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Canberras still in war service

By johnboy - 16 October 2012 26

Thanks to Andrew for pointing it out but it seems the last of the Canberra bombers have not yet gone into the night, at least not according to Wired.

They’re 49 years old, ugly and owned by NASA, not the Pentagon. But two modified WB-57F Canberras are now among America’s most important warplanes. With anonymous-looking white paint jobs, the Canberras have been taking turns deploying to Afghanistan carrying a high-tech new radio translator designed to connect pretty much any fighter, bomber, spy plane and ground radio to, well, pretty much any other fighter, bomber, spy plane and ground radio. That makes the former Air Force reconnaissance planes, originally transferred to the space agency for science missions, essential hubs of the American-led war effort.

I honestly hadn’t expected to see them turn up again!

What’s Your opinion?


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Canberras still in war service
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hark40 8:50 pm 19 Oct 12

The Meteor and Sabre also fly at Temora.

Meteor. One is flying in the colours of Sgt George Hale who shot down a couple of MiGs in Korea.

Sabre. This one is on “loan” from the RAAF and flies. It has a working ejection seat, but not the one that was used when in RAAF service. (It uses a Martin Baker seat to maintain compatibility with other seats that Temora maintains. Some mods were done to the canopy to ensure clearance. A swap for these components was done with a German museum I believe.)

Vulcan. No, its not at Temora but one has been restored to flying condition in the UK.

Aa to the original article, the Canberras mentioned are modified versions of the US built Canberra bombers. They have a much larger span and also turbofan engines (rather than turbojet). These mods allow them to fly a lot higher than the Canberra planes that the RAAF flew.

LSWCHP 7:38 pm 18 Oct 12

Duffbowl said :

LSWCHP said :

I seem to recall stable Link-11 nets being established with RAN groundstations, ships at sea and RAAF aircraft as a matter of course around 1989-90.

I think it was a matter that some units had difficulty with frequencies. Most of the major warries used HF for Link-11 as a matter of course, particularly for OTH. Difficulties came in trying to get HF between ships and UHF between aircraft and ships working effectively.

Fair enough. I was only ever involved on the HF side of things which seemed to work fairly well, and I moved on to greener pastures in 1991 towards the end of Gulf War number 1.

Duffbowl 7:24 pm 18 Oct 12

LSWCHP said :

I seem to recall stable Link-11 nets being established with RAN groundstations, ships at sea and RAAF aircraft as a matter of course around 1989-90.

I think it was a matter that some units had difficulty with frequencies. Most of the major warries used HF for Link-11 as a matter of course, particularly for OTH. Difficulties came in trying to get HF between ships and UHF between aircraft and ships working effectively.

LSWCHP 7:13 pm 18 Oct 12

Duffbowl said :

dtc said :

Not that the RAAF (or any other service) is much better. I think it was only recently that the RAN was able to use internet/data transfer directly between ships, rather than via back to base.

Data transfer between combat systems on warships was happening in the early 1990s. Similar transfers between the RAN and RAAF took a bit longer to get sorted, but were in place by 1995.

Where difficulties occurred was retrofitting units, both warships and aircraft.

I seem to recall stable Link-11 nets being established with RAN groundstations, ships at sea and RAAF aircraft as a matter of course around 1989-90.

bigfeet 7:06 am 18 Oct 12

Thumper said :

Followed by a meteor, a wirraway and a mirage, it seems.

I always think the Meteor is overlooked in Australian aviation history.

It is the only RAAF jet aircraft that has ever engaged in air-to-air combat with an enemy jet fighter and though badly outclassed they succeeded in bringing down 6 MIGS over Korea. This came at quite a cost though.

The swept wing jet fighters of the time ran rings around the Meteor and they were soon shifted to a ground-attack role.

I hope to get up to Temora to see one in flight one day.

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