Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Canberra - Survivor WJ865

T.4 WJ865 - Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum airfield, Wiltshire

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Canberra T.4 WJ865 at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, 18th March 2023; Jake Wallace

Built at Preston this T.4 never went into RAF service. On 2 September 1954, she was ready for collection and issued to the charge of the MoD. Her whole flying career was spent being used jointly by the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) and the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE).

WJ865's final flight was on 15th November 1981 when, at the end of her fatigue life, she was transferred to Farnborough to be used as a Ground Instructional airframe for apprentice training. She remained in this role for just over a year until declared surplus to requirements and struck off charge on 15 January 1982. She was bought by Hanningfield Metals, Stock, Essex as scrap.

The cockpit section however was purchased by an enthusiast, who moved her to Stamford. In 2001 Bob Dunn and Brian Bartlett of the Wolverhampton Aviation Group purchased the cockpit and moved it to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.

The cockpit section changed hands again in 2006, this time to the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection where she was placed undercover on display. As the above photo shows.

Information on this page current as of 30/03/2023, last updated by Jake

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