English Electric/BAC Canberra B(I)8 – XM264,16 Sqn, RAF Laarbruch, Germany, 1972
1 in stock
1 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA34708: English Electric Canberra B(I)8 XM264 of 16 Sqn, RAF Laarbruch, Germany, 1972. Limited Edition of 1300 Pieces. Now extremely hard to find.
Length 11 inches Wingspan 11.25 inches
PLEASE NOTE: Box is almost perfect but does have a few minor scuff marks. Model is new
The B(I)8 Canberra (the “I” stands for “Interdictor”) lost the one-piece “glasshouse” bubble canopy so loved by aircrews, and sported instead a fighter-type canopy. This was offset from the aircraft’s centerline, giving the B(I)8 a very distinctive profile shared by the photo-recon variant, the PR-9 and of course, the Sea Vixen. In June 1972, 16 Sq. (RAF Laarbruch) finally turned in the last RAF B(I)8 Canberra after a squadron ownership of 14 years! 3 Sqn’s B(I)8s (RAF Geilenkirchen) went in January of the same year after flying with the squadron for 11 years. 14 Sqn (RAF Wildenrath) had lost their B(I)8s in June 1970 after 8 years with the Night Intruder.
Designed s a successor to the de Havilland Mosquito, the English Electric Canberra was first flown on May 13, 1949. Like the Mosquito, this high-altitude, high-speed bomber had no defensive armament. Instead, it was designed with room only for a large bomb load and two powerful jet engines, and with a state-of-the-art aerodynamic shape and the speed to avoid airborne conflict altogether. Its design was so adaptable that its role was expanded to include tactical bombing and reconnaissance. It set a world altitude record in 1957 and served for an astonishing 57 years, retiring in 2006.
The B(I)8 Canberra (the “I” stands for “Interdictor”) lost the one-piece “glasshouse” bubble canopy so “loved” by aircrews and sported instead a fighter type canopy. This was offset from the aircraft’s centreline giving the B(I)8 a very distinctive profile shared by the photo-reconn variant, the PR-9, (and of course the DH-110).
The B(I)8 was introduced to fill the role of a night-intruder bomber/interdictor flying low-level missions in the European theater. A Boulton Paul gunpack, containing four 20mm Hispano “Aden” guns, could be fitted snugly into the rear of the bomb-bay and special bomb doors with cut-outs for the gunpack were fitted. The special bomb-bay doors allowed the B(I)8 to carry flares which were used to illuminate night targets. The gunpack, as well as one 500 pound HE bomb (or two 250 pounds) on each underwing pylon, gave the B(I)8 Canberra a decided punch which was used effectively by the Indian Air Force during their UN support effort in the Congo in 1961.
Also roled as a bomber, the B(I)8 served only with the RAF’s Strike Squadrons in Germany. In its bomber configuration, this Mark of Canberra was part of the UK’s Nuclear Strike Force and carried a US made weapon (Project E). Nuclear strikes were to have been delivered by the infamous Low Altitude Bombing System [LABS] technique. This system, developed by the USAF for the SAC’s B-47’s, involved the B(I)8 flying fast and level at around 250 feet, then, at a pre-determined point pulling up into a half-loop, releasing the weapon [under clockwork timer control!] at the appropriate time during the climb then, letting the science of ballistics deliver it (supposedly) unerringly. Meanwhile the Canberra would finish the power-climb to the top of the loop, do a half-barrelling dive piling on the speed and high-tailing it for home! The robust and well-proven Canberra airframe stood up very well to the “G” forces involved in this kind of flying (“toss bombing”), suffering no serious structural strains in the process. Its true the nose-wheel doors were prone to easing apart, but this was easily fixed.
In June 1972, 16 Sqn (RAF Laarbruch) finally turned-in the last RAF B(I)8 Canberra after a squadron ownership of 14 years! 3 Sqn’s B(I)8s (RAF Geilenkirchen) went in January of the same year after flying with the squadron for 11 years. 14 Sqn (RAF Wildenrath) had lost their B(I)8s in June 1970 after 8 years with the Night Intruder.