The history of the CANBERRA bomber dates back to 1944, when the Ministry of aviation and Ministry of aviation industry in the UK suggested that a leading aviation firms to develop the project of high-rise and high-speed jet bomber. In addition to such famous firms as Vickers, Avro and Handley Page, the competition was attended by little-known English Electric of Preston, which at that time was engaged in serial production of bombers “Halifax” and “Hampden”, as well as preparing the release of jet fighters “Vampire” under license from De Havilland. However, the submitted structures were selected project English Electric, most fully satisfied the requirements. The project provided the maximum speed of the bomber 800 km/h and a ceiling of 14 000 m, the planned equipment and targeting radars. Defensive armament was not, as the speed and ceiling of the bomber gave him a distinct advantage over the most advanced piston and the first jet fighters. The crew — two people.
In may 1945, the Ministry of aviation has concluded with firm English Electric contract EZ/45 (later renamed OT/45) on the production of four prototypes of the bomber by the end of 1949.
The design of the aircraft, which received the working title EE.AI (English Electric Aircraft 1), was 260 engineers under the guidance of the famous aircraft designer W. Petter. Until 1944 the firm Westland he designed the aircraft “Lysander” (1936) and “Whirlwind” (1938), as well as in the design of jet aircraft to replace attack aircraft “Typhoon” and “Whirlwind”.
Two years after the start of work technical task has been changed. In connection with the delay in developing radar bomb sight, it was decided to replace it with an ordinary optical (contract B5/47). Accordingly, it was necessary to increase the crew by one person. As a result of all these changes, the bomber lost such an important battle as all-weather capability. A newly built four prototypes remodel steel and all the improvements in design decided to make, starting with the first production aircraft.
The Assembly of the first prototype of the bomber ended on 2 may 1949 at the factory in the city of Wharton, and the machine with the serial number VH799 rolled out of the hangar taxiways and engine testing. The leaders of the air force was urging producers as the Ministry of defence was considering the A1 as one of the possible carriers developed the atomic bomb. The project of a nuclear bomber B35/46 provided for the adoption of a special plane only in the mid 50-ies, and the bombing was planned in 1952. Thus, A1 was the only British aircraft, built to fill the nuclear gap in the Park bombers.
Ground testing of the first British jet bomber was continued until 11 may, then the whole design group eagerly began to await the resolution on the first flight.
A pilot was appointed Colonel R. Bukata. In the bomb Bay mounted control and recording equipment for registration of flight parameters. I had also before the first flight delayed recommendations aerodynamicists to change a little rudder.
Friday morning may 13, 1949, for obvious reasons, it was not the best time for the first flight, but it was Sunny, and after the necessary formalities A1 rose into the air.
The flight lasted 27 minutes and ended successfully. Began an intense program of testing. By the end of August, the bomber climbed to an altitude of 12,200 m and achieved a speed of 805 km/h few weeks in September 1949, the car was demonstrated to the public at the exhibition in Farnborough. R. Bumat tried very hard to demonstrate the high performance of the aircraft and perform maneuvers with large overloads. When, after landing, opened the bomb Bay doors, the concrete fell out of the whole were in control and recording equipment. It turned out that it broke from mounts and she “hung out” in the compartment in continuation of almost the whole flight.
In December 1949, a plaque test sample reached 100 hours. The tests showed good stability throughout the range of the balance and handling are worse than fighters that time. No major problems or flaws in the design were found.
The second prototype A1 (VN813) took to the air in early November 1949, he was a different powerplant of two turbojet “NIN”. The third serial number VN828 — soared in late November, on it, as on the first sample was the engines “Avon”.
In the RAF tradition, the new bomber was named one of the major cities of the British Empire — Australian Canberra’s fool. The prototype was designated the CANBERRA B. 1, and serial bombers CANBERRA B. 2. The first production bomber took to the air on 21 April 1950. To complete the test and accept the machine into service was planned in the spring of 1951.
In addition to the bomber modification, and began production high-speed reconnaissance CANBERRA PR.3 and training aircraft CANBERRA T. 4 with the double cab. Later, on 4 may 1953 pilot W. Gibb set a world record altitude, reaching on this machine 19 406 M.
