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An original Canberra—kinda

26 May 2021
English Electric Canberra B.2 originally but converted to target tug TT.18 at the Valiant Air Command (Titusville FL) and note the the direct air porthole in the forward portion of the canopy—©2021 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

The English Electric Canberra revolutionized aviation and largely replaced the de Havilland Mosquito in nearly all respects. Quite an achievement—especially when it was one of the company’s first original designs. The Canberra concept began in late World War II and became the RAF’s (Royal Air Force) first jet powered bomber (medium). Its defense against fighter interception was its speed and altitude (á lá the DH Mosquito)—flying without defensive armament or gun positions.

English Electric Canberra B.2 originally but converted to target tug TT.18 at the Valiant Air Command (Titusville FL) observe the crew entry hatch just behind the aircraft number—©2021 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

The last one in the RAF’s inventory retired after 57 years of service and two are flying high altitude missions for NASA to this day. Canberra bombers (B-types) had three to a crew and photo recon recon (PR-types) variants had two. The pilot and navigator sat in tandem under a canopy which was not used for entry, only exiting after jettisoning if the ejection seats were activated. Two odd looking round porthole-like windows in the forward canopy allowed air into the cockpit when on the ground.

English Electric Canberra B.2 originally but converted to target tug TT.18 at the Valiant Air Command (Titusville FL) with its clean aerodynamic lines more than evident—©2021 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

The circular cross section of the fuselage provided volume for three fuel tank while ranks of circular rods deployed from the upper and lower wing surfaces to act in lieu of conventional air brake panels. As the only jet bomber of high performance in its time it was sold to many countries and built under license by Martin for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) as the B-57 Canberra. It served in many conflicts by both the RAF and USAFt—as late as the Vietnam War as well as Kosovo.

English Electric Canberra B.2 originally but converted to target tug TT.18 at the Valiant Air Command (Titusville FL)—©2021 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

In the early 1950s special Canberras flew recon missions deep in Soviet territory (Project Robin) and this specific Canberra was part of that mission, later being converted to a target tug duty (TT-type). It was restored by the Valiant Air Command and is on display there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Vi Olsten permalink
    23 August 2021 05:37

    on that T.M.F #themessiahthecreator

    lol hope i loose some of this fat #themessiahthecreator

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