Thursday, 16 May 2013

Lancaster bombers take to the skies once more

The Dambusters at Hobbies 

Today marks 70 years since 19 Lancaster bombers took off from a runway in Lincolnshire in eastern England, each carrying a purpose built weapon - the bouncing bomb - and dropped them in Nazi Germany's industrial heartland.

Here is a little background information about the Lancasters used, the Bouncing Bomb and Operation Chastise (Dambusters Raid)

At Hobbies we sell a range of Historic Aircraft in plastic kit form plus all the tools and paint need to finish the kit.

AVRO Lancaster

AVRO Lancaster
  • AVRO Lancaster 
  • Crew: 7
  • Size: 69ft (21m) x 102ft (31m)
  • Range and speed: 2,530 miles (4,072km) / 287mph (462km/h)
  • Bombload: 22,000lb (10,000kg)
  • Handley Page Halifax
  • Crew: 7
  • Size: 71ft 7in (21.8m) x 104ft (31.7m)
  • Range and speed: 1,260 miles (2,032km) / 309mph (498km/h)
  • Bombload: 12,000lbs (5,450kg)


  • Kit includes parts to depict either a Lancaster B. Mk.III Special "Dambuster" or a Lancaster B Mk.I Special "Grand Slam Bomber" in 1/48 scale. 
  • Length: 443mm, Wingspan: 648mm 
  • Interiors of cockpit, gun turrets, and bomb bay feature fine details. 
  • Nose and tail turrets are movable. 
  • Parts for two Merlin engines are included and cowlings may be detached to showcase them even after assembly. 
  • Slick tires for landing gear feature realistic weighted effect. 
  • Pilot, radio operator, bombardier, gunner, and ground crew figures are included (5 figures total). 
  • Comes with marking options for two Dambuster and one Grand Slam Bomber

The Bouncing Bomb

Possibly one of the most genius inventions of world war 2 was the bouncing bomb by Barnes Neville Wallis, Used in Operation Chastise for a raid on German dams at the heart of the industrial sector, the ideas was to deliver a bomb at the correct position on a dam and this combined with the weight of water would cause the dam to collapse destroying all the factory's vital to the German war effort.

Barnes Wallis first began to think of producing a bouncing bomb in 1941. He was aware that in the 19th century the British Navy had bounced cannon balls on water to increase their range. He began by carrying out experiments with marbles and a catapult on a tub of water in his garden. Later he tested his prototype at the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington. These tests were successful and the first bouncing bomb was dropped on Chesil Beach in December, 1942.

Operation Chastise / The Dambusters Raid

In February, 1943 Barnes Wallis was told to prepare these bouncing bombs for an attack on the Mohne and Eder dams in the Ruhr. The Dambusters Raid took place on 16th May 1943. The cylindrical bombs, that spun at 500 rpm, were dropped by Guy Gibson and the 617 Squadron at a height of 60 feet and at a speed of 240 miles an hour. The rotating bomb skipped over the water and exploded while sinking to the base of the retaining wall of the dam. The bombing produced heavy floods and badly damaged German production in the Ruhr.That night only 2 dams were destroyed and 1 badly damaged.

The skill and bravery of the pilots who flew at night, at 100ft (30m) or less over enemy territory is breathtaking. The aircraft that did make it to the dams pressed home their attacks with a reckless disregard for their own safety, seven out of the 19 aircraft which took part in the raid were brought down by German anti-aircraft guns. 

The RAF could not sustain such high losses and the bomb was rarely used again during the war.

So Why not get yourself your very own model of this Iconic WWII Machine Today. Shop online at or call 01508 549330.

Hobbies, Supplying Model Maker Since 1895

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