Avro Lancaster KB882 Has a New Home!!!

Avro Lancaster AR10 KB882 awaits her fate, while the city board decides which preservation proposal to accept. (photo via Benoit de Mulder)
Avro Lancaster AR10 KB882 awaits her fate, while the city board decides which preservation proposal to accept. (photo via Benoit de Mulder)
Avro Lancaster AR10 KB882 awaits her fate, while the city board decides which preservation proposal to accept. (photo via Benoit de Mulder)

As WarbirdsNews reported back in February (click HERE), the combat veteran Avro Lancaster KB882 which has long been on outside display in Edmundston, New Brunswick was set to move to a new home. The local town council, which owns the former RCAF bomber, had come to the sad conclusion that they no longer had the means to care for the rare aircraft in its deteriorating state, and decided they had to pass the torch to another group, even if that meant that KB882 had to leave its home in the maritimes. The small team of volunteers which has been doing their best to maintain the aircraft, despite the adverse conditions, fielded about twenty proposals from other organizations seeking to take on the aircraft, and presented the Edmundston City Council with the four which they felt were the best. The City Council has now made their choice, and announced today that the Lancaster will be heading to the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, Alberta.

“While it saddens us that she must go, we are pleased to have found a safe home for KB882. This Lancaster has an impressive story to tell and we firmly believe the Alberta Aviation Museum will be able to give her a voice,” says Mychèle Poitras, chairwoman of the Society for the Preservation of the Edmundston Lancaster.

Lech Lebiedowski, the Alberta Aviation Museum’s curator sees the immensity of the importance that the Lancaster has in Canadian aviation history as well as to his museum. “KB882 is indeed a time capsule preserved intact for over half a century,” he said. “In many ways it is a curator’s dream coming true. It will also be one of the most exciting restoration projects we have ever undertaken.” The Alberta Aviation Museum will now set about moving the aircraft to its new home and commencing its restoration, something which they plan on rigorously documenting in a way which also celebrates Edmundston’s half century role in its history. “We are honoured to have been chosen to receive this important artifact from the people of Edmundston,” says Tom Sand, President of the Alberta Aviation Museum Association. “It shows the high regard for our museum and its track record of preserving and telling the important stories of aviation in this country.”

KB882 flew eleven bombing missions against German forces during WWII and returned to Canada to continue service in the post-war Royal Canadian Air Force. KB882 then received modifications, alongside other RCAF Lancasters, upgrading to the SHORAN radar which enabled Canada to map its Arctic territory in only nine years.  KB882 is the only remaining Lancaster still in its aerial mapping configuration. The aircraft also has a strong connection to Edmonton, Alberta having flown some of its arctic survey missions from the province’s capitol. 408 Squadron, in which KB882 served, also has ties with the city, having moved there in 1971. It still operates from the Edmonton Garrison, flying the CH-146 Griffon helicopter, a derivative of the Bell UH-1.

The storm clouds gather over KB882 as the Edmundston City Council decides her fate. (photo via Benoit de Mulder)
The storm clouds gather over KB882 as the Edmundston City Council decides her fate. (photo via Benoit de Mulder)

The Alberta Aviation Museum should be a good fit for KB882. The museum is based at Edmonton’s Blatchford Field, a historic site once home to the pioneer bush pilots, and later an important site for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during WWII and later as a hub for arctic exploration. The museum occupies the only remaining double-wide, double long hangar built for the BCATP, which is itself a designated historic building. The Alberta Aviation Museum has a great deal of experience in aircraft restoration as well, having completed ground-up rebuilds on several important airframes, including a B-25 Mitchell, a de Havilland Mosquito and two Noorduyn Norseman. KB882 seems therefore to have found a great new home, and WarbirdsNews looks forwards to sharing her progress over the coming months and years as she moves from Edmundston to Edmonton for preservation.

6 Comments

  1. wow, great news!! looks like VERA at the CHW museum in Hamilton, Mt.Hope might have a run for its money with KB822. 🙂
    Will this be a static condition re-fit or is it possible to get this old gal back in the air! That would be fabulous to have TWO air-worth Lancs, here in Canada.
    Best wishes for a good restoration out there in Edmonton!

    • The Alberta Aviation Museum has stated it is their intent to restore the Lancaster with running engines, much like FM159 in Nanton. It seems unlikely that they will return her to flying condition though. Here’s hoping that they keep her in the post-war arctic survey configuration though… It’s an incredibly important part of her history, and KB882 is the last one left with those mods intact.

  2. KB882 is one of three Lancasters modified to the Mk 10AR (Arctic Reconnaissance), the other two being KB839 and KB776. These should not be confused with the eleven Lancaster MK 10Ps (Photo) that did the bulk of the Arctic photography for mapping the Arctic. KB882 is a very special Lancaster in Canadian aviation history. I am very pleased that she has found a good home and perhaps can be restored to her Lancaster Mk10AR configuration.

    • there were 6 Lancs belonging to 408 sqn RCAF stn Rockcliffe,when I was there from 1958 to 62….They were KB 839,882,976…and MN 120,122,and 212, the latter 3 being 10 P (photo) variety. They retired in March 1964 when the Sqn moved from Rockcliffe( and its detachment in Uplands,)to CJATC Rivers Manitoba.But that’s another story..T-33s,Daks,Expiditers and C-119 Flying boxcars..The Lancs were the end of an era,in more ways than one…Nothing made a noise like them..!!The Lanc at CFB Greenwood that sits outside the rec centre ( or used to ) is made up from some parts of a 408 Sqn AR Lanc (Either the fuselage or the tail section was robbed to complete the a/c ) I spent 9 yrs w/408 Sqn from Oct 58 to May 67,Rockcliffe,Uplands and Rivers.I was a Canada Goose and proud of it..Still am !!!

      • I too was on 408 from 1961 to 1966 and happy that 882 has found a home…..did you know that the Hamilton Lanc is using engines from 839? What memories…….
        Vic

  3. Lancaster Bomber FM104 is another one that is currently attempting to have its restoration under way.
    Enough donations have already been collected for KB882 in order to ship her from Edmundston to Edmonton this summer. Any further donations (which can be made via the Alberta Aviation Museum Facebook Home Page) will automatically go towards KB882’s restoration.
    These magnificent WarBirds won us our freedom from tyranny – and they dearly deserve our highest regard, respect, reverence and restoration – so that the surviving Veterans can admire them, and the future generations can learn from them. God Bless our Lancs, the crews that both flew in them and serviced them, and the War Veterans who remember well the missions flown, the lives lost…………..and the Victory Won.
    Val Frost and “Bubbles”, my Newfoundland Service Dog
    Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

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