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Midair Squadron Canberra PR9

The English Electric Canberra must go down as one of the most significant aircraft of all time. First flown in May 1949, it entered service with the RAF two years later, becoming the service's first jet bomber, and was not retired in PR9 photo-reconnaissance form until 2006. This was an aircraft of outstanding performance, deemed fighter-like when first it appeared - it attracted the attention of the Americans, who bought it and produced Canberras under licence as the Martin B-57. Supremely adaptable, the Canberra served in a wide variety of front-line and second-line roles, and the PR9 remained a hugely capable reconnaissance asset upon retirement. The Midair Squadron's example, one of the last in service in 2006, is currently the only airworthy English Electric-built Canberra.

Photo credit: Slawek 'Hesja'

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