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Manchester file photo [3227]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Primary RoleHeavy Bomber
Maiden Flight25 July 1939


ww2dbaseThe Manchester bombers were designed by Avro as a response to the British Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 which called for a twin-engined heavy bomber. They entered service with Royal Air Force Bomber Command in Nov 1940, and eventually equipped eight RAF Bomber Command squadrons and several Coastal Command units. As the Manchester design improved, one of the variants showed such a great improvement in performance that the design received a new name, Lancaster, therefore ending the production of Manchester bombers. From 1940 to Nov 1941, 209 Manchester bombers were built, most by Avro, 32 by Metropolitan-Vickers; they flew 1,269 missions with Bomber Command and dropped 1,826 tons of bombs.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2007

Manchester Timeline

25 Jul 1939 The prototype Avro Manchester made its first flight. Although it served with eight Bomber Command Squadrons, the Manchester suffered from persistent engine problems and was withdrawn from service in 1942.
24 Feb 1941 British Manchester bombers of No. 207 Squadron from Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom made the Manchester model's operational debut by bombing Brest, France overnight and into the next day.
13 Apr 1941 The forty Manchester bombers on the strength of Nos. 207 and 97 Squadrons were grounded for engine modifications. During the work alterations were also made to allow the carriage of 4000-pound HC (high capacity) bombs; the first of which was dropped by a No. 207 Squadron aircraft on Berlin, Germany on the night of 8 to 9 May 1941.


MachineryTwo Rolls-Royce Vulture I 24-cylinder X-type engine rated at 1,500hp
Armament8x7.7mm Browning machine guns (2 forward, 2 mid-upper, 4 rear), 4,695kg of bombs
Span27.46 m
Length21.34 m
Height5.94 m
Weight, Empty14,152 kg
Weight, Maximum22,680 kg
Speed, Maximum402 km/h
Service Ceiling5,852 m
Range, Normal1,930 km


RAF 207 Squadron Manchester in flight, circa 1940-1941Manchester Mk III in flight, circa 1941

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Manchester Heavy Bomber Photo Gallery
RAF 207 Squadron Manchester in flight, circa 1940-1941Manchester Mk III in flight, circa 1941

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