Canberras stationed in the Far East being being made nuclear-capable in 1957 doesn't necessarily hold water as it was a politically-aggrivated statement designed to influence the foreign policies of other nations, and may not actually hold any substance. It is arguable that preperations to deploy such weapons may have been made ahead of their receipt; I wouldn't like to go on assumption however, not using the basis of political arm-wrangling anyhow. Kyteto (talk) 21:09, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

four Indian Canberras were shot down[edit]

"on 1 September 1965, when four Indian Canberras were shot down by Pakistani fighters." - probably fake, it was four Mystere fighters 1 September shot down, Canberra air losses were lower. --SojerPL (talk) 13:14, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


I have edited the designations to include Mk. and mission designator, which is correct (see A.P.s) for RAF/UK variants, but not necessarily for export variants (some did, some didn't and some used only Mk.). Can someone find a RELIABLE reference to re-edit those that I have wrong. ThanksPetebutt (talk) 14:00, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Engine layout[edit]

The image of the Avon shows a relatively compact design, while the nacelles on the wings are very long indeed. Is this simply a long pipe out the back? Or was the model of the Avon in the bombers much larger than the one in the image?

Also, the design section notes that the layout originally featured a single engine, which I suppose was while it was still being considered for the fighter-bomber role? This isn't entirely clear, and it seems the chronology is a little mixed. Can someone clarify this?

Maury Markowitz (talk) 15:05, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Flight in 1958 referring to Petter starting in 1944 on a high altitude bomber says "By June 1945 the design had evolved into a mid-wing monoplane, powered by a single, very large turbojet, and crewed by a pilot and navigator". A cutaway in a 1949 article shows the Avon at the front of the nacelle and a long pipe. The text says "So compact is the Avon turbojet, even by normal 'axial' standards, that it is entirely housed forward of the main spar".GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:45, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Nice! Thanks, that's just what I was looking for, and I'm surprised someone actually said exactly that is interesting. (talk) 01:00, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Canberra virtual tour[edit]

I would like to propose adding an external link to a virtual tour of the Canberra B.2 (WE113) at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum (

The virtual tour has been created for the museum, where it will be displayed next to the aircraft. It covers - cockpit - bomb aimer station - navigator station and has titles and explanations for hundreds of items in all three areas.

Although I'm a professional photographer, this virtual tour is the result of months of voluntary work for the museum.

The link is

Kind regards

Harald Joergens

— Preceding unsigned comment added by HaraldJoergens (talkcontribs) 13:01, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

@MilborneOne: I can't see a problem with adding this, a virtual tour of the cockpit is relevant and adds significant value to the article. I don't think there is a WP:COI issue as the direct link isn't laden with adverts or self serving an any way I can see. (Hohum @) 13:42, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
The conflict of interest was the user addding a link to and promoting his own website, something we dont allow. If others think it is of value then they could added but all the information in the panorama is already in the pilots notes for the B.2 which is already in external links. Also need to consider WP:EL1 (Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article) and WP:EL4 (Links mainly intended to promote a website). That said any other opinions are welcome. MilborneOne (talk) 15:18, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
It's not promotional when the page has nothing to link to the rest of the site, so COI is moot. A detailed steerable full colour panorama view from three crew locations isn't in the pilots notes. (Hohum @) 17:29, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
It only takes two clicks from the "panorama" to get to the home page of the photographer, it is still a conflict to add your own website however well intended. But the links on the panorama are not a reliable source and could even be considered original research, the pilots notes are not. MilborneOne (talk) 18:04, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
I have left a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Aircraft#Panorama images of Lightning and Canberra to seek other views. MilborneOne (talk) 18:09, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Added. This is an excellent resource and exactly what EL is (for once!) in favour of. Thanks Harald for providing it.
BTW - Surely it's a "rumble seat" though? Andy Dingley (talk) 18:11, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Specifications (Canberra B(I)6)[edit]

The Specifications (Canberra B(I)6) section shows an incorrect diagram of the aircraft. The diagram is of a B(I)8. Witness the camshell canopy(B(I)8 and PR9 only) and the gun pack in the forward bomb bay ( bombers only) Ceesquared (talk) 15:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't always follow in aircraft articles that the three-view is of the variant described, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is an example. In that case a caption describing the drawing has been given. Unfortunately the uploader of this Canberra drawing has not given the details. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 18:21, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Civil transport derivative[edit]

  • Ransom, Stephen; Fairclough, Robert (1987). English Electric Aircraft and their Predecessors. Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-806-2. , page 157, describes how in October 1946 a number of civil transport derivatives of the A1 were considered. One proposal was for an airliner which could have carried 34 passengers up to 930 miles or 16 passengers up to 1600 miles. The passengers were to have been carried in a circular cross section pressure cabin, the seating being four abreast. Cruising speed was predicted to be 450mph KreyszigB (talk) 17:07, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Article length and possible spin-offs[edit]

Dear Wikipedians, given the long history of this aircraft, numbers built and number of operators, this article has grown to a considerable length. As with similarly notable aircraft, it may be appropriate to consider moving some of its sections with long lists to their own articles. I propose to create list-articles for "Operators" and "Preserved aircraft", leaving just a brief section with the link in this "parent" article. Hope there is no concerns with this approach. Regards, DPdH (talk) 08:27, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:English Electric Canberra/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Looks pretty good to me; it'd have to go through peer review to get to higher status, anyway. Karl Dickman talk 05:42, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 05:42, 18 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 14:31, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 4 external links on English Electric Canberra. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:35, 24 December 2016 (UTC)