Post War Lancaster's



Updated: June 2008

ex-RAF Lancaster Mk.I RA805 during Dovren jet engine trials

After the war, the Lancaster’s were used for numerous other applications. One was to act as`flying test beds for the trying-out of early jet engines.

In Sweden, jet engines began to be developed and the country’s leading manufacturer was STAL (Swedish Turbine AB Ljungström). The companies designs developed it was determined that a test bad aircraft was required and the decision to purchase a surplus Lancaster Mk.I from Great Britain was made in 1950.

The Lancaster ex RAF Lancaster RA805, was designated for this purposed and arrangement were made with Avro at Hamble in the UK to make the necessary modifications. These included a large pod being fitted under the fuselage to contain the jet engine; the underside of the fuselage was covered with stainless steel plating to resist the heat from the exhaust and for the same reason, the tail  wheel was made retractable. Also a large control panel was installed in the area normally reserved for the Wireless Operator.

Designated Tp 80 and the Swedish Air Force identification number 80001, the aircraft was delivered in May 1951, and was
based at FC (Försökscentralen = the Test Establishment) at Malmen near Linköping.

The first test runs began using the RM 4 Dovern jet engine began in June 1951.

After the Dovern program was cancelled, the Tp 80 was used for the development of afterburners for the licence-built British engines. And there are some indications that the Lancaster was also used as a target aircraft.

In 1956 Tp 80 crashed, and although two of the crew managed to bale-out; two other crew members were unable to do so and were killed.