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Canberra hours

Old 26th Mar 2007, 16:41
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Canberra hours

Just played golf with my old Canberra Nav. He's got 9500 hours on the Queen of the skies ( well he would think that wouldn't he?). Got us talking about who has the most both front and back now that she is retired. Terry Cairns? Any bids for the most on EE's finest?
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 16:53
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India retired theirs this month, too. And may have a contender for most hours, I would guess!
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 17:22
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Shall we restrict it to the UK?
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 21:42
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Charlie Ole? Particularly when you consider he had a few years away from the Queen of the Skies. Don't think he had anywhere near 9500 'berra hours mind. But at least his were in the both the front and back - not bad as a nav ...
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Old 30th Mar 2007, 06:01
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Jackonicko,

The IAF Canberra's are not retired yet - May is supposed to be the official date.

The pilot I have found with the most number of hours in the Canberra has about 4500 hrs. Most early IAF Canberra pilots came to the type from either a fighter (usually Vampire/Ouragan/Hunter) tour or a multi tour (Dakota/C-119 Packet). First tourists were only taken on in the late 70s (direct from Hunter OCU/Iskra/Kiran). Some of IAF pilot had many hours on other types before the Canberra and didn't have as many Canberra hours as they could have if they had been first tourists. My father's FIS (equivalent to CFS in the RAF) instructor was operational in the Spitfire, Tempest, Vampire and then Canberra. Interestingly a large part of the early cadre came from B-24 Liberators.

The other factor is that the IAF doesn't have the RAF's equivalent of a "flying" cadre. Its up or out - you can't be a senior (in years) officer and be a line pilot on a flying squadron. Most people's flying was done by the time they are Squadron Leaders (rank inflation has now raised that to Wing Cdr) which was about 16-18 years in service. You continued to fly after that only if you were CO/OC Flying/Station Commander but that meant that you did a lot of ground postings in between.

The pilot with the most hours was a first tourist on the Canberra - did his entire career on Canberras as a line pilot/flight commander/unit commander and retired as Wg Cdr after 30 years service. In between he did a tour as an instructor on Kirans. But that career profile is unusual - he was also lucky/unlucky enough to be caught in the rank inflation where the COs of multi squadrons are now Gp Capts! He was acting Gp Capt when he retired.

Trying to figure out who the navigator with most hours was - but I would think that would be about the same number of hours too.

Worf
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 17:38
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anybody got WK127 in their log book?
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 19:20
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Canberra Nav hours

Try Tony "Dusty" Miller, he's been flying them almost continously since 1967.
As for being retired, we have a very full season ahead with Canberra B2/6 WK163 with displays in the UK, Holland and Belgium as well as celebrating the 50th anniversary of her breaking the world alltitude record 28th August 1957 70,310 ft.
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 19:34
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WK127 - the fabulous TT18.
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 21:20
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Angel

I can feel an assymetric sock story rearing it's head....
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 21:54
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We've got the whole front of WK127 sat on our parade square....but no more information!
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 22:12
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Get a room !
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 23:31
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ciderman
Terry Cairns would definitely be in the fore for most hours on Cranberries. But, does anybody here remember Sqn Ldr Bruce Bull? Surely he must be up there amongst the top few.

.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 00:44
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While we are at it - how about also the one/s with experience on the most variants of the Canberra ? And how many variants were there?
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 09:00
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But, does anybody here remember Sqn Ldr Bruce Bull? Surely he must be up there amongst the top few.
I remember Bruce Bull and flew with him once from St Mawgan to Aldergrove probably in '72. Recollections a bit hazy but I think he had the most hours back then....4000?
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 10:09
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Worked with Bruce in the early nineties, what a gent.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 10:11
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I seem to remember he was known as "Rock ar*e" on account of the number of hours spent in the right hand seat of T4's. Last heard of at RAE Llanbedr flying meteors.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 10:21
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He worked at Trent at Cranfield (later taken over by Cabair) teaching CPL/IR students having previously been at Oxford. As I remember, they finally retired him around 1992 by which time he was in his late 60's. Full of enthusiasm, a great instructor and of course his war stories really were war stories.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 11:48
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Hi Guys,

The gent I was referrrin to with the huge number of hours is Bryan Stoat, ( 213 and others and laterally FRADU). It would be nice to get Terry Cairns to tell us how many he actually has. I remember my trap rides with Terry, usually a bundle of laughs after the serious stuff was done. Used to get awfully pissed with him at Raynham too!! Yes I, do remember Bruce Bull, he was on 7 Sqn at St Mawgan. Alex Wedderburn must have a few in the back of the old girl too.

Cheers.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 15:09
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How many variants?

What - in proper UK service?

I make it 23 with their own 'variant designation', though there were others - like the Elint B2s used by 192 Squadron, the recce-modded B2s used on Op Robin, etc. the B2 and B6 samplers, etc.

B2 - original bomber
B2T - one off with Decca, last with 100 Squadron?
B2E - ex-Boscombe, once fitted out for single seat operation (WK162, or 164?)
PR3 - original recce, usually two crew but three ejection seats???
T4 - trainer
B6 - bomber with integral wing tanks triple breech starters, bigger Avons, etc.
B6(BS) - as above with Blue Shadow, mainly for 109/139 Sqns, designation also used by B6 Mod
B6 Mod - four modified B6/B6(BS) for 51 Squadron for Elint role. Additional tail warning receivers, Elint antennas in nose, which initially followed 'normal' contours, before addition of T11 type nose, and finally extended rounded nose radome. Blue Shadow fitted. Three crew.
B(I)6 - as B6 with provision for gun pack in rear part of bomb bay, underwing hardpoints, LABS gear as standard. Three crew???
PR7 - recce version with integral wing tanks triple breech starters, bigger Avons, etc. Usually two crew but three ejection seats???
B(I)8 - interdictor/strike derivative of B6 with offset 'fighter type canopy' (non-opening) nav on rumble seat for take off, or sideways facing at forward plotting table or prone in the nose. Provision for gun pack (4 x 20mm Hispano) in rear part of bomb bay, underwing hardpoints, LABS gear as standard.
PR9 - recce version with opening offset 'fighter type canopy' for access, nav on ejection seat in front of pilot in sideways hinged nose, with frangible panel above. Powered ailerons.
U10 - drone conversion of B2
T11 - crew trainer for Javelin crews converted from B2, with AI radar in extended conical nose, long pitot boom on port wingtip. Did it have dual controls and an ejection seat for both pilots???
D14 - drone conversion of B2 with PR9 type powered controls
B15 - Converted B6 for the Akrotiri Strike Wing and 45 Squadron, Decca Doppler, underwing hardpoints for unguided rockets, and later Nord AS30 ASMs.
E15 - calibration conversion of B15
B16 - Converted B6 for the Akrotiri Strike Wing with Blue Shadow SLAR. (Did this supplant one of the rear crew ejection seats? Was this a two-crew aircraft?)
T17 - EW training conversion of B2, extended bulbous nose and numerous antenna fairings, scoops, etc. Long pitot boom on port wingtip.
T17A - Further conversion of T17, with new kit (externally identifiable by new underwing blade antennas
TT18 - Target towing conversion of B2 with underwing Rushton winches, extra window in starboard fuselage to allow nav to see starboard winch.
T19 - Silent target conversion of T11 with radar replaced by 'Blue Circle'.
T22 - Conversion of PR.Mk 7 with Buccaneer radar in extended nose. Intended as Buccaneer radar trainer for observers, but used as silent target.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 12:19
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Plus the SC9 modification of PR9, the B2TT a B2 with single hook on the back and WK163 designated B2/6 to add to the list.
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