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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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  #1  
Old 18th December 2008, 17:23
Pathfinder Pathfinder is offline
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Lancaster varients

I'm embarking on a Lancaster artwork. Strange as it may seem, in all my years as an aviation artist I've never actually done this aircraft!

Anyway, I'm depicting a Lancaster Mk III.

My first question:

1) Is the MkIII the same as the BIII?

2) I believe the MKIII is externally identical to the MkI?

3) As these MkIIIs had Packard Merlin's, where as the MKIs had Rolls-Royce Merlins, were the engine housings/nacelles any different? Profiles seem to suggest they are externally the same.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 18th December 2008, 19:09
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

1) Lancaster B. MkIII

2) yes

3) R-R and Packard engines were interchangeable. Some a/c could have a mix of engines.
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  #3  
Old 18th December 2008, 19:36
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

Correct designation is Lancaster III or Lancaster B.III, the prefix depending on variant.
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  #4  
Old 18th December 2008, 22:57
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

Lancaster III is not a correct official designation. The correct designation was the B Mk.III, as the role prefixes had come into use by this time. Later variants included the GR Mk.III (I believe). If you wished to group them together then they were all Lancaster Mk.IIIs. It may be that in some references the "Mk." may have been understood rather than explicitly stated, but it was there in the official designation.

It is correct to say that a Mk.I and a Mk.III Lancaster would be externally identical, if they were produced at the same time. Details of the aircraft did vary with time, and some of the early features will only have been seen on Mk.Is. Features to look out for include the bombaimer's blister and the number of windows down the side - if any. No doubt Lancaster enthusiasts could point out more.
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Old 19th December 2008, 02:34
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

Graham, I meant overuse of the word Mark. It was intended to be used interchangeably with type's name, eg. Lancaster III or various Lancasters, MkIs & MkIIIs. Of course, life rules prevailed, but if there are people ready to die for Bf prefix, I think we can afford some little nit picking.
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Old 19th December 2008, 12:29
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

That's why I stressed the official side of things. Informally, people called them what they liked. Thankfully, they didn't have to consider that a Corsair II wasn't the same thing as a Corsair Mk.II.

I do believe that possible confusions can be reduced if we use the official terminology when it does add clarity. Differentiating between different variants is one area where this is true. There's a thread on j-aircraft lamenting the use of the Allied code names for WW2 Japanese aircraft, now that the official Japanese names are known, but here I think the the opposite is true: the "incorrect" use is preferable for clarity.

There are similar points raised about the use of the A/B/C system for RAF roundels. It is totally unofficial but so much clearer. More unclear is the present state of the NATO names for Soviet types: I'm sure almost everyone speaks of MiG 15s not Fagots, yet is quite happy with Bears and Badgers. Not to mention Fitters and Floggers (though the initial confusion around the MiG 23 designation must have helped there). It will be interesting to see if use of the NATO codenames disappears quicker that the Allied codenames for Japanese types!

Apologies if this is moving too far from the original question.
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  #7  
Old 19th December 2008, 16:44
VoyTech VoyTech is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

Are you sure, Graham? It seems, "Lancaster II" was an official designation, so I presume "Lancaster I" or "Lancaster III" may have been, too.
They don't seem to have Lancaster Pilot's Notes' previews on amazon, but those for Wellington and Spitfire show that the "Mk." was used much like Franek said:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0859...pt#reader-link
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0859...pt#reader-link
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lanc II Pilot's Notes.jpg (31.6 KB, 5 views)
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Old 19th December 2008, 18:26
Pathfinder Pathfinder is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

Excellent, thanks for the info guys. My concern for this project is primarily the external differences, so I think I'm covered for now. Very intersting comments though.

Thanks again.
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Old 19th December 2008, 19:55
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Bill Walker Bill Walker is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

Role prefix letters (like B for Bomber) were introduced in the UK in 1942, and applied retroactively to all aircraft then in service. It appears that it took several years for the use of them to become common. Depending on the date, an individual aircraft could correctly be called a Lancaster Mk. III, or a Lancaster B. Mk. III. Both would commonly, but unofficially, be referred to as a Lancaster III.
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  #10  
Old 19th December 2008, 22:27
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Lancaster varients

If you can find a copy of Martin Streetly's "The Aircraft of 100 Group", IIRC it's very good on descriptions and diagrams of the differences between marks of RAF bomber types. I think it was based on a series of articles for a modelling magazine.
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