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Black Box Canberras — British Test and Trials Canberras 1951-1994

By Dave Forster


Comments: Hardcover, 256 pages, more than 250 black-and-white and color photos as well as drawings

ISBN: 978-1-90210-953-4

Price: $49.95

Publisher: Hikoki. From Specialty Press.

From the publisher: English Electric's Canberra saw an unbroken 46 years of service in the United Kingdom as a test and trials aircraft from 1951 until final retirement in 1994. Flown by Government research establishments, military units and military defense contractors on a vast range of tasks, the versatile Canberra contributed to the development of aircraft engines, airborne radars, reconnaissance sensors, aircrew equipment, nuclear weapons, conventional armament, missiles and much more.

The Canberra was flown in particular as a platform for the majority of post-war U.K.-developed airborne interception radars, from AI.18 through AI.20, AI.23 and a number of experimental radars, to AI.24 Foxhunter and beyond.

Other projects covered included missile programs; electro-optical sensors for the TSR.2 optical linescan; reconnaissance radars for the V-Force and the TSR.2’s P.391 SLAR and the ASTOR SAR that led to the Sentinel R.1. The U.K. stealth program and the “Rubber Duck” Canberra is examined as are Double Scorpion and Spectre rocket engines as well as aiming systems and the Q-band strike radar.

The huge variety of airframe modifications and color schemes of these special aircraft are fully illustrated making this an invaluable book for the aviation enthusiast, modeler and historian.

FSM says: Although the book lacks specifics about how to model the many specialty Canberras, it includes plenty of photos. That alone should provide inspiration for anyone planning to build one of these unique aircraft.



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