The Avro Lancaster’s electrical power draw to keep its many flight systems operational was both enormous and complex.
Powering everything from its flight surface actuators, cockpit instrumentation, powered turrets, fuel pumps, bombsight computer, wireless operator and navigator instrumentation to aircraft lighting, oxygen supplies, radar controls and flight suit heating - each played a critical role in the aircraft’s flight operations.
Supply of this power came from the Lancaster’s two 1.500 w generators running off its two inner engines which then fed into the aircraft’s large battery bank. Later Lancasters like the Mk VII equiped with more complex radar systems and instrumentation had their engine generators upgraded to 3000 w outputs.
These same inner engines also ran two, large-volume pumps which delivered hydraulic and vacuum pressure to the Lancaster’s main mechanical operating systems including its forward and rear gun turrets, landing gear and bomb bay doors. The upper gun turret was electrically operated.
A compressor, driven by the inner starboard engine supplied charges to air-bottles, wheel brakes and radiator shutters, with the vacuum pumps operating many of the pilot’s instruments and the other, operating the gyros of the Mark XIV bombsight.
Another compressor driven by the inner port engine operated the Mark IV or Mark VIII Automate Pilot, and the computer unit of the Mark XIV bombsight.
Responsibility for ensuring all these systems ran smoothly and repairing those that didn’t fell on the Lancaster’s Flight Engineer.
The Flight Engineer sat to the right of the pilot on his jump seat monitoring the 4-engine aircraft’s fuel, electrical, engine, hydraulic and oxygen systems. Just behind him on the starboard cockpit wall was mounted the primary systems gauges including fuel, oil and coolant temperature and oil pressure gauges. Just to the rear of this was positioned the main electrical panel with the aircraft's circuit breakers and battery monitoring gauges.
Along with the pilot, the Lancaster's Flight Engineer would complete all preflight inspections before turning his attention to setting and adjusting the 4 Rolls-Royce, 12 cylinder Merlin engine's power output for take-off. As the aircraft's systems specialist his role throughout the mission would be to monitor, adjust and often make running repairs to the critical flight systems whilst also providing the pilot with power settings required for the constantly changing flight conditions.
From idling the engines back to more fuel efficient settings for cruising to almost red-lining them as the pilot desperately tried to shake off the Luftwaffe night fighters - the Flight Engineer never had a moments respite. If he was’t at his seat constantly monitoring and adjusting the flight’s control systems, he would be moving up and down the fuselage attached to the one of the Lancasters portable air bottles checking the airframe and control cables.
Closer to the target ,with anti-aircraft fire and night-fighters swirling around them, the Flight Engineer also became the damage control coordinator, patching holed fuel and hydraulic lines, feathering damaged engines and activating the aircraft’s fire control systems. When an engine driven pump failed, he would be hand cranking the back-up pumps to operate the landing gear lowering and bomb bay door opening and closing mechanisms.
This 1939, Air Ministry & Crown stamped 5A/1630 Ammeter was installed at the top left of the Engineer’s Flight Panel where it monitored the power draw of the aircraft’s engine fuel pumps. A second Ammeter was installed at the top right of the Electrical Distribution Board just aft of the Engineer's Flight Panel.
Installed in the early RAF heavy bombers and fighters such as the MkIA Supermarine Spitfire and wooden Hawker Hurricane, this is a rare, battle-hardened, instrument collectable from one of World War II’s most iconic aircraft and would make an amazing gift for any aviation enthusiast and collector.
This Avro Lancaster Instrument comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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Your Avro Lancaster Air Ministry & Crown stamped 1939 issued 5/A1630 Fuel Pump Ammeter, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:
- Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft.
- Original Warbird instrument
- Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
- Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
- Removable Magnetic Display Arm
The heavily detailed scale model is available with wheels & flaps up or down and bomb bays open or closed. Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.
Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 3 - 4 weeks approx..
Did you fly, crew or maintain an Avro Lancaster or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.