02 June 2009

The first, direct, unrefuelled Atlantic crossing by a jet aircraft took place between RAF Aldergrove, Northern Ireland to Gander, Newfoundland on 21 February 1951 by an RAF English Electric Canberra on its way to Washington, DC, for flight demonstrations to USAF senior officers at Andrews AFB. The 1,785 nm flight was made in 4 hours, 40 minutes. A competition was being held to select a new interdiction bomber to replace the aging B-26 Invader.

The record-breaking flight effectively silenced critics of having a foreign design in the USAF inventory.

Source: Martin B-57 Canberra: The Complete Record by Robert Mikesh. Schiffer Publishing, 1995, p17.

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