Martin B-57 Canberra: Aircraft profile

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The Martin B-57 Canberra was a twin jet engine, light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft which entered service in the 1950s.

Martin B-57 Canberra top: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra top: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)

After the Korean War began in 1950, the U.S. Air Force looked for a jet medium bomber to replace the aging, propeller-driven Douglas B-26 Invader. In March 1951, the USAF contracted with Martin to build the British Canberra in the United States under license. The Martin-built B-57 made its first flight in July 1953, and when production ended in 1959, a total of 403 Canberras had been produced for the USAF.

In 1965 the USAF sent two B-57B squadrons to South Vietnam. Until the last B-57B departed in November 1969, the 8th and 13th Bomb Squadrons flew many different types of missions, including close air support and night interdiction, in all combat areas in Southeast Asia.

The aircraft on display was assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as a test aircraft in the early 1960s. In 1965 it was selected for return to combat configuration to replace combat losses in Southeast Asia. Assigned to the 8th Bomb Squadron at Phan Rang, South Vietnam, in 1967, it flew in combat there for 2 1/2 years. Returned to the United States, it was converted to an electronic countermeasures EB-57B. It was flown to the museum in August 1981.

Technical notes:

Armament: Eight .50-cal. M3 machine guns or four 20mm M39 cannons and approx. 7,500 lbs. maximum of internal and external stores

Maximum speed: 570 mph

Cruising speed: 450 mph

Range: 2,000 miles

Ceiling: 49,000 ft.

Span: 64 ft.

Length: 65 ft. 6 in.

Height: 15 ft. 6 in.

Weight: 58,800 lbs. maximum

Source: US Air Force

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A Canberra formation. The lead aircraft is S/N 52-1436, left wing is S/N 52-1437, right wing is S/N 52-1442 and slot is 52-1446. All aircraft are from the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Note the vertical stabilizers were painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; however, in this photo, the highly polished black paint on the horizontal stabilizers is reflecting the pattern making it appear the vertical stabs are painted with white bands and the horizontal stabs are checkerboard painted. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A Canberra formation. The lead aircraft is S/N 52-1436, left wing is S/N 52-1437, right wing is S/N 52-1442 and slot is 52-1446. All aircraft are from the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Note the vertical stabilizers were painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; however, in this photo, the highly polished black paint on the horizontal stabilizers is reflecting the pattern making it appear the vertical stabs are painted with white bands and the horizontal stabs are checkerboard painted. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Detailed background:

Source: wikipedia.org

The Martin B-57 Canberra was a twin jet engine, light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft (photographic, electronics, and meteorological) which entered service in the 1950s. Originally based on the British English Electric Canberra, the US-built B-57 had evolved into several unique variants.

Development

At the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the United States Air Force found itself in dire need of an all-weather interdiction aircraft. The piston-engined Douglas A-26 Invaders were limited to daytime and fair weather operations and were in short supply. Thus, on 16 September 1950 the USAF issued a request for a jet-powered bomber with a top speed of 630 mph (1,020 km/h), ceiling of 40,000 feet (12,190 m), and range of 1,150 miles (1,850 km). Full all-weather capability and secondary reconnaissance role had to be included in the design. To expedite the process, only projects based on existing aircraft were considered. The contenders included the Martin XB-51, and the North American B-45 Tornado and AJ Savage. In an extremely rare move, foreign aircraft including the Canadian Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck and the British English Electric Canberra were also given consideration. The AJ and B-45 were quickly dismissed because their outdated designs had limited growth potential. The CF-100 was too small and lacked sufficient range. The XB-51, while very promising and much faster, had limited maneuverability, a small weapons bay, and limited range and endurance.

