Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Few Machines

What can you do on a rainy day in Lincolnshire? I urge you to visit the RAF's Battle of Britain flight, where enthusiastic and informed volunteers will take you round a hangar. All the machines in it still fly, including a Lancaster bomber (above). Our guide told us that it only had the one pilot, because while a plane could be replaced easily, fliers were much harder to find. The designers had anticipated heavy casualties among the crews, and they weren't wrong; in total Bomber Command experienced huge losses; 55,573 killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew (a 44.4% death rate).

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