BILL PIPPIN COLLECTION
No. 9728. Avro 683 Lancaster B.Mk.X (FM153) Royal Air Force
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 4203

Avro 683 Lancaster B.Mk.X

02/28/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "On September 18, 1941 a decision was made to build Lancasters in Canada and the Aircraft Division of National Steel Car at Malton, Ontario received an order in December, drawings started arriving in January and a Lancaster B.Mk.I (s/n R5727) was delivered as a pattern aircraft on August 24 1942. The aircraft plant was expropriated by the Canadian Government and renamed Victory Aircraft Ltd on November 4, 1942. Subcontractors were Ottawa Car & Aircraft Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario, Canadian General Electric Co Ltd, Toronto, and Fleet Aircraft at Fort Erie.

The Lancaster B.Mk.X was designed around the bomb-floor which supported the bomb load and, incidentally, served as a floor for the crew. Structurally the Lancaster was a stressed-skin all-metal monoplane apart from the fabric covered elevators and ailerons,and wooden doors, hatches, and leading edge of the fins.

The aircraft were fitted with four 1,620 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 224 twelve-cylinder liquid cooled in-line V-engines (license-built by Packard in the USA) and armament consisted of twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machineguns in the front, top, belly and rear Frazer-Nash turrets. It carried an 8,000 lb (3,632 kg) bomb load in an unobstructed 33 ft (10.06 m) long bomb bay. After some 150 aircraft were produced the upper armament was replaced by twin 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machineguns in a Martin CE-250 turret, the belly turret was deleted, and a H2S radar was installed.

The Lancaster B.Mk.X prototype (s/n KB700) was first flown on August 1, 1943, at Malton by Ernest H. Taylor and crew. It arrived in the UK on September 15 and was assigned to No.405 Squadron at the end of October 1943, probably for publicity reasons, as it bombed Berlin as early as November 27, piloted by Pilot Officer Harold Floren, while the type became operational only late April 1944. In all 422 Lancaster B.Mk.X bombers were produced, while another eight were completed as unarmed transports.

After the war the Lancaster B.Mk.Xs were returned to Canada, and most were put in storage. In 1946 they began to be modified for peacetime duty with the RCAF and continued to serve until 1965. In the postwar RCAF the Lancasters were designated by Arabic numerals with an alphabetical suffix indicating the duty for which it was modified."

Created February 28, 2010