When did the Martin B-57 Canberra enter service?

The Martin B-57 Canberra is an American-built, twinjet tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft that entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1953.

What was the top speed of the Martin B-57 Canberra?

On 16 September 1950, the USAF formally issued a request for a jet-powered bomber; the sought aircraft had to possess a top speed of 630 mph (1,020 km/h), ceiling of 40,000 feet (12,190 m), and range of 1,150 miles (1,850 km). Full all-weather capability and a secondary reconnaissance role also had to be included in the design.

What was the philosophy of the Canberra bomber?

Although jet powered, the Canberra design philosophy was very much in the Mosquito mould, providing room for a substantial bomb load, fitting two of the most powerful engines available, and wrapping it in the most compact and aerodynamic package possible.

When was the last time the RAF flew a Canberra?

In June 2006, the RAF retired the last of its Canberras, 57 years after its first flight. Three of the Martin B-57 variant remain in service, performing meteorological and reentry tracking work for NASA, as well as providing electronic communication ( Battlefield Airborne Communications Node or BACN) testing for deployment to Afghanistan.

What did the Canberra bomber do in Vietnam?

The Canberra achieved the transition over many years from a high level bomber with poor accuracy to a very accurate low level tactical bomber in support of ground troops. Most of the day low level operations in Vietnam were in IV Corps where the low and flat terrain resulted in the Canberra achieving very good bombing accuracy.

Who was the first person to fly a Canberra?

On 21 April 1950, the first production-standard aircraft, designated as the Canberra B.2, conducted its maiden flight, piloted by Beamont. Proving to be free of problems, this first flight was almost immediately followed by the mainstream manufacturing of production Canberras.