Designed around two Rolls-Royce Vulture 24-cylinder X-configuration engines and intended to be catapulted in order to achieve reasonable takeoff runs, the Manchester is best known as the immediate predecessor of the vastly more successful Lancaster. The British and Rolls-Royce resources were inadequate in the perilous early stages of the war to overcome teething problems with the Vulture, so that the
Manchester suffered from severe reliability and performance issues. When it was re-engined with 4 Merlins, with the considerable increase in wing area that came along with the two new nacelles, it became the outstanding Lancaster.
- A news clip from April 1942, gives first details about the Manchester.[ HTML ]
- The "Have You Seen?" section for February, 1942, shows a Manchester on the ground with crew, seen from 2 o'clock.
- "RAF Export Department" shows a Manchester being bombed-up. "Super bomber" and "regular deliveries" seem in retrospect to have been a bit breathlessly optimistic.
- "Bombs for Berlin" is a news clip with photo showing the nose of a Manchester behind a bomb trolley with a 2,000-lb bomb.
- A Sketchbook drawing shows details of the bomb bay.
- "Bomber Command" [ HTML ] includes a photo: "The Avro Manchester was for a time the fastest twin-engined bomber flying in the RAF. It now is being superseded by the Avro Lancaster. Performance data on this new aircraft are restricted. "