|Location:||National Cold War Exhibition|
With the Canberra already established as a light bomber in the Royal Air Force, it was a logical step to produce a photo-reconnaissance version of this high performance aircraft as a replacement for the Mosquito PR variants.
The prototype Canberra PR3 made its first flight on 19 March 1950. It was based on the B2 but had special cameras installed and its fuselage was lengthened. The PR7 followed in 1953. To improve still further the high-altitude performance of the Canberra for photo-reconnaissance and to take it out of the reach of fighter interception, the Canberra PR9 was produced.
The prototype PR9 first flew on 8 July 1955; this being a converted PR7. It introduced Avon 208 turbojets of 5103kg (11250lb) static thrust and a new long-span wing.
XH171 was one of a group of 22 Canberra aircraft produced by Short Brothers which were fitted with a fighter offset canopy and elongated nacelles.