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|The Aircraft :|
|Lancaster||The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.|
|Artist Details : Keith Aspinall|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Keith Aspinall|
Keith is a Manchester born retired civil engineer who has been painting aviation subjects for the past twenty years. He is entirly self taught and his style is characterised by precise detail and technical accuracy which he feels is a result of his engineering training. After retiring from full time employment with Kent County Coucil Keith moved to Lincolnshire in April 1998 in the hope of finding a wider market for his work, and the move has proved to be successful. He is an Associate Member of the Guild of Aviation Artists and regularly exhibits work at the Guilds Annual Open Exhibition in London. In addition he has completed over a hundred commissions for private clients in England and abroad including RAF and American Eighth Air Force associations. Many of his painting are currently in print and his work is on the covers of a number of books recently published in France, the United States and the UK. Sadly, Keith Aspinall died in 2007.
More about Keith Aspinall
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