September, 1950, Aircraft and Airport
The Avro Orenda was taken into the air for the first time July 13th and since then has been undergoing an intensive program of flight-testing. Believed to be one of the most powerful turbojet engines in the world, the Orenda has already run for many hundreds of hours on Avro test beds… the results of these ground tests indicating that not only is the engine one of the most powerful, but also one of the more efficient and reliable units of its type to be designed and built.
For the flight tests, two Orenda’s have been mounted in a converted Lancaster in the place of the two outboard Merlin’s. The aircraft is able to sustain flight on either the two Merlin’s alone or the Orenda’s alone. The flying test bed conversion was done by Avro Canada at its Malton plant primarily for test flights around the Toronto area; however, provision has been made for possible long-range operation into northern air bases for cold-weather testing.
The modifications to the Lancaster consist of the removal of fore and aft gun turrets and the substitution of simple fairings. The aircraft has in addition been winterized. Testing facilities comprise a test observer’s instrument panel at the navigator’s station in the flight compartment, automatic observers in the rear of the fuselage, suitable control and instrumentation leads from the test engines to the panels and auto-observers. These last will be provided with equipment for photographic observation of engine performance instruments.
This article originally appeared in the September, 1950 edition of Aircraft and Airport magazine.