Author Topic: What if the Lancaster hadn't been built  (Read 466 times)

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Offline McColm

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What if the Lancaster hadn't been built
« on: February 16, 2018, 08:11:31 pm »
I've always thought that the Avro Shackleton should have entered service with the Royal Air Force earlier than it did.
 So what if the Lancaster hadn't entered service?
The Avro Shackleton looks like a cross between the Halifax and Liberator bombers , but if the longer nosed Mk2 had been penned by Roy Chadwick back in 1940. Just as the Manchester the Shackleton would have started with two engines , entering service with four Centaurs as the Rolls-Royce Merlin's weren't powerful enough at that time. The crew of 7 would be in moderate comfort over the cramped Lancaster. Three gun turrets;  one at the front, rear and upper. Likewise  later variants would have the deeper weapons bay of the Mk3 but still keep the tail wheel steering with a possible lower gun turret or remote control turrets.
Weapons could also be carried under the wings with plumbed in drop fuel tanks.
Power plants from the Lockheed Constellation or B-29 bomber would no doubt have been tested and even entered service.
No doubt some sort of transport variant resembling the Avro York with the undercarriage legs extended for clearance and the wings moved to shoulder height.
I used the landing gear from the Airfix  Short Stirling with the Revell Avro Shackleton AEW2. This was before Airfix brought out the Mk2 kit. I removed the radome and moved the wings higher up the fuselage. I found a pair of Mk3 weapons bay doors and fitted those to fill the gap. The build isn't finished.
 AlleyCat provides the T.4 conversion which I have used to build the Maverick twin engined float plane.
 Later marks using the Rolls-Royce Griffon engines with the possibility of jet engines replacing the piston engines.
The engines from the B-47 Tornado fit although at the time I hadn't thought of adding the landing gear.
Twin fins twin booms do work with the Revell Mk3 Shackleton, even the rear of a Privateer grafted on seems to work.
 Throughout the year I will return to my started builds and get them finished.

Offline Weaver

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Re: What if the Lancaster hadn't been built
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 12:22:31 am »
Well since the Shackleton was developed from the Lancaster (via the Lincoln), no Lancaster = no Shackleton. It's an interesting question though: I like these 'subtract an iconic weapon and try to fill the gap' scenarios.

The straight-forward answer is:

1. Advanced versions of the Sterling
2. Advanced versions of the Halifax
3. More use of the Warwick (advanced Wellington)
4. Vickers Windsor goes into service

The follow-on questions that are begged are:

1.Why did the Lancaster not enter service? Did Roy Chadwick fail to persuade the Air Ministry of the merits of a four-Merlin Manchester, or was there some other reason?
2. In the absence of the Lancaster, what happened to the Manchester anyway? Schemes were drawn up for a version with two Centaurus...
3. What happened to Avro in general? Did they just become a sub-contractor for other firms, or did they have something else up their sleeve?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 04:45:40 am by Weaver »
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Offline Caveman

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