Girish Mahajan (Editor)

List of surviving Avro Lancasters

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List of surviving Avro Lancasters

The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined heavy bomber used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries during the Second World War. There are 17 known largely complete Avro Lancasters remaining in the world, but only two are airworthy.

Contents

Australia

On display
  • W4783 "G-George" - on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia. This aircraft was operated by No. 460 Squadron RAAF during World War II and completed 90 sorties. It was flown to Australia during the war for fundraising purposes, and was assigned the Australian serial A66-2. The aircraft underwent a thorough restoration between 1999 and 2003.
  • NX622 - on display at the RAAF Association Museum in Bull Creek, Western Australia. It served with the Aeronavale as WU-16 from 1952 until 1962, when it was donated to the RAAF Association. A guided tour (for one or two persons) of the inside of this Lancaster is available by prior arrangement.
  • Canada

    Canada is home to most (11) of the 17 surviving Lancaster aircraft. These include one of only two airworthy examples in existence in the world. As well one is undergoing restoration to airworthiness, and one can taxi on its own power.

    Airworthy
  • FM213 - airworthy with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum out of Hamilton, Ontario as C-GVRA. Built at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario, in 1945, this aircraft didn't see combat in Europe before the end of the war. It was later used for Search and Rescue operations under Maritime Air Command) before being retired from service on 6 November 1963. It was displayed in Goderich, Ontario from 1964 to 1977 then stored at Dunnville, Ontario. FM213 had 4,392.3 hours on the airframe when it was handed over. It would probably have been sold for scrap metal except for the intervention of The Royal Canadian Legion branch in Goderich, ON. The aircraft was acquired by Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in 1978, underwent a 10-year restoration, and has remained airworthy since 1988. The aircraft is flown in the paint scheme of KB726 coded VR-A, depicting the aircraft of No. 419 Squadron RCAF in which Canadian Andrew Mynarski won the Victoria Cross. It has thus been named the "Mynarski Memorial Lancaster", but is known colloquially as "Vera". C-GVRA departed Hamilton, Ontario on 4 August 2014, to take part in a series of events in the UK in formation with the world's only other airworthy Lancaster, PA474, during August and September. The North Atlantic crossing included en-route stops at Goose Bay Canada, Narsarsuaq Greenland, and Keflavik Iceland before arriving at RAF Coningsby, home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. This was purported to be the first Atlantic crossing by a Lancaster since 1975.
  • On display (complete airframes)
  • FM136 - on display at the Aero Space Museum of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta. Manufactured in 1945 by Victory Aircraft, this aircraft was assigned to No. 20 and 30 Maintenance Units in England, but was never issued to an active squadron. It returned to Canada and was converted to Maritime Reconnaissance. Taken on strength by No.404 "Buffalo" (MP) Squadron (Greenwood, Nova Scotia) as RX-136. Transferred to No.407 ‘Demon’ (MP) Squadron (Comox, BC). Struck off strength April 1961. Lancaster FM136 was purchased from Crown Assets Disposal Corporation by Lynn Garrison, in 1961. He created The Lancaster Memorial Fund to see the aircraft displayed, in 1962, on a pedestal at McCall Field, Calgary, as a memorial to those who trained under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It was subsequently moved to Aerospace Museum of Calgary in 1992. A new shelter was built for it in 2007.
  • FM159 - on display at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta. It is known as "The Bazalgette Memorial Lancaster" in honour of Ian Willoughby Bazalgette, VC of No. 635 Squadron RAF. Originally built in Canada, this aircraft arrived in Europe after the fighting ended, so it never saw combat. After returning to Canada and being placed in storage, it served from 1953 to 1955 with the No. 103 Search and Rescue Unit in Greenwood, Nova Scotia before being transferred to Comox, British Columbia to serve as a maritime and ice patrol aircraft. It was withdrawn from RCAF service in 1958 and purchased in 1960 by a trio from Nanton, Alberta with a view to building a war museum in their town. In 2013 FM159 was able to ground run all four Merlin engines for the first time in 54 years, and in April 2014 was able to taxi under its own power. Work continues to restore the interior and exterior.
