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Canberra hours

Old 11th Apr 2007, 12:57
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B2TT is an unofficial designation, as is B2/6. 163 was a B2 - officially - later becoming a B6.

The SC9 was never in 'proper' service - otherwise you'd add the A1 (four prototypes) and B5.

And wasn't SC9 a Shorts company designation, and not a variant designator?
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 13:52
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rumble seat

Wasn't it a Rhumbold seat? It doesnt really matter all these years - I left the Canberra force in 1982 but I was just curious. Happy to be corrected.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 14:41
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WK163 is officially designated B Mk 2/6 in the aircraft documents both civil and military (F700) and all the approvals and releases are for that mark of Canberra from the day it was modified at Pershore. It was never in "proper service" with the RAF so does that make it a non existant type?
The SC9 designation for XH132 must list as a sub type as it retained it's military seriel during all of it's life. Incidentally the PR9 has a powered rudder as well as ailerons.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 14:43
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It was. Sorry. My brain was as rusty as my own Canberra experience - which, coincidentally, dates back to 1979-82.

I was chatting to my Dad about Canberras, and find that between us we have the A1, B2, PR3, T4, B6, PR7, B(I)8, E15, T17, TT18 and T19 in our logbooks.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 14:44
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Jacko
Really impressed by your listing of Canberra variants, good one. If that was all from memory - respect.

There's an illustrated list of all basic Canberra types here for those interested. (A second page has an illustrated list of all foreign users).

PR.3 had two seats. Only two complete examples of this variant remain - WE139 at Hendon and WF922 at the Midland Air museum, Coventry Airport. Unlike WE139 at Hendon, WF922 is fully accessible as well as having working hyd/elect systems, cameras and a 'winking'n'blinking' cockpit. Well worth a visit.

One point, the B(I)8 wasn't a derviative of the B(I)6. B(I)6 was produced as an intrim variant because B(I)8 production took so long getting underway.

Agree with you regarding scorpion63's additions. If you count those you'd have to add all the myriad individual variations operated by the Establishments. And yes, SC9 was a Shorts designation.

.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 15:13
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Scorpion,

Sorry, I wasn't clear enough.

Firstly, the SC9 designation is not a mark number. SC isn't a role designator like B-for-bomber or PR-for-Photo Reconnaissance. It was the SC9 in just the same way that the Belfast C.Mk 1 was the SC5. Nor was the aircraft ever in 'proper UK service' (by which I meant RAF/RN and not MoD(PE) or RAE/RRE).



Secondly, there was no MAR for a B.Mk 2/6 meaning that the designation is unofficial, in just the way that the B6RC and PR16 designations sometimes applied to 51's Canberras (and seen on some of the relevant record cards) were unofficial, and in just the way that the RAE/RRE B6/8 hybrids probably laboured under a host of unofficial and semi-official designations. And again, WK163 was never in 'proper UK service'.

Beeayeeight,

It was from memory, because my Canberra books are in my archive/store at the mo, which is why I couldn't recall or look up how many seats the PR3 had, nor the B(I)6, nor the PR7, nor the B6BS, nor the B16.

It might also explain how I missed an RAF Canberra variant designation! (Wonder if anyone will spot it?)

I thought that the B(I)8 was derived from the B6 (big Avons, integral tanks, etc), but with the new nose and gunpack. I hadn't meant to suggest that it was derived from the B(I)6.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 15:23
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I s'pose you could argue that the 6, 7 and 8 were all derived from the B5, in that the B5 was the first with big Avons and integral tanks.....
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 16:27
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RAE (MOD(PE)) Canberra line up

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/att...hmentid=109932

One of WK163

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/att...hmentid=109933
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Old 12th Apr 2007, 08:47
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Jacko, how bizarre - I did a double take when i read your post as I could have written it myself (my father and I also share similar experience).

I had the pleasure of serving with 100 Sqn 80-83. Logbook monthly summaries were a pain though with all those different marks,
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Old 12th Apr 2007, 09:32
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Canberra B15/16

Both marks had 3 man crews, Cyprus and Tengah, also 213 in Germany.

However B16 only had 2 ejection seats, and the observers who sat on the Rhumbold seats invariably were the larger / taller Sqn members
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Old 14th Apr 2007, 19:33
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Thanks Bob,

Just found a loose page from an AP4326L in a pile of stuff awaiting filing, and it says that the T11 had a crew of four - instructor, nav instructor and two pupil navs or one pupil nav, and one pupil pilot.

Presumably it had four bang seats?

Did it have dual controls? And radar displays front and back?
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Old 17th Apr 2007, 17:40
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Can any of our older Canberra chaps confirm that early T4s didn't have ejection seats?

