RAAF E. E. Canberra reference pics

A84-201 “First Australian Canberra”

by Anthony Papadis


The following pictures were taken on September 02, 2005. The subject is A84-201, the first English Electric (E.E) Canberra to serve with the Royal Australian Air Force. This aircraft was assembled in Australia from components manufactured in Great Britain. It still serves dutifully as the gate guard for RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, Australia.

The kit


The yellow and black checkers on the tail depict 1 OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), briefly formed to prepare 2SQN aircrews for their tour of duty in Vietnam. Formed in January 1959, it became an independent unit in April 1968 and operated until June 1971. It was disbanded when 2SQN returned from Vietnam.

A84-201 the first Australian assembled Canberra.

Note the pitot probe located on the nose.
Also of note is the off-set position of the flattened section of the nose to the right (left as viewed head on)

The Canberras built from serials A84-210 to A84-227 (inclusive) were fitted with Rolls Royce Avon  RA.3 Mk 1 (6,500lb thrust) engines, distinguishable externally by their shorter inlet cones. These contained a single engine starter cartridge, later versions (airframes post A840-228) were fitted with the more powerful Rolls Royce Avon RA 7 Mk 109 (7500lb thrust).

The fuel dump is located to the right of the tail bump, and is angled out perpendicularly from the fuselage.


The base of the HF antenna aerial was connected here. Canberra antenna fitment and location varied throughout the course of the aircraft’s life. Note that the aerial base is not flush but sits quite proud of the fuselage skin.


A view of the landing light fitted underneath the left wing. The engine nacelle is located to the lower left of the picture. Note also the location of the retracted “finger” style airbrakes. A corresponding set is fitted to the upper wing surface.



The fire access panel is made from wood!


As the legend states, A84-210 was the first Australian Canberra in RAAF service, and still soldiers on! Note the static sensing ports are not painted (which is normal), and there is an identical unit in a corresponding position on the right nose.

Upper and lower anti-collision light positions.

The Canberra featured conventional elevators as well as a variable incidence (ie for flight trimming) tailplane. Note the large gap at the tailplane root .

The NACA inlets varied between early and late models.

Looking forward and up into the nose gear bay.

The nose gear mudguards are fitted between the wheels, with a noticeable concave shape to the outer wheels. Note the rubber ‘mud flaps’ fitted to the bottom of the mudguards.



There are two clear panels located on the underside of the extreme aft fuselage (although on this example they are nearly opaque) presumably some sort of inspection panel for the tailplane hydraulics. This view also serves to demonstrate the angled position of the fuel dump as well as flatted bottom of the tail ‘bump’. Note also the gap between the elevators and the fuselage.

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