In September 1936 the British Air Ministry published specifications calling for a twin-engine bomber to be powered by Rolls Royce engines. The Manchester was the design that was produced by A. V. Roe & Company. Due to a lack of power the Manchester was not a success and, in 1940, the design was developed by fitting four Rolls Royce Merlin engines; the new design becoming known as the Lancaster. During the next five years over 7,000 Lancasters were built and it rapidly became the most successful strategic bomber employed by the RAF's Bomber Command during World War Two.
British Avro Lancaster Heavy Bomber
7: pilot, flight engineer, navigator, bomb aimer/front gunner, wireless operator, mid-upper and rear gunners
4 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 24s 12 cylinder V engines. (1,280 hp)
31.09 m (102 ft 0 in)
21.13 m (69 ft 4 in)
5.97 m (19 ft 7 in)
24,062 kg (53,000 lb) Gross 16,738 kg (36,900 lb) Net
462 km/h (287 mph)
7,470 m (24,500 ft)
2,670 km (1,660 miles)
10 x 0.303 in machine-guns. Up to 14,000 lb (6,360 kg) of bombs, maximum or one 22,000lb (10,000kg) bomb
One of the most famous missions was the operation carried out in 1943 by 617 Squadron, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, when they dropped special bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis onto the Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe Dams on the Ruhr in Germany. The Mohne and Eder Dams were successfully breached causing major disruption to the German war effort.
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