The Canberra was an international workhorse, known for its versatility and durability, yet often overshadowed by more glamourous designs. Drawn from ten years of research and interviews, men and women from eleven countries share their experiences of flying and maintaining this classic jet.
Packed with previously unpublished photos, The Canberra Experience is told in the words of hundreds of pilots, navigators, ground crew, and civilian observers.
Watch this 1 minute overview video of the book.
Experience what it was like to fly through atomic bomb clouds on sampling missions over the South Pacific or how crews endured hours at lethally high altitudes in frozen cabins. Read how Australian crews bombed so low over the jungles of Vietnam that they were hit by their own shrapnel, and how American pilots nursed home battle-damaged B-57s with holes the size of pool tables in their wings. Feel how it was to eject into the pitch black night from a burning Argentine Canberra during the Falklands War, and the remarkable story of survival that followed. Discover what it was like flying low-level counter-insurgency missions over the plains of Rhodesia and South Africa and the maintenance challenges involved. Learn of the dedication of ground crews around the world that kept these machines flying during war and peace, along with the innovations that made the Canberra a viable reconnaissance and combat aircraft throughout its sixty years of service.
The Canberra Experience is a fascinating testament to human ingenuity, endurance and comradeship linked by a common aircraft. Fans of the Cold War and vintage jets will not want to miss this unique story, compiled for the first time in one captivating volume.
“Steven Beeny has made a major contribution to aviation history by capturing the memories of Canberra aircrew and groundcrew from many air forces around the world, in an engaging and colourful format. This major work, taking over ten years in its research and development, is a fitting testimony to a wonderful, adaptable aircraft and to those involved in its operation. The book is a must for anyone with an interest in jet aircraft and presents a vivid example of how a design could be modified and still remain effective in so many different roles over a period of over 60 years.”
-Wg Cdr Gordon Dyer, MBE, navigator on Canberra PR.3 and PR.7s, 58 and 82 Sqns, 231 OCU, Royal Air Force.
“The Canberra Experience is a fascinating and enthralling read for anyone who has been connected in any way to this iconic aircraft. Unlike most books devoted to specific aircraft types, this is a huge and varied collection of reminiscences from air and ground crews who have either flown, maintained or otherwise been associated with all marks of the Canberra aircraft. It is a gripping read, an absolute must for ex-Canberra men and a delight for all military aviation enthusiasts. As an ex-member of the former Rhodesian Air Force, I was closely associated with the Canberra for a number of years and cannot rate this book as anything but superb. Steven has done a remarkable job of researching and collating these stories into what I could describe as an ‘unputdownable’ read.”
-Master Tech Brian Goodwin, 5 Sqn, Rhodesian Air Force.
This book could not have been made without the contributions of hundreds of airmen and civilians, as well as the help of veterans/special interest groups and Canberra enthusiasts worldwide. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your time and help, and I hope you enjoy the book. I recognise the cost is not cheap, but it is a large-format, coffee table book, and I have strived hard to produce it as high quality as possible and at the lowest cost. Thank you for support and patience in seeing this project through to the end.