Currently undergoing an extensive restoration at RAAF Amberley is the Australian built Government Aircraft Factory, English Electric Canberra aircraft B Mk20 A84-242. This is a highly significant airframe and it was delivered in 1957 and served with No2 Squadron, in 1958 it served in the Malayan Emergency and was involved in the very first RAAF Jet bombing mission. Later from 1967 to 1969, the aircraft served in Vietnam, again with No2 Squadron and flew a large number of missions before returning to Australia. The Canberra was a well-used aircraft and retired in 1982. In 1986 the aircraft was allocated for fire rescue training duties at RAAF Base Amberley Queensland where it suffered many a dousing in water and foam but fortunately was never set on fire! Following its retirement as a training aid the 242 was rescued and placed in storage for the RAAF Heritage Centre.
Over the past few years the Canberra aircraft has undergone a huge amount of restoration at the Heritage Centre workshop to correct large areas of corrosion and replace damaged and missing items. All this hard work is coming to an end and it will not be long until the aircraft joins the growing collection at Amberley in the expanding RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre complex of hangers. The quality of the workmanship is second to none and following painting 242 will look as good as she did the day she left the GAF. The restoration team working on the Canberra has an enviable reputation. The dedicated volunteers at Amberley have produced some stunning restorations in the past including the RAAF Museum Boston and the Catalina and more aircraft are lined up in the queue for the future including an Avro Anson Mk1 and some other interesting Warbirds – but more on that later.
© John Parker 2013