Could a Lancaster bomber perform a barrel loop?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by MickMcM, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. MickMcM

    MickMcM New Member

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    As this is my first post, it may be that this question is posted on the wrong subject forum – apologies, if so, in advance.

    I am very interested to know if a Lancaster bomber could perform a barrel or similar loop? I think that I've read elsewhere that it was perfectly capable of doing so. If anyone could throw light on this I'd be most grateful.

    Michael
     
  2. fibus

    fibus Member

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    Yes.
    I believe the name of the book is " Sigh for a Merlin". can't remember the authors name but he was a pre ww2 racer of small aircraft. Became a production test pilot and was one of the great aerobatic demonstrators.
    Aside from Spits he tested, among other aircraft, the Lancaster and did rolls and loops for fun.
    Remember Tex Johnson rolled the prototype Boeing 707 and nearly caused heart failure in his boss.
    That is on tape try utube.
     
  3. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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  4. Crunch

    Crunch Member

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    Technical response trackie? :lol:
     
  5. Tzaw1

    Tzaw1 Member

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    Yes. First and last barrel. :)
     
  6. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    #6 trackend, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
    no personal introduction so it recieved a short answer
     
  7. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    One of my books on the Lanc, quotes an incident where a Lanc was blown on its back by flack, and by dint of who knows what, the pilot managed to recover by pulling through as though completeing a loop and made it back to his base safely.

    Only problem was there was by now soo much dyhedral (spelling ?) on the wings that this poor old Lanc resembled a rubber powered balsa model !!!
     
  8. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why a Lancaster could not be barrel rolled but a loop is a different kettle of fish. In the former the G forces can be controlled and an ideal one should be a continious 1 G.
     
  9. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    #9 beaupower32, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
    Im pretty sure that most if not all aircraft is/was capable of performing a roll. In most of the manuals I see for heavy bombers (though im still looking for a Lancaster manual) Barrel Rolls are restricted and not allowed. Although, From what I have read, Alex Henshaw is the only pilot known to have barrel rolled a Lancaster, a feat considered almost impossible.
     
  10. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Seen a B25 get very close to a barrell roll but I would be suprised if a Lanc had a roll rate sufficient to complete the manouver
     
  11. lingo

    lingo Member

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    The Pilots Notes for the Lancaster I gives the VNE as 360 mph and states 'The aeroplane must not be subjected to violent manoeuvres and care must be taken not to impose heavy loads by use of the elevator. Under Handling it states 'The ailerons are light and effective but become heavy at speeds over 260 mph'.
    The PNs for the later marks point out that 'Spins are to be avoided'!
     
  12. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    You read Sigh for a Merlin
    and can't remember the author's name? :)

    Alex Henshaw

    He didn't roll Lancasters for fun, if I recall, he did it once across the 300-odd that he tested.
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    A change of pace but Concorde was barrel rolled a number of times which must have been fun to watch.
     
  14. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    A barrell roll isn't that big of a deal. Well, maybe more of an ailerion roll. Barrel rolls are a tad more advanced but even those don't put much stress on the bird. Was told by a Navy pilot once that they were taught to roll a T-34 in such a way that a glass of water on top of the instrument panel would not spill a drop. It is a pretty mild manuver, just somewhat disconcerting if you haven't done it before. Nose down, pick up speed to x, pull the nose up to about 15 degrees above the horizon and push the stick over to the side of your leg, holding it there until you come right side up (jockeying the rudders) then neutralize the controls and you should be slightly nose down.

    Loop is a little more involved. Nose down, to speed of x (x is whatever you need to do the full manuver- oh and full power on both manuvers), stick back in your stomach (don't let up going over the top when you start floating a bit), go over the top and throttle back a bit coming down the back side or you'll really be moving at the bottom. The problem is the stress really builds up at the bottom of the loop. At least it can. Also, you could get negative g going over the top if you lose it a bit.

    I think you can roll a Lanc relatively easily. Loop it? Not if you didn't have to. I read that story in the book mentioned by Geedee and think that crew was very, very lucky. Others probably did it and didn't live to tell about it.
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Kind of off topic (sorry ;)), but I did see a C-130 do a barrel roll at the Royal Air Tattoo.
     
  16. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Blimey Chris bet that was spectacular
     
  17. MickMcM

    MickMcM New Member

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    Many thanks for all of your responses. As a novice screenwriter, I now realise that I'm going to have to seriously revise my opening scene.

    It would have helped if my Lancaster, to escape an FW-190, could have somehow turned the tables on it's adversary by attempting some theoretically possible but highly unorthodox manoeuvre demonstrating the outstanding skill of my pilot, the hero. He's already tried to shake off the fighter with a "corkscrew". Maybe I'll stick with that.

    Thanks everyone,
    Michael
     
  18. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, most, if not all aircraft could perform a barrell roll. Aren't they meant to be only positive g's and max out at around 3g? Aerobatics Figures

    I wouldn't want to be pulling an aileron roll on somethig like a lanc (with the negative g's), but a barrell roll IMO would be a definite possibility.
     
  19. MickMcM

    MickMcM New Member

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    Ah. I'm not using the correct terminology. I mean a loop – the "barrel" part was the problem.

    The aircraft climbs, looping over and backwards until it becomes inverted, then descends out of it on the other side back to level flight but ending up in the original direction of travel? Sorry if this isn't very clear but my knowledge of aviation is quite limited – just pointing out the obvious there.

    Would a Lanc. have been capable of performing that manoeuvre?

    Thanks for your patience, guys. This is really important and my sanity may depend on it!
     
  20. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    If it did, it would probably never fly again. My guess is that it wouldn't have the power to get over the top, without having too much airspeed from a dive, and over-stressing the airframe.
     
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