|Canberra to fly at Kemble|
|Written by David Siddall|
|Wednesday, 30 November 2011 11:29|
More than five years after it was retired from RAF service and flown to Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire, English Electric Canberra PR.9 XH134 is being restored to flying condition by a team from Vintage Flyers Ltd, in association with aircraft engineering and maintenance company Midair SA.
The major service is being carried out exactly to the RAF schedule by a team of ex-RAF engineers, by agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and has been budgeted for an estimated 5,000 manhours. Non-destructive testing (NDT) of the wing spar and critical areas has been undertaken by the Cambridge-based Marshall Aerospace NDT team, and no faults were found. The undercarriage and tailplane are now due to be removed, and further NDT will be carried out.
The PR.9 was the only Canberra variant to have hydraulically powered ailerons, which places XH134 in the CAA’s intermediate airworthiness category. An electric starting system is being installed to replace the volatile AVPIN (iso propyl nitrate) engine starting system. By mid-November 2011 the core team of five men had put 1,600hr of work into XH134. The last three RAF Canberras were retired by 39 Sqn at Marham on July 28, 2006 (see News feature, October 2006 Aeroplane). We will present more on this exciting project soon.