Avro 694

The RAF's last piston engined heavy bomber.
Avro 694 Lincoln RA638 Early production Avro 694 Lincoln RA638 on flight test in August 1945.


The Avro Type 694 Lincoln was a four-engine bomber and was a direct a development of the Lancaster.  It was originally known as the Lancaster Mark IV and V but later renamed Lincoln I and II.


The first of three prototypes (PW925) flew for the first time at Manchester's Ringway Airport on 9th June 1944. The type was primarily intended for use in the Far East theatre during the Second World War, but only entered RAF service in August 1945 and therefore was not deployed overseas prior to the end of the War.


The Lincoln reached operational status in August 1945 and remained in RAF service until March 1963.

It was used operationally in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising during the 1950s and (by the RAAF) in the Malayan emergency.  The aircraft also served within the Argentinian Air Force.


Avro 694 Lincoln II RF398 Avro 694 Lincoln II RF398 on display at the RAF Museum, Cosford.

Three prototypes and 162 production Lincoln bombers were built by Avro in Manchester with a further 6 at Yeadon, 80 at Metropolitan-Vickers and 229 at Armstrong Whitworth in Coventry (18 of these being for export to Argentina).  In addition, 73 were constructed by the Australian Government Aircraft Factory in Melbourne with a further single example being built by Victory Aircraft Ltd in Canada.


The first Australian Lincoln B.Mk 30 built by the Beaufort Division of the Department of Aircraft Construction, flew on 17th March 1946.


Around a dozen Lincolns acted as engine flying test beds for the Armstrong Siddeley Python, Bristol Phoebus, Theseus and Proteus engines as well as the Napier Naiad and Rolls-Royce Derwent.


Avro 694 Lincoln SX972 Bristol Proteus test bed The Lincoln was used as a flying test bed for many new engines. Here Avro 694 Lincoln SX972 flies with Bristol Proteus engines in its outer nacelles.


40 aircraft were exported to Argentina and remained in service with the Argentine Air Force until 1967. 12 of these aircraft were diverted from RAF orders with the remaining 18 being new-built aircraft manufactured by Armstrong Whitworth.


2 aircraft (RF342/G-36-3/G-APRJ/G-29-1 and RF402/G-APRP) were used extensively for icing trials conducted by Napier Ltd, flying with test aircraft wing sections mounted sail-like on the upper fuselage behind a spray rig.


RF342 was used in support of types including the Beverley, Caravelle, Britannia and Comet.


The Avro Lincoln was surpassed during the 1950s by the new jet-powered English Electric Canberra and then by the introduction of Britain's new stategic bombers, the Avro Vulcan, Handley Page Victor and the Vickers Valiant.


The last operational use of the Avro Lincoln by the Argentenian Air Force in 1967 whereafter they were retired. 

Specification (Lincoln II)

Powerplant Four 1,750 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 85 or Packard Merlin 68 
Span 120ft 0in 
Maximum Weight 82,000lb
Capacity and armament 7 crew. Two 0.50in Browning machine guns in nose and tail turrets, and dorsal turret with either twin 0.50in machine guns or twin 20mm Hispano cannon. Up to 14,000lb bombs.
Maximum Speed 319 mph at 19,000ft
Cruise Speed 215 mph at 20,000ft
Range 2,640 miles

Variants & Numbers

Avro Type 694 Prototypes to Air Ministry Specification 14/43, three-built
Lincoln I  Powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin 85. 82 built
Lincoln II  Powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin 66, 68A and 300. 447 built
Lincoln IV Lincoln II converted to Merlin 85 power
Lincoln Mk 15 (B Mk XV) One aircraft only, built by Victory Aircraft in Canada
Lincoln Mk 30  Version for the RAAF. 25 built
Lincoln Mk 30A  RAAF, with longer nose and Australian manufactured 1,650hp Merlin 102s. 36 built
Lincoln Mk 31 (GR 31) General reconnaissance version of Mk.30 for the RAAF, with longer nose. Four Rolls-Royce Merlin 85 or 1,650hp Merlin 102s. 12 built
Lincoln MR 31  Anti-submarine warfare/maritime reconnaissance version of Mk 31 for the RAAF. 15 conversions
Total production 624 aircraft: 550 in UK, 1 in Canada and 73 in Australia


Avro Lincoln II
National Museum of Aeronautics, Moron, Buenos Aires, Argentina www.museonacionaldeaeronauticamoron.blogspot.co.uk/  
Avro Lincoln II
Villa Reynolds airbase, San Luis Province, Argentina
Avro Lincoln II (RF342) Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin, Melbourne (stored)


Avro Lincoln II (RF398)
Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, UK

Other information

Avro Heritage Museum (www.avroheritagemuseum.co.uk