R. Bumat surpassed 25 may 1951 the first production CANBERRA B. 2 bomber at air force Binbrook in Lincolnshire, where based 101 squadron, Royal air force, and placed it at the disposal of the military. The solemn ceremony was preceded by a short demonstration of acrobatic possibilities in the style of R. Bukata. To get this the aircraft the pilots were flying bombers Avro Lincoln and have passed retraining on a jet technique, using fighter jets “meteor”. The assurances of test pilots for transition to the new technology pilot required about 20 hours of flight on a “meteor” and no more than three hours — on training CANBERRA bomber.
Reconnaissance variant of the CANBERRA PR.3 first received in December 1952 540 Sqn from Benson, which had previously armed fotorazvedchiki “mosquito”. CANBERRA PR.3 had lengthened to 340 mm the fuselage. It had to be lengthened for additional fuel tank, a flash lamp and four to six cameras day and night shooting.
By August 1952 in Benbrooke of training bombers CANBERRA T. 4 231 formed th training squadron for mass re-training of pilots for the new equipment.
During 1953, the new machines have completed the two wings of the bomber command bases in the Skempton and Coningsby. Squadron, which had armed bomber CANBERRA, took part in many military exercises that took place at that time. They could spread unnoticed through the radar field of defense and easily evade attacks from fighters. Particularly successful was considered their night raids: a bomber from Binbrook double-penetrated air defense one of the American bases in England undetected and landed a “bomb” strike on aircraft Parking and hangars.
Most divisions had armed CANBERRA bombers, engaged in the development of tactics against naval groups of the Soviet Navy. The following year, two more wing received new machines. The composition of these units were included and 149 squadron based in Germany.
In June 1954 the firm English Electric has released a new modification V. 6 (total built 103 cars). Externally, the new modification is almost no different from V. 2, but had greater fuel capacity, ejection seats for all crew members and new engines “Avon” with the thrust of 3357 kg. CANBERRA B. 6 entered in service in Honington, Waddington and Cottesmore.
CANBERRA (1).8 single-ended lamp pilot
Serial bomber CANBERRA B. 2 on takeoff
Since 1956, gradually replacing the CANBERRA bombers of the series “V” in attack squadrons, a “surplus” went to pieces in the middle East. In the same period — 29 Aug 1955 — W. Gibb has set a new world record— his CANBERRA “got” 20 083 m.
In 1955, after the signing of the Warsaw Pact and strengthening the military presence of the USSR in Europe, the British decided to throw one wing, equipped with CANBERRA bombers in West Germany. In front of the wing’s task was to destroy the columns of the advancing enemy forces regardless of the time of day and weather. This required to modify the bomber to expand the range of weapons and false to install machine guns or cannons. The modification is called In(1).6. Under the wings hung two pylons for bombs or containers with NUR, and under the fuselage, the container with the guns. Only built 22 of these aircraft ,-“5* they were armed with 213 squadron.
The following was modernized reconnaissance CANBERRA PR.3 — on the basis of this machine released the plane PR.7 with more powerful engines, the same as the B(l).6.
For the use of tactical nuclear weapons and guided missiles, as well as to improve the performance of the bomber was created following its modification — CANBERRA B(l).8. First flight she made on 23 July 1954. Production vehicles began to arrive in the 88th squadron in mid-1956. They all had a new teardrop canopy pilot. For a better overview of earth observation at landing lamp shifted slightly to the left from the Central axis of the fuselage. Workplace Navigator moved to the bow, removing his ejection seat.
In January 1958, three squadrons, armed with bombers CANBERRA B(l).8, began to use new combat tactics. The aircraft flew to the target at high speed (740 km/h) and low altitude, then performed a half-loop with overload 3—4g and dropping bombs. Hitting the target is guaranteed calculator low-altitude bombing system LABS, which was provided by the United States. For the first time LABS began to be used in Korea on the aircraft of tactical and carrier-based aircraft.
Since 1960, each squadron had the duty bomber with nuclear weapons, were in a constant 15-minute readiness to fly. Guided missiles AS.30 for a bomber, which was considered at that time the most high-speed tactical missiles “air-ground”, purchased in France, England air force ordered about 1000 of these missiles. Within a few months the CANBERRA aircraft, armed with missiles AS.30, was tested on the base of Boscombe Down. The missile had a simple radio command guidance system with a coded line radio.
