Sunday, January 09, 2011

Canberra completed

One of the last things I did in 2010 was complete the Canberra* model started here, and updated a little here. The build took a lot longer than planned, mainly due to some fundamental quality issues with the markings. Still, I got it done just before new years, and duly presented it to my father in a custom bought case. He spent a lot of time around the real things during his Air Force career, and is quite pleased with his new lounge ornament. My mother is a little less enthused though :)

The model is about a foot long if you want an idea of size:

* The British manufactured English Electric Canberra B(I).12 (the B(I) stands for Bomber (Interdictor)) was used by the RNZAF as a bomber / attack aircraft from 1959 to 1970, and were replaced by the Skyhawks that ultimately served until 2001. The model represents a Canberra as they looked from around 1964.

Incidentally, the Canberra itself is one of the outstanding designs in aviation. One of the first jet powered bombers to enter service, the first one flew in 1949. The last British operated Canberra's left RAF service in 2006. Wiki history of the Canberra here.


Maureen said...

I just showed this to Matt, and he is impressed and very surprised to learn that they didn't leave service until 2006. He also pointed out the offset cockpit, which I totally would not have noticed if I wasn't looking for it. Looks nice!

Off-Black said...

Thanks you both! The last British Canberras were a few specialised reconnaisance versions. While an old platform it was still effective. Our Canberras went on to the Indian Air Force who also flew them into the 2000's.
I was wondering if anyone would notice the offset cockpit :) It was to allow the navigator/bomb aimer to move around the nose section freely from his seat below and beside the pilot. The first Canberras had a bowl-like canopy on the fuselage centreline, this canopy was a later version that provided better visibility. When the US started building Canberras for the USAF (as the B-57), about the first thing they did was redesign the nose section into a more normal layout :)
Another british aircraft of the era had a similar layout:
The nav in that aircraft didn't get to move around, he was just stuck in a hole with a tiny window, navigators getting a good view of the outside world not being a design priority at the time apparently.

Off-Black said...

PS I always thought the offset was weird as a kid, but now I think it looks kinda cool. Certainly different