  • KB839 "Daisy" - displayed outside at the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum at CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia. This Lancaster was delivered to No. 419 Squadron RCAF in January 1945, and went on to complete 26 sorties, wearing the code letters VR-D. It was twice damaged by German anti-aircraft fire. It returned to Canada after the end of the war in Europe, initially for service against Japan, but was modified after the war to Mk 10AR Arctic Reconnaissance specification. After being struck off charge in 1963, the aircraft was flown to Greenwood, and has remained there ever since. It has received several restorations.
  • KB882 - displayed outside at Edmundston Airport near Edmundston, New Brunswick. This Lancaster was built by Victory Aircraft in 1945 and delivered to No. 428 Squadron RCAF in March of that year. Flown on six operational sorties over Germany, the aircraft was returned to Canada in June 1945 and entered storage. In 1952, the aircraft was modified to Mk 10P configuration and flew with No. 408 Squadron RCAF. In 1964, the aircraft was purchased by the City of Edmundston and has since been on outside display at the Municipal Airport ever since. As of 2014, this aircraft is in urgent need of repair.
  • KB944 - on display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum at Rockcliffe Airport in Ottawa, Ontario. It was built in Canada in 1945 by Victory Aircraft. Later that year, after briefly serving overseas, it was put into stored reserve in Canada where it went on to spend most of the following years, except for a brief period in 1952 serving with 404 Maritime Patrol Squadron at Greenwood, Nova Scotia. In 1964, the RCAF refurbished this aircraft and placed it in the Armed Force's historical aircraft collection at the Canada Aviation Museum.
  • On display (incomplete airframes)
  • KB848 (forward fuselage only) - on display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. was built by Victory Aircraft and delivered to No. 428 Squadron RCAF in January 1945 as NA-G. Returned to Canada in June 1945, the aircraft was later modified as a drone carrier before being scrapped in 1964.
  • Stored or under restoration
  • FM104 - in storage at the Canadian Air & Space Museum in Toronto, Ontario. This Lancaster was donated to the city of Toronto in 1964 and placed on a pedestal on Lakeshore Drive. After sitting outside for 36 years, the aircraft was removed from the pedestal and placed on loan to the Canadian Air & Space Museum, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The aircraft was placed under long-term restoration to static display condition. With spare parts from the remainder of FM118, it was planned to be complete as a museum quality piece in 2015. However, when the CASM shut its doors in 2011, the aircraft was placed into storage, along with the rest of the museum's collection, on the property of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. It is currently stored inside several large freight containers, until such time as the Canadian Air & Space Museum is able to find a new home.
  • FM212 - under restoration to airworthiness by the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association at Windsor International Airport in Windsor, Ontario. It was withdrawn from RCAF service in 1962 and placed in storage. The city of Windsor purchased the aircraft for use as a memorial and mounted it on a pedestal in Jackson Park in 1965. It was damaged by weather and poor maintenance and replaced by Spitfire and Hurricane replicas on 26 May 2005. This Lancaster has been renamed "Bad Penny" to commemorate the first RAF Avro Lancaster into the Netherlands during Operation Manna to save the Dutch in the Holland region from starvation in the closing days of World War II, 29 April 1945. On 29 April 2007 (to coincide with the 62nd anniversary of Operation Manna), FM212 was removed from storage in Jackson Park and towed to the Sears parking lot of Devonshire Mall where it was on display and open for tours through the aircraft. On 13 May 2007, FM212 was towed from Devonshire Mall to Windsor Airport, where it is on display and undergoing extensive restoration to return the aircraft back to airworthy condition. Whether or not it flies is up to the city of Windsor, as the city still owns the aircraft, but at the very least, it will be able to taxi under its own power
  • Substantial wrecks
  • FM221 - derelict at Resolute Bay, Northwest Territories. Crashed on takeoff in 1950. Wreckage remains in situ but has severely deteriorated due to a combination of extreme weather, souvenir hunters and bulldozing of the wreckage after the crash.
  • KB999 - ditched in a glacial lake in Nunavut following an engine fire in 1952. Wreck remains in situ but has been broken up by ice action.
  • France