For strafing ground targets under the fuselage fixed to the container with four fixed 20 mm guns mounted on quick-release platform. On the underwing pylons could be suspended from two 450-kg bombs, six 450-kg bombs in bundles of three on two bomb racks or blocks to 16 lighting 112-mm bombs. New bombers sent to Europe, where they became part of the six attack squadrons: 213, 88th, 59th, 16th, 14th and 3rd. It is noteworthy that in the 16th squadron of CANBERRA bombers V. 8 was operated for as much as fourteen years— from March 1958 to June 1972. “European” aircraft CANBERRA had a gray-green camouflage color, the bottom of the fuselage, wing and tail covered in black paint.
For the training of pilots of fighters-interceptors used seven training CANBERRA T. 11 aircraft converted from B. 2 CANBERRA bombers. In the nose of these aircraft were fighter mounted radar antenna which closed a large conical fairing.
In 1957, August 28, pilot M. Randrup reached CANBERRA B. 2 height 21 430 m, which set a new world record and beat all the achievements W. Gibb. The altitude record flight of the English bomber lasted almost a year, and only 2 may 1958, the French fighter “Tridan” surpassed this achievement at 2019 m.
In the spring of 1958 for the first time there was a message about the alteration of aircraft parts CANBERRA B. 2 aircraft to the target under the designation of CANBERRA U. 10. The altitude of the target was greater than 21 000 m. remote control System company Short was allowed to fly to the target from the ground point on the takeoff, climb, level flight, with low and high speed. During landing and takeoff, the main operator can transfer control of the aircraft two operators in the vicinity of the runway, one of them tracked the pitch, the other direction. All flight elements associated with its security automatically without commands from earth. Remote elimination of targets was carried out by the signal from the land, worked the explosive charge, otryvki tail. The aircraft was equipped with an automatic system for the determination of distances of mistakes.
The exhibition at Farnborough 1956 first showed a new version of scout from the family of CANBERRA — high-altitude photo reconnaissance PR.9. This aircraft differed more powerful engines, “Avon” company Rolls-Royce, a slightly greater wingspan and a greater chord of the Central portion of the wing between the fuselage and nacelles turbojet engine, and also increased the horizontal tail. In addition, the aircraft had asymmetrically mounted lantern pilot, as on the modification of V. 8. In addition to these external changes, the aircraft distinguished by turbulence on the wing and large size — the tail.
On production aircraft PR.9, the construction firm Short, installed a slightly modified automatic ejector seat for the Navigator MK.4, which required to design a new forward fuselage and change the location of navigation and photographic equipment. The co-driver seat was thrown through the hatch of fiberglass on the upper surface of the forward fuselage.
Bomber CANBERRA B. 2 RAF
CANBERRA B. 2 Peruvian air force is landing
For maintenance of exploration equipment the nose of the fuselage off to the side on hinges, which complicated the design of the aircraft and made it difficult to seal the cockpit. The floor of the cabin crew was slightly lowered, changed the shape of the Windows in the bow. But the size of the aircraft remained the same.
The removal from service of the aircraft, CANBERRA was planned at the beginning of 60-ies, after replacing them with new multipurpose TSR.2. But endless delays in the development of TSR.2 forced constantly to renew the life of the bomber veteran, which greatly contributed to the sturdy construction and long life of his glider.
CANBERRA was so strong that it allowed her to use a specially prepared version with numerous nuclear tests in the 50-ies for air intake and measure the level of radiation in clouds of nuclear explosions.
During the first English blast of a hydrogen bomb in may 1957 two aircraft CANBERRA PR.7S from 100 squadron conducted reconnaissance weather in the area of the explosion, and two more cars CANBERRA B. 6 of 76 squadron flew through the radioactive cloud at altitude 17 m 078, took air samples and measuring radiation levels. After landing and conducting decontamination sent them for further use in the 58th squadron, posted in the UK.
In 1958, two CANBERRA B. 2 bomber of the 192 squadron from the base watton was converted under the program EIINT to conduct radio reconnaissance over the Baltic sea. Their task included the recording of conversations of Soviet ships on tape, dangling in the bomb Bay.
