E.E. CANBERRA | WORLD EXPORTS
HAVING ENJOYED GREAT FORTUNE AT HOME, THE CANBERRA THEN CONQUERED THE EXPORT MARKET WITH NEW AND REFURBISHED EXAMPLES, AS ANDY THOMAS OUTLINES
Even as the first RAF Canberra orders were received, English Electric was already eyeing overseas customers. The company even went to the extent of naming its pioneering new A.1 jet bomber after the Australian capital, Canberra, and the country’s Prime Minister Robert Menzies formally named it during a ceremony at Biggin Hill on January 19, 1951. English Electric’s high hopes for Canberra exports were soon realised and, as new-build requests ran down in the early 1960s, so a thriving market for refurbished aircraft began, providing a second wind for sales into the 1970s. In a bid to gain foreign business, and thus help Britain’s balance of trade, RAF Canberras conducted several ‘flag waving’ tours, particularly to South America, which generated significant purchases.