The Avro 679 Manchester was a British twin-engine heavy bomber developed before Second World War by the Avro aircraft company in the United Kingdom. Serving in the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force, the Manchester was an operational failure because of its underdeveloped, underpowered and unreliable engines. The aircraft was the forerunner of the successful four-engined Avro Lancaster, which would become one of the most capable British strategic bombers of the war.
- In OTL, the Manchester's first flight was in 1939 and it entered service in 1940. In AAO, the Manchester was already in service by December 1938.
Variants[edit | edit source]
- Manchester L4276: First prototype originally with twin tail. Due to lack of directional stability, it had a third fin added. Became a training airframe in November 1942.
- Manchester L4277: Second prototype first flown on May 26th 1937, fitted with armament, became a training airframe in October 1941.
- Manchester I: First production version with twin tail and additional central fin added; 20 of this type were built.
- Manchester IA: Main production version with twin tail with enlarged tailplane. It also had taller fins and rudders
- Manchester II: Version re-engined with a pair of Napier Sabre or Bristol Centaurus engines.
- Manchester III: This version was powered by four Merlin engines with increased wingspan; also, the three fins and rudders of the Manchester I were retained. This variant was the first prototype of the later Avro Lancaster. All surviving Manchester bombers rebuilt to Mk.III standard.