Avro Lancaster Bomber

Explore the history of the most famous iconic Avro Lancaster Bomber aircraft that helped win WWII and played a pivotal role in the Dam Busters raid. Visit PlaneHistoria for more.

One of the most famous aircraft to take part in the Second World War, the Lancaster Bombers was designed and built by AV Row Company (Avro) for use as a heavy bomber by the Royal Air Force and entered service in 1942. It soon became one of the main heavy bombers to be used extensively for the remainder of the war and took part in what would become some of the war’s most famous bombing operations.

A total of 7,337 Lancaster bombers were built throughout the remainder of the war with six different and updated variants being rolled off the production line.

17 Squadron were supplied with specially modified Lancaster Mk IIIs for the raid and practised over various reservoirs across England before a live bombing practice was undertaken using the Lancaster Bombers over the Elan Valley Reservoirs.

The raid then took place between 16–17 of May 1943. Nineteen Lancaster bombers took part in the raid with RAF Wing Commander Guy Gibson leading the operation.

Eight Lancaster Bombers were lost during the operation, but the remaining crews successfully destroyed two of the intended dams; the Möhne and the Edersee, while the Sorpe Dam received damage but survived the raid.

However, the Lancaster bombers remained in RAF service performing both maritime patrol and non-combat roles. It was also retained for a period after the war as a search and rescue and an anti-submarine warfare aircraft before being replaced in both roles by the Avro Shackleton.

The Lancaster also operated several repatriation flights in 1945, ferrying German and Italian prisoners of war back to their countries.

The Lancaster Bombers also played an important role in the British development of air-to-air refuelling technology. Two surviving Lancaster aircraft were converted into prototype refuelling and fuel transportation aircraft.

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Pub: 05 Jun 2023 06:09 UTC
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