Lancaster bomber to fly again?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Invicta, Jan 2, 2013.

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  1. I've just seen this on the BBC website. Two brothers in Lincolnshire have bought an Avro Lancaster bomber and are planning to get it into the air again (this would make just 2 in the UK including the one flown by the BBMF. I believe that there is also another airworthy Lancaster in Canada).

    They already have clearance to taxi it around the airfield were it is kept, offering rides to enthusiasts. They have now bought new engines and plan to get it into the air as soon as they can. Brilliant!

    BBC News - Pensioners restore rare WWII bomber

    What makes this even more poignant is that their older bother was bomber command aircrew who died in the war.
  2. Is it the one that was already in taxing condition, just wasn't approved for flying?
  3. Yes thats it, "Just Jane" it's been Taxiing around East Kirby Airfield for a few years now, if all they needed was a few merlin engines I wonder why they didn't ask the East Midlands Air museum at Newark for some.

    Linky =
  4. Isn't yer man digging up some Merlin engines in the jungle somewhere?
  5. A few months back I had to deliver some metal sheeting up there.
    It was a bit of a surprise when I drove up to the hangar door to find the nose end of a Lanc, absolutely beautiful aircraft.

    An hour later I was delivering to the BBMF and saw all the crowds hanging around as apparently they do every morning if the City of Lincoln or any of the other BBMF hairyplanes is about to take off.
    I had a few minutes spare and as I was parked the crew were going over the Lanc doing checks and one of the Spitfires was just firing up its engines.
    There's no sound like it :)

    Good luck to the Just Jane, would be nice to see the two of them flying together one day.

    Sent by carrier pigeon using Speckled Jim
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Hopefully they will get a few spares.
    Apparently a Merlin engine costs around £5 grand, twice or triple that for an airworthy one, the problem seems to be that the engines are used by Air Racers and tractor pulling rigs so they are rarer than Crab Air flying at weekends
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I'm not sure what stage Peter Jackson has reached with his remake of the Dam Busters but I would have thought that this would have been a perfect tie in. The average budget for a major historical production is in generally in excess of $50,000,000.

    I,m sure that a few grand to get the project in the air would have been money will spent for the producers.

    Wiki says:

    Work on a remake of The Dam Busters, produced by Peter Jackson and directed by first time director Christian Rivers, began in 2008. Jackson said in the mid-1990s that he became interested in remaking the 1954 film, but found that the rights had been bought by Mel Gibson. In 2004, Jackson was contacted by his agent, who said Gibson had dropped the rights. The rights were purchased by David Frost, from the Brickhill family in 2005.[SUP][6][/SUP] Stephen Fry is writing the script of the film.[SUP][7][/SUP] It will be distributed by Universal Pictures and StudioCanal.[SUP][8][/SUP] Filming was planned to commence in early 2009, on a budget of USD 40 million,[SUP][9][/SUP] although no project-specific filming had begun as of May 2009.[SUP][10][/SUP]
    Weta Workshop is making the models and special effects for the film and has made 10 life size Lancaster bombers.[SUP][11][/SUP]

    The last living pilot of the strike team, Les Munro, joined the production crew in Masterton as technical adviser. Jackson will also use newly declassified War Office documents to ensure the authenticity of the film.[SUP][12][/SUP]
  8. It seems like the Panton brothers may have had a change of heart about getting Just Jane airworthy again. A couple of years ago, Fred Panton played down the idea on the grounds that if Just Jane had a mishap, she could not be replaced. I do hope she does get back in the air again.

    Jane was the gate guardian at Scampton whilst I was there. One of the perks of being weekend Orderly Sgt was being custodian of the aircraft in case any pre-booked visitors came to have a look inside. When things were quiet, I would have a look round with one of the duty airmen. Inside, she didn't seem much different from the Vulcans, apart from the absence of ejection seats. There were a couple of weapons on display in front of her; one of them was a bouncing bomb... but that's another story!!
  9. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    I remember reading it costs about a half a million to take a static display Spitfire and restore it to fully airworthy condition. A lot of the parts have to be fabricated from scratch. I'm guessing it would take about £5 million for a Lancaster.

    The dam buster Lancasters were specially modified. The bomb bay was modified to take upkeep, special hydraulics were installed to spin the weapon and the mid-upper turret was removed to save weight. Other modifications included the spotlights to maintain an accurate height.

    That said, restoring the Lancaster to that form would surely make it an even bigger tourist attraction.


  10. What are they going to call the dog?
    • Like Like x 3
  11. IIRC in the film the bouncing bomb is shown as being cylindrical in shape whereas the ones I saw on display at the Moehne Dam were shaped like cones. I wonder if this is one of the facts that will be confirmed by the released MoD documents.
  12. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    The whole raid was a triumph of engineering improvisation. Avro made substantial design changes to 20 odd Lancasters and delivered them in a matter of weeks. Barnes Wallace prototyped a new weapon and delivered a working version on the same tight time scale.

    (Interestingly enough the same spirit of improvisation also surfaced in the Falkland's campaign with substantial modifications being made to existing equipment on very tight deadlines and at a fraction of the usual cost).

    And going back to WW2 bombers, they seem to have made a habit of fishing Halifax's out of Norwegian lakes.

    One in 1973...

    Archie - A Pilot in RAF Bomber Command - Fishing for a Halifax

    And one in 1995...

    World’s only restored WWII Halifax... | Air Force Articles | News and Events - Air Force News | RCAF | DND/CF

  13. Cone shaped? Are you sure you weren't looking at the old power workings below the dam wall? In actual fact there is relatively little at Moehnesee to commemorate the bombing - I know it could be seen as a "sore point", but I am sure it would bring in tourist Euros.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Upkeep was cylindrical in shape but originally had a spherical wooden casing. The casings broke off during tests but the cylindrical bomb was found to still perform effectively.