Yesterday was Crappy.
It was cold, gloomy and raining all day long.
My friend, ‘Brooker’, has been jonesing for YEARS to go to Nanton to see them fire up the engines on the Lancaster Bomber.
With the weather the way it was yesterday, I had some serious doubts about even going at all.
It just wouldn’t stop raining.
Around 6 PM, it blew over and we decided to head on out about 7.
Allan’s Uncle died in the war flying in one of them.
According to him, over 10,000 Airmen did as well during World War II.
“Of the total of 7,377 Lancasters built (430 of them in Canada), 3,932 were lost in action.
During the war Lancasters flew a total of 156,308 sorties and dropped 608,612 tons of bombs, and placed over 12,000 mines in enemy waters.
During World War II the Lancaster was the most successful bomber used by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force.The Lanc had speed, ceiling, and lifting power that no other aircraft of the day could match. Weighing 36,900 pounds empty, the Lancaster was capable of taking off with an additional 33,100 pounds of fuel and bombs; in other words it could almost carry its own weight again. The Lancaster carried 64% of the tonnage dropped by the RAF and RCAF during the war. The “Grand Slam”, a 22,000 pound special purpose bomb designed to penetrate concrete and explode below the surface to create an earthquake effect, could only be delivered by the Lancaster and the Lancaster was thus chosen for special operations such as the “Dambusters” raid and the attack which sunk the German Battleship Tirpitz.
Lancasters were built to accomplish their specific purpose and crew comfort and security was clearly a secondary consideration. Generally flying under the cover of darkness, the Lancaster had virtually no defensive armour. The front, mid-upper, and rear gun turrets were hydraulically powered and carried a total of eight .303 calibre machine guns for defence against enemy aircraft.
The crew worked in cramped conditions, particularly the air gunners who remained at their posts for the entire flight. Some had to place their flight boots into the turrets before climbing in, and then put their boots on. At night and at 20,000 feet the temperature in the turrets frequently fell to minus forty degrees and frostbite was not uncommon. Air gunners manned the rear and mid-upper gun turrets. A pilot, flight engineer, navigator, wireless operator, and bomb aimer/front gunner completed the crew of seven.
The Lanc’s massive bomb bay stretched for 33 feet and, unlike other bombers, was one continuous uninterrupted space. Partly for this reason, the Lanc had the versatility to undertake raids with large, specialized weapons. However, this meant that the main wing spars became obstacles to movement within the aircraft, particularly for airmen wearing heavy clothing and flight boots.”
Last night the Museum presented, in grand fashion, a ‘ Lancaster Merlin Engine Night Run’.
I’m really glad it dried up.
It was wonderful to see.
These may be better seen at a larger size.
You can view them, if you have Facebook HERE
If you enjoy this…
John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots