A Canberra 70th Anniversary event and celebrations will be held at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum over the weekend of the 15th/16th June.
The museum has been planning the event since August 2018, and it’s shaping up to be the biggest event commemorating the Canberra and its long and varied career. At present, there are 7 Canberra cockpit sections based at the museum including B.2 WD935 which was used by Roland Beamont for the ‘canopy off’ trials, and PR.7 WH779 which is fully live and the vast majority of systems functioning as they would in a complete aircraft.
Along with the based cockpits, it has arranged a number of visiting cockpits for the event, hailing from around the country. Already confirmed are TT.18 WJ721 from Morayvia, Kinloss and T.4 WD486 based in Wiltshire (This was recently purchased and was previously in Northern Ireland). Between the based and the visiting cockpits, they have a current tally of 14 cockpits attending the event representing the majority of types that served with the RAF (Currently represented: B2, T4, B.6(Mod), B(I)6, PR.7, B(I)8, T17, TT.18, T.19).
The event isn’t just about the aircraft though – the museum has been in contact with a number of the squadrons that operated the Canberra and many are interested in holding their annual reunions at the event (The local Premier Inn is almost sold out for the weekend, with a majority being ex-crew).
As well as the cockpits and crew, the museum will host displays and exhibits from a number of organisations involved with Canberras including the WT333 group based at Bruntingthorpe, Vulcan to the Sky with WK163, and Heritage Gas Turbines who have overhauled a number of Canberra Avon engines, and will be representing WJ680, the airworthy Canberra based at Temora Aviation Museum in Australia, at the event. Along with the weekend event, the museum is hosting an evening talk on the 15th June where a former pilot and navigator will be recounting their stories and telling anecdotes of the Canberra and its history. Tickets for the talk cost £10 and numbers are limited to a maximum of 60 attendees.