Avro Lancaster in unit service (Arco-Aircam aviation series 12)
By Mike Garbett, Brian Goulding
Publisher: Osprey 1970 52 Pages
PDF 17 MB
This is the story of one of the world's greatest fighting planes — the Avro 683 Lancaster.
The Lancaster was developed from a comparative failure, the Avro Manchester, an aircraft with a basically sound airframe, but whose performance was marred by the uncertain performance of its two Rolls Royce Vulture engines.
The Manchester had entered service in limited numbers in late 1940, but by the time the aircraft first operated in February 1941, it had already been realized that the resources and time needed to overcome its engine difficulties were more than could be spared. Britain's war fortunes — Bomber Command's in particular — were at a low ebb and there was a desperate need to carry the war much more to Germany than was possible with existing bombers.
It was decided, therefore, to try out four Merlin X engines in a Manchester, and a momentous decision it proved! The re-equipped machine, BT 308, a triple-linned version, first flew on 9th January, 1941, from Ringway, piloted by H. A. Brown. It was such an obvious success that contracts for the Manchester (which had not yet operated) were immediately revised.
The second prototype, DG 595, with the larger twin fins and more Powerful Merlin XX's, took to the air on May 13th, 1941, also from Ringway, and soon joined BT 308 at A. & A.E.E., Boscombe Down.
Lancaster production, using up Manchester airframes already under construction, started at L 7527.