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English Electric Canberra bomber

The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bombermanufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft (21,430 m) in 1957. Due to its ability to evade early interceptors and providing a significant performance advancement over piston-engined bombers then common, the Canberra was a popular export product and served with many nations.

In addition to being a tactical nuclear strike aircraft, the Canberra proved to be highly adaptable, serving in varied roles such as tactical bombing and photographic andelectronic reconnaissance. Canberras served in the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Indo-Pakistani Wars, and numerous African conflicts. In several wars, both of the opposing forces had Canberras in their air forces. The Canberra was retired by its first operator, the Royal Air Force (RAF), in 23 June 2006, 57 years after its first flight; a few remain in service, performing meteorological work for NASA.

In May 1945, a contract was signed. The subsequent Air Ministry specification B.3/45 requested production of four prototypes. Construction began in early 1946, but due to post-war military reduction the first aircraft did not fly until 13 May 1949.[8] In the interim, the Air Ministry had already ordered 132 production aircraft in bomber, reconnaissance, and training variants. The prototype proved vice-free and required only a few modifications. A new glazed nose had to be fitted to accommodate a bomb-aimer because the advanced H2S Mk9 bombing radar was not ready for production, the engines were upgraded to more powerful Avon R.A.3s, and the distinctive teardrop-shaped fuel tanks were fitted under the wingtips.[8]

The resultant aircraft, designated the Canberra B2, first flew on 21 April 1950, and entered squadron service with RAF No. 101 Squadron in May 1951. In a testament to the aircraft's benign handling characteristics, the transition program consisted of only 20 hours in the Gloster Meteor and three hours in the dual-control Canberra trainer. With a maximum speed of 470 kt (871 km/h), a standard service ceiling of 48,000 ft (14,600 m), and the ability to carry a 3.6-tonne (7,900 lb) payload, the Canberra was an instant success. It was built in 27 versions that equipped 35 RAF squadrons, and were exported to Australia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador,Ethiopia, France, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Rhodesia, South Africa, Sweden, Venezuela and West Germany

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Added: Oct-19-2011 
By: Panzerknacker2
Tags: English, Electric, Canberra, bomber, jet, uk
Location: United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Views: 3343 | Comments: 6 | Votes: 5 | Favorites: 4 | Shared: 25 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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