Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

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Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
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The Lancaster

The Avro Lancaster is the most well-known and productive RAF heavy bomber of Globe War Two. It is a legend that lives on right now and the contribution made by the aircraft and its crews to the freedom of our nation will, hopefully, never ever be forgotten. The prototype Lancaster took to the air for its very first flight from Woodford, Manchester, on 9th January 1941 the first production Lancaster flew later that year on 31st October. The initial RAF unit to receive the new aircraft for operations (on Christmas Eve 1941) was No 44 Squadron at Waddington, quickly followed by 97 Squadron at Woodhall Spa. The performance of the Lancaster was merely outstanding. It could carry a maximum bomb load of 22,000 lb, its maximum level speed with a full load at 15,000 feet was 275 mph and it could cruise routinely at altitudes above 20,000ft at a variety speed of 200 mph. With a complete bomb load the aircraft had a variety in excess of 1,500 miles. The Lancaster’s efficiency, its ruggedness, reliability and to several its sheer charisma, endeared it to its crews who have been proud to fly this famous thoroughbred.

An impressive total of 7,377 Lancasters have been built in between 1941 and early 1946. Of these, some 3,500 have been lost on operations and an additional 200 or so have been destroyed or written off in crashes. The vast majority of these Lancasters that did survive the war have been merely scrapped when their solutions have been no longer required, as the reverence in which the aircraft is now held had yet to develop to the point where their preservation seemed crucial.

The Lancaster did not carry the weight of the evening bombing offensive against Nazi Germany on its own but was supported by other earlier twin-engine bombers such as the Wellington and the other 4-engine RAF heavy bombers – the Stirling and the Halifax – as effectively as medium bomber versions of the twin-engine De Havilland Mosquito. In total some 125,000 aircrew served in Bomber Command for the duration of Planet War Two over 73,700 of them became casualties, either killed, wounded or shot down and made PoWs.

In a letter to the head of Avro after the war, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Harris, the Commander in Chief of Bomber Command, stated of the Lancaster:

“I would say this to those who placed that shining sword in our hands: With no your genius and efforts we could not have prevailed, for I believe that the Lancaster was the greatest single element in winning the war.”

The Spitfire

Spitfire MKIs from 65 Squadron Produced in greater numbers than any other British combat aircraft prior to or since the War, 20,341 Spitfires had been built in 22 different variants (excluding the navalised Seafire) and the aircraft remained in production for 12 years.

The prototype’s maiden flight took spot on 5th March 1936 and Mk1 Spitfires entered RAF service (with No 19 Squadron) in August 1938.

The development possible of the original design and style allowed the Spitfire to establish and then preserve the air superiority so crucial to the defence of Britain and to hold pace with the 19 Squadron Spitfire taking off improvements in functionality of enemy fighters all through World War Two.

Spitfires fought in each operational theatre of the War and remained in RAF front-line service up to 1954. At the finish of its improvement the Spitfire carried an engine generating much more than twice the energy of the original, its maximum take-off weight and rate of climb had a lot more than doubled, its firepower had enhanced by a factor of 5 and its maximum speed had been elevated by a third all this in primarily the identical airframe.

The Spitfire played a key element in achieving ultimate victory in World War Two and really deserves its place as possibly the most successful fighter design ever, and surely as the most well-known and charismatic of all time.

The Hurricane

The Hawker Hurricane is one of the classic fighters of all time, designed and constructed for war. It was at the forefront of Britain’s defence in 1940 and it played a key component in achieving the victory of 1945.

Sir Sydney Camm CBE commenced the design and style function for the Hurricane in 1934 (Camm went on to design and style the Typhoon, Tempest, Hunter and Harrier). The prototype Hurricane (K5083) made its maiden flight on 6th November 1935 and deliveries to the RAF commenced just just before Christmas 1937 to 111 Squadron at Northolt (8 months ahead of the Spitfire). The Hurricane was the initial British monoplane eight-gun fighter, the initial RAF aircraft to exceed 300 mph in level flight and the first production fighter with a retractable principal undercarriage.

For the duration of the Battle of Britain, RAF Fighter Command fielded more Hurricanes than Spitfires, and Hurricanes achieved a similarly higher proportion of combat kills throughout the Battle.

A exceptional total of 14,533 Hurricanes were constructed and the aircraft served operationally on every single day throughout hostilities, in every single operational theatre and in many roles. At the finish of Planet War Two in 1945, Hurricanes had been nevertheless in the front-line helping to make sure final victory in the Far East.

With the end of the war, Hurricanes were rapidly retired from service as the fast progression of aircraft design and capabilities had efficiently rendered them obsolete and the aircraft’s job was carried out. The vast majority had been basically scrapped and broken up. Sadly, nowadays, there are only 12 Hurricanes still airworthy worldwide only 6 of these in UK. The BBMF is proud to operate two of these historically important and uncommon aircraft.

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