    Stored or under restoration
  • Lancaster B VII 'NX664' served with the Aeronavale as WU-21 from 1952 until it suffered a heavy landing at Wallis Island.It was recovered in 1984 to Le Bourget and has been under restoration since.
  • Germany

    On display
  • Lancaster B III JA914 Served with 57 Squadron as DX-O. Shot down over Berlin in September 1943 and crashed into a lake opposite Zahrensdorf. Wreckage from this aircraft was recovered and is now on display at the Deutsche Technikmuseum, Berlin.
  • Substantial wrecks
  • Lancaster B I DV202 Served with 44 Squadron as KM-Z. Shot down in August 1943 on a raid against Peenemünde and crashed in a small lake in the target area. The wreckage remains undisturbed and visible just short of the threshold of Peenemünde Airport. Parts, including an engine, were recovered and are on display at the Peenemünde Museum.
  • New Zealand

    On display
  • Lancaster B VII NX665, preserved at the Museum of Transport and Technology (aka MOTAT) in Auckland. This aircraft served with the Aeronavale as WU-13 from 1952 until the 1960s, when it was presented to the museum. The airframe originally lacked the mid-upper turret, having been built with the mountings for a Martin 250CE mid-upper gun turret. An earlier Frazer Nash FN50 turret was retrofitted in the late 1980s which required modifications to the aircraft's structure, as the turret mounts had to be moved rearwards. The aircraft is equipped with H2S radar.
  • Sweden

    Substantial wrecks
  • Lancaster B III NF920 "Easy Elsie". This aircraft served with 617 Squadron as KC-E ( KC replacing the better known AJ code of Operation Chastise). It was damaged by flak attacking the German battleship Tirpitz in October 1944 and was forced to make an emergency landing near Porjus in Norrbottens län in the north of Sweden 67°0′31.4″N 19°43′44.7″E. The crew unsuccessfully attempted to burn the aircraft; the wreckage still lies in situ.
  • United Kingdom

    Airworthy
  • PA474 "City of Lincoln" - operated by the Royal Air Force's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight since 1973. The paint scheme is periodically changed to represent notable Lancasters, and the aircraft is currently flown as a 617 Squadron Lancaster B I, DV385, "Thumper Mk III". "Thumper Mk III" was one of the brand-new standard Lancasters issued to 617 Squadron as replacements after the ‘Dams Raid’ in 1943.
  • On display (complete airframes)
  • R5868 "S-Sugar" - on display in No. 467 Sqn markings at the Royal Air Force Museum London in London, England. This is the oldest surviving Lancaster. It was delivered to the RAF in June 1942 and flew for the remainder of the war. It was originally coded as "Q-Queenie" with No. 83 Squadron RAF from RAF Scampton and then as "S-Sugar" with No. 467 Squadron RAAF from RAF Waddington. This aircraft was the first RAF heavy bomber to complete 100 operations (going on to fly 137 sorties). Its final operations were in May 1945, when it was used to ferry liberated Allied prisoners of war back to the United Kingdom. Although surplus to requirements, the decision to preserve it was made in June 1945, due to the exceptional number of operations it had flown, and it was transferred to the RAF's Air Historical Branch; it was moved to the RAF Museum in 1972.
  • KB889 - on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. This aircraft is Canadian built and was delivered to Britain in March 1945 and returned to Canada that June without seeing any service. This aircraft was later converted for Maritime Reconnaissance use, before being struck off charge by the RCAF in 1965. It was displayed in Ontario before being sold to prolific warbird collector Doug Arnold in the UK in 1984. The aircraft was put on the UK register as G-LANC, but was never flown. Sold in 1986 to the Imperial War Museum, the aircraft was restored over eight years to static condition, and has been on display since 1994 as NA-I.
  • On display (incomplete airframes)
  • W4963 "Johnnie Walker, Still Going Strong"(rear fuselage only) - on display at the Newark Air Museum near Newark-on-Trent, England. Served with No. 9 Squadron RAF as WS-J, and went on to complete at least 106 operations. Its 100th operation was a "tallboy op" as part of Operation Paravane, to attack the German battleship Tirpitz at anchor in Norway.
  • DV732 "Old Fred"(forward fuselage only) - on display at the Imperial War Museum, London in London, England. Served with No. 467 Sqn RAAF as PO-F.
  • Undergoing Restoration
  • NX611 "Just Jane" - to airworthiness by the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at the former RAF East Kirkby. This was one of the last wartime Lancasters to come out of the Austin Aero factory at Cofton Hackett and was stored by the RAF 1945-1952. Served with the Air Arm of the French Navy as WU-15 from June 1952 until the 1960s, when it was flown back to Britain. At one stage the aircraft was kept at Blackpool, and following the removal of R5868, served as gate guardian at RAF Scampton. NX611 now resides at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at the former RAF East Kirkby. This Lancaster is not currently airworthy, but undertakes regular taxi runs around a grassy area between the wartime control tower and its hangar and apron. Just Jane was used to film sequences for the 2002 TV programme Night Flight starring Christopher Plummer and Edward Woodward, which included one sequence with Just Jane running with tail up, at high speed along a length of the wartime runway. The aircraft was also used for both interior and exterior shots in the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. A project is currently under way to restore the aircraft to airworthy condition. Many spares have been acquired and overhauled to airworthy standards to allow the project to progress faster once the aircraft is dismantled.
  • Substantial Wrecks
  • PD259 - served with No. 463 Sqn as JO-G. Crashed into a mountain near Kingussie, Scotland in August 1944. Wreckage remained in situ in the Grampian Mountains until 2009 when damage by vandals and souvenir hunters prompted a recovery. Wreckage currently viewable in the RAF Waddington Heritage Museum (view by appointment).
  • United States

