Flying with the Dambusters – live video!

I missed this BBC posting on Friday. This is a seven minute sequence of video (no commentary) shot inside the BBMF Lancaster as it makes its three passes over the Derwent reservoir. It’s mainly taken from inside the bomb aimer’s front blister, and gives you a real sense of what it is like to fly at a hundred feet altitude across a lake. When you consider that at the Möhne Dam, on the real raid, they were flying forty feet lower, they didn’t know the terrain and there were three anti-aircraft gun emplacements firing at them. Now you get some idea of what it was like!

Towards the end, the camera operator moves up to shoot some footage from the cockpit. It’s interesting to see how cramped it was. Tall pilots like David Maltby and Joe McCarthy must have found it a squeeze to get into a space this small. It was a lot easier for someone short, like Guy Gibson.

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