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)

On 21 February 1951, a British Canberra B.2 became the first-ever jet to make a non-stop unrefuelled flight across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in the United States for USAF evaluation. The Canberra emerged a clear winner of the 26 February flyoff against the XB-51. Since English Electric was unable to produce enough aircraft for both the RAF and the USAF, on 3 April 1951 Martin was granted the license to build Canberras, designated B-57 (Martin Model 272) in the US. To expedite production, the first B-57As were largely identical to the Canberra B.2s with the exception of more powerful Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire engines of 7,200 lbf (32 kN) of thrust, also license-built in the US as Wright J65s. In addition, canopy and fuselage windows were slightly revised, the crew was reduced from three to two, wingtip fuel tanks were added, engine nacelles were modified with additional cooling scoops, and the conventional "clamshell" bomb-bay doors were replaced with a low-drag rotating door originally designed for the XB-51.

The first production aircraft flew on 20 July 1953, and was accepted by USAF on 20 August. During the production run from 1953 to 1957, a total of 403 B-57s were built.

Operational history

The USAF Strategic Air Command had B-57 Canberras in service from 1956 through 1962.

The B-57A was not considered combat-ready by the USAF and the aircraft were used solely for testing and development. One of the aircraft was given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which fitted it with a new nose radome and used it to track hurricanes. The reason for such limited production was that the distinctly British B-57A was considered unfit for USAF service. Particularly contentious were the odd cockpit arrangement and the lack of guns, the British Canberra having been designed as a high-speed, high altitude bomber rather than for close air support. The definitive B-57B introduced a new tandem cockpit with a bubble canopy, the engines were now started with a pyrotechnic cartridge, the airbrakes were moved from the wings to the sides of the fuselage for increased effectiveness, the controls were now boosted, four hardpoints were fitted under the wings, and the aircraft was given gun armament in the form of 8 x 0.50 in (12.7 mm) Browning machine guns in the wings, later replaced by 4 x 20 mm M39 cannons. The first B-57B flew on 18 June 1954. The aircraft initially suffered from the same engine malfunctions as the RB-57As and several were lost in high-speed low-level operations due to a faulty tailplane actuator which caused the aircraft to dive into the ground. The USAF considered the B-57B inadequate for the night intruder role and Martin put all aircraft through an extensive avionics upgrade. Regardless, by the end of 1957 the USAF tactical squadrons were being re-equipped with supersonic F-100 Super Sabres. The complete retirement was delayed, however, by the start of the Vietnam War.

Reconnaissance B-57s

While the USAF found the B-57A lacking, the photoreconnaissance RB-57A saw some operational use. First flying in October 1953, RB-57As fully equipped the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Shaw Air Force Base by July 1954. The aircraft were also deployed with USAF squadrons in Germany, France, and Japan. However, operational readiness was poor and the aircraft suffered from significant production delays because of engine problems. Wright had subcontracted production of J65 engines to Buick which resulted in slow deliveries and tendency to burn oil which filled the cockpit with smoke. The problems were ameliorated when Wright took over the production in 1954. RB-57As also suffered from a high accident rate caused in part by very poor single-engine handling, which resulted in the entire fleet spending much of 1955 on the ground. By 1958, all RB-57As were replaced in active service by Douglas RB-66Bs and RF-101As.

Martin B-57 Canberra: 1950's -- Martin RB-57 '"Canberra", the U.S. Air Force version of the British Canberra in a trial flight over the new Chesapeake Bay Bridge. 1953 (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: 1950's -- Martin RB-57 '"Canberra", the U.S. Air Force version of the British Canberra in a trial flight over the new Chesapeake Bay Bridge. 1953 (U.S. Air Force photo)

Air National Guard units extensively used RB-57As for photographic surveys of the United States and traded in their last aircraft in 1971. Two RB-57As were used by the Republic of China Air Force for reconnaissance missions over People's Republic of China. One of these was shot down by a Chinese Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 on 18 February 1958. In 1959, a RB-57A flown by a ROCAF captain was shot down over the PRC by SA-2 SAM, marking the very first successful operational engagement of surface-to-air missiles. Two other RB-57As were used by the Federal Aviation Administration to plan high-altitude airways for the upcoming jet passenger aircraft.

