3 14 16 The B(I)8 Gallery 59 88 213
Canberra B(I)8 Gallery - 1
( The B(I)8s are shown in aircraft serial number order which continues through the other B(I)8 Galleries. )
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B(I)8 Prototype - VX185
(Photo :
Richard Hitchins

The prototype B(I)8 coming in to land at SBAC's Farnbrorough Air Show, 6th September 1954, after a typically sprited display by Wg Cmdr Roland "Bee" Beamont.

Originally built as a PR.3, this Canberra was re-worked into the B.5 prototype and first flew in August 1951. Before conversion to B(I)8, VX185 made a record breaking flight across the Atlantic, you can find more details about this Canberra in the Survivors pages.

Click on the picture for a larger image.

B(I)8 - WT327
(Photo :

Built in 1955, this B(I)8 spent its life as a trials airframe. It was delivered straight from the factory on 31 August 1955 to Boulton Paul at Seighford for installation of the Mk 23 Air Interception radar nose unit and additional trials equipment. On 28 August 1956 it was delivered to Ferranti Flying Unit (FFU) at Turnhouse to act as a flying test-bed for Lightning systems. WT327 returned to Boulton Paul, Seighford, on 2 April 1963 where its nose was again modified to house a Foward Looking Radar (FLR) in development for the TSR.2 programme. WT327 returned to Ferranti in Febuary 1964 and remained with them until 12 April 1966 when it was delivered to the RRE at Pershore for synthetic aperture radar research. This B(I)8 underwent a nose change in 1969 when it was fitted with the front section of WK135 completely altering its external appearance making it look like a "regular" Canberra. It had another nose change in 1971 when it was next fitted with the nose section of WK163 incorporating Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker (LRMTS) equipment. Five years later in 1976 it was transferred a few times to A&AAE, RRE in February 1977 and finally in the April of 1977 to RAE at Bedford where it ended its days.

WT327 WT327 after Nose Section change

B(I)8 - WT328
(Photo :
Richard Hitchins)

Shown landing at Farnborough, this was the third prototype B(I)8. Painted in the RAF Germany camouflage scheme, WT328 is also here shown fitted with the Boulton Paul gun-pack in the rear of the bomb bay. WT328 did not see RAF service as it was transferred to English Electric charge directly off the production line on 31 October 1955. Not long after this it was again transferred this time to A&AEE. This B(I)8 had a short life however as a runaway tailplane actuator caused it to crash into the sea off Shoreham, Sussex in May of 1956.
The Interdictor gun-pack configuration was never used in anger by the RAF. Although during Confrontation in 1965, 16 Sqn, based at Kuantan, Malaya, ". . . fired war ammunition against Indonesian terrorists in western Malaysia". However, the Indian Air Force had success with it in the Congo and during the Indian/Pakistan conflict of the 1970s.

Click on the picture for a larger image.

B(I)8 - WT329
(Photo : British Aerospace)

Taken on charge by the Ministry of Supply on 13 Jan 1956, WT329 initially remained at Warton. It never entered squadron service with the RAF but did become a Record Breaker in a flight from London to Cairo on 16 Feb 1956.

After a series of tropical trials in Aden and a stint with the A&AEE Handling Sqn it was converted to B(I)12 state for the RNZAF, (serial NZ6101), and delivered in 1959. Sadly WT329 crashed on overshoot at Christchurch Airport on 2 Nov 1960.

B(I)8 WT329 first flight and fitted with a gunpack

B(I)8 - WT330
(Photo : Charles Stafrace)

Taken on charge by the Ministry of Supply in February 1956, WT330 first went to the RAF's Handling Sqn at RAF Mamby before being issued to 59 Sqn in Germany. It remained with 59 Sqn when they re-numbered to 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen in January 1961. May 1962 saw this B(I)8 loaned to A&AEE for trials regarding the carriage and release of flares. After just a few months it was returned to RAF charge (to 3 Sqn in Germany) in July 1962. Following a brief time with 16 Sqn, WT330 was returned to 3 Sqn by 1965. Charles Stafrace's photo show it in 3 Sqn markings with gunpack fitted taxiing at Malta on 2 November 1965, (possibly on the return run to Gielenkirchen from the range at Idris). Sadly, eight days later on 10 November 1965, WT330 suffered engine failure during take off and crashed at Akrotiri (Cyprus). It was finally struck off charge as Cat 5 damaged on 18 March 1966.

