British built Canberra bombers in the Museum
The South Australian Aviation Museum is in possession of two British built Canberra bombers, WK 165 a B2 type and WD 954 a converted T4 version.
This aircraft was built by A.V.Roe at Woodford in the UK in 1954 and was transferred to RAF service the following year. In January 1956 it was selected to participate in the WRE trials in South Australia. The aircraft was used extensively in airborne photography of weapons during the Maralinga/Woomera tests. In 1963 it was transferred to the Joint Service Trials Unit (JSTU) and remained with this unit until its retirement in December 1969.
The aircraft was struck off charge on the 13th February 1970. It was purchased by Mr Neville Mason, who moved the aircraft from Edinburgh, South Australia, to the Eureka Museum at Ballarat in Victoria. It was to remain at Ballarat in a dilapidated state for 12 years, (1985-1997).
In 1997 Mr Neville Mason donated the aircraft to the South Australian Aviation Museum. The removal of the aircraft from Ballarat commenced on the 29th May 1997 and took four Museum members (Stephen Nitschke, Peter Ormsby, Barry James and John Hillier) two days to prepare the aircraft for transportation. The wings being 19 feet wide at the fuselage had to be transported a week later under police escort to Adelaide.
Since its inclusion to the Museum register the aircraft has undergone much restoration work. The primary tasks have been; to remove and prevent further corrosion of both external and internal fixtures; to paint the external surfaces, and to replace as many missing parts as possible. It has been necessary to search most overseas and local websites to acquire missing parts, cockpit instruments and control panels being high on the wanted list.
It is expected that this search for replacement parts and the ongoing maintenance on this aircraft will continue well into the future.