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back to article World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Aviation history is being made in Lincolnshire today as the only two airworthy Avro Lancasters in the world met up at RAF Coningsby this afternoon. The two World War II bombers – one operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM), the other by the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) – are due to rendezvous …

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On that note ...

There was an interesting documentary about the Lancaster last week ...

Is it just me, or are the BBC narrowing the window of opportunity to watch things on iPlayer ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: On that note ...

I noticed recently that I couldn't download some of the children's programs - which made long car journey time interesting...

Things definitely amiss on iPlayer.

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Pint

One the amazing engineering feats from the war has to the Merlin engins. There where used in just about every aircraft from Spitfires thur to Lancs during the war.

My particular fav aircraft was the DH Mossie

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Happy

Re: de Havilland Mosquito

@Bob_Wheeler Thumbs up for mentioning the Mossie, one of the most elegant aircraft of all time.

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Not only on planes

According to my Dad, he served in WW2 on a Motor Torpedo Boat which was Merlin-powered.

So the Merlin was more than "just" an aeroplane engine.

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Re: Not only on planes

And there was the Meteor - basically a poorer-production-quality version of the Merlin, minus the superchargers and with a lower compression-ratio so it would run OK on commercial-grade petrol rather than AVGAS - which was used in quite a few WWII-era tanks.

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Also, P52 Mustangs looked like their only future was going to scrapyards until they were reengined with Merlins (or licence-built Packards version later).

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Headmaster

"P52"? I think you mean the P-51 Mustang.

The original P-51 used an Allison V-1710 engine, which worked well below 15,000 feet but lost power at higher altitude. The Allison-engined planes were the P-51A Mustang and the A-36 Apache (ground attack and dive bombing). They performed very well in their designated roles.

The P-51B was fitted with a Merlin engine. The two-stage supercharger on the Merlin is what allowed it to perform well at high altitude. The Allison V-1710 engine also worked fine at high altitude, when fitted with a proper supercharger (as it was in the P-38 Lightning).

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Sure, P51. My bad, was distracted...

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Re: de Havilland Mosquito

Elegant perhaps, superbly designed and effective, the plane which caused Goering to rant about German incompetence and which was estimated to be nearly 6 times as effective as a Lancaster in terms of military effect per £ of cost.

And, as is usual with British engineering success stories, nearly didn't happen due to lack of imagination at the War Office.

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Re: de Havilland Mosquito

"And, as is usual with British engineering success stories, nearly didn't happen due to lack of imagination at the War Office."

You are probably right. I don't suppose that the War Office had any idea what to do with a Mosquito, not because they lacked imagination but because they were responsible for the Army. What you should have said and probably meant was that there was a lack of imagination in the Air Ministry. Yes the AM was woefully short of imagination in respect to the Mossie, they didn't believe that a wooden aircraft had any chance in an era of all-metal airframes. Good job they changed their minds as the Mossie became one of the most versatile aircraft of the Second World War.

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Re: de Havilland Mosquito

You are of course correct. That's what comes of forgetting the non joined up structures of WW2.

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Childcatcher

..and trains

Don;t forget the Deltic, running with Twin Merlins!

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Re: de Havilland Mosquito

@ nematoad

"AM was woefully short of imagination in respect to the Mossie, they didn't believe that a wooden aircraft had any chance in an era of all-metal airframes"

Which is all the more remarkable as I saw that the ME 110 had a wooden frame, at least the rear half of it was which I saw on the remains of one at Hawkinge museum.

I don't know about the ME109's construction, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it didn't have a similar construction. Does anyone know for sure?

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Is it just me...

or does everyone have The Dam Busters March playing in their head when they read this article?

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Re: Is it just me...

Just you, but now you mention it...

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Re: Is it just me...

Sorry, I'm wildly inaccurate and just have to settle for 633 Squadron.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is it just me...

I think you mean 617 Squadron.

633 Squadron (fictional though it is) flew Mosquito's

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is it just me...

That takes me back to my 1950s childhood. The first record I bought was the Dam Busters' March - cost something like 4/7d (and an odd ha'penny). One day when my teenage sister's friends were playing their pop records - one of them sat on my record. Being shellac it just broke into many pieces. I hope it was an accident - and not because I was pestering for a turn with the record player.

