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Martin EB-57B Canberra walkaround

12 August 2011

Martin EB-57B Canberra walkaround

30º 28′ 01″ N / 86º 33′ 43″ W

Martin built the B-57 under license from English Electric which designed the Canberra to replace the famed de Havilland Mosquito. Following the Mosquito template the Canberra placed two of the most powerful engines onto a high speed wing so that the craft would fly higher and faster than interceptors. The English Electric Canberra had a different crew arrangement than the Martin version with the most obvious difference seen in the cockpit, with Martin redesigning the Canberra to have a solo or tandem cockpit depending upon the version. One version, the RB-57D had a greatly modified wing — going from ~64 feet (~19.4m) to ~105 feet (~31.8m) — and stronger engines, and performed nearly as well as the Lockheed U-2. Unfortunately, the wing’s lightweight honeycomb structure failed and the use of these aircraft was greatly curtailed.

The B-57 seen in these images is exhibited at the U.S. Air Force Armament Museum* and is an EB-57B, employed to train interceptor pilots to complete missions through electronic countermeasures. Another of the Canberra’s characteristics is the incredibly low ground clearance — only inches separate the landing gear doors from the runway surface!

Right front quarter view of the Martin EB-57B Canberra— photo by Joseph May

The Canberra’s tandem cockpit, note the minimal clearance under the gear doors — photo by Joseph May

Rear view of the left wing mounted engine— photo by Joseph May

Tail view of the Canberra showing the mid fuselage mounted wing, twin engines and wing tip fuel pods — photo by Joseph May

More information can be found at the B-57 Canberra Night Intruder web site.

* a post of the museum, and others about its aircraft, can be found by entering the name into the search window (which will take you the blog’s WordPress site) and selecting ENTER.

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