A number of RB-57s were used by the 7499th Support Group at Wiesbaden in 'Heart Throb' reconnaissance missions over Europe.

Starting in 1959, Martin began to modify retired RB-57As with electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment in the bomb bay. Redesignated EB-57A, these aircraft were deployed with Defense Systems Evaluation Squadrons which played the role of aggressors to train the friendly air defense units in the art of electronic warfare. Subsequent bomber variants were also modified to fulfill this role.

Vietnam

Though intended as a bomber and never before deployed by the USAF to a combat zone, the first B-57s to be deployed to South Vietnam were not operated in an offensive role. The need for additional reconnaissance assets, especially those capable of operating at night, led to the deployment of two RB-57E aircraft on April 15, 1963. Under project Patricia Lynn these aircraft provided infrared coverage using their Reconofax VI cameras. Later in August 1965, a single RB-57F would be deployed to Udon, RTAB in an attempt to gather information about North Vietnamese SAM sites, first under project Greek God and then under project Mad King. In December another RB-57F would be deployed for this purpose, under project Sky Wave. Neither project garnered useful results and they were terminated in October 1965 and February 1966 respectively.

The deployment of actual combat capable B-57Bs from 8th and 13th Bomb Squadrons to Bien Hoa in August 1964 began with three aircraft lost in collisions on arrival. An additional five aircraft were destroyed with another 15 damaged by a Viet Cong mortar attack in November of the same year. Low level sorties designated as training flights were conducted with the hope of it having a psychological affect. As a result the first combat mission was only flown on 19 February 1965. The first excursion into North Vietnam taking place on 2 March as part of Operation Rolling Thunder. The aircraft typically carried 9 x 500 lb (227 kg) bombs in the bomb bay and 4 x 750 lb (340 kg) bombs under the wings. In April, Canberras began flying night intruder missions supported by C-123 Provider or C-130 Hercules flare ships and EF-10B Skyknight electronic warfare aircraft.

On 16 May 1965, an armed B-57B exploded on the runway at Bien Hoa setting off a chain reaction that destroyed ten other Canberras, eleven A-1 Skyraiders, and one F-8 Crusader. Due to combat attrition, in October 1966 B-57Bs were transferred to Phan Rang where they supported operations in the Iron Triangle along with Australian Canberra B.20s. The aircraft also continued to fly night interdiction missions against the Ho Chi Minh trail. Of the 94 B-57Bs deployed to Southeast Asia, 51 were lost in combat and 7 other Canberras were lost to other causes. Only 9 were still flying by 1969.

B-57s returned to Southeast Asia in the form of the Tropic Moon III B-57G, deployed to Thailand during the fall of 1970. Intended as a night intruder to help combat movement along the Ho Chi Minh trail, these aircraft were equipped with a variety of new sensors and other equipment, and were capable of dropping laser guided munitions. The relative kill rates per sortie during Operation Commando Hunt V between the B-57G and the AC-130A/E showed that the former was not as suited to the role of trucker hunter. An attempt to combine both led to one B-57G being modified to house a special bomb bay installation of one Emerson TAT-161 turret with a single M61 20mm cannon as a gunship under project Pave Gat. Poor results led to this system not being produced and the prototype was not deployed to the theatre. The B-57G was removed from Thailand in May 1972. Plans remained for the continuation of the B-57G program but post-conflict spending cuts forced the abandonment of these plans.

