What’s better than a screaming V12 engine? Um, how about FOUR screaming V12 engines, each of around 27 litres?
I took the above shot at the Goodwood Revival in 2008. Yes, the Vulcan that visited the following year was massively impressive. It’s hard to believe that so little time exists between Lancaster and Vulcan production (the first Lancaster flew in 1941, first Vulcan in 1952) – but you can’t describe the sound of a roaring jet engine as beautiful.
Certainly, the Lancaster sounds gentle and sonorous by comparison, despite 48 stubby exhaust pipes doing little to subdue the roar of the four Rolls-Royce engines. A number of Lancasters were actually built at the Austin factory in Birmingham. One can only hope that the handling was more acceptable than Austin’s cars of that era…
A Lancaster in flight is a truly moving sight, but I never forget the darker side of its existance. After all, the Lancaster is responsible for dropping over 600,000 tons of bombs during the Second World War. You wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that. This is why I’ll always experience some compassion for those who during the war, learned to dread the sight and sound of the mighty AVRO Lancaster. The terror is hard to conceive. It would be nice to think that the sight of such incredible machinery in flight today will somehow remind us that war really is something best avoided. Sorry for sounding like such a 2cv-driving hippy. Peace.
* Blog title neatly pinched from Nine Inch Nails