Monday, 29 September 2014

Three Lancasters at East Kirkby

Due to engine problems suffered at Teesside-Durham Airport by the Canadian Lancaster the East Kirkby events had to be moved to a later date and thanks to friend Andy Hellen I acquired two tickets to go over with colleague and fellow RAG member Nick Marsh.

Model towing the UK and Canadian flags
This was the day, Sunday 14 September 2014 when three Lancaster would meet for a second time during the Canadian Lancaster's Tour of the UK at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby west of Skegness.

Although not a cold day it was grey and overcast and as a consequence photography was not optimum, but one takes what one can and makes the most of it. Here then an impression of the event in pictures.

The flying display was opened by a large scale model towing both the Union Jack and the Canadian flag, followed by a superb model of the Handley Page HP-42 airliner of the late NineteenTwenties. Looking at the picture one could almost imagine oneself at Croydon Airport in 1929 or thereabouts.

Handley Page HP-42 Large Scale Model
Handley Page HP-42 Large Scale Model
Handley Page HP-42 Large Scale Model

Two veterans posed in front of NX611 for the photographers and had earlier in the day told their stories.

Avro Lancaster NX611 "Just Jane" taxiing around the airfield with "fare paying" VIP passengers

"Just Jane" positioning herself for the flypast of her two sisters

Sisters VeRA and Thumper arrive over East Kirkby Airfield

Three Lancasters and twelve Merlins singing on tune
Another pass with Thumper leading VeRA as has been the case throughout the Tour
The final pass resulted in this lovely "separation", could hardly call it a bomb burst.

And then Jane was "Just Jane" again with her sisters having gone back to RAF Coningsby
Perhaps never to be repeated again, this was a very emotional event, one that surpassed all others where only VeRA ands Thumper had flown together, even when in formation with Vulcan XH558 the previous month.

In the future, as and when NX611 takes to the air again and Shackleton WR693 becomes a "renewed" air show act can we expect to see three Avro piston-engined bombers flying together again. Until then, the memories of the Lancaster Bomber Tour 2014 will have to suffice

28 September 2014
Theo Claassen

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