Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Canberra - Survivor WF911

B.2 WF911 - Ulster Aviation Society, Long Kesh, County Antrim

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Canberra B.2 WF911 at Ulster Aviation Society, 5th March 2022; Jake Wallace

This B.2 was produced by the English Electric Co, Preston, as part of Contract No 6/ACFT/3520/CB6 (b) for 130 aircraft placed in March 1949. Actually built during 1952, WF911 was ready for collection on 29 August of that year when it was taken on charge by the MoD, WF911 was initially issued to 231 OCU at RAF Bassingbourn.

WF911 stayed with 231 OCU for 17 years until, on 21 May 1969, it was sold to BAe. It was allocated "Class B" marking G27-161 in 1969 ("civil" markings used for experimentation, test or export flying), but little is known of this B.2's flying career with BAe so any information regarding it would be welcome. It was finally scrapped at Samlesbury in 1976.

The Gloster Aviation Club acquired this cockpit from the Griffin Trust in July 2004. However, it wasn't transported to their clubhouse near Gloucester until November 2005. WF911 was painted up as a TT.18 and the Club said that it would stay in this scheme as it was satisfactory to them this way. However, this B.2 was never converted to TT.18 state (eg, no starboard navigator's window to allow Rushton Gear visual check), neither did it fly with any of the Target Towing squadrons - RAF or Royal Navy. The cockpit panels include a TT.18 winch control panel on the starboard coaming, however. This anomaly is not explainable at the moment, possibly a "trial" fit while with BAe. Maybe someone reading this can give more information regarding the fitment of this panel.

In 2010, the cockpit was brought by a private owner who moved it up to Alveley in Shropshire, 3 years later WF911 was exported to Ulster Aviation Society (UAS) in Northern Ireland around 2013 for display. Since then, WF911 has been treated for any signs of corrosion and a re-paint in 2015 to high-speed silver which B.2s wore when in service. Today WF911 can be seen at UAS undercover in one of their hangars, albeit rather crammed in.

Information on this page current as of 06/03/2022, last updated by Jake

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