The Avro Lancaster was one of the finest bombers of World War II and became the spearhead of the RAF's strategic bombing campaign over the Third Reich. Richard Marks draws on extensive research and detailed technical drawings to explore the evolution of this heavy bomber, revealing how its design developments transformed an old airframe from a dangerous liability to one of the most powerful weapons in the RAF arsenal. The lifespan of the Lancaster began with the troublesome Avro Manchester design, an aircraft that had promised much but proved hazardous to crews. The 'Lanc' retained the Manchester's basic airframe, but was given four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines instead of the two, underpowered and unreliable powerplants fitted to its predecessor. As soon as the first prototype flew, it demonstrated excellent performance, ruggedness and good handling qualities and it was soon at the fore of all the RAF's bombing campaigns. It captured imagination as the aircraft that flew in the famous 'Dambuster' attacks, but most importantly, once available in sufficient numbers, the Lancaster gave Bomber Command the tool with which it could strike at targets almost anywhere in Germany.
This book tells the story of the iconic Lancaster in full, providing a comprehensive account of the design, development and operational history of the aircraft and its evolution into successor aircraft.