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Black Box Canberras | British Test and Trials Canberras 1951-1994
Although best known as a Cold War bomber, the English Electric Canberra saw an unbroken 46 years of service in the UK as a test and trials aircraft from 1951-1994. Flown by Government research establishments, military units and military defence contractors on a vast range of tasks, the versatile Canberra contributed to the development of aircraft engines, airborne radars, reconnaissance sensors, aircrew equipment, nuclear weapons, conventional armament, missiles and much more besides.
The Canberra was flown in particular as a platform for the majority of post-war UK-developed airborne interception radars, from AI.18 through AI.20, AI.23 and a number of experimental radars, to AI.24 Foxhunter and beyond. Other projects covered included missile programmes; electro-optical sensors for the TSR-2 optical linescan; reconnaissance radars for the V-Force and the TSR.2s P.391 SLAR and the ASTOR SAR that led to the Sentinel R.1. The UK stealth programme and the Rubber Duck Canberra is examined as are Double Scorpion and Spectre rocket engines as well as aiming systems and the Q-band strike radar.
The huge variety of airframe modifications and colour schemes of these special aircraft are illustrated throughout the book (including details and images of CANBERRAWK163 during tests and trials), with many previously unpublished photographs and drawings. Black Box Canberras is a unique reference to the Canberra and it’s use as a flying test-bed for many of the sensors, weapons, systems and technologies that were to see service with the British Armed Forces, making this an invaluable book for the aviation enthusiast, modeller and historian.
Dimensions: 297mm x 210mm
Photos/Illus: Over 250 photographs