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Thread: Different Bomb Loads for Lancaster Aircraft and the Bomb Aimers Briefing...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Lions Bay, BC
    Thanked 51 Times in 44 Posts

    Default Different Bomb Loads for Lancaster Aircraft and the Bomb Aimers Briefing...

    I have uncovered information that the Air Ministry was considering a change to the All-Up-Weight of Lancasters in 1945. There is an exchange between A/Cdre Sidney Bufton and the Secretary of State for Air, Sinclair on the "On-going debate" on the relative effectiveness of the Halifax as compared to the Lancaster, January 16, 1945 (AIR 8/333). Bufton replies “Your minute 1 January 1945” that alludes to “…overall results from recent operations suggests Halifax compares well with Lancaster.” Bufton provides considerable detail and analysis as to why this conclusion is not correct. The author goes on to detail the likely future comparables between the Halifax VI and the Lancaster III/X with the Merlin 224 engines and the likely-to-be-approved increase in the all-up weight of the Lancaster from 65,000 to 68,000 lbs. A review of some interesting documents at the International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive, provide evidence that at least for 5-Group there was a move to at least 67,000 lbs, "All-Up-Weight". I have found the same direction in some of the 5-Group Form "B"'s for March 1945.

    It’s my opinion that the Lancaster X’s with Serial numbers KB.774 and above with Paddle Blade A/C would have fit this criteria, however, at no time, did 419 Squadron ORB’s record a higher bomb load for those aircraft, right through to the end of hostilities.

    Edit, Note: I realize that 617 and possibly 9 Squadron were allowed a 72,000 AUW for some of their aircraft, the B-1 Special, but this is the first evidence I have found for a change for Main Force squadrons.

    Last edited by JDCAVE; 22nd January 2022 at 17:23.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

    Default Re: Different Bomb Loads for Lancaster Aircraft and the Bomb Aimers Briefing...

    Jim, According to the Pilot's Notes for Lanc Mks 1, 3, 7, and 10: Max weight of 72,000 lbs was permitted, "if Merlin 24 or 224 power plants are fitted, paddle-bladed propellers are fitted, Lincoln type undercarriage and tyres (Mod. 1195) are fitted and special adjustments are made to the tyre and oleo leg pressures. A careful check on aircraft structure must be kept and runways only yo be used".
    Regards, Terry

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