Avro 694 Lincoln RA638
Early production Avro 694 Lincoln RA638 on flight test in August 1945.


The A.V. Roe (Avro) Type 694 Lincoln was a four-engine bomber and was a direct a development of the Avro 683 Lancaster.  It was originally known as the Avro 683 Lancaster Mark IV and V but later renamed Avro 694 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 Avro 694 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 Avro 694 Lincoln bombers were built by Avro at Chadderton, with a further 6 built at Yeadon, 80 at Metropolitan-Vickers at Ringway 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 Avro 694 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. One of thses aircraft (RF342) was used in support of types including the Blackburn Beverley, Sud Aviation Caravelle, Bristol Britannia and De Havilland Comet.


The Avro 694 Lincoln was surpassed during the 1950s by the new jet-powered English Electric Canberra and then by the introduction of Britain's new strategic bombers, the Avro 698 Vulcan, Handley Page Victor and the Vickers Valiant.


The last operational use of the Avro 694 Lincoln by the Argentinian Air Force in 1967, whereafter they were retired. 


Specification (Avro 694 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 & Number

Avro Type 694 Prototypes to Air Ministry Specification 14/43, three-built
Avro 694 Lincoln I  Powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin 85. 82 built
Avro 694 Lincoln II  Powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin 66, 68A and 300. 447 built
Avro 694 Lincoln IV Avro 694 Lincoln II converted to Merlin 85 power
Avro 694 Lincoln Mk 15 (B Mk XV) One aircraft only, built by Victory Aircraft in Canada
Avro 694 Lincoln Mk 30  Version for the RAAF. 25 built
Avro 694 Lincoln Mk 30A  RAAF, with longer nose and Australian manufactured 1,650hp Merlin 102s. 36 built
Avro 694 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
Avro 694 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 694 Lincoln II
National Museum of Aeronautics, Moron, Buenos Aires, Argentina www.museonacionaldeaeronauticamoron.blogspot.co.uk/  
Avro 694 Lincoln II
Villa Reynolds airbase, San Luis Province, Argentina
Avro 694 Lincoln II (RF342) Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin, Melbourne (stored)


Avro 694 Lincoln II (RF398)
Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, UK


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