Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ – Restoration Update 185

Lancaster 'Just Jane' seen during one of her regular taxi-runs at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby, UK during June, 2014. The aircraft is presently undergoing a complex, multi-faceted restoration to airworthy condition. (image via Wikipedia)
FAGEN Restorations


As most of our readers will know, Avro Lancaster B.VII NX611 Just Jane is under restoration to airworthy condition with the Lincoln Aviation Heritage Center at former RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, England. The group continues to made magnificent progress, and we thought that our readers might like to see a recent (edited) report, reproduced here with permission…


The Rivet Club – Newsletter 185

by Andrew Panton

This week has included excellent visual progress!

Dave started by mopping up some of the remaining structural work which NX611 required, firing some pop rivets in to the top skins on the port wing where the original rivets had failed. Such work is a regular occurrence demonstrating why winter inspections are so important.

Dave fitting new rivets to NX611’s port wing. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)
The rivet area and wing fillet panel having screws refitted. The fillet panel was removed to gain access to te rivet area. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

Once Dave had finished this work, he moved on to lifting the floor in NX611’s rear fuselage in preparation for fitting it within the jig. There are obvious areas requiring repair in this section, such as the intercostals and lower portions of the fuselage formers.  We are all looking forwards to beginning the airworthy restoration of this fuselage section!

Dave lifting the floor in NX611’s rear fuselage. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

Norm has been continuing completion of small tasks on KB976’s rear fuselage, preparing it for fitting to NX611. One of these final details included the fabrication and fitting of a skin section which closes the rear turret ring to the tail end former. The steel turret support ring has also been bolted down into position, ready for refitting the rear turret.

Norm fitting the final skin section to KB976’s rear turret mount. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

NX611 had its H2S radar antenna assembly removed from the fuselage and past on to engineering so that Spen can start inspecting, then restoring it into displayable condition. This is a very rare item, one of only a handful of such units extant. While it is a shame to hide it away inside NX611, it is also a shame not to have it fitted as well!

The H2S scanning radar dish assembly removed from NX611. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

Keith has been riveting up the last three wing ribs into NX664’s port wing so that work can then progress to riveting the top wing skins back into position. Keith also made progress, fitting new stringers to NX664’s wing leading edge. I expect we’ll see some more skin work on NX664’s wing next week.

Keith riveting the last three wing ribs into NX664’s port wing. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)
Keith riveting the last three wing ribs into NX664’s port wing. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)
Stingers in the leading edge for NX664’s port wing. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)
New stringer in place in NX664’s port wing leading edge. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

Ade Harris, our turret restorer, has returned the now fully-restored Frazer Nash FN82 rear turret to East Kirkby; it will be refitted  to NX611 this spring – ready for the 2023 taxying season. Ade made a thorough and comprehensive job of this restoration; it will be a pleasure to have it back in the airframe. If you want to catch up on the turret restoration, take a look HERE.

The original, now fully-restored, Frazer Nash FN82 turret from NX611. This turret employed a brace of Browning .50 calibre machine guns instead of the four .303 Brownings more typically seen in Lancasters. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

The end of the week saw Bush Tyres with us to fit a new inner tube to the newly-arrived B-25’s starboard wheel so we could then move KB976’s rear fuselage! NX611’s rear fuselage was wheeled down to the structures area of the main hangar and while the now freshly-restored corresponding section from KB976 was wheeled up to NX611’s mid-fuselage to take its place. We plan to marry up KB976’s rear fuselage to NX611 on Monday – hopefully the bolt holes will line up!

A rare sight of two Avro Lancaster rear fuselages side by side. The unit from NX611 is closest to the camera while that from KB976 is in the jig. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)
Rolling KB976’s tail section up to mate with NX611’s mid-fuselage. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)
Lining up the newly refurbished rear fuselage from KB976 with NX611’s mid-fuselage. (photo via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre)

We have a winter restoration tour on the 4th February and you can book tickets HERE.

In other great news, our Gofundme wings campaign now exceeds £46,200 of the £500,000 required! Thank you to everyone who has contributed – you have helped us pay for the jigs and aluminium we need. If you would like to contribute (and receive your special Wings Fund badge!) then please do click on the button HERE (badges are sent for donations above the £50).

Stay safe and thanks for your support.

Andrew Panton


The latest restoration video…


That’s all for this particular update. We hope that you have enjoyed reading it. As can be seen, a lot of work remains to be done, but the aircraft is well on the way back to flying condition. It is being done in a methodical and careful manner in order to keep the aircraft available for ground-running operations during the summer months. For those interested in helping support this important project, please click HERE

Be sure to check out their store HERE as well… There are many cool items to buy which will help get Just Jane back in the air!

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