Maximum speed: 265 mph (426 km/h, 230 kn) at 17,000 ft (5,182 m)
Range: 1,200 mi (1,900 km, 1,000 nmi) with maximum bomb load of 10,350 lb (4,695 kg)
Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5,900 m)
Guns: 8 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, (in Nash & Thompson nose (2), dorsal (2) and tail (4) turrets)
Bombs: 10,350 lb (4,695 kg) bomb load
The Avro 679 Manchester was a British twin-engine heavy bomber developed and manufactured by the Avro aircraft company in the United Kingdom.
While not being built in great numbers, it was the forerunner of the famed and vastly more successful four-engined Avro Lancaster.
Manchester L7246 – First prototype originally with twin tail. Due to lack of directional stability, it had a third fin added. Became a training airframe in November 1942.
Manchester L7247 – Second prototype first flown 26 May 1940, fitted with armament, became a training airframe in October 1941.
Manchester I – First production version with 80 ft wing and 28 ft twin tail and additional central fin later added; 20 of this type were built.
Manchester IA – Main production version with 80 ft wing, twin tail with 33 ft enlarged tailplane. It also had taller fins and rudders.
Manchester IB – As Manchester IA but with thin-gauge fuselage skin.
Manchester IC – As Manchester IB but with 2 x 2,520 hp Bristol Centaurus. Installed in one airframe but never flown.
Manchester II – As Manchester IB but with 95 ft wing.
Manchester IIA – As Manchester II but with 2 x Bristol Centaurus. None built.
Manchester III BT308 – This version was powered by four Merlin engines with increased wingspan; also, the three fins and rudders of the Manchester I were retained. This variant was the first prototype of the later Avro Lancaster.
Orders and Production
Two prototypes were ordered against specification P.13/36 and were built by Avro at Ringway.
Production contract for 200 Manchesters placed with Avro to be built at Chadderton, contract changed to Lancaster I production after 157 had been built, delivered between August 1940 and November 1941.
Production contract for 150 Manchesters placed with Fairey to be built at Ringway, order cancelled.
Production contract for 200 Manchesters placed with Metropolitan-Vickers at Trafford Park, contract changed to Lancaster I production after 43 had been built, delivered between March 1941 and March 1942. The first 12 aircraft being built on the Trafford Park production line were destroyed in a German air raid on 23 December 1940, not being completed they are not included in the total aircraft built.
Production contract for 150 Manchesters placed with Armstrong-Whitworth, order cancelled.
In total two prototypes and 200 production aircraft were built before the production lines changed to building the four-engine Lancaster.