For a short period South Vietnamese Air Force personnel operated four B-57B aircraft. The VNAF never officially took control of the aircraft, and, after accidents and other problems, including apparent claims by VNAF pilots that the B-57 was beyond their physical capabilities, the program was terminated in April 1966, and the aircraft were returned to their original USAF units. Pakistan

PAF B-57s

The Pakistan Air Force was one of the main users of the B-57 and made use of it in two wars with India. In the Second Kashmir War of 1965 B-57s flew 167 sorties, dropping over 600 tons of bombs. Three B-57s were lost in action, along with one RB-57F electronics intelligence aircraft. However, only one of those three was lost as a result of enemy action. During the war, the bomber wing of the PAF was attacking the concentration of airfields in north India. In order to avoid enemy fighter-bombers, the B-57s operated from several different airbases. The B-57 bombers would arrive over their targets in a stream at intervals of about fifteen minutes, which Pakistani authors believe, led to achieving a major disruption of the overall IAF effort.

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra take off (S/N 52-1418) The first B-57A built. Note the landing gear is nearly retracted. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra take off (S/N 52-1418) The first B-57A built. Note the landing gear is nearly retracted. (U.S. Air Force photo)

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the PAF again made use of the B-57. On the very first night, 12 IAF runways were targeted and a total of 183 bombs were dropped. As the war progressed, PAF B-57s carried out many night missions. There was a higher attrition rate than in 1965, with at least 5 B-57s being put out of service by the end of the war. They were retired from service in the PAF in 1985.

Variants

B-57A

First production version; 8 built.

B-57B

Definitive production version, tandem cockpit, 8x 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns or 4x 20 mm cannons, four underwing hardpoints; 202 built.

B-57C

Dual-control trainer, first flight 30 December 1954; 38 built.

B-57E

Target tug, first flight 16 May 1956; 68 built.

B-57G

B-57Bs modified as night intruders with FLIR, LLTV and laser designator in the nose, capable of using laser-guided bombs; 16 converted.

EB-57A

Electronic aggressor aircraft converted from RB-57As.

EB-57B

ECM aircraft converted from B-57Bs.

EB-57D

ECM aircraft converted from RB-57Ds.

EB-57E

Electronic aggressor aircraft converted from B-57Es.

RB-57A

Photoreconnaissance version with cameras installed aft of the bomb bay; 67 built.

RB-57B

Photo-reconnaissance aircraft converted from B-57Bs.

RB-57D

High-altitude reconnaissance version, J57-P-9 engines, wingspan increased to 105 feet (32.00 m), first flight 3 November 1955; 20 built.

RB-57E

B-57Es modified to all-weather reconnaissance aircraft, used in "Patricia Lynn" missions during the Vietnam War; 6 converted.

RB-57F

High-altitude reconnaissance version developed by General Dynamics, TF33-P-11A turbofan engines with provision for auxiliary J60-P-9 turbojets, first flight 23 June 1963; 21 built (3 converted from RB-57As, 4 from RB-57Ds, the rest from B-57Bs).

WB-57F

Weather reconnaissance version.

RB-57Fs used for high altitude atmospheric sampling in support of nuclear weapon testing and weather research. Two WB-57F aircraft were transferred to NASA and are the only WB-57s still flying in the world today. They are used for atmospheric research and for monitoring Space Shuttle takeoff and landing.

Specifications (B-57B)

Data from Quest for Performance

General characteristics

* Crew: 2

* Length: 65 ft 6 in (20.0 m)

* Wingspan: 64 ft 0 in (19.5 m)

* Height: 14 ft 10 in (4.52 m)

* Wing area: 960 ft² (89 m²)

* Empty weight: 27,090 lb (12,285 kg)

* Loaded weight: 40,345 lb (18,300 kg)

* Max takeoff weight: 53,720 lb (24,365 kg)

* Powerplant: 2× Wright J65-W-5 turbojets, 7,220 lbf (32.1 kN) each

* * Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0119

* Drag area: 11.45 ft² (1.06 m²)

* Aspect ratio: 4.27

Performance

* Maximum speed: Mach 0.79 (598 mph, 960 km/h) at 2,500 ft (760 m)

* Cruise speed: 476 mph (414 knots, 765 km/h)

* Stall speed: 124 mph (108 knots, 200 km/h)

* Combat radius: 950 mi (825 nm, 1,530 km) with 5,250 lb (2,380 kg) of bombs

* Ferry range: 2,720 mi (2,360 nm, 4,380 km)

