Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Canberra - Survivor WK128

B.2 WK128 - South Wales Aviation Museum, St. Athan, Wales

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Canberra B.2 WK128 at South Wales Aviation Museum, 4th February 2023; Jake Wallace

Awaiting collection in June 1954 this B.2 converted to TT.18 and was the second oldest Canberra flying when in service - 45 years old at retirement. WK128 was allocated to the Radar Research Establishment and served from 1958 as a jamming aircraft for "window" launching trials. In 1959 she was struck off RAF charge to become purely a trials aircraft with RRE taking part in various guided weapons fusing research programs as well as laser designation trials.

Withdrawn from use in 1975, WK128 languished for two years until she was dismantled and sent by road to Flight Refuelling's Tarrant Rushton facility in February 1977. At this facility, she was overhauled and underwent a modification program for Beech AQM-37A "Stiletto" trails.

In 1978, WK128 moved to Royal Aircraft Establishment/Flight Refuelling charge at Llanbedr. During her stay with RAE (latterly DRA) this long-lived Canberra was converted to TT.18 configuration.

The airframe retired into Llanbedr in the year 2000, where she was later scrapped in 2004. Thankfully, the cockpit was saved which made its way to Pershore in Worcestershire, being well looked after in private ownership for many years.

By 2019, WK128 had moved to the South Wales Aviation Museum in St Athan for display in the hangar. The cockpit door has been removed and is mounted on a stand bringing it up to head height so visitors can have an easy peek inside, which is missing all three of its ejection seats alongside several instruments. The exterior of the cockpit is in great condition wearing well-polished paintwork.

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

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