The Lancaster Mk VII was a variant produced by Austin, at their Longbridge factory. The main difference between the Mk VII and late production Mk I/IIIs was the use of a Martin turret in place of the FN50 mid-upper turret. The Martin turret carried two .5in Browning Mk II machine guns, giving much more punch than the .303s of the older turret. The turret was also moved forward, from its position behind the bomb bay to one above it.
The Martin turret arrived too late for inclusion on the first fifty of these aircraft, which retained the FN50. These aircraft were officially still Mk Is, but were often know as Mk VII (Interim). These aircraft saw some service in Europe before the surrender of Germany.
Another 180 aircraft were built as true Mk VIIs. These had the Martin mid-upper turret, and also used the FN82 rear turret, which also carried the .5in machine gun. Both the true and interim Mk VIIs were powered by the Merlin 24 engine.
The true Mk VIIs arrived too late for the war in Europe. They were then modified to the B. Mk VII (FE) standard, for use in the Far East. Although the proposed invasion of Japan was not needed, most of these aircraft did serve overseas.
|The Avro Lancaster, Manchester and Lincoln, Richard A. Franks. Although this is described as a modellers guide to the Lancaster, Manchester and Lincoln, it is also a very good history of the aircraft, with a fantastic amount of infomation, covering the technical details of the aircraft, its squadron service and production figures. A very valuable guide to one of the best known Second World War aircraft. [see more]|