* Service ceiling 45,100 ft (13,745 m)

* Rate of climb: 6,180 ft/min (31.4 m/s)

* Wing loading: 42 lb/ft² (205 kg/m²)

* Thrust/weight: 0.36

* Lift-to-drag ratio: 15.0

Armament

* Guns: 4× 20 mm (0.787 in) M39 cannon, 290 rounds/gun

* Bombs:

o 4,500 lb (2,000 kg) in bomb bay, including nuclear bombs

o 2,800 lb (1,300 kg) on four external hardpoints, including unguided rockets

Avionics

* APW-11 Bombing Air Radar Guidance System

* SHORAN bombing system

* APS-54 Radar Warning Receiver

More photos:

Martin B-57 Canberra: Left side view of a EB-57A Canberra aircraft parked on the flight line.Martin B-57 Canberra: Left side view of a EB-57A Canberra aircraft parked on the flight line.

Martin B-57 Canberra: A NASA WB-57F aircraft takes off on a high altitude air-sampling mission during Project Airstream. Project Airstream measures background radiation and chemical pollutants in the atmosphere.Martin B-57 Canberra: A NASA WB-57F aircraft takes off on a high altitude air-sampling mission during Project Airstream. Project Airstream measures background radiation and chemical pollutants in the atmosphere.

Martin B-57 Canberra: An air-to-air right side view of a B-57 Canberra aircraft heading for a strike mission, ending the two-month tour of the 13th Tactical Bombardment Squadron in Vietnam from Clark Air Base, Philippines. The maintenance crew of the 13th Tactical Bombardment Squadron recently established a unit maintenance record of 12,000 combat missions flown without a single ground cancellation.Martin B-57 Canberra: An air-to-air right side view of a B-57 Canberra aircraft heading for a strike mission, ending the two-month tour of the 13th Tactical Bombardment Squadron in Vietnam from Clark Air Base, Philippines. The maintenance crew of the 13th Tactical Bombardment Squadron recently established a unit maintenance record of 12,000 combat missions flown without a single ground cancellation.

Martin B-57 Canberra: English Electric Canberra B-57 Prototype 3/4 front top view (S/N 51-17352). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: English Electric Canberra B-57 Prototype 3/4 front top view (S/N 51-17352). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: DAYTON, Ohio -- Martin EB-57B Canberra at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: DAYTON, Ohio -- Martin EB-57B Canberra at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Left side view of an EB-57B Canberra aircraft parked on the flight line.Martin B-57 Canberra: Left side view of an EB-57B Canberra aircraft parked on the flight line.

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1447) of the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group, with a view of the checkerboard paint on the tail. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1447) of the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group, with a view of the checkerboard paint on the tail. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A Canberra formation. The lead aircraft is S/N 52-1436, left wing is S/N 52-1437, right wing is S/N 52-1442 and slot is 52-1446. All aircraft are from the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Note the vertical stabilizers were painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; however, in this photo, the highly polished black paint on the horizontal stabilizers is reflecting the pattern making it appear the vertical stabs are painted with white bands and the horizontal stabs are checkerboard painted. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A Canberra formation. The lead aircraft is S/N 52-1436, left wing is S/N 52-1437, right wing is S/N 52-1442 and slot is 52-1446. All aircraft are from the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Note the vertical stabilizers were painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; however, in this photo, the highly polished black paint on the horizontal stabilizers is reflecting the pattern making it appear the vertical stabs are painted with white bands and the horizontal stabs are checkerboard painted. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A engine start. The black smoke is from the engine start cartridges and was normal. A cleaner burning start cartridge was developed later. Also note the Republic F-84Fs and North American F-100As on the flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin RB-57A engine start. The black smoke is from the engine start cartridges and was normal. A cleaner burning start cartridge was developed later. Also note the Republic F-84Fs and North American F-100As on the flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1423). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1423). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra top: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra top: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra in flight (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra 3/4 front top view (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra 3/4 front top view (S/N 52-1418). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra take off (S/N 52-1418) The first B-57A built. Note the landing gear is nearly retracted. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57A Canberra take off (S/N 52-1418) The first B-57A built. Note the landing gear is nearly retracted. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57C Canberra in flight (S/N 53-3844). This aircraft was converted to a WB-57C weather reconnaissance aircraft later in its service life. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57C Canberra in flight (S/N 53-3844). This aircraft was converted to a WB-57C weather reconnaissance aircraft later in its service life. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57C Canberra side view detail. Forward fuselage of B-57C (S/N 53-3825, aircraft no. 159). This aircraft crashed in June 1955. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57C Canberra side view detail. Forward fuselage of B-57C (S/N 53-3825, aircraft no. 159). This aircraft crashed in June 1955. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57E Canberra landing (S/N 55-4234). Note the slightly extended speed brakes (triangle shape in front of the horizontal stabilizer). Also note the target tubes from the just under the speed brake back to the tail and the white panel at the forward section of the bomb bay. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57E Canberra landing (S/N 55-4234). Note the slightly extended speed brakes (triangle shape in front of the horizontal stabilizer). Also note the target tubes from the just under the speed brake back to the tail and the white panel at the forward section of the bomb bay. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57E Canberra in flight (S/N 55-4269). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57E Canberra in flight (S/N 55-4269). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57E Canberra in flight. Aircraft towing target is B-57E (S/N 55-4269) and aircraft in background is B-57E (S/N 55-4264). (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin B-57E Canberra in flight. Aircraft towing target is B-57E (S/N 55-4269) and aircraft in background is B-57E (S/N 55-4264). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin EB-57E Canberra (S/N 55-4253) of the 4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron taken in October 1968 at Soesterberg AB, Holland. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin EB-57E Canberra (S/N 55-4253) of the 4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron taken in October 1968 at Soesterberg AB, Holland. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: General Dynamics RB-57F Canberra take off (S/N 63-13291) Originally this aircraft was a B-57B, S/N 52-1574. Note the main landing gear is almost fully retracted. The ailerons were positioned at mid-span and supplemented by spoiler on the upper outer wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: General Dynamics RB-57F Canberra take off (S/N 63-13291) Originally this aircraft was a B-57B, S/N 52-1574. Note the main landing gear is almost fully retracted. The ailerons were positioned at mid-span and supplemented by spoiler on the upper outer wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin EB-57E Canberra in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin EB-57E Canberra in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin EB-57E Canberra (S/N 55-4247) of the 21st Composite Wing landing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, on April 18, 1968. (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: Martin EB-57E Canberra (S/N 55-4247) of the 21st Composite Wing landing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, on April 18, 1968. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Martin B-57 Canberra: FIRST VIEW OF USAF RB-57D -- Tactical Air Command's B-57 bomber (black plane in this formation) glides into position on the wing of this Strategic Air Command sister ship, the wider-winged RB-57D. The RB-57D was built strictly as a high altitude reconnaissance platform.Martin B-57 Canberra: FIRST VIEW OF USAF RB-57D -- Tactical Air Command's B-57 bomber (black plane in this formation) glides into position on the wing of this Strategic Air Command sister ship, the wider-winged RB-57D. The RB-57D was built strictly as a high altitude reconnaissance platform.

Martin B-57 Canberra: 1950's -- Martin RB-57 '"Canberra", the U.S. Air Force version of the British Canberra in a trial flight over the new Chesapeake Bay Bridge. 1953 (U.S. Air Force photo)Martin B-57 Canberra: 1950's -- Martin RB-57 '"Canberra", the U.S. Air Force version of the British Canberra in a trial flight over the new Chesapeake Bay Bridge. 1953 (U.S. Air Force photo)

More photos: Martin B-57 Canberra photo gallery

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