Canberra B.2 and T.4

The Canberra was a jet powered, light bomber (for high altitude radar bombing) which was used by the squadron for training and operational purposes from April 1954 until it was disbanded in September 1961

Canberra Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Aircraft on charge of (or available to) No. 35 Squadron

No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Canberra B.2 in April 1954

From April 1954 to October 1956, the squadron had its own aircraft establishment, with flight line servicing of these aircraft carried out by personnel on strength of the squadron. These aircraft carried the squadron badge on the tail fin.

From October 1956 to 1958, the squadron utilised aircraft from a station pool, with all servicing (including flight line servicing) carried out by personnel on strength of the station. These aircraft carried the station badge on the tail fin, although the squadron badge was included on the entrance door, along with the station badge and the badges of the other squadrons that were stationed there.

From 1959 to 1961, the squadron had its own aircraft establishment, with flight line servicing of these aircraft carried out by personnel on strength of the squadron. These aircraft carried the squadron badge on the tail fin.

Aircraft on charge of the squadron, or available to the squadron from a station pool included:

  • WH637, WH849, WH870, WH880, WH887, WH904, WH909, WH910, WH911, WH913, WH914, WH916, WH918, WH919, WH920, WH925, WH944
  • WJ603, WJ607, WJ614, WJ628, WJ634, WJ635, WJ636, WJ637, WJ638, WJ642, WJ648, WJ674, WJ676, WJ682, WJ718, WJ719, WJ726, WJ732, WJ751, WJ752, WJ861 WJ975
  • WK114, WK125, WK130, WK133,

NOTE:  THIS LIST IS “BEST AVAILABLE” AT THE MOMENT.  MOVEMENT CARDS TO BE OBTAINED FROM RAF MUSEUM TO CONFIRM FINDINGS TO DATE

In addition to the above, the squadron utilised a pool of T.4 aircraft for training purposes.


Aircraft Losses and Incidents

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

1954

1955

1956

On 5th March 1956, all aircraft were grounded until the electrical wiring to the tail plane actuators had been checked and modified. They were grounded again on 29th March 1956 awaiting further modifications to the tail plane actuators; the squadron started to receive the modified versions in July 1956.

1957

  • None Recorded

1958

1959

In August 1959, all Canberra were subject to a radiographic examination of their undercarriage, following failures of the grub screw which locked the outer piston to the sliding tube of the oleo leg assembly (defect signal 899/Eng 2/3 dated 28th August 1959). This resulted in the grounding of some of the squadron aircraft until modification had been carried out

1960

On 15th February 1960, all Canberra aircraft were grounded pending the incorporation of a modification to the elevator spring tab operating rod. This modification and inspection also included the dropping of the tip tanks and Mod 2107. All aircraft were modified and air tested by 22nd February 1960

1961

In January 1961, the squadron started the process of replacing all frangible hatches, with metal hatches. In February, all squadron aircraft with frangible hatches (WK130, WJ635, WJ732, WJ751, WH918 and WH920) were grounded until replacement hatches were fitted.


Photo Gallery

Malta (late 1950s / early 1960s)
[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

Upwood (late 1950s / early 1960s)
[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew / Crew Positions

The Canberra was typically crewed by a 3 man constituted crew (Pilot, Navigator and Observer) or a 2 man constituted crew (Pilot and Navigator).

On the B.2, there were two forward facing seats behind the pilot, with access to the bomb aimers compartment in the nose.

A fourth, fold-down “Rumbold” seat was also available next to the pilot for one additional person.

On the T.4, which was used for training purposes, there was one forward facing seat behind the pilot and a second seat (alongside the pilot’s seat) for the instructor