Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Canberra - Survivor WE188

T.4 WE188 - Solway Aviation Museum, Carlisle Airport, Cumbria

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Canberra T.4 WE188 at Solway Aviation Museum, 19th August 2023; Damien Burke

Built by English Electric Co at their Preston works as part of an eight aircraft contract, placed in March 1949, WE188 first took to the air on 31st July 1952. After quite a long stay with English Electric at Preston WE188 was awaiting collection in October 1953. Taken on charge by the RAF, this T.4 delivered first to Station Flight at RAF Hemswell. In her 28 years of service with the RAF, WE188 served with the following: Station Flight RAF Waddington, Station Flight RAF Upwood, 231 OCU, Station Flight Upwood, 231 OCU, 56 Sqd Cyprus, Station Flight RAF Wyton, 100 Sqd, 231 OCU, 360 Sqd and finally with 231 OCU.

In November 1981, WE188 was sold to the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) where she flew for a few years before being put into store at Samlesbury in June 1988. Weeks, if not days later, WE188 was acquired by the Solway Aviation Society based at Carlisle Airport where she has been on display ever since. Although WE188 has no engines, the Society is proud of this Canberra and look after her very well, which has included a couple of complete repaints - most recently in 2023.

Unfortunately, like most aircraft displayed outside, the canopy has clouded over, but the cockpit is largely complete (excepting the trainee pilot's seat, removed for visitor access). She is regularly left opened up for visitors to sit inside.

Information on this page current as of 20/08/2023, last updated by Damien

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