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, probably one of the best bombers in World War Two. It was loved by all that flew her.
The first video was from 2006 and my camera was not up to today standards and was shot, my son. I just keep in for nostalgic reasons. This is the latest from 2018 and still flying after 10+ years with some onboard video footage. I’ve always wanted to visit the Mohne Dam, one of the Dams breached by 617 Squadron. We had great weather on the 30th of June 2018 and a boat trip on the lake. Such a beautiful place.
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 the only option if you want to build a Lancaster. Green Air Designs did make a depron kit but looks like it’s not available anymore. The renowned Tony Nijhuis kit http://www.tonynijhuisdesigns.co.uk/Lancaster72.htm this is a real balsa bashers kit and needs some previous building experience.
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 capacity. Flight time was around 5-7 minutes, doesn’t sound long but it’s not the sort of aeroplane you chuck around. It’s very easy to fly and launch.
First flight was a complete success, the 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 Lipo batteries
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 an 8×4 prop. The motor is a Towerpro 2408-21T rated at 1450Kv and the speed controller is 15Amps. I use 4000mAH 3SLipo. On the 8×4 props, BRC says 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 them. 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”