Avro Lancaster

When i he first Lancasters appeared at RAF Bomber Command bases in the spring of 1942, they were greeted with relief and enthusiasm by aircrews. Here at last was an aircraft truly fitted for the role of night-time heavy bomber. Designed by Roy Chadwick and powered by four Merlin engines, the Lancaster could carry a standard bombload more than double that of the Boeing B-17. It had fewer guns than the US’s day bombers, but powered turrets in the nose, upper fuselage, and tail provided solid defence against nightfighters,
As the war progressed, Lancasters were packed with navigational and
electronic warfare equipment, making them sophisticated fighting machines. Yet it was their ability to absorb punishment and their sheer power that most impressed. The Lancaster was the only RAF bomber able to carry the 12,000lb Tallboy bomb and a modified late model dropped the massive 22,000lb Grand Slam bomb in 1945.
The most celebrated of the Lancasters’ 156,000 sorties, however, was 617 Squadron’s “Dambuster” raid against the Ruhr dams in May 1943, using Barnes Wallis’s”bouncing bombs”. That mission alone sufficed to make the powerful aircraft an aviation legend.

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