A few years later my cousin had finished his RAF National Service in Cyprus. He had souvenir presents for our family - but took me to the toy shop to choose an Airfix model. I couldn't decide between the Lancaster, the Wellington, and the Bristol Super Freighter - so he bought me all three! Such generosity has since made me sensitive to the occasions when someone can be made very happy by the unexpected grandiose gesture. I wish I still had them - but they were lost in family house moves while I was away globe trotting. I look in the window of the local model shop - and wonder if I have nimble enough fingers these days to glue one together without the wheels etc seizing up. (Dabs away a tear)

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Re: Is it just me...

Chuck Yeager's Air Combat here, but otherwise just about right...

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Re: Is it just me...

I think you mean 617 Squadron.

633 Squadron (fictional though it is) flew Mosquito's

Joefish did say he was wildly inaccurate!

(And an upvote to him for mentioning such an excellent film!)

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Re: Is it just me...

Was it the Billy Cotton version with the radio traffic "P Popsi, P Popsi ...."?

'cos if it was, it was the first record I bought too.

10 incher and it must be up in the loft somewhere.

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Re: Is it just me...

I was just wondering if there was a model of this gorgeous plane! I doubt if my local Michaels would have it but I'll look. A lot of the independent hobby shops have closed. They have these online plastic model catalogs these days... Whippersnappers.

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Go

Eargasm...

Just listening to that engine noise - I think the jet engine is great but a piston engine sounds soooo much better.

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Re: Eargasm...

Old-time civilian pilot defending his beloved Britannia against the upstart Tristar...

"which would you rather have...four screws or three blow-jobs?"

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ql
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Re: Eargasm...

Here on the north west Scottish coast, I looked up when I heard an unusual-sounding plane, spotted it flying towards Lochinver, and grabbed the binoculars. It was this Lancaster, but the sound was rather different to the BoBMF one. I can only surmise that they use different engine or prop settings for distance flying in comparison with that lovely sound you get when the BoBMF flies at low level.

Interesting this, as we had a long discussion about why, as far as we knew, the only Lanc flying was so far north, but it must have been the Canadian one.

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Anonymous Coward

> World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs.

And whilst in Lincs they are due to meet up with "Plain Jane", the Lincolnshire aviation heritage centre's taxiable Lancaster.

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MrT
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Good move...

... since that one does a lot of movie work (tail-up taxi runs etc.) - but have they renamed it? Last time I saw, it was "Just Jane"...

Having spent a lot of time working on the Halifax reconstruction and Elvington airfield in the early days of Yorkshire Air Museum, my dad managed to get a turn in the East Kirby Lanc, and was most excited when allowed to sit in the left-hand seat on an engine run, with the real pilot in the co seat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good move...

"Last time I saw, it was "Just Jane"..."

Makes more sense - as she was the eponymous heroine of the strip cartoon. (Pun intended)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good move...

> Last time I saw, it was "Just Jane"...

No, they haven't renamed it, I am just an idiot who failed to read their website properly...

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Aviation geeks

Could any aviation geeks please tell if there is some online resource telling you what will be flying where & when?

A couple of times in the Peaks I've been buzzed by WWII era planes (not counting the regular pleasure flights) with no warning (& always when I'm using the wrong lens) & have always wondered if they announce flight plans for heritage planes in advance anywhere.

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Go

Re: Aviation geeks

Try here:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf/displayinfo/

The ones with '2Lancs' flying

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Re: Aviation geeks

Monkey Bob - try this site. It seems fairly comprehensive:-

http://www.airshows.org.uk/2014/calendar/uk-airshow-calendar.html

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Re: Aviation geeks

Thank you both, better than anything else I'd found.

I was buzzed by either a Beaufighter or a Mosquito just below Ladybower on 18th May mid morning, I'd assumed it was the RAF BBMF, no mention of either on their site though (it had the D-Day paintjob too). That's what made me start looking, & now the plot thickens.

**edit - I bet it was their Dakota actually, I never realised they have such similar arses & I've just noticed what could be windows on my (shit) photo.

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Re: Aviation geeks

I think there's only one flying Mosquito, and that was rebuilt and lives in the US. So I'd guess something else is more likely.

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Re: Aviation geeks

You need to play more war thunder. Does wonders for your WWII aircraft identification.

TB-3M? Arm the rockets!

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Re: Aviation geeks

Play more War Thunder? That was the main reason I guessed it was a Beaufighter first! My first thought as it went over was "blimey they really got the in game engine noise right didn't they?"

