Avro Lancaster

The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force (RAF). It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within RAF Bomber Command.

The "Lanc", as it was affectionately known, became the most famous and most successful of the Second World War night bombers, "delivering 608,612 tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties." Although the Lancaster was primarily a night bomber, it excelled in many other roles including daylight precision bombing, and gained worldwide renown as the "Dam Buster" used in the 1943 Operation Chastise raids on Germany's Ruhr Valley dams.

The origins of the Lancaster stem from a twin-engined bomber design submitted to meet Specification P.13/36, which was for a new generation of twin-engined medium bombers for "worldwide use", the engine specified as the Rolls-Royce Vulture. The resulting aircraft was the Manchester, which, although a capable aircraft, was troubled by the unreliability of the Vulture engine. Only 200 Manchesters were built and they were withdrawn from service in 1942.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 7:
  • Length: 69 ft 5 in (21.18 m)
  • Wingspan: 102 ft (31.09 m)
  • Height: 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m)
  • Wing area: 1,300 ft² (120 m²)
  • Empty weight: 36,828 lb (16,705 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 63,000 lb (29,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4× Rolls-Royce Merlin XX V12 engines, 1,280 hp (954 kW) each

  • Maximum speed: 240 kn (280 mph, 450 km/h) at 15,000 ft (5,600 m)
  • Range: 2,700 nmi (3,000 mi, 4,600 km) with minimal bomb load
  • Service ceiling: 23,500 ft (8,160 m)
  • Wing loading: 48 lb/ft² (240 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.082 hp/lb (130 W/kg)

  • 8× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in three turrets, with variations
  • 14,000 lb (6,300kg) or 22,000 lb Grand Slam with modifications to bomb bay.

** Avro Lancaster - Warbird Fare

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