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Marcel Hogenhuis 20th May 2019 12:03

bombing speed Lancaster
Hello all,

Perhaps a silly question but I am looking for information about the average speed of Lancasters during a bomb run.

I know of course that loaded Lancasters flew slower during their climb after take off and faster if they had reached the ordered altitude but what was their speed during the bomb run? Perhaps someone has details from personal acccounts or other sources ?

Many thanks in advance! Best regards,

Marcel Hogenhuis

Kaczmarek 20th May 2019 19:44

Re: bombing speed Lancaster
Hi Marcel,

I looked into different reports and the I.A.S. during the bomb run was mostly between 140 and 180 m.p.h.

Hope this helps.

Rgds, René

MW Giles 20th May 2019 19:57

Re: bombing speed Lancaster
The Lancaster Pilot's Notes recommend with Merlin XXs and a full load outward 170 mph IAS to 15,000ft and 160 mph IAS at 20,000ft. On return 160 mph IAS. With Merlin 22, 24 or 28 subtract 5 mph in each case

If you read combat reports speed is quoted, usually between 150 and 160 IAS

At 18,000ft 160 mph IAS is around 217 mph TAS


Marcel Hogenhuis 21st May 2019 11:49

Re: bombing speed Lancaster
Hello René and Martin,

Thank you for your much appreciated answers!

Martin: your remark about IAS and TAS at 18000 was spot on! I was looking for the likely airspeed of Lancaster R1669 on 20th December 1942 when the crew dropped their bombs at 18.000 feet. IF Lancaster R1669 flew 217 mph (TAS) and dropped 20.02 bombs over Duisburg, it could have been over Venlo (42 km west of Duisburg) at 20.09 hours.

Many thanks! Best regards, Marcel

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