Warbirds News was excited to learn this morning that an event, long talked about, but most doubted possible is set to happen this summer. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum will be flying their Avro Lancaster B.X across the Atlantic Ocean to the United Kingdom to take part in a series of displays alongside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. This will mark the first time in four decades that two Lancasters will fly in formation with one another, and represent a unique opportunity for aviation enthusiasts around the world to witness these two magnificent historic aircraft flying together.
According to the RAF press release; the Canadian Lancaster, FM213, will depart from its home base in Hamilton, Ontario on August 4th. They will stage across the North Atlantic via Goose Bay, Labrador; Narsarsuaq, Greenland; and Keflavik, Iceland prior to a hoped for arrival at RAF Coningsby on August 8th.
Shortly after arriving, the Lancaster will undergo a scheduled maintenance inspection. The CWHM crews will then complete a short training program with the BBMF in preparation for participation in several air displays and fly pasts with the BBMF Lancaster, PA474, and fighters starting on August 14th. These displays will celebrate the exceptionally close British/Canadian relationship as well as commemorate the sacrifice and dedication of Commonwealth Bomber crews and the professionalism of both nations’ air forces today. The CWHM Lancaster will also conduct a limited number of UK Bomber Membership flights from Humberside Airport, flying over historic Lincolnshire for those fortunate few who have obtained CWHM UK Bomber Memberships.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum President and CEO, Sqn Ldr (Ret.) David G. Rohrer C.D. who is a current Lancaster pilot, stated that this trans-Atlantic crossing and visit to the BBMF in England is a “Once in a Lanc Time” event as it will not happen again. Rohrer indicated that this year, “a rare window of opportunity was identified to bring the last two flying Lancasters in the world together as a special salute to all the veterans of Bomber Command, many of whom are in their late 80s or older now.” It is also an opportunity for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to fly together and showcase a flying display and tribute to all those who served in the time of need, in Canada, Britain, and the entire Commonwealth, that likely will never be seen again.
Officer Commanding the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Sqn Ldr Dunc Mason said “To see these two aircraft flying at events together will be a unique sight and also the opportunity to truly commemorate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lest We Forget.”
Warbirds News is grateful to both the BBMF and CWHM for the use of their joint press release, and wishes them much success with this adventure.