Here is the build of a Radio Controlled Avro Lancaster Bomber from Priory Models which I’ve rebuilt twice and modified a few times. Whenever I fly her the sight of those 4 engines and twin tail in a banked turn is just majestic.

The Lancaster was a World War two bomber used by the RAF. It didn’t start well though. Originally it was a twin engine bomber called the Manchester with Rolls Royce Vulture engines. These were very troublesome and gave the Manchester a bad name. Roy Chadwick knew he had the basis of a good aircraft so he modified it to take 4 Rolls Royce Merlins and had a winner and probably one of the best bombers in World War two. It was loved by all that flew her.

The first video was form 2006 and my camera was not up to today standards and was shot my my son.  I just keep in for nostalgic reasons

The Priory Models Radio Controlled Lancaster is intended for 4×400 electric brushed motors and has 72″ wingspan. My first two were brushed versions but my latest is powered by brushless motors and Lipo batteries Here’s the phone number 01642 483505, they’re not on the web. I don’t think they are in business anymore.

Radio controlled Lancaster from other suppliers

Priory Models are not not the only option if you want to build a Lancaster. Green Air Designs did make a depron kit but looks like its not available anymore. The renowned Tony Nijhuis kit http://www.tonynijhuisdesigns.co.uk/Lancaster72.htm

Build

The Priory kit was about £80 and on the whole is not bad. However the fit of some parts could have been better. For quality I’d give it 7 out of 10.

Covered in brown parcel paper and PVA glue and then painted with acrylic Tamiya and B&Q emulsion paints.

My first  Lancaster motors were 400 brushed 6.0 Volt and batteries were 10 cell  Ni–MH pack of around 2000mAH capcity. Flight time was around 5-7 minutes, doesn’t sound long but its not the sort of plane you chuck around. Its very easy to fly and launch.

First flight was a complete success, third flight was as no so good. Have a look and the video above “Bouncing Lancaster”

A faulty receiver was the culprit, partly my own fault but that’s a long story. I then converted it  fly it on 2.4GHz Spektrum.

On the 20th Sept 2009 the Lancaster crashed very heavily. I was gutted it was caused by an overheating speed controller.

Prior to this I’d always used a separate receiver battery and had no issues. I decided to dispense with this as I was very confident on 2.4Ghz.

The speed controller heat shrink has partially melted so I fairly certain this was the cause of loss of signal.

The crash was very heavy and very little survived, but I had a second less damaged Lancaster wing, so I rebuilt her. This time I installed brushless motors and ran a separate receiver battery.

Dec 2009 – Ordered a new fuselage from Priory. Made the decision to convert the Lancaster to Brushless motors and Lip batteries

Brushless conversion

Here’s the start of the wing repair and conversion to Brushless motors. I’ve managed to get a 400 replacement combo deal from BRC hobbies which included speed controller motor and a 8×4 prop. The motor is a Towerpro 2408-21T rated at 1750Kv and the speed controller is 15Amps. I use 4000mAH 3SLipo. On the 8×4 props BRC say it will give 145 Watts on 3S Lipo so I should have ample power with 4 of them. On brushed motors I think it was pulling about 250 Watts for all four which worked out about 60-70 watts per pound.

Some photos of the nacelle being converted to mount brushless motors. I’ve also put a hole in the rear and one in the front part on the nacelle to allow air through for cooling

The video “RC Avro Lancaster – Brushless conversion” above show how well she flew

Maiden flight was a complete success . Batteries are 2x4000mAH 3S. I did intend to use smaller but I needed to add weight for balance so I used the 4000mAH batteries and the balance was spot on with then. 7 minute flight only used 20% of the batteries, had a second flight on the same batteries.

She’s been built with the markings of 207 Squadron the Lancaster flown in mostly by Wallace Macintosh the rear gunner who survived 55 missions and his the highest scoring rear gunner in the RAF during the second world war. I read his biography during the build and decide as a tribute to Wallace to finish her in the markings of his Lancaster. Highly recommend this book “Gunning for the enemy”

4 Responses

  1. andrew

    Hello Keith
    I enjoyed reading your Lancaster build page. Thanks for the informative page. I have a Priory Models Lanc kit that I bought from Elvington LMA show in 2012 (they said it was the last show they were going to do?) and have just got round to getting it out and start thinking about building it.
    I am planning to go brushless with 1000kv or 1 possibly 1200kv motors and 8×4 props.
    Ive read online that you should minimise the battery wire length as much as possible while motor wire length from ESC isn’t as important. with this in mind where did you place the brushless esc’s in the lanc? Thanks a lot.

    • Keith

      Hi Andrew
      Thanks for stopping by and reading the article. I used 1450kv on 8×4 props and I placed each ESC in the nacelle of the so it was close to the motor. I already had the power leads there from the brushed motors so it was an easier way to do it. I did make a hole in the rear of each nacelle to allow cooling air to get through. Did you check out the video of it on brushless conversion. So much power now. Although it did fly well on brushed.

      Keith

      • andrew

        Wow, thanks for the fast reply Keith! Yes it looks nice on the brushless setup with plenty of power. OK thanks for the info. decisions…decisions. Do you still fly the Lanc?

        • Keith

          Yes I still fly her but not had her out for a while. Plan to get her out soon. Thinking of putting a camera on the rear of the fuselage to get some on board. Did that with my VC10 on the T-tail and looked great. It’s on my YouTube channel

          Keith

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