English Electric Canberra TT.18 WJ680 Continues Flight Testing

Photo by Colin Brennan
United Fuel Cells

English Electric Canberra TT.18 WJ680 is one of eleven aircraft within the Royal Australian Air Force’s No.100 Squadron/Temora Historic Flight collection. As we reported recently, the Canberra returned to flight on June 27th, 2021, making her the only former RAF example flying anywhere in the world, and just one of four of the breed still flying if you include NASA’s three Martin WB-57F Canberras in the USA.

As of July 13th, 2021, WJ680 had completed 10.9 hours of test flying. She is performing beautifully so far, with both pilots and engineers expressing their happiness with how well the Canberra flies.

WJ680 on a recent test flight. (Photo by Colin Brennan)

Murray Kear, the Temora Aviation Museum’s CEO, rejoiced in the historic flight which saw this Canberra take to the skies again for the first time in eleven years. Remarking on this achievement, Kear said, “It is a credit to all of the engineers who completed the world class restoration of this aircraft. RAAF 100SQN have done an enormous amount of work behind the scenes which was critical in getting this historic jet back to flying status. This week has been a momentous occasion for the Temora Aviation Museum and RAAF 100SQN, so congratulations to everyone involved.”

The Temora Aviation Museum’s Engineering Team, led by Chief Engineer Andrew Bishop, and supported by RAAF 100SQN, took roughly three years to complete the restoration process, which included successfully converting the aircraft’s engines from their original cartridge starters onto an electric equivalent; believed to be a world-first for the type. This conversion will make engine starts easier and less expensive while also contributing to airframe longevity, since cartridge ignition causes stress-loading while the ingested soot is also highly corrosive, particularly to engine compressor blades.


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