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Airborne Lifeboat

The RAF needed trained aircrews as World War Two continued. Mindful that many aircraft ditched too far out at sea, or too near the enemy coast for rescue by launches, a unique lifeboat design by Uffa Fox was created.

The Mark 1 Airborne Lifeboat was mounted under a Hudson bomber aircraft then dropped by parachute into the sea where the aircrew had ditched.

The lifeboats were made of strong wooden planks for strength and had buoyancy aids at both ends should it hit the water and turn over. The lifeboat had sails, motors and survival kits.

They were built at many locations in England with improved designs over the years and with different mountings so other types of aircraft could be used, including Lancaster bombers. Hundreds of air crew were saved using this unique design during World War Two.

To learn more, see the video below from Neville Cole.

Jo Couldrey has re-imagined her lifeboat, floating through the air, as an embroidery in the video below.

Clementine Churchill

Mrs Churchill’s Aid to Russia Fund

Fred Dyball

Fred Dyball