Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Canberra - Survivor WK126 (ex N2138J)

TT.18 WK126 - South Wales Aviation Museum, (stored), St. Athan, Wales

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Canberra TT.18 WK126 at Jet Age Museum, 4th February 2023; Jake Wallace

WK126 was in service by late 1954 at RAF Binbrook with 9 Sqn before being transferred to RAF Wittering with 100 Sqn until 1959. The airframe went off the radar for over nine years, possibly in storage somewhere? WK126 was moved to BAC Warton where she was converted to a TT.18 - target towing configuration. She was then delivered to 27 Maintenance Unit in November 1969 for service with the Royal Navy. A year or so later she moved on to Flight Refueling Ltd where she took part in missile trials, research, and development flying. By November, she was transferred again, this time to Airwork Services Ltd where WK126 was used for target towing for the Royal Navy.

The airframe made her final move to the Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit based at Yeovilton before being flown to RAF St Athan for storage in 1989. WK126 emerged from storage in January 1990 and took to the skies again, however, she made her final flight just months later in October, again, at St Athan and was put into storage for a few more years.

WK126 was auctioned off in 1993 to Gary Spoors and Dave Price who moved the aircraft to the Jet Age Museum at Gloucestershire Airport in Staverton around the mid-1995 for preservation and display. Sadly the museum was forced to temporarily close its doors in 2000; most smaller aircraft were moved around the corner for storage until they could find new homes. Thankfully, the museum managed to get a new hangar built which still stands today, keeping aircraft preserved.

Unfortunately, WK126 was never moved to the new museum site, nor did it seem to have even been touched since 2001, and could be seen effectively dumped and left for nature to take over just around the corner from the museum. Thankfully, in August 2022, WK126 was relocated to the South Wales Aviation Museum (SWAM) in St Athan, where it is now receiving some much-needed attention from its team of volunteers. Although WK126 is visible from a distance, it's not currently on public display, but hopefully it will be in the near future.

Information on this page current as of 24/02/2023, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of WK126 on the following sites:

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