Gallery No 12 - Avro Lancaster

Aircraft - 4 Images

My thanks to Roger Dunn and the MOD for supplying these images.Wikipedia for text.

For the last three years of the Second World War the Avro Lancaster was the major heavy bomber used by Bomber Command to take the war to the heart-land of Nazi Germany.

It resulted from design work undertaken by Roy Chadwick and his Avro team to overcome the problems experienced with the twin-engined Manchester bomber. The prototype made its first flight in January 1941.

With an impressive performance and excellent flying characteristics it soon established its superiority over other allied four-engined bombers operating in Europe.

The industrial and military organisation needed to build and operate the Lancaster was huge. Six major companies built 7377 aircraft at ten factories on two continents; at the height of production over 1,100,000 men and women were employed working for over 920 companies. More service personnel were involved in flying and maintaining it than any other British aircraft in history.

The Lancaster's operational career is littered with impressive statistics, some are set out below, but it is worth remembering that the average age of the seven-man crew was only 22 years. They endured danger and discomfort and many showed great courage in continuing to fly knowing the odds against survival were high. Bomber Command suffered the highest casualty rate of any branch of the British services in the Second World War.

Role Heavy bomber
Crew 7—pilot, flight engineer, navigator, bomb aimer, wireless operator, mid-, upper and rear gunners
First flightJanuary 9, 1941.
Entered service 1942
Manufacturer Avro
Length 69 ft 5 in 21.18 m
Wingspan 102 ft 31.09 m
Height ft in 5.97 m
Wing area ft² 120.8 m²
Empty 36 828 lb 16,705 kg
Loaded 63,000 lb 28,636 kg
Maximum takeoff lb kg
Engines 4 Rolls-Royce Merlin XX piston engines
Power 1,280 hp 954 kW
Maximum speed 280 mph at 15,000 ft 448 km/h at 5,600 m
Combat range 2,700 miles with minimal bomb load 4,320 km with minimal bomb load
Ferry range miles km
Service ceiling 23,500 ft 8,160 m
Rate of climb ft/min m/min
Wing loading lb/ft² kg/m²
Power/Mass hp/lb kW/kg
Guns 8 x Browning 0.303 in (7.62 mm) machine-guns in three turrets
Bombs normal 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
special versions 22,000 lb (10,000 kg)


Some aircraft may appear identical but there are differences which will not be discernible from the image.

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44 Squadron
115 Squadron
635 Squadron



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