Roy Chadwick the chief designer at Avro had designed the two engined Manchester bomber to a Air Ministry specification. It was not a success and there were particular problems with the powerful Rolls Royce Vulture engines, which were unreliable. Chadwick independently started to develop the design of the airframe to accommodate four of the tried and tested Rolls Royce Merlin engines. From this process the Lancaster bomber emerged, destined to become the principal aircraft of Bomber Command and one of the most famous aircraft ever built. Sam Brown the test pilot of Avro described the aircrafts performance following the test flight as ‘marvellous- easy to fly and light on the controls’.
Roy Chadwick was a driven man, demanding of those working for him but also of himself. When Chadwick’s daughter, who watched the flight alongside her father, suggested he should be very pleased he merely replied ‘Yes I am, but in this business one cannot rest on one’s laurels. There is always another and another aircraft’.
Ground staff fueling and bombing-up a Lancaster before take off on a night operation. The mechanic in the foreground lying on a bed of incendiary bombs, was not being slacking, but waiting for the bomb-chamber to be prepared before loading up.
Great Cutaway drawing showing the interior of the Lancaster.
|First flight||9 January 1941|
|Primary users||Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force
|Developed from||Avro Manchester|
|Developed into||Avro York
The plane bursts into life. 55,573 airmen died helping to defeat Hitler during the Second World War
The famous 460 Squadron (Australia) Lancaster bomber ‘G’ George resting at Binbrook, Lincolnshire, after completing 90 operations over enemy territory during WWII