Designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary to the Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber, the Avro Lancaster first saw service with Bomber Command in 1942. Its four Rolls-Royce Merlin, 12 cylinder engines and two stage supercharger gave the 70,000lb (fully ladened) Lancaster a maximum speed of 238 knots (275 mph) at 15,000 ft.
With a range of 1550 to 2530 miles depending on bomb load, the Lancaster soon became the mainstay of the British Bomber Command’s strategic bombing offensive.
Due to its versatility and bomb carrying capacity, the Lancaster soon became the mainstay of the British bomber offensive. With an operational crew of seven, starting at the nose - the bomb aimer had two positions to man. His primary location was lying prone on the floor of the nose of the aircraft, with access to the bombsight controls facing forward, with the bombsight computer on his left and bomb release selectors on the right. Also manning the Frazer Nash FN5 nose turret, he stood up placing himself in position behind the triggers of the twin .303 in guns.
On the roof of the bomb bay the pilot and flight engineer sat side by side under the expansive canopy, with the pilot sitting on the left on a raised portion of the floor. The flight engineer sat to the pilot's right, with the fuel selectors and gauges on a panel behind him and to his right.
The pilot and other crew members could use the panel above the cockpit as an auxiliary emergency exit whilst the mid-upper gunner used the rear entrance door. The tail gunner escaped by rotating his turret to the rear, opening the door in the back of the turret, passing into the fuselage, and clipping on a parachute that was hung on the side wall. He could then exit through the rear entrance door.
Behind the pilot and flight engineer sat the navigator facing to port with a chart table in front of him. A panel showing the airspeed, altitude and other navigational instruments were mounted on the side of the fuselage above the chart table. The wireless operator's radios were mounted on the left-hand end of the chart table. Behind these, the wireless operator sat on a seat below the astrodome, used for celestial navigation. Behind the wireless operator were the two giant wing spars which created a major obstacle for crew members moving down the fuselage even on the ground.
On reaching the end of the bomb bay the floor dropped down to the bottom of the fuselage and the mid-upper gunner's turret was reached. His position allowed a 360° view over the top of the aircraft, with two Browning .303 Mark IIs to protect the aircraft from above and to the side. To the rear of the turret was the side crew door. This was the main entrance to the aircraft, and also could be used as an emergency exit. The tail gunner sat at the rear behind his 4-barreled Nash & Thompson FN20 and later FN120’s.
This versatility of the Lancaster was such that it was chosen to equip 617 Squadron to undergo modification to carry the "Bouncing bomb" designed by Barnes Wallis for Operation Chastise, the attack on German Ruhr valley dams.
With bomb bay doors removed and the "Bouncing bomb" suspended on a vee-shaped strut, it was rotated at 500 rpm via a drive belt to a hydraulic motor. Two Aldis lights were fitted in the rear bomb bay fairing and when shone on the relatively smooth waters of the dam's reservoirs, the light beams converged into a single spot to indicate the correct hight for bomb release.
By 1945, a total of 33 Lancasters had been modified to deploy the 22,000 lb Grand Slam bomb - which was so heavy that the bomb and the Lancaster itself weighed roughly the same. Lancasters flew a total of 156,000 sorties and dropped over 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Only 35 completed more than 100 operations each with 3,249 lost in action. The most successful completed 139 missions.
All Avro Lancaster Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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LANCASTER ‘BATHTUB' MORSE CODE SENDER KEY WITH ORIGINAL LEAD AND PLUG
Original Air Ministry ‘Bathtub' Morse Code Sender Key with original...
AIR MINISTRY ISSUED MK VIII RAF FLYING GOGGLE
Air Ministry issued Mk VIII RAF fighter goggles as worn...
AIR MINISTRY ISSUED MK VIII RAF FLYING GOGGLES
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LANCASTER BOMB RELEASE TRIGGER & LEAD
Rare, Air Ministry stamped Lancaster Bomb Release Trigger and lead
AVRO LANCASTER BOMB SELECTOR CONTROL PANEL
Air Ministry AM Crown stamped Type F5D/656 Bomb Selector Control...
AVRO LANCASTER BOMB FUZE SWITCH
Air Ministry AM Crown stamped, Avro Lancaster Bomb Fuzing Unit...
AVRO LANCASTER LEFT & RIGHT BEAM INDICATOR
Rare Air Ministry AM Crown stamped, Avro Lancaster Left/Right Beam...
LANCASTER 'BATHTUB' MORSE CODE SENDER KEY
Original Air Ministry Bathtub' Morse Code Sender Key installed in...
AVRO LANCASTER VHF COCKPIT TUNER
MK XVIA AVRO LANCASTER NAVIGATOR'S ALTIMETER
Rare, Air Ministry stamped, 1943 Mk XV1A Lancaster Navigator's calibrated...
LATER PRODUCTION RUN MODEL OF THE PYRENE TYPE P-1 PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER AS USED ABOARD THE AVRO LANCASTER
Dated 1960, this is an identical later production model of...
AIR MINISTRY ISSUED MK VIII RAF FLYING GOGGLES
Battle hardened, Air Ministry issued Mk VIII RAF goggles as...
LANCASTER ‘BATHTUB' MORSE CODE SENDER KEY
Original Air Ministry ‘Bathtub' Morse Code Sender Key installed in...