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G-AMSV Returns to Coventry

An old friend returned to Coventry yesterday when G-AMSV, in her striking Indian Air force livery, landed here for extensive maintenance by our engineers. Sierra Victor was part of the Air Altantique fleet here for many years. She'll...

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Baginton Air Pageant

The initial details for the Baginton Air Pageant are up on the website! As we don't have the space for a full-on air show attracting 20,000 or so people, we're aiming for low-key, themed days like this. A couple of thousand people,...

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Newquay Pleasure flights

We promised we'd be back to fly in Cornwall, and here we are. We'll be heading south with a Rapide and Chipmunk to spend a week at Newquay from 25th July, with a further visit planned in August. The flights are bookable in the normal...

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New Dakota Book

Geoff Jones just told me that his new book on the DC-3, released to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dak's appearance, is now available. The cover sports a lovely shot of G-ANAF, shot by Simon Westwood before her radome goiter was...

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Nimrod Engine Run

We've just confirmed plans by NPT to run all four of the Nimrod's Rolls-Royce Speys on Saturday 9th May. We expect the thunder to start just after lunchtime. Come along and enjoy some audio power - and please dip into your pockets...

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Canberra: Thirteen miles of open sky


The Canberra was the first jet powered bomber to serve with the Royal Air Force and the type made its maiden flight in 1949. The type was not retired by the RAF until June 2006!

The basic design can be traced to a 1944 Air Ministry requirement for a successor to the de Havilland Mosquito, This called for a high altitude, high speed bomber with no defensive armament and English Electric won the contract to build an aircraft that would fly fast and high enough to avoid air-to-air combat entirely.

The first flight took place on May 13, 1949 and the aircraft would go on to become a world beater – serving in both bombing and reconnaissance roles with air forces around the globe. Even the Americans saw the merit of the Canberra and built it under license as the Martin B-57.

Around 950 Canberras were built (not including the American versions) but today just two are capable of flight – one in Australia and one belonging to the Classic Flight at Coventry. Classic Flight’s aeroplane was temporarily grounded as these words were written but hopes were high for an impending return to the skies.