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Re: Aviation geeks

http://www.warplane.com/lancaster-2014-uk-tour.aspx

the Canadian museums website listing.

with a bit of luck and an atlas you might be able to figure out observation points in-between as well. Or use flightradar24 if they have transponder on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Aviation geeks

"That was the main reason I guessed it was a Beaufighter first! My first thought as it went over was "blimey they really got the in game engine noise right didn't they?"

The Beaufighter was nicknamed "The Whispering Death" (by the Japanese?) because it was so quiet when approaching a target.

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Re: Aviation geeks

I was at an airshow in clofrnina once where,on stepping into a Dakota to what would ave been my late Dad's "office" as Navigator/radio operator it felt as if he was looking over my shoulder and nodding his head.

The formation of B-17's and B24's joining up after takeoff the next day was another occasion for goose-bumps.

Lord, pardon my neglect.

I do not willfully forget

All those who fought to keep me free

Who live now just in memory,

Photos on a yellowed page,

Forever young, though others age.

Let they who died that I might sleep,

For whom yet wives and children weep,

In glory with brave comrades stand,

A silent Guard around our land.

Author, myself.

(Permission for use will be granted by email; has appeared elsewhere.)

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Re: Aviation geeks

I was at an airshow in California once where ,on stepping into a parked Dakota, to what would have been my late Dad's "office" as Navigator/radio operator it felt as if he was looking over my shoulder and nodding his head.

The formation of B-17's and B24's joining up after takeoff the next day was another occasion for goose-bumps.

Lord, pardon my neglect.

I do not willfully forget

All those who fought to keep me free

Who live now just in memory,

Photos on a yellowed page,

Forever young, though others age.

Let they who died that I might sleep,

For whom yet wives and children weep,

In glory with brave comrades stand,

A silent Guard around our land.

Author, myself.

(Permission for use will be granted by email; has appeared elsewhere.)

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Re: Aviation geeks

"I was buzzed by either a Beaufighter or a Mosquito"

If it was a Beaufighter that really would be talking about.

As far as I know, I may be wrong here, are no Beaufighters currently airworthy.

Let me know if I am wrong as I would love to see one in its true element.

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Re: Aviation geeks

Lovely poem Cortland,

I lost an uncle, who was a RAAF Lancaster pilot flying with the RAF (97 Squadron), shot down over Germany,in Jan 1943 and never found and a man whom I would never meet (I was born 20 years later).

Whilst I have yet to see a Lancaster flying, the Australian war memorial has a fairly complete Lancaster called "G for George". There is a rumor that they may in the near future take it out as a static display and restore for flight purposes.

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Re: Aviation geeks

I was near Coningsby over the w/e. No sign of the Lancs at the base, but plenty of Canadian maple flags in all the windows.

Got to see a BBMF Hurricane doing low practice runs, a Spitfire taking off, and a dual-Typhoon QRA though.

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Happy

Love that noise

I've been lucky enough to have experienced the BBMF Lancaster on several occasions. The sound of those engines is truly marvelous.

In fact the only other engine noise that's even close to being as good IMHO is the Vulcan on full throttle.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Love that noise

Quite right. The ear-shattering racket of a Eurofighter Typhoon climbing on full twin afterburners is just so uncouth in comparison.

I was once on the M27 just passing the end of the runway at Southampton airport when the Lancaster took off heading for Bournemouth. I honestly ducked inside the car...

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Black Helicopters

Re: Love that noise

On the way up the M5 once, just as I got to Michel Wood services a pair of Apaches came in from the west and turned hard above the motorway, following it (and me) north. I was almost convinced that I was about to see them start to strafe the traffic, I was just looking for the flash of something being launched because every other time I've seen them do that has been on TV in a war zone.

Put the wind right up me I can tell you!

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Anonymous Coward

B****y Chinooks

Try living underneath the route into Odiham when two or more fly over together at a few hundred feet. The whole house shakes. Noisy is far too kind a word.

Merlins on the otherhand sound magnificent.

Anon coz I don't want to be 'visited' by them.

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Re: Love that noise

Noise-wise, I don't know whether I'd say I *liked* it as such, but lo these many years ago when I lived in Aberystwyth, I remember being overflown by a couple of (I think Turkish) Starfighters, and I've never heard another aircraft produce anything like the unearthly shriek from them. THAT was a noise which could occasion a swift trouser change....

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