Their Plane
Lancaster Bomber
The British Avro Lancaster was one of the most successful heavy bombers of War War II. More than 7,300 were built. It flew 156,318 bombing missions, and dropped a total of 618,000 tons of bombs. It could carry a heavier bomb, and at a higher altitude, than any similar aircraft and was very maneuverable for its large size. Flying a Lancaster was a physically demanding job. The crew flew to an altitude of 21,982 ft. (6,700m) for up to 12 hours. They had to breather oxygen through a face mask often in temperatures as low as 23 degrees F (-5 C). The Lancasters rarely had fighter escorts, and flew mostly at night to avoid being attacked.
(from
Aircraft, A stunning visual history of airplanes, by Ian Graham, 2001)