Against the Soviet Union was used not only aircraft signals intelligence, but ordinary fotoritocco. They often violate the state border and taking advantage of the gaps in the radar field of air defense, deep into Soviet airspace 100 — 200 km, moving at great speed and constantly maneuvering for height and direction. To intercept such targets unequipped radar fighters was virtually impossible. This has been repeatedly tested by the British and the Americans during the many exercises of NATO planes.
Reconnaissance flights in 1952— 1954 was carried out from the North, from the Baltic sea and from the South, from Caspian sea from Iran. Almost every offender tried to catch about a dozen MiG-17 and MiG-17P, but all attempts proved unsuccessful, despite the fact that the MiG-17P already had on Board radar.
Such a successful aircraft as the CANBERRA, could not be of interest to other States. The first buyers of English jet bomber were Americans. Leading the fighting in Korea, the USAF had an acute need to replace the b-26 “Invader” faster and more modern. To this end, the air force announced the contest among native and foreign aviation firms to supply a large batch of new jet bombers. The competition was presented to the American b-45, AJ-1 and XB-51, the canadian CF-100 and the English CANBERRA.
Comparative tests began on 26 February and ended in early March 1951. Bomber b-45 lost because of the poor maneuverability, the piston AJ-1 was too slow, and the canadian was carrying too small a bomb load. More acceptable performance was the XB-51, but its CANBERRA surpassed in range and bomb load.
The USAF decided to adopt the English bombers. But since Britain could not quickly supply the required number, it was chosen as the contractor is Martin — for the construction of 240 aircraft CANBERRA under license in the U.S. under the designation b-57 (202 b-57C and 38 educational IN-57S).
Firm Martin proposed to upgrade the bomber, using the design solutions applied to In-51, but the military refused such an offer, trying to get new planes as soon as possible.
By agreement with the firm English Electric, they were allowed to only change the design of the bomb Bay, the cockpit, add the fuselage air brakes and wing pylons for the suspension arms. However, the preparation for serial production and modification of cars under American standards demanded quite a lot of time, so the b-57 did not have time to war in Korea.
The tests involved two CANBERRA B. 2 bomber with engines “Sapphire” of the firm of Armstrong-Siddeley. One to America from Northern Ireland 21 February 1951, became the first jet plane to break the Atlantic ocean without landing and refueling. Second, having made the transatlantic flight on 31 August 1951, has set the official world record, having flown the Atlantic in 4 hours, 18 minutes and 24.4 seconds. Serial 57A (CANBERRA American production) took to the air July 20, 1953, with engine J65-W-1 firm Wright.
In the United States it was created on 22 modification-57, including fotoritocco, electronic warfare aircraft, night bombers and night bombers, tactical, meteorological, and training aircraft, high-altitude strategic reconnaissance, strike aircraft, and towing targets.
After the US bombers acquired CANBERRA Australia. In August 1951 she bought two aircraft V. 2 and the production license of 48 machines under the designation V. 20 and four T. 4. Of 20 squadron RAAF all of these aircraft participated in the war in Vietnam (1966-1971), having made 10 000 sorties.
In 1953, 29 aircraft were purchased by Venezuela, the supply lasted until 1966. In 1954, six cars V. 2 has purchased Ecuador and six from France. Since 1955 the aircraft was acquired by Peru. Deliveries continued until 1978. Just delivered 31 aircraft.
In 1957 CANBERRA B. 2 (17 aircraft last arrived in 1981) came to Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe), where it was widely used in the civil war years 1972-1979.
Another country-the buyer was India. The first batch of V. 8 has arrived in this country in January of 1957. The last of the 109 ordered set in 1975.
Interestingly, Pakistan had used 25 cars IN-57V and two RB-57D, purchased in the USA in the years 1959-1965. In 1958, 13 aircraft were purchased by the New Zealand. In 1970 she was sold to India 17 bombers B. 2 and the T. 4.
To test their radar and new avionics in 1959 Sweden bought two plane V. 2. In 1962, nine cars purchased in South Africa. In 1968, four bombers delivered to Ethiopia. Argentina in 1969 ordered ten and two, V. 2 — V. 4.
During the Falklands war of 1982 Argentine one CANBERRA was shot down by a missile AIM-9L with British aircraft “sea Harrier” and another anti-aircraft fire. Just from both sides participated in the war 35 aircraft CANBERRA. However, the English performed mainly reconnaissance tasks.
N. Food reserve was A. CHECHIN, Kharkov
(To be continued)