The Avro 679 Manchester was a British twin-engined heavy bomber developed during the Second World War by the Avro aircraft company in the United Kingdom. The Manchester was a failure due to its under-developed, under-powered and unreliable engines, but was the forerunner to the famous Avro Lancaster, one of the most successful bombers of the war.
While the Manchester was designed with twin tails, the first production aircraft, designated the Mk I, had a central fin added and a total of 20 aircraft with this configuration were completed. They were succeeded by the Mk IA which reverted to the twin-fin system but using enlarged, taller fin and rudders and this configuration carried over to the Lancaster. Avro built 177 and Metropolitan-Vickers completed 32 aircraft. Plans for Armstrong Whitworth and Fairey at Stockport/Ringway to build the Manchester were abandoned.
Manchesters flew 1,269 operations with Bomber Command, dropping 1,826 tons of bombs and losing 63 aircraft in action, flying its last operation against Bremen on 25 June 1942 Unreliable engines which were prone to catching fire without warning were the main reason for these losses. Of 63 aircraft downed, 40% of them occurred on operations while 25% were lost on training flights.