Collection Highlights

Avro 683 Lancaster X

Artifact no.: 1967.0640 


Highlights:

  • Used in many successful (primarily nighttime) bombing raids, including the May 1943 Operation Chastise by No. 617 Squadron RAF ("the Dambusters"), "the Lanc" was probably the most widely known heavy bomber of the Second World War
  • Continued to serve with the RCAF after the war - in maritime patrol, photo survey, search-and-rescue, and navigator training - until 1965
  • Had a wartime crew of seven: a pilot, a flight engineer, a navigator, a bomb aimer, a radio operator and two gunners
  • Usually had a postwar crew of eight: two pilots, a flight engineer, two navigators and three radio officers
  • Flown by many Canadians during the Second World War, including Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski, who won a posthumous Victoria Cross for bravery during an attack on Cambrai, France
  • First Flight was in June 1941 (Lancaster I)

Image Gallery:

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History:

The "Lanc" was arguably the best heavy bomber used in Europe in Second World War. Although somewhat vulnerable to fighter attack, it was relatively fast, had a high ceiling, and could carry enormous loads for its size. Victory Aircraft at Malton, Ontario, produced the first Canadian-built Lancaster, a Mark X, first flown August 1, 1943. Many Canadian-built Mark Xs served overseas with No.6 Group. The Lancaster continued in the RCAF until 1965 for maritime patrol, photo survey, search and rescue, and navigator training.

Wartime crew was a pilot, flight engineer, navigator, bomb aimer, radio operator and two gunners. Peacetime maritime patrol crew was two pilots, flight engineer, two navigators, and three radio officers. A late Mark X, the museum aircraft has a Martin upper turret with two 50-calibre guns. Maritime patrol versions had no top turret, and only the front turret was armed with two .303-calibre machine guns. Drafty, noisy, and uncomfortable on long flights, the Lancaster was nevertheless strong, reliable, and a delight to fly. Pilot Officer A.C. Mynarski won a posthumous Victoria Cross for bravery in a Canadian Lancaster during an attack on Cambrai, France.

Current Location:

Second World War Exhibition, Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Provenance:

Transfer from RCAF

The museum's Lancaster X came off the production line of Victory Aircraft in early 1945. Delivery to the United Kingdom in early March, it was taken on strength by No. 425 Squadron (Alouette), RCAF, during the first week of May, just before the unconditional surrender of Germany. The Lancaster was one of 20 or so Lancasters from that unit that flew to Canada in mid-June, in preparation for operation against Japan. Following the surrender of that country, in August, the aircraft was placed in reserve in Nova Scotia, in September. It left Atlantic Canada in March 1946 to be stored at Fort Macleod, Alberta. Canadian Pacific Airlines (Repairs) of Calgary inspected the aircraft in July 1952. In August, the Lancaster flew to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where Fairey Aviation Company of Canada began to refurbish it. Returned to service in March 1955, the aircraft served at Greenwood, Nova Scotia, with No. 404 (Buffalo) Squadron, a maritime reconnaissance unit, until January 1957. A decision to save the Lancaster for display in a museum, in part because it had undergone few change over the years, led to its transfer to Dunnville, Ontario, for storage. In early 1964, the aircraft was painted in the colours of a Canadian-made Lancaster, delivered in July 1944 to No. 428 (Ghost) Squadron, RCAF, which had made 72 sorties during the Second World War before being scrapped, in January 1947. Flown to Rockcliffe in early May 1964, the Lancaster was included in the RCAF’s collection of historic aircraft later that month. Not too long after, this collection joined those of the National Aviation Museum and Canadian War Museum to form the National Aeronautical Collection, which evolved into today's Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

Technical Information:

Wing Span 31.09 m (102 ft)
Length 21.1 m (69 ft 6 in)
Height 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in)
Weight, Empty 15,985 kg (35,240 lb)
Weight, Gross 29,484 kg (65,000 lb)
Cruising Speed 322 km/h (200 mph)
Max Speed 438 km/h (272 mph)
Rate of Climb 277 m (910 ft) /min
Service Ceiling 7,530 m (24,700 ft)
Range 2,671 km (1,660 mi)
Crew seven (wartime)
Power Plant four Rolls-Royce (Packard) Merlin 224, 1,620-hp, 12 cylinder Vee engines

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