Category Archives: Pattern Lancaster R5727

Clarence’s Reaction

Clarence Simonsen had this reaction  about his updated article on R5727.

Great update and thanks,

Many people like this history and now your Montreal images just give it more power.

Can you please add two more images, which I feel are important?

It was the work force of young [and middle age] female factory workers who in fact manufactured the Canadian Lancaster. It was the joint work of Americans and Canadians in factories who gave us the Lancaster Mk. X. They are most times forgotten by history, much more in Canada than the U.S.

Can you please ad this cover page art, which appeared on Maclean’s magazine 1 November 1943? 

The artist was most famous Richard Priest, who was commissioned by Canada’s National Magazine a number of times in WWII.

The other art appeared on the rear cover of Maclean’s for 1 June 1943, and should be placed with the info. on the manufacture of the Lancaster tires in New Toronto, Canadian plant.

Charles Rich Wilcox was a much more famous WWII poster ad artist and today his original art sells for over $1,000. 



Lancaster R5727 Over Montreal

Updated 30 December 2020

This is Avro Lancaster B I serial R5727 sitting at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Canada in August 1942. Contract B62974/40, this aircraft was originally allocated to 44 Sdqn RAF on the 31st July 1942. However, on 16th August 1942 she was diverted to Prestwick, Ayrshire, and prepared to be the pattern aircraft for the the design and tooling up of the Canadian production of Lancaster Mk. Xs. In this way she became the first of her type to conduct a transatlantic crossing! Later she would she R5727 was converted as transatlantic passenger and mail carrier by Victory Aircraft Ltd of Canada, and operated by Trans-Canada Air Lines. She would be lost in later conversion trials in January of 1946.
Photo: Authors Personal Collection – Via RAF Museum.
Image Repair & Colourisation – Nathan Howland @HowdiColourWorks.


Original post

I could not believe my eyes when I saw those photographs. Click on them for a closer look.

I got curious to know more about R5727. Being a native-born Montrealer I could easily see some of Montreal’s landmarks.

I went further on my research and found this information on the Internet.

This is the source:

They have a caption for this picture…

Lancaster R-5727 over Montreal 24 Aug. 1942

They also have this picture…

R5727, the pattern Lancaster, in Gander 23 August, 1942.


On September 18, 1941 a decision was made to build Lancasters in Canada and the first drawings arrived in January 1942. For a country still largely agrarian and just recovering from a decade of depression, the challenge was immense. 500,000 manufacturing operations were involved in building a Lancaster which was made up of some 55,000 separate parts even when engines and turrets were only considered as one and small items such as rivets, nuts, and bolts were not included. A Lancaster from England was flown across the Atlantic in August, 1942 to act as a “pattern” and a Crown Corporation named Victory Aircraft was formed to do the work in Malton, Ontario.

I posted my pictures on a Facebook group page. Then Jean Claude Charlebois reacted and posted these three “then and now” images…

Ending with this one with a comment…