Taxiing for take-off from runway 06 of RAF Luqa on 2 November 1965.

B(I)8 - WT331
(Photo : Unknown)

Awaiting collection in February 1956, WT331 was delivered to the charge of 88 sqn. This squadron, newly re-formed at RAFG Wildenrath in January 1956, was the first to be equipped with the new B(I)8 Interdictor Canberras.

WT331 didn't last long however as it suffered a loss of control during an asymmetric overshoot at Sharjah on 5 July 1959. It was declared Cat 5 (un-repairable) and struck off charge on 14 August the same year.

B(I)8 WT331 Cat 5 at Sharjah, 5 July 1959

B(I)8 - WT332
(Upper Photo : C.J.Salter)
(Lower Photo : L. Bywaters)

Joined 88Sqn (the first of the B(I)8 Strike Sqns) in 1956 and eventually moved onto RAFG Laarbruch's Station Flight. Then joined 16 Sqn, transferred to 3 Sqn at RAFG Geilenkirchen and returned to 16 Sqn when 3 Sqn lost their Canberras in January 1972. In May 1972 this B(I)8 was alloted the Ground Instructional number 8200M but was struck off RAF charge in the June of that year. It became a decoy aircraft at RAFG Bruggen but was eventually moved to the Nordhorn Range as a target in 1980. The photo shows WT332 in 3 Sqn's colours at RAF Finningley's rather wet Battle of Britain open day in September 1967. Note the "M" squadron code on the fin.

The lower photo is one I took on a sunny day in 1964, it shows a couple of 3 Sqn B(I)8s on the pan at RAFG Geilenkirchen with WT332 on the end of the line.
This picture is interesting as it shows 3Sqn B(I)8s with the green fin flash and cockatrice badge whilst the undersides and tip-tanks are still painted night-intruder black. There has been some discussion about this as one school of thought said that 3's "8s" didn't get the fin flash until they were re-painted with silver undersides.
Obviously they did - and with large white serials as well.

Click the pic for a larger image of this picture.

WT332 in the rain at the 1967 RAF Finningly open day.

3Sqn Pan
WT332 [far aircraft] on the pan at RAF Geilenkirchen.

B(I)8 - WT335
(Photo : via Air Cmdr Colin Reineck and Gerry Reaney )

Built in 1956, WT335 went into service with 88 Sqn (the first of the B(I)8 Strike Sqns) at RAFG Wildenrath. It was transferred briefly to the RAF's Handling Squadron at RAF Manby for trials but soon re-joined 88. Unfortunately it had a short career as it crashed at Hochneukirch, W. Germany, on 8th September 1959 after a sortie at the Nordhorn range.

The photo shows WT335, piloted by Bob Andrews, landing at RAF Akrotiri. The photo was sent to Tony Reagan (ex-88Sqn) by Gerry Reaney surviving uncle of the Navigator killed when WT335 crashed.


B(I)8 - WT336
(Courtesy of the Adrian M Balch Collection)

Awaiting collection on 27 March 1956, this B(I)8 was first issued to 88 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath, remaining on the squadron strength when 88 Sqn was re-numbered to 14 Sqn.

As with nearly all the B(I)8s, WT336 was swapped between the Strike squadrons in Germany going from 14 Sqn to 3 Sqn at Geilenkirchen, then returning to 14 Sqn, back to 3 Sqn who had then moved to RAFG Laarbruch before finally ending up with 16 Sqn on that station as did most of the RAF's B(I)8s. Photo shows WT336 in 3 Sqn markings (coded 'W') at RAFG Laarbruch on 2 June 1971.

WT336 ended up as one of many decoy aircraft at RAFG Guttersloh in April 1972 and was finally Struck Off Charge in the August of that year.


B(I)8 - WT337
(Via Rick Kent)

Issued to 88 Sqn WT337 remained with the squadron when they re-numbered to 14 Sqn at RAFG Wildenrath. This B(I)8 alternated between 14 and 16 Sqns until it was struck off charge in June 1972. Transferred to RAFG Bruggen it served as a decoy aircraft staying there until 1977 when it was finally sent to end its days as a target at the Nordhorn air-firing range. It is shown here in 14 Sqn markings.


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