Martin B-57 Canberra

$1.26 million tactical bomber as of 1959

Martin B 57A Canberra
photo: U.S. Air Force

The Martin B-57 Canberra is a twin-engine jet tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft introduced in 1954. It entered service in 1953 with the United States Air Force and was retired in 1983. The aircraft also served with Pakistan Air Force and was retired in 1985. The B-57 was retired from military service and three are still in use by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Glenn L. Martin Company
United States
1953 to: 1959
US$1.2 million (1959)


APW-11, SHORAN, APS-54 Radar
2x Wright J65-W-5
7,220 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
520 knots
963 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
108 knots
Travel range:
2,360 Nautical Miles
4,371 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
45,100 feet
Rate of Climb:
6180 feet / minute
31.39metre / second
Take Off Distance:
630 metre - 2,066.90 feet
Landing Distance:
630 metre - 2,066.90 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
24,365 Kg
53,715 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
3,300 Kg
7,275 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
2 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
20 metre - 65.62 feet
Tail height:
4.52 metre - 14.83 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
2 metre - 6.56 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
19.5 metre - 63.98 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets
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On June 18, 1954, the more improved variant designated as the B-57B which incorporated several enhancements took to the air for the first time.

The B-57B is a definitive production version of the Martin B-57 with an external length of 20 meters, an external height of 2.8 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 2 meters. It featured a fighter-style canopy and has a tandem cockpit that seats a pilot and a navigator. The aircraft has a tail height of 4.52 meters and a wheelbase of 5 meters. It has a wingspan of 19.5 meters and a wing area of 89 square meters. The B-57B was also designed with hydraulically-actuated speed brakes. The empty weight is 12,285 kg, the gross weight is 18,300 kg, and the maximum takeoff weight is 24,365 kg. It has a maximum payload of 3,300 kg.

The more refined bomber version is powered by twin Wright J65-W-5 turbojets. It was an axial-flow turbojet with a thirteen-stage axial compressor, annular combustors, and two-stage axial turbine. Each engine produces a maximum takeoff thrust of 7,220 lbf. The B-57B has a maximum speed of 520 knots at 2,500 feet. It has a cruise speed of 414 knots and a stall speed of 108 knots. The combat range is 825 nautical miles with 2,380 kg of bombs, and the ferry range is 2,360 nautical miles. It can fly up to 45,100 feet and can climb at a rate of 6,180 feet per minute. The takeoff distance is 60 meters.

The aircraft could be armed with four 20 mm M39 single-barreled revolver cannon with 290 rounds per gun, and 2,000 kg of bombs in the bomb bay including nuclear bombs and 1,300 kg on four external hardpoints located on the outer wing panels including unguided rockets. The B-57B was also fitted with APW-11 Bombing Air Radar Guidance System for a ground-directed bombing, Short-Range Navigation (SHORAN) bombing system, and APS-54 Radar Warning Receiver.