The last piston-engined bomber used by the Royal Air Force the Lincoln was intended to serve with the 'Tiger Force' which would participate in operations leading up to the invasion of Japan. However the war ended before the Avro Lincoln would see service.
First flight 9th June 1944 Entered service 1945 Total built 604
Although the Avro Lancaster was proving a success as the mainstay of Bomber Command, due to the speed of development required during war time the Air Ministry released Specification B14/43 during 1943 to find a successor to the Lancaster. For which Avro submitted a new design, designated Lancaster Mk IV with power to be supplied by the Rolls-Royce Merlin 85 engine. The new aircraft would be a long-range high altitude version of the Lancaster, although with so many changes including an increased wingspan and fuselage the aircraft was re-identified as the Avro Lincoln Mk B.I.
The prototype flew for the first time on the 9th June 1944 at Ringway, Manchester with Captain H.A. Brown at the controls before being sent to Boscombe Down for service trials just four days later with a second prototype flying five month later on the 13th November 1944. With everything going to plan 2,254 Avro Lincoln's were planned to be built at various factories around the United Kingdom, with the Avro Lincoln intended to join the Lancaster and Consolidated B-24 Liberator to make up the long-range heavy bomber force known as 'Tiger Force', which was intended to bomb targets in Japan in the lead up to invasion. However due to the surrender of the Japanese this unit was disbanded and as a result only about a quarter of the proposed 2,254 Lincoln's were built.
The Mk. BII followed next and would be powered by either Merlin 66 or 68 engines. The proposed Avro Lincoln Mk B.III ended up becoming the Avro Shackleton and the Royal Australian Air Force would use a Lincoln with it's nose extended by 6ft 6in to enable two radar operators and the required equipment to be housed and this would become the Mk 31.
Although mainly seeing service with the Royal Air Force with around 50 in service at the time of V.E. Day the Avro Lincoln wouldn't actually see operational service during the Second World War. A small number were also used by the Argentine Air Force and RAAF and by the time production ended 604 aircraft had been built with the last Avro Lincoln retired by the RAF on the 12th March 1963, although the last Lincoln in use retired in 1967.
Role Heavy bomber
Manufacturer A V Roe (168), Metropolitan-Vickers (80) and Armstrong Whitworth (281)
First flight9 June 1944
Retired1967 Argentine Air Force
Primary users Royal Air Force
Argentine Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Developed from Avro Lancaster
Developed into Avro Shackleton