Author Topic: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS  (Read 14826 times)

Offline mfg495

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39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« on: August 05, 2006, 11:05:18 AM »
The last three Canberra PR9s still in operational service flew their final RAF sortie today, Monday 31 July 2006, when they left RAF Marham in Norfolk for the last time destined for Kemble airfield in Gloucestershire.



The final flight of these famous aircraft signalled the end of a long career in which they served with distinction. The remaining three aircraft - serial numbers XH134, XH135 and XH131 have now been sold to private buyers and are expected to continue flying, albeit in less hazardous conditions than they have been previously used to.



Their flight into retirement follows a series of events to mark the Canberra's contribution to military aviation. On Friday 28 July 2006 a parade and flypast marked the disbandment of the last Canberra Squadron - No. 39 (1 PRU) Sqn. The parade and flypast, which also took place at RAF Marham, officially marked the end of operational service of this venerable aircraft, which first flew in 1949. Friday's events were followed yesterday, Sunday 30 July 2006, by the laying up of the Squadron Standard at St Clement Danes Church on the Strand in London.

The Canberra first entered operational service in 1951 with 101 Squadron at RAF Binbrook in the high-level bomber role. The PR9, flown by No 39 (1 PRU) Squadron, was introduced into service between 1958-61 to conduct photographic reconnaissance.

The Canberra PR9 was built under licence by Short Brothers, Belfast, and, in total, 23 standard PR9s were built between 1958 and 1962. The first operational sortie by a PR9 was flown by an aircraft from No 58 Squadron in April 1960.

Number 39 (1 PRU) Squadron was formed at Hounslow on 15 April 1916, in the midst of public outcry about German Zeppelin raids on London. After little initial success, Lt W Leefe Robinson succeeded in downing an airship during the night of 3 September, and was awarded the VC - the Royal Flying Corp's first such award.



The PR9's role has mainly been to conduct photographic reconnaissance. Over the last 12 years the aircraft has been active in support of operations all over the world, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda and the Horn of Africa. Additionally the aircraft has been used in a survey role over Kenya, Zimbabwe, Germany, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom.

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Offline No.1

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 11:21:48 AM »
Very very long service and it look it is succesful. It look that only some derivates, like Martin B-57 will continue some service in NASA.

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 08:25:08 PM »
What an excellent and very interesting posting. Like I said in my thread about the black Hawk at Farnborough, what a shame to see the end of the Canberras.

With the passing of the Armée de l'Air's reconnaissance Mirage IV survivors last year, an era has certainly ended.

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Offline No.1

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 08:40:24 PM »
From my point of view they are really serve very long time. I like this plane when I was young :)

Offline mfg495

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2006, 02:31:28 PM »
Thanks for all your comments, If you wish, I have a number of images of the Canberra during her last deployment to the Gulf this year, I was the head of the film processing unit that was attached to the Squadron for 6 months. a great time was had by all.  :msn_wink:

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2006, 02:48:40 PM »
Always welcome mfg495- I know how good your work is and that could be great add to the air enthusist!!!

Offline mfg495

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 04:17:33 PM »
Again thanks for your comments.
If any member wishes to see any images of any Royal Air Force aircraft, please let me know, I have a large image collection of all RAF aircraft past and present.
If I do not have what you require, I can ask around my contacts.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 09:03:35 AM by mfg495 »

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 05:32:30 PM »
Huuuh- do you have any image of the first operational PR Canberra? Or the Canberra over Suez during the war... they have interesting stripe markings.

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2006, 05:41:29 PM »
This is the image from the Middland Air Museum, submited by Robert Hodgson and it show front piece of preserved Canberra. What is hiden behind the bulgets on the nose?




Offline mfg495

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 08:59:37 AM »
What you are looking at is I think is the nose of WH664 which was a electronic counter measures/electronic warfare variant converted from a B.2 Canberra. Produced for use only by joint RAF/RN unit, which was 360 Sqn. I will do some research on those other items.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 09:02:04 AM by mfg495 »

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Offline mfg495

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 09:25:51 AM »
Two seater photographic reconnaissance version of B.2. Prototype VX181 first flew on March 19, 1951. Fuselage lengthened by 14 inches to accomodate foward camera bay. Carried one F49 vertical camera and six F52 oblique cameras.
Joined 540 Sqn at RAF Benson, December 1952, followed by 58 Sqn and 82 Sqn. PR.3 production totalled 35 aircraft.
Source - First PR Canberra



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/matzos/10sqncanberrabmk2.gif
39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS

The Canberra's were painted with yellow (actually a mix of Golden Yellow and Middle Stone, as there was not enough Yellow paint on Cyprus) and black Suez invasion stripes.

Canberra PR.7, WH799, of No 58 Sqn RAF, on attachment to No 13 Sqn, Akrotiri, Cyprus was shot down by Syrian AF Meteor F.8s over the Syrian-Lebanese frontier on November 6, 1956, the last day of the Suez War.

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Offline No.1

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2006, 10:05:16 AM »
Interesting- British plane shoot down by british made plane....

Offline mfg495

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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 01:34:58 AM »
Close up of the nose and tail art of the Display PR9 Canberra XH134


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Re: 39 (1 PRU) SQUADRON CANBERRAS
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2006, 08:39:16 AM »
Perfect details!!! Now I can made one action art :)