English Electric Canberra
Developed by English Electric in the late 1940’s as one of the first jet powered bombers for the RAF, the Canberra was one of Britain’s great aviation success stories. With over 1350 aircraft produced of all marks and powered by two Rolls-Royce Avon engines, it was a fast and benign aircraft which handled like a fighter and could reach extremely high altitudes. Loved by pilots, it was in RAF service from 1951 until 2006 – that’s 55 years in service! The Canberra was sold to many different countries and was even licence built in the USA. A few examples of these Martin-built aircraft are still owned and occasionally flown by NASA, incredible for a design from the 1940s.
Our Canberra entered service with the RAF in March 1955 with 15 MU and in August of that year was assigned to 104 Squadron, 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany at RAF Gutersloh, and it spent the majority of its service life serving in Germany. Put up for disposal in 1968 it was eventually scrapped in 1982, and the cockpit was acquired by the museum in the early nineties.
The Canberra is one of our best known aircraft as it has been our mobile display cockpit for over 25 years. Travelling to airshows, school and village fairs and many other events, it always attracts a queue of people, young and old, who love to climb inside and take a seat at the controls.
Unfortunately closed due to covid, the Canberra is displayed outside.