Lancaster bomber to fly again

Written on Saturday 5th January 2013

Lancaster bomber, Avro NX611 'Just Jane', based in Lincolnshire, could once again take to the skies due to a project costing between three and four million pounds.

The project to make the historic aircraft airworthy once more would take between one and two years to complete, with a chance of the first flight during 2014.  Just Jane is currently housed at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby and is used for taxi run displays and rides.  Restoring the Lancaster to flying condition would involve taking the aircraft to pieces, checking and replacing parts and then re-building it.

The first stage of the mammoth task is obtaining all the necessary parts before the project gets underway.  The fourth overhauled airworthy Rolls Royce Merlin engine was obtained in December, along with a new undercarriage and middle turret.  Fuel tanks, engine bearers and more propeller parts are next on the agenda.

General Manager at East Kirkby Airfield, Andrew Panton said: "This is an extremely historic part of our country, signifying the loss of 55,573 aircrew from Bomber Command".  The Lancaster is a moving visual memorial which would travel around the country at air shows provoking a lot of remembrance. "A lot of people have a family story involving the Lancaster, especially in Lincolnshire and we'd love any local businesses to get on board to keep it a Lincolnshire project".

Two full-time mechanics, Keith Brenchley and Bob Mitchell are poised to work on the Lancaster but work will not start until everything is in place to complete the restoration, ensuring the aircraft is out of action for as little time as possible.

Just Jane would join only two remaining airworthy Lancasters, one in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Coningsby and the other at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Ontario.

 

 


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