Maiden Flight of Lancaster Bomber

Brtish Avro Lancaster Bomber in flight

The Avro Lancaster first flew on 9th January 1941, it would not enter service for another year.

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’.

See Leo McKinstry: Lancaster – The Second World War’s Greatest Bomber

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim January 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

My father was a navigator in a Lancaster. He joined the RCAF but not in time to see action during the war. He did fly in one as they mapped arctic Canada. A great, peaceful use of a beautiful aircraft.

Wouter Oudemans January 10, 2016 at 2:48 am

I was 17 when WWII started and lived in Holland during that period. These photo’s and stories from 75 years ago tell me so much I never knew. I read them and reread them with a feeling of great respect for so many. Thank you so much for publishing this.

M.Wolsley March 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

Lancaster-the most fantastic “creature” ever.Why am I obsessed with it? No idea,I just am.

Rob January 9, 2011 at 11:52 am

I love the Lancaster. One the countries most iconic planes of all time.

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