One of 100 Lancaster Mk Is built during February-August 1945 by Vickers-Armstrongs at Castle Bromwich, G-AGUM was initially given the RAF serial PP751. Converted for civil use by Avro, the aircraft was fitted with the Lancastrian’s elongated freight nose, but lacked the latter’s windows and faired tailcone.
One of the few photographs taken of G-AGUM with its short-lived Airtech pannier. It is not known whether this was taken at Thame during the pannier’s fitting or at Farnborough during the trials. By the end of 1949 the aircraft had been scrapped at Dunsfold. No pictures have been traced showing the pannier after its blow-out - if you know of any, the Editor would like to see them!
The Lancaster during the trials. Named Star Ward, G-AGUM had operated with British South American Airways from 1946, carrying perishable goods on long routes over the South Atlantic. The pannier was designed to have a capacity of some 1,000 ft3 (28 m3) and be able to carry a load of 10,000 lb (4,535kg).
Lancaster G-AGUM with the inelegant ventral pannier fitted by Airtech at Thame. The pannier was approximately 8ft x 8ft (2-4 x 2-4 m) in section and 20ft (6m) long. Of parallel box section, it had a rounded nose which formed a pair of doors, and a tapered tail.