Out of stock
Out of stock
Corgi Aviation 1/72 scale AA32604: Avro Lancaster B1 of 106 Squadron RAF, as used by Guy Gibson on his first bombing mission. This was on 8th July 1942 when he took ten aircraft and bombed the docks at Wilhemshaven. Gibson named his aircraft Admiral Prune and the aircraft’s side was decorated with a Mickey Mouse figure with bombs underneath, depicting the number of trips or operations the aircraft had carried out. This aircraft was often used by Wg. Cdr. Guy Gibson, the squadron CO during his time with 106 squadron. Gibson went on to win the VC the following year as leader of the famous ‘Dambusters’ raid. ‘Admiral Prune’ flew 640 hrs before being lost on the Turin raid of 4/5 February 1943. Limited edition of 2,800 pieces, now hard to find.
Length 11.75 inches Wingspan 17 inches
Designed to meet a specification for a new generation of “worldwide use” medium bombers, the Avro Lancaster was first flown on January 8, 1941. The design of the Lancaster evolved from an unsuccessful two-engine aircraft called the Manchester. The heavier Lancaster had four engines and an extensive bomb bay, with later versions capable of carrying 22,000 lb bombs. Used primarily as a night bomber, the Lancaster was a versatile aircraft that became most famous for its role in the 1943 “Dam Buster” raids on Germany’s Ruhr Valley dams. Between 1942 and 1945, Lancasters flew 156,000 sorties, dropping 608,612 tons of bombs on enemy targets.
Avro’s chief designer, Roy Chadwick knew that the twin engined Manchester was a good aircraft. Designed to cope with the stresses of dive bombing and to carry torpedoes, it had immense strength and a large, partition free bomb bay. But it was dogged by the under developed Rolls Royce Vulture engine, whose construction (bolting two 12 cylinder engines round a common crankshaft) led to catastrophic unreliability.
Faced with the ignominious Air Ministry instruction to build Halifax bombers instead, Chadwick worked feverishly in association with Rolls Royce and produced what was arguably the greatest bomber of WWII. With a ceiling of up to 24,000 feet and an eventual load carrying ability greater than its entire weight, the ‘Lanc’ was not only prized by the Brass hats, but much loved by its crews for its ability to get them out of trouble with near fighter agility, yet take off, cruise and land with genteel docility.
From its first operational sortie in March, 1942, some 7,377 aircraft were made, flew 156,000 missions and dropped 608,612 tons of ordnance-that’s two thirds of all the bombs dropped by Bomber Command during the war. But there was always a price to be paid. Over 4,000 Lancasters, together with their seven man crews, were lost.
The Lancaster was far from a blunt instrument. That capacious bomb bay allowed Barnes Wallis to design the bouncing Upkeep bomb, the 12,000lb Tallboy and the 22,000lb Grand Slam all of which were specific, tactical weapons. Arguments over the effectiveness of these weapons miss the point; that Bomber Command and its leader, Arthur Harris, would always adopt new technology that would aid precision bombing. Lancasters also played a crucial role in daylight operations before, during and after D-Day and additionally, were the preferred aircraft for the Pathfinder forces and in developing the first effective air-to-ground Radar navigation system; H2S.