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Forces War Records Blog

ON THIS DAY: 9TH JAN 1941 - MAIDEN FLIGHT OF LANCASTER BOMBER

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’.

 

 

Role Heavy bomber
Manufacturer Avro
Designer Roy Chadwick
First flight 9 January 1941
Introduction February 1942
Retired 1963 (Canada)
Primary users Royal Air Force Royal Canadian Air Force Royal Australian Air Force Royal New Zealand Air Force
Number built 7,377
Unit cost £45-50,000
Developed from Avro Manchester
Variants Avro Lancastrian
Developed into Avro York Avro Lincol
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