The Canberra has by far the longest career of any post war military aircraft, the first example flying in 1949, the RAF will still be using the photo reconnaisence version for some time yet, the aeroplane in this case being much older than the majority of its pilots. Conceived as a light bomber relying on speed and altitude for protection in the tradition of the De Haviland Mosquito it was an immediate success, and like the Mosquito it proved remarkably amenable to modification to other roles. Operational Requirement OR.302 resulted in specification B.122 for a low level intruder version of the Canberra. The resulting aircraft had an entirely new cockpit and fuselage ahead of section 12 with a fighter type canopy offset to port. A Boulton Paul ventral gun pack incorporating four 20mm cannon was fitted into the rear bomb bay whilst retaining the capacity to carry a clutch of three 1000lb bombs. There was also the ability to carry a 1000lb bomb or matra pod under each wing. The Canberra B(I)8 was to serve with four RAF squadrons in Germany.
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