Vintage CWH bomber heading to U.K in August
For many seniors in Great Britain it will bring back memories of the Second World War when the skies over England were filled with allied bomber and fighter aircraft.
In August the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Avro Lancaster will be flying to the Royal Air Force base in Coningsby (north of London) where it will hook up with the world’s only other flying Lancaster for a series of heritage flights to salute the Canadian, British and Commonwealth veterans of Bomber Command.
Coningsby is also home to the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).
“This is huge,” said museum president and CEO David Rohrer, who is also a Lancaster pilot and one of the 12-15 Lancaster flight and ground crew members who will be making the trip. “To have a heavy bomber flight tribute is big.”
Rohrer said the two Lancasters will make “several” flights accompanied by Hurricanes and Spitfires from the BBMF.
He calls the visit “once in a Lanc time.”
The CWH Lancaster is slated to take off on Aug. 4 and arrive at Coningsby on Aug. 8 with stops in Goose Bay, Labrador, Narsarsuaq, Greenland and Keflavik, Iceland along the way.
Shortly after it arrives in England the Lancaster will undergo a maintenance inspection and the crews will complete a short training program with the BBMF in preparation for their first public flight on Aug. 14.
In preparation for the U.K visit the CWH bomber will get upgrades to its avionics system.
“To fly over the trans-Atlantic we have to re-equip it with a high frequency HF radio,” Rohrer said. “We have to upgrade our VHF radios and our GPS navigation equipment.”
A freshly-overhauled number two engine will be installed on the Lanc in the coming weeks as part of the aircraft’s routine maintenance.
The CWH aircraft will be providing some paid rides over Lincolnshire and the cost of the trip is being funded by Lancaster and Bomber group supporters in Canada and the U.K. and the public can help support the visit via warplane.com.
Rohrer said the Lanc is expected back in Hamilton on Sept. 8th or 9th.