• At the end of the Second World War, Lend-Lease aircraft such as B-24's and Catalina's, were returned to the USA. As a result, the RAF lacked a long range ASR (air-sea rescue) aircraft. To fill this gap,about fifty Avro Lancaster B.III bombers were modified for this role by Cunliffe-Owen, with three dipole ventral antennas fitted aft of the radome and carrying an airborne lifeboat in an adapted bomb bay. The armament was often removed and the mid-upper turret faired-over, especially in post-war use. Observation windows were added to both sides of the rear fuselage, a port window just forward of the tailplane and a starboard window into the rear access door. A number of ASR 3 conversions were fitted with Lincoln-style rudders.All the conversions featured the H2S ground mapping radar.In 1950 the aircraft were re-roled as the General Reconnaissance (GR), and soon Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Mk3.
    The final operational RAF Lancaster an MR Mk3,was retired on 15th October 1956.
    Lancaster ASR Mk III
     279 Squadron RAF Dropping Lifeboat
     279 Squadron RAF With Airborne Lifeboat

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