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Pilot`s Notes Lancaster Pilot`s Notes



Air Ministry, May 1944


Note. — All speeds quoted are for aircraft with the Pilot's A.S.I, connected to the static vent (see para. 47).

27. Management of fuel system

(i) Testing electric fuel booster pumps. Before starting the engine, each booster pump should be tested by ammeter (most aircraft have a permanent ammeter fitted on the flight engineer's panel white some early Lancaster I aircraft may have an ammeter test socket into which the ammeter must be plugged); to do this the switch for each pump (on Lancaster I, III and X aircraft) should in turn be set to the up (TEST) position, after ensuring that the idle cui-off switches are in the IDLE CUT-OFF position and air supply pressure is greater than 130 lb./sq. in (160 lb./sq. in. if Mod. 1195 is fitted) on Lancaster III and X aircraft. On Lancaster VII aircraft the pump switches are two-position switches and the pumps are tested by pressing the test-buttons above the switches.

The ammeter reading should be perfectly steady and should be between 4 and 7 amps for a Pulsomeier FBI Mk. 1 pump, between 7 and 9 amps for a Pulsometer FBI Mk. I pump (which were fitted in place of FBI Mk. I pumps by Mod. 1358). between 3 and 5 amps for a Thomson pump (fitted on Lancaster X), or between 2 and 4 amps fot un immersed pump (fitted on early Lancaster I). Aircraft with Pulsometer pumps may be recognised by the small blisters on the underside of the wings.

(ii) Use of tanks :

Structural considerations ender it advisable that fuel should always be kept outboard as much as possible.

(a) No. 2 tanks should be used for starting, wanning up, take-off and the first hour of flight. This will allow space for carburettor venting, where applicable. (See Part I, para. 4.) When overload tanks are used it may be necessary to re-select No. 2 tanks from time to time in order to prevent them from over-filling.

The electric fuel booster pumps in Nos. 1 and 2 tanks must be switched on for take-off, so that if for any reason the fuel supply from No. 2 tanks should fail, fuel pressure will be available immediately on turning the tank selectors to No. I tanks. See also Part 1, para. 5.

(b) After the first hour of the flight No. 1 tanks should be selected. When nearly empty, transfer the fuel from the fuselage overload tanks, if in use, by turning on both long-range fuel cocks (behind front spar) and switching on overload tank pump switches. The fuel contents gauge should also be switched on. Transfer of fuel from long-range tanks takes approximately one hour Turn off each long-range tank cock and pump switch when the tank is empty.

(c) Continue to run on No. 1 tanks until empty , then re-select No. 2 tanks and use until approximately 200 galons remain in each. Then transfer the contents of No. 3 tanks by switching on the No. 3 booster pumps. Switch off the pumps when No. 3 tanks are empty.

9. Fuel jettisoning

On aircraft embodying Mod. 1370 fuel may be jettisoned if required, from No. 1 tanks, and the control for the jettison valves is on the cockpit floor to the left of the pilot's seat. It is painted red and should be puled up and turned anti-clockwise to jettison fuel.

The engine cuts owing to exhaustion of fuel in one tank, back-firing may occur on turning on to another tank. For when the tank empties, the fuel pressure drops, and when the pressure falls to 4 lb./sq.in. fuel injection ceases. When the new tank is turned on, the carburettor restarts and delivers the fuel already in it, but this supply is followed by vapour from the fuel pipelines, causing weak mixture and back-firing until fuel is delivered from the new tank.

When an engine cuts due to exhaustion of one tank:

(a) Close the throttle and change over to another tank.

(b) Idle the engine till it runs smoothly and open up slowly.

(c) The use of the booster pump in the tank turned on will help to restart the engine.

28. Preliminaries

(i) Before entering aircraft. — Check pilot head covers removed.

Check all cowling and inspection panels, and leading edge secured. Check tyres for creep.

(ii) On entering aircraft check security of emergency escape hatches.

Check emergency air bottle pressure (1,100-1.200 lb./sq. in.) if gauge is fitted.

Check hydraulic accumulator pressure (220 lb./sq. in. minm., under no hydraulic pressure).

Check fuel cross-feed cock OFF.

Check position of ail circuit breaker (overload) switches on Lancaster X aircraft (see para. 79).

Turn ground/flight switch to FLIGHT.

Switch on undercarriage indicator and flaps indicator switches (if fitted) and check indicators.

Switch on fuel contents gauges switch (if fitted) and leave it on, and check fuel contents.

Check master engine cocks OFF.

29. Starting the engines und warminc up.

(i) Test the fuel booster pumps by ammeter {see para. 27).

On Lancaster III and X aircraft the fuel booster pumps must never be switched on with the engine master cock open and the engine stationary, unless the slow-running cut-out switch (on pushbutton, if Mod. 1753 is fitted) is in the IDLE-CUT-OFF position, and the air supply pressure not less than 130 lb./sq.in. (160 lb./sq.in. if Mod. 1195 is fitted).

(ii) Have the ground/flight switch turned to GROUND and huve a ground starter battery plugged in.

(iii) Set the engine controls as follows :

Master engine cocks .. OFF

Slow-running cut-out controls .. ENGINE RUN

Throttles ........ ½ inch open.

Propeller controls ...... Speed control levers fully up.

Super charger control ... Low gear (warning light not showing).

Air intake heat control ... COLD

Radiator shutters .... ... Over-ride switches at AUTOMATIC.


(iv) Have a fire extinguisher ready in case of emergency.

(v) Turn tank selector cock to No. 2 tank (see para. 27 (ii)) and turn on only the master engine cock of the engine to be started.

(vi) Prime the carburettor of the engine to be started by putting the slow runnirg cut-out switch to IDLE-CUT-OFF, or by holding the pushbutton in, if Mod. 1753 is fitted (on Lancaster III and X) and switching the booster pump in the No. 2 tank on for a period of 10 seconds. Switch off the booster pump and then return the slow-running cutout to the ENGINE RUN position.

(vii) High volatility fuel (stores ref. 34a/III) should be used if outside priming connection is fitted, for priming at air temperatures below freezing. The ground crew will work the priming pump until the fuel reaches the priming nozzles; this may be judged by an increase in resistance.

(viii) Switch on the ignition und booster coil, and press the starter button. Turning periods must not exceed 20 seconds with a 30 second wait between' each. The ground crew will work the priming pump as firmly as possible while the engine is being turned; it should start after the following number of strokes if cold:

Air temp.°C +30 +20 +10 0 -10 -20
Normal fuel 3 4 7 12    
High-volatility fuel       4 8 8

Notes.— (a) If the large priming pump, type K.40 (with T-handle) is fitted (set para. 8) only one-quarter of these strokes will be required,

(b) The amount of priming given above applies when the engine is cold. Less priming wilt be required when it is warm, and when it is hot it is unlikely that any primming will be necessary. However, since individual engines differ in this respect the pilot should always discuss the amount of priming required with the ground crew concerned.

(ix) It will probably be necessary to continue priming after the engine has fired, and until it picks up on the carburettor. When the engine is running smoothly proceed to prime the carburettors and start the other engines in turn.

(x) When all the engines are running satisfactorily, switch off the booster-coil switch. The ground crew will screw down the priming pumps and turn off the priming cocks (if fitted).

(xi) Have the ground/flight switch turned to FLIGHT and the ground battery removed.

(xii) Open each engine up slowly to 1,200 r.p.m, and warm up at this speed.

(xiii) Switch DR compass ON and SETTING.