Air Weapons

Heavy Bomber (1945)



Built as a development of the legendary Lancaster, the Avro Lincoln was the RAF's last piston-engined bomber to enter service. Although superficially similar to its predecessor, the Lincoln featured larger dimensions including a lengthened fuselage and increased wing span as well as additional fuel capacity and weight. Added to this were more powerful Merlin engines and the result was an aircraft considerably superior to the Lancaster in performance. The Lincoln was originally designed to operate in the Pacific during World War II as part of the Commonwealth Tiger Force but the sudden end of the war meant that orders were scaled back. Nevertheless, this did not prevent the Lincoln becoming the RAF's main post-war bomber equipping a total of 23 squadrons at its height. In RAF sevice, Lincolns were used against the Mau-Mau insurgency in Kenya as well as during the Malayan Emergency but with the introduction of the first jet bombers during the 1950s, Lincolns were relegated to secondary duties such as electronic jamming and experimental testbeds. Other users included Canada, Australia (built by GAF), and Argentina.

First flight of the prototype Avro Type 694 took place on 9 June 1944 with the first production examples designated Lancaster Mk. IV and Mk. V (differences being use of Rolls-Royce or Packard Merlins). It was eventually decided to adopt the new name and these were re-christened Lincoln B.1 and B.2 respectively. The Lincoln Mk. III was a maritime patrol variant which eventually was turned into the Avro Shackleton while foreign-built versons included the Canadian Mk. XV (only one built by Victory Aircraft) and the Australian Mk. 30. These were often fitted with different powerplants and were followed by the Mk. 30A with increased weights, and the Mk. 31 with a stretched nose for maritime duties.

Preceded by:

Lancaster (1942)

Succeeded by:

Valiant (1955)


DesignLincoln B.1Lincoln Mk. 30
TypeHeavy BomberHeavy Bomber
Length23.86 m23.86 m
Height5.271 m5.271 m
Wing Span36.58 m36.58 m
Wing Arean/an/a
Empty19,686 kg19,958 kg
Maximum37,195 kg37,195 kg
Wing Loading281.7 kg/m²281.7 kg/m²
Speed475 km/h499 km/h
Ceiling6,706 m8,534 m
Range2,366-5,761 km4,506-6,909 km
Engine4 x Merlin 85
1,305 kW
4 x Merlin 102
1,324 kW
Guns2 x 20-mm
Hispano Mk. V
6 x .50-in
Browning Mk. II
2 x 20-mm
Hispano Mk. V
6 x .50-in
Browning Mk. II
Payload6,350 kg6,350 kg