Aircraft Type Index

Transport Aircraft Index



Avro Lancastrian Military Transport Aircraft

The Avro Lancastrian was a conversion of the Avro Lancaster Heavy bomber initially conceived by Avro Canada who converted Canadian built Mk X Lancasters in 1943, later aircraft were new-builds the last one being made in 1945, a total of 91 aircraft were converted or produced. Although the Lancaster could carry a phenomenal payload over a long distance bombs were very dense and did not require a large fuselage volume, just a very strong one. The space limitations of the Avro Lancastrian resulted it it being primarily used for mail, other payloads were better carried in the Avro York, this was effectively a Lancaster with a totally new fuselage designed for transport use.

AVRO 691 LANCASTRIAN C MK3 Transport Aircraft


One noteworthy use of the Avro Lancastrian occurred during the Berlin Airlift when 15 RAF Lancastrians were fitted with large internal fuel tanks and made over 5,000 flights into Berlin to supply petrol.

The Avro Lancastrian achieved some significant firsts for an aircraft including the first airborne circumnavigation of the globe, also although primarily a mail plane many of the aircraft were built to also carry up to 13 passengers, one Lancastrian had two of it's Merlin engines replaced with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets and made the world's first ever international jet passenger flight in November 1946, the flight was between London and Paris and took 41 minutes, the remaining two Rolls Royce Merlin engines were feathered and remained unused for the duration of the flight. The first purpose built Jet Airliner, the de Havilland Comet, did not carry it's first passengers until May 1952!

Avro Lancastrian C.1 Specifications:

  • Crew: 5
  • Capacity: 9 passengers
  • Payload: 3,560 kg
  • Length: 76 ft 10 in (23.4 m)
  • Wingspan: 102 ft (31.1 m)
  • Height: 19 ft 6 in (5.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 30,426 lb (13,800 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 65,000 lb (29,480 kg)
  • Engines: Four 1,250 hp (930 kW) Rolls Royce Merlin 12 piston engines
  • Maximum speed: 310 mph (500 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,520 m)
  • Range: 4,150 mi (6,680 km)
  • Service ceiling: 23,000 ft (7,000 m)

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