If The Nazis Didn’t Kill You On A Mission, The Spartan Lancaster Could

“The biggest threat wasn’t the Germans.  It was the cold.”

Aviation was pretty spartan back in the 40s by today’s standards.  The aircraft wasn’t pressurized, heat was nearly non-existent and the quarters were cramped.  There were operational hazards at every turn. If every bit of exposed skin wasn’t covered, you could get frost bite in seconds.  Yet the heroes of World War II battled the elements to defend freedom in Europe.  They were brave men.

Take a tour of the interior of this Avro Lancaster, affectionately known to avgeeks as “the Lanc.” You’ll learn some fascinating facts about a bomber that helped turn the tide of war against the Nazis in Europe.  Liz Dodds and Andrew Panton are your hosts. They’ll provide some fascinating facts mixed with a little dry British humor. The 25-minute video, uploaded by Rob Hayton offers a good look at the exterior, the interior, and even the cockpit of this pivotal aircraft.

The Avro Lancaster is a mid wing, cantilever heavy bomber. It is powered by four Rolls Royce, Merlin piston engines mounted on the wings. It first rose to fame through bombing missions by the British during the second world war. The Avro Lancaster has an oval shaped, all metal, five section fuselage, and also five main sections on the wings. The tail has twin elliptical fins and rudders.

One notable feature of the Avro Lancaster was an unobstructed bomb compartment, more than 33 feet long. The Avro Lancaster was capable of holding the largest bombs in the RAF. Then bulged doors were added so the aircraft could carry even bigger bombs. The Avro Lancaster could eventually hold a bomb that weighed 12,000 pounds.

The Avro Lancaster was designed and built by Avro for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Its maiden voyage was on January 9th of 1941. The aircraft started service in 1942. Primary users of the Avro Lancaster were the Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Royal Australian Air Force. Between 1941 when the first one was built, and 1963 when the model was retired, 7,377 Avro Lancaster aircraft were manufactured.