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Interesting facts about the Avro Lincoln; The Heavy Bomber

The Avro Lincoln also designated as Avro Type 694 was the British heavy bomber aircraft which was powered by 4 engines and first flew back on June 9th, 1944. The design for the Avro Lincoln was inspired by the pre-existing Avro Lancaster. This is the reason that the very first two variants of the Avro Lincoln were known as Lancaster IV and V. after getting it’s own identity, these names were changed to Lincoln I and Lincoln II. The Avro Lincoln holds the title of being the last heavy bomber which was powered by position engines to be in service of British RAF.

The aircraft gained its operational status back in 1945 and was initially intended to take part in the World War II against the Japanese forces. However, the aircraft missed World War II combat action by a hair’s breadth of time.

The aircraft was later sold to other notable nations like the Royal Australian Air Force and the Argentinean Air Force. The aircraft got retired from the service and was replaced by the English Electric Canberra.

A project inspired by Avro Lancaster:-

In the raging war against Germany and its allied forces, the British RAF was in need of new kin do heavy bomber other than the Avro Lancaster. This led to the creation of the Avro Lincoln which was inspired heavily from the design of the Lancaster models B.Mk IV and B.Mk V.

however; getting its own identity these names were later altered to be Lincoln B.Mk 1 and Lincoln B.Mk II. The design of the Avro Lincoln was originated out of the Air Ministry Specifications which requested the twin-engine and a medium-class bomber aircraft. The aircraft was intended to offer its services for the RAF in Far East regions of the war which at that time was supposed to go well into 1946.

The difference from the Avro Lancaster design:-

The difference of the design in Avro Lincoln from its predecessor as that airframe of the Lancaster was given upgrades like the wingspan with higher aspect ratio, longer fuselage section as well as a new nose section. The nose of this newly modified aircraft was to hold inside 2 of the Browning machine guns of .50 calibers. Thee initial models were fitted with 4 of the Rolls Royce Merlin 85 inline engines that allowed for the aircraft to create a 1750 horsepower.

This model was designated at first as the Lancaster B.Mk IV which was then transformed to the Lincoln series bomber and was designated as Lincoln B.Mk 1.

Following that came another increase of the wingspan in another Lancaster aircraft design and that aircraft was powered by 4 of the Rolls Royce Merlin 66, 66A or the 300 series engines.

First Flight:-

The very prototype of the Avro Lincoln took it to the skies back on 9th June 1944. 3 prototype aircraft were designed which then were designated by the Avro company as the Type 694. These aircraft fell true to the requirements of the Air Ministry as they presented an increase in operational range as compared to Avro Lancasters; taking off from the friendly bases and attack the installations of the enemy forces with effect.

Numerous Manufacturers of Avro Lincoln due to Production demand:-

After the first few successful trials of the Avro Lincoln, the RAF green-lighted the production line for the Avro Lincoln and that led to a mass production project. Production lines for the Avro Lincoln were set up at the following 3 different facilities at the time.

  • Chadderton
  • Cheshire
  • Woodford

As the war in full rage at that time and there as increased demand for bombers, two other aircraft manufacturing companies were awarded special manufacturing licenses for creating the Avro Lincoln.

  • Armstrong Whitworth
  • Vickers Metropolitan

In addition to this, RAAF was also awarded the production license for local manufacturing which was designated as Lincoln B.Mk. 30 which was powered by 4 Rolls Royce Merlin 85 series engines.


The defense of the Lincoln was aped much attention to by its designer as it was protected machine guns fitted all around it.  These gun fittings include the following areas.

  • 2 Browning machine guns of 0.50 caliber for Nose Turret
  • 2 Browning machine guns of 0.50 caliber for the Tail Turret
  • Dorsal turret was equipped either with 2 Hispano cannon of 20mm or the 2 Browning machine guns of .50 calibers.

As for the internal ordnance payload carrying capacity for the Avro Lincoln, it was about 14000 lbs.

Missing the World War II service:-

The very first time, the Avro Lincoln was presented for active duty service for the RAF was back in 1945 to serve for the No. 577 Squadron of the East Kirby.  Later in August of 1945, the aircraft was introduced in the fleet of RAFF. However, by that time the war was ended as the Japanese Empire also yielded in August of 1945 and then made a formal surrender in September of 1945 which brought a total end to the enemy threats in the Pacific and the Asian theater of World War II.

However, at that time the Soviet Union also started to create threats for Europe and during this time the RAF made use of the Avro Lincoln bombers and continued to accept the deliveries. The notable combat cases for the Avro Lincoln usage are as follows.

  • Eliminating the Kenyan rebels during the Kenyan Emergency from 1952 to 1960
  • Malayan Emergency 1948 to 1960
  • Aden Emergency 1963 to 1967

Other operators:-

Other than the RAF a handful of other air forces also operated the Avro Lincoln, the first one on that list is the Royal Australian Air Force which even got the license to manufacture the aircraft locally.

The next one was the Royal Canadian Air Force which only operated 3 of the Avro Lincoln aircraft from the year 1946 to 1948. They too produced the aircraft locally but only one was ever manufactured.

From 1947, the only other operator to procure the Avro Lincoln in droves as compared to RAF was the Argentinean Air Force which kept them in their service well into 1965.

Total number of Avro Lincoln aircraft produced:-

In all variant forms, nearly 604 of these Avro Lincoln aircraft were manufactured and delivered to their respective operators.


The aircraft saw the end for its service with RAF in the mid-1960s whereas the last one retired in 1967 from the Argentinean Air Force. Not only RAF but also other operators of the Avro Lincoln replaced the aircraft with English Electric Canberra.

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