|THE DAMBUSTERS  (617 Squadron)|
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Avro Lancaster Bomber
Until the beginning of 1942, when the first Lancaster came off the production line, Wallis had no way of delivering his proposed weapon to the heartland of Germany's industry in the Ruhr Valley.
Roy Chadwick, AVRO Chief designer
In 1936, the Air ministry issued a specification for a new type of medium bomber. Chadwick produced the Avro Manchester. This twin engined plane was essentially a sound design, but had one major handicap, the radically new Rolls Royce Vulture engines. These were essentially two engines in one. Chadwick always doubted whether Rolls Royce could devote enough time to the development of the Vulture engine with the approaching war putting major demands on the tried and tested Merlin engine which had to be given priority.
Chadwick's fears were justified when the Manchester went into squadron service in November 1940 at RAF Waddington fitted with Vulture engines which were prone to mechanical problems and fires. To solve the problem, Chadwick decided to either replace the Vultures with units of similar power or to fit four less powerful but reliable engines. Even before the Manchester went into service, Chadwick was busy redesigning the plane to house four engines. This would be the Manchester Mk III.
Lancaster Bomb Bay
What made the Lancaster stand out even more was its performance while carrying large bomb loads. It was able to increase its payload without compromising its flying performance. This gave the young pilots a huge advantage in the difficult combat flying conditions - especially when it came to accurately delivering Upkeep to the targets.