Aircraft Type Index

Bomber Planes Index



English Electric Canberra B2 Bomber

Designed by a team led by W. E. W. Petter, the English Electric Canberra was first conceived in 1944 as a direct jet replacement for the RAF's de Havilland Mosquito, it first flew in May 1949 and acquired the name "Canberra", capital of Australia, in acknowledgment of the aircraft's first export order which was placed by the Australian government. The Canberra entered operational use with the RAF in May 1951. A total of 1352 Canberras were produced, 406 of which were made in the USA under licence as the Martin B-57.

English Electric Canberra b2 Bomber Plane


The English Electric Canberra proved to be a very successful aircraft taking the world altitude record in 1953, 1955 and 1957, the Canberra also made the first non stop flight across the Atlantic by a jet aircraft in 1951. The Canberra served with many air-forces and remained in service with the Royal Air Force until June 2006 in a recognisance role, two American B-57 variants are still in use by NASA for high altitude testing and experimentation.

William Edward Willoughby Petter

William E. W. Petter, the London born aircraft designer, designed numerous well known aeroplanes, they included the Westland Lysander, Westland Whirlwind, Westland Welkin, English Electric Canberra, English Electric Lightning and the Folland Gnat. William E. W. Petter was Technical Director of Westland Aircraft Limited from 1935 until 1944, Chief Engineer of English Electric from 1944 until 1950, in 1951 he became Chief Engineer of Folland Aircraft and after a few month became Managing Director, a position he held until 1959.


English Electric Canberra B.Mk.6 Specifications:

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 65 ft 6 in (19.96 m)
  • Wingspan: 64 ft 0 in (19.51 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 8 in (4.77 m)
  • Empty weight: 21,650 lb (9,820 kg)     Maximum takeoff weight: 55,000 lb (25,000 kg)
  • Engines: Twin 7,400 lbf (36 kN) Rolls-Royce Avon R.A.7 Mk.109 turbojets
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.88 (580 mph, 933 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,000 m)
  • Combat radius: 810 mi (700 nm, 1,300 km)
  • Ferry range: 3,380 mi (2,940 nm, 5,440 km)
  • Service ceiling: 48,000 ft (15,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,400 ft/min (17 m/s)

English Electric Canberra Cockpit

English Electric Canberra Cockpit

English Electric Canberra B.Mk.6 Armament:

  • Guns: belly gun pack in rear bomb bay with 420 mm cannon
  • Internal bomb-load: 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) of bombs which may include nine 500 lb (230 kg), six 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs, single 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) bomb which could be a tactical nuclear weapon like the Red Beard or B57 bombs.

Externally carried ordinance: A maximum load of 2,000 lb (900 kg) which may include -

  • Two 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun pods
  • Two AS.30 air-to-ground missiles
  • Two unguided rocket pods with 37 2 in (51 mm) rockets
  • Four 500 lb (227 kg) bombs
  • Two 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs

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