The following is an approximate cost to the British economy based on 1943 prices to build, arm, supply ground and air crew for a Lancaster Bomber for one (1) operational bombing sortie.

1 Lancaster cost £42,000.00 to purchase. (This assumes minimal profits being made by the manufacture.)


1 Lancaster required 5,000 tons of hard aluminium or the equivalent of 11 million sauce pans.


1 Lancaster required the equivalent manufacturing capability required to build 40 basic automobiles of the period.


1 Lancaster absorbed the equivalent man hours as it takes to build one mile (1.61 km’s) of a modern highway (motorway).


1 Lancaster carried the equivalent radio and radar equipment to fabricate one million domestic radios of the period. 


Each member of a Lancaster crew cost £10,000.00 to train.


The average cost for a Lancaster was therefore £70,000 or £80,000 if the crew consisted of 8 crew members.


To fuel, bomb, arm and service a single Lancaster required an additional £13,000.00. This also includes an allowance for the cost to train the ground crews.

Therefore, the average cost to the British economy for EACH Lancaster bombing sortie was £100,000.00



P = Pilot; F/E = FLight Engineer; N = Navigator; S/O = Special Equipment Operator; B/A = Bomb Aimer; W/Op = Wireless Operator; MG - Mid-Upper Gunner; RG = Rear Gunner; AG = Air Gunner (unknown position)

Average Cost Of :

One Lancaster Operational Sortie