Profiles and Logos
The Avro Manchester was a British Twin engined medium bomber developed by AVRO. The design was to meet Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 of 1936 with its maiden flight being on the 25th July 1939 and entered service in November 1940. The design used the Rolls Royce Vulture 24 cylinder X block engine, which was in effect two 12 cylinder V engines mounted on top of each other. It was designed to develop 1,760hp (1,310kW) but proved so unreliable that it had to be de-rated to 1,480hp (1,100kW). The design had a twin tail but there were issues with directional control so a ventral fin was added to the Mk1 but on the Mk1A this was removed and the two vertical fins enlarged. The first squadron No. 207 had at least 80 aircraft on strength.
The first operational mission was undertaken on the night of 24-25th February 1941, a raid on the French port of Brest. The engines proved to be very unreliable so the aircraft were temporarily grounded, after re-entering service, the type was again grounded on 16 June 1941, other issues encountered were faulty propeller feathering controls, hydraulic failures and excessive tail flutter. After modification the aircraft re-entered service and the last operational flight was against Bremen on 25th June 1942. Production was halted in November 1941 after 209 aircraft had entered service with the RAF.
On 9th January 1941 Manchester MkIII, BT308 first flew, this aircraft featured a larger wing and was powered by four Rolls Royce Merlin engines, immediately after its first flight, this model was renamed the Lancaster.
The Manchester was used for training purposes until being fully withdrawn in 1943.