English Electric Canberra B.2 (WE113) Virtual Tour
This virtual tour combines three interactive panoramas, linked to each other by white arrows and through a map:
- Navigator station, behind the cockpit
- Bomb aimer station, in front of the cockpit
The client is the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, near Chichester/Portsmouth, in the South of the UK.
The museum, on the site of the famous Battle of Britain Royal Air Force station RAF Tangmere, is certainly worth a visit!
Dudley Hooley, Director Tangmere Military Aviation Museum
David Coxon, Curator Tangmere Military Aviation Museum
The museum has the the front section of English Electric Canberra B.2, RAF registration WE113, on display in one of its halls. Visitors are not allowed to climb inside, so this virtual tour has been created to allow them to explore the cockpit, navigator station, and bomb aimer station on a console next to the fuselage:
Please see the blog post How a virtual tour helps a museum - the Canberra bomber for further information.
Since every element in cockpit, navigator station, and bomb aimer station is named when the cursor is moved over it, the museum visitor has a vast amount of information to discover.
You can (virtually) start the engines (turn up the volume!) by clicking one of the Engine Start buttons. A screenshot showing their location can be found on the bottom of the page.
- Canon 5D Mark II with Really Right Stuff L-Plate
- Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens
- Gitzo G1325 carbon fibre tripod
- Manfrotto 529B Hi-Hat low-level, heavy duty tripod for the bomb aimer station
- Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head and Multi-Row Pano Elements Package
- Really Right Stuff carbon fibre monopod with MH-01 Pro momopod head for nadir shots
- Notebook computer with remote camera control software
How it was done:
All photography has been done with the camera remotely controlled via a laptop computer. The main challenges have been the lack of light, extreme contrasts, and the confined space.
To have every detail in focus, from the closest to the lens (1 inch) to the furthest (almost infinite), focus stacking has been used. All photography has been done with available light only, using exposure bracketing. The combination of focus stacking and exposure bracketing means a large number of photos: The cockpit section is based on around 600 21-megapixel RAW images, both the navigator-station and bomb aimer station are based on around 400 photos.
The resulting photos have been processed using focus stacking software first, followed by HDR processing. The resulting images have been edited, then stitched together, edited again, and then turned into a spherical panorama.
This virtual tour exists in two different versions: One is using, if available, the Adobe Flash Player, the other uses HTML5. The Flash version allows viewing in screen mode, the HTML5 version works on almost all devices that don't have Flash (Apple mobile devices).
The aircraft is a Canberra B.2, delivered to the RAF in 1952, where it served in various squadron for almost 40 years. It has been stationed, with 245 Squadron, at Tangmere in the early 1960s. General information about the Canberra is available on Wikipedia.
- Philip Wilkinson, ex-RAF pilot, has provided the names and descriptions for the cockpit section.
- Geoff Burns, ex-RAF Navigator, has provided names and descriptions for the navigator- and bomb aimer station.
- The museum volunteers that helped in any possible way.
- Just Flight for their kind permission to use their Canberra engine start-up sound.
- The Canberra drawing used on the map has been created by Vincent Bourguignon and is used with his kind permission.