View Full Version : Canberra Gunnery

10th Mar 2008, 13:44
IIRC, some marks of the Canberra had 20mm cannon (Hispano-Suiza, I believe) mounted in a belly-pack. Would appreciate some info / stories on how this armament was employed, with special reference to sighting techniques. Must have been an interesting profile!

Kieron Kirk
10th Mar 2008, 14:18
Two basic variants of the Canberra featured a Boulton-Paul designed and constructed ventral pack containing four 20mm Hispano cannon mounted in the rear of the bomb-bay with 525 rounds per gun.

The definitive "interdictor" was the B(I).8 with a new, off-set to port, fighter type windscreen and blown canopy designed at the Acton works of Napier which English-Electric had purchased in December 1942.

An "interim" version was the B(I).6 which retained the original canopy of the earlier Canberras.

10th Mar 2008, 20:29
That would be this one; http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1954/1954%20-%202952.html and http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1969/1969%20-%200853.html

11th Mar 2008, 11:52
Gentlemen, many thanks for your replies. Any ex-Canberra drivers out there who can give us some details on the sighting techniques and employment of this gun system?

11th Mar 2008, 22:28
From memoirs

"On 1 June 1956 I flew a Canberra B6 No 307 for the first airborne firing of guns from a Canberra. Four 20 mm cannons were mounted in a prototype bomb-bay pack, with the guns firing forward beneath the cockpit. A reflector gyro gunsight was fitted in the cockpit. The project leader for the gun-pack was Miss Williams and the test flights were to be her first flights in a jet. There were no problems during firing of a full load of ammunition, in bursts, into Lyme Bay."

No problems with Ms Williams either!
Wonder where you are and what you are doing now?

12th Mar 2008, 12:51
I have a funny memory from being in Aden in late '67.In the mess at Khormaksar a story went around that a Cranberry BI6 Driver,had tried to formate with a Great Bustard over the Desert.The said enormous bird was duly ingested,much to the Navs disgust,and a single engine landing was successfully made.The Pilot happened to be a Senior Officer who was known locally as the "Gnome Strangler".Does anyone remember this?I remember one Michael(Manx)Kelly and his Cowboy Boots putting on a great Remote Control Model Aerobatic display in the evenings.

12th Mar 2008, 21:59
Further to my post above

Having only been involved in clearing the Canberra gun pack for operational use I would appreciate some feedback on how it performed in service. Are there any users out there who can comment on the effectiveness/usefullness of the gun pack?

Was the gun pack reliable?
Were there harmonization problems?
Were there aircraft strikes from the empties and/or the links?
Were the guns ever used in anger?
Was there a noticeable effect on aircraft performance?