In his piece "Flying on 527 Squadron" at

http://www.rafwatton.info/album/swift/swift1.html

Ralph Swift said:

"The Watton Canberra‘s were B2’s and had ejection seats for the single pilot and both navigators but in both cases it was a requirement to get rid of an explosive canopy prior to ejection. In the case of the training Canberra, the T4, although the navigators had ejection seats the cramped cockpit for both pilots did not afford enough room for ejection seats and the only way out for the pilots was to slide the right hand seat backward, open the side door in the fuselage and bale out conventionally. In a situation that required the pilots to abandon the aircraft it was a very hit and miss affair and when the Canberra later had a problem with runaway tailplane actuators I think it proved impossible to get out in the time available."

Also, in an August 1994 copy of 'Aeroplane Monthly', Flt Lt Mike Retallack, describing going through Canberra Conversion with 231 OCU in 1955 at Bassingbourn, said:

"The aircraft for this first flight was a T.4 trainer, which at that time did not have ejection seats for the pilots, so it was much easier to get in compared with later versions, especially for the navigator, as the instructor's seat slid along rails."
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Old 18th Apr 2007, 01:07
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T.4 lack of ejection seats

All IAF T.4s did not have ejection seats for the pilots. They had one for the navigator. If you go to the Bharat-rakshak site and search for "canberra book" you will be able to get my article on IAF Canberra trainer versions with details.

Seems likely the IAF T.4s were based on the early RAF T.4 design (unlikely the IAF had the ejections seats that were part of the base design taken out)
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Old 18th Apr 2007, 08:45
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I never ejected from a Canberra but twice had the canopy jettison circuit fire - luckily both on the ground. Both incidents were finger trouble I hasten to add.

Interesting that the early T4s did not have bang seats for the pilots. The thread reminded me of the rather Heath Robinson arrangement of having to swing the right hand pilots seat forward so that I could climb into the back hole that was the bak of the Canberra trainer, and then have the seat swung back and latched into position.
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Old 18th Apr 2007, 12:35
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Worf
Seems likely the IAF T.4s were based on the early RAF T.4 design (unlikely the IAF had the ejections seats that were part of the base design taken out)

Thanks for that Worf, have actually been to that site previously (good Canberra articles).

The IAF received the first two of their T.4s on Dec 1958 (ex-RAF diverted off contract, serials XK647 & XK650). If I read you right, this would mean that the T.4 did not have pilot's bang seats for at least 3.5 years! (Flt Lt Mike Retallack, ref to 1955 - see Jacko's post #32). And this after the prototype first flew in June 1952. That makes around six or so years of flying for T.4s without pilot's ejection seats. Or was it only some of them?

In any case, surely someone must remember that curious fact!

.
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Old 18th Apr 2007, 14:43
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MOD(PE) Canberras

Could not see date of photo of MOD(PE) lineup, but during 72-75 at RAE Farnborough, we had a heavily modded B(I)8.

Used to have fun arriving at any RAF airfield on a visit, on board a T4 or B(I)6, to dismount and watch the eyes of the groundcrew widen when they realised that the cab had been modded for single crew (pilot that is ) operation. From memory, all that was needed was the re-positioning of a couple of switches to the front end.
Incidentally, they tended to have a better nav. fit than most operational Canberras - VOR and Decca, to name 2, - in addition to the usual.
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Old 14th May 2007, 20:27
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No more Canberras in military service

The IAF retired it's Canberras on May 11th, 2007 after 50 years of service. Photos and a report of the event can be found here
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Im...berras-Retire/

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Old 15th May 2007, 08:30
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So, how did you get four crew in a Canberra?

Just been to the National Archives, Kew looking at 15 squadron records from 1956. Canberra B2 WD980 on at least one occassion had a Captain, 1st Pilot, Plotter and Observer on board for a three hour flight (Honington to Lindholme).
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Old 15th May 2007, 10:02
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4 in a Canberra

Easy peasy, Pilot on Ejection Seat, 2 navs in back on Ejection Seats, 4th crew member, with chest parachute, on Rhumbold Seat next to pilot, still room in nose!!!
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Old 16th May 2007, 09:21
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4 in a Canberra

98 Sqn Cottesmore, operating E15s in the Calibration role. Airframe nos were WD944 (T4), WH981, WH983 and WJ756 - can't recall the others. Typical sortie to cal an airfield approach radar would involve the crew plus 2 Flight Checkers (1 on the Rumbold seat). Transit to the relevant airfield, land and drop off the Checkers. Cal sortie, then land, turn-round the jet and scoff the cabin-trunk sized packed lunch. Further cal sortie, land, engines running pick up of the Checkers, then RTB Rutland for Ruddles finest. 4 trips and approx 5 hours flying for the day in a Classic Jet. Halcyon days.
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