Lancaster file photo [129]

Lancaster

CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerAvro
Primary RoleHeavy Bomber
Maiden Flight9 January 1941

Contributor:

ww2dbaseFirst used in 1942, the Lancaster bombers were four-engined bombers that served as Britain's heavy bombers. The design was actually a Manchester bomber variant, Mk III, but the improvement was so significant that the variant received a totally new name. When the blueprints of chief designer Roy Chadwick for the Lancaster was accepted, most of the original Manchester bombers were rebuilt as Lancaster bombers. Their ability to carry large quantities of bombs was among the reasons British Air Marshal Arthur Harris was given the nicknames "Bomber Harris" and the more accusive "Butcher Harris". With this weapon, Harris was able to drop 2,000 tons of high explosives on Cologne on 30-31 May 1942; in a mere 90-minute window, the Lancaster bombers left 45,000 residents of Cologne homeless. On 14-15 Feb 1945, Lancaster bombers and their American counterparts devastated the German city of Dresden, killing at least 25,000 (some estimates were as high as 60,000). In total, Lancaster bombers flew 156,000 missions and dropped 608,612 tons of bombs. The RAF paid dearly for successfully carrying out the carpet bombing missions with Lancaster bombers, too, losing 3,249 in action, nearly half the 7,377 that it deployed into service.

ww2dbaseSome Lancaster bombers carried advanced communications systems, such as the 1155 receiver and the 1154 transmitter that provided radio direction-finding, voice, and Morse capabilities. Some later models were also equipped with radar systems for navigation or to warn of incoming hostile interceptors.

ww2dbaseJust as how Lancaster bombers were evolved directly from the Manchester design, from Lancaster the Lincoln bomber and the Lancastrian civilian airliner were born after WW2. Some Lancaster bombers that remained in service after WW2 were converted into transports and tankers.

ww2dbaseSources: the Fall of Berlin, Wikipedia.

Lancaster Timeline

10 Nov 1940 The first Avro Manchester Mk. 1 bomber to be delivered went to No. 207 Squadron RAF (Squadron Leader Noel Challis Hyde) based at RAF Waddington in the county of Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom.
9 Jan 1941 The Avro Lancaster heavy bomber took flight for the first time.
6 Jun 1941 The British Air Ministry issued a contract to Avro for the supply of 454 Lancaster Mk I heavy bombers powered by four Merlin XX engines, plus two prototype Lancaster Mk II fitted with four Bristol Hercules VI engines.
3 Mar 1942 RAF bombed the Renault plant in Billancourt, near Paris, France, while the Lancaster bomber made its debut mining the harbor at Brest, France.
20 Apr 1943 The most famous of all Lancaster bombers, ED888, was delivered to No. 103 Squadron RAF at RAF Elsham Wolds in Elsham, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom. ED888, which served as M-Mother (later adapted to Mother-of them-all) would, by the time it was retired early in 1945, have set a record of 140 completed operations to its credit.
13 Mar 1945 A British No. 617 Squadron RAF Lancaster bomber test-dropped a 22,000-lb Grand Slam bomb.
22 Apr 1945 While performing a low level "beat-up" of the airfield at RAF Fulbeck in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom, a Lancaster bomber, serial PB463, struck a building and crashed, killing all seven crewmen and eight spectators on the ground. Another twenty personnel suffered injuries, of whom four later died in hospital.

SPECIFICATIONS

B.I
Machinery4 Rolls-Royce Merlin XX V12 engines, rated at 1,280 hp each
Armament8x7.7mm Browning machine guns in three turrets, 10,000kg of bombs
Crew7
Span31.09 m
Length21.11 m
Height5.97 m
Wing Area120.50 m
Weight, Empty16,705 kg
Weight, Loaded28,636 kg
Speed, Maximum448 km/h
Service Ceiling8,160 m
Range, Normal4,320 km

Photographs

Lancaster bomber of No 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command over Hamburg, Germany, night of 30-31 Jan 1943King George VI visiting men of No. 617 Squadron RAF at Scampton, England, United Kingdom, 27 May 1943; note Lancaster B Mk I bomber British Lancaster bombers of No 50 Squadron RAF flying in loose formation over Lincolnshire, England, UK, 23 Jul 1943RAAF Flight Sergeant Roberts Dunstan posing outside of a tail gun position of a Lancaster bomber, Britain, 9 Sep 1943
See all 15 photographs of Lancaster Heavy Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
7 Jan 2008 03:21:18 AM

Crew: 7 (Pilot, Navigator, Radio Operator, Flight Engineer, Bomb-Aimer, Mid upper gunner and Tail Gunner)
2. Brian Kilgore says:
9 Jan 2012 08:52:24 AM

The Globe and Mail newspaper - Canada-wide - features a Lancaster on page two, with, by coincidence, a small story and an in-air photo of the www.warplane.com Lancaster written/shot by Peter Cheney of the G&M. Can't find a web link, unfortunately.
BAK
3. james says:
14 May 2012 04:33:12 AM

the lancaster bomber is one of the most successful bombers during that era
4. Dean Robert Denyer says:
27 Jul 2012 08:54:14 AM

My grandad was a boss of rolls royce and was given the radio transmitter out of the first lancaster bomber to fly into germany and drop its bombs in the war, me and my dad had to clear out his work room and computer room recently as he asked us to take it all to the council refuse depot in bridgewater as he no longer needed any of it being the grand old age of 92 now, we gave it to to workmen there with the info on the equptment, they kept it as it is part of our history they said, can any let us know if this was valuable and if so what would of been the value on this item, thankyou
5. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
20 May 2013 08:31:26 AM

Statistic show that at least 59 Bomber Command Squadrons operated the Avro Lancaster bomber during the war. They flew more than 156,000 sorties and dropped 608,612 tons of High Explosive bombs in addition to more than 51 million incendiaries.
6. Hugh mackay says:
8 May 2017 08:24:19 AM

Hello. . I'm looking for some information about my dad. Who died 37 years ago when I was 6. Only when I was 30 my mum told me that my dad was on the Lancaster boomer in the world war 11 .. His nick name was tail gun Charlie his name was hugh Neil Murray mackay. He lived in sutherland Strathy Scotland. Please can you help me? Kind regards hugh

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Lancaster Heavy Bomber Photo Gallery
Lancaster bomber of No 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command over Hamburg, Germany, night of 30-31 Jan 1943
See all 15 photographs of Lancaster Heavy Bomber




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