Avro 679 Manchester

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.

Avro 679 Manchester
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Avro
Production Period 1940 - 1942
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1939
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Avro 1940 1942 209 View

General characteristics

  • Crew: 7
  • Length: 70 ft (21.34 m)
  • Wingspan: 90 ft 1 in (27.46 m)
  • Height: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
  • Empty weight: 31,200 lb (14,152 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 50,000 lb (22,680 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Rolls-Royce Vulture I 24-cylinder X-type, 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 250 mph (402 km/h)
  • Range: 1,200 miles (1,930 km)
  • Service ceiling 19,500 ft (5,852 m)


  • 8 x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, (in Nash & Thomson nose (2), dorsal (2) and tail (4) turrets)
  • 10,350 lb (4,695 kg) bomb load

End notes