The Avro Lancaster is one of the most famous heavy bombers of the Second World War. With a wingspan of 102 feet and four Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 engines, the Lancaster could carry the heaviest bomb load in the European Theatre of Operations. This carrying capacity facilitated one of the most high-profile missions of the war: the attack on the Ruhr valley in 1943, now known as the Dam Busters Raid, when 19 Lancasters were adapted to carry Upkeep, the famous Bouncing Bomb.

In this video, our expert tells us why the Lancaster Bomber played such a crucial role in WW2. We go inside the fuselage of Duxford’s Lancaster KB889 and take a look at the enormous bomb load of this Second World War icon.

How did the Dambusters' heavy bomber secure victory?

How did the Dambusters' heavy bomber secure victory?

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The Inside View: The Lancaster

IWM Duxford

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Wing Commander Guy Gibson with members of his crew, July 1943.
IWM TR 1127
Second World War
The Incredible Story Of The Dambusters Raid
On the night of 16-17 May 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, the industrial heartland of Germany. The mission was codenamed Operation 'Chastise'.
Vulcan video still
IWM Duxford
The history of the Avro Vulcan Bomber
In this video, events and experiences coordinator Liam Shaw takes us through the extraordinary history and technological achievements of the Avro Vulcan. We go into the cockpit and hear first-hand from the people who flew this unique machine throughout its long and remarkable history.