  • Lancaster B I TW911 (Forward fuselage only) Used as a testbed aircraft from 1946 until was broken up in 1954, TW911's forward fuselage was retained and fitted to the rear fuselage and wings of Avro Lincoln RF342. This hybrid remained airworthy and in experimental use up until 1962. It was later housed at Bournemouth Historic Aircraft Museum (UK) for another 25 years before being dismantled and placed in storage. The Lancaster parts of the hybrid were then purchased by the Flying Heritage Collection of Everett, Washington. The remaining fuselage section was fully restored and is on display there today.
  • Stored or under restoration
  • Lancaster B X KB976 is Canadian built and was delivered to Britain in May 1945 but saw no action. Returned to Canada in June 1945, the aircraft was converted to Mk.10 (AR) specification, being struck off charge in 1964. Lancaster KB976 made the last official flight as an RCAF aircraft on 4 July 1964 at the Calgary International Air Show with F/L Lynn Garrison, as captain, and F/L Ralph Langemann as co-pilot. It is worth noting that neither Garrison nor Langemann had ever flown a Lancaster before, and Garrison had broken his ankle the night before this flight. Their historic flight was authorized personally by the then Minister of National Defence, Paul Hellyer, who flew to Calgary for the celebration. Garrison will be remembered for his oft-repeated comment, "If it has fuel and noise, I can fly it." Lynn Garrison then purchased KB976 from Crown Assets Disposal Corporation as an addition to his historic collection. He had created the Air Museum of Canada in April 1964, and after various management changes of the Air Museum, KB976 was sold in 1969 to Northwestern Air Lease (now Northwestern Air). KB976 was intended for conversion to a forest fire fighting water bomber but although started this conversion did not complete. Sold in 1974 to the Strathallan Collection in Scotland, KB976 was registered G-BCOH prior to being flown across the Atlantic and then statically displayed until 1987. Bought by collector Charles Church, the aircraft was moved to Woodford Aerodrome for restoration to airworthy condition, where the fuselage centre section was damaged in a hangar collapse. Another Canadian Lancaster, KB994, that had survived only as a fuselage, was sourced to replace the irreparably damaged parts of KB976. Sadly, Charles Church died in a flying accident soon after and the rebuild was abandoned. The aircraft and its replacement parts were later sold to Doug Arnold, before finally being bought by Kermit Weeks in 1992. KB976 has since been stored at his Fantasy of Flight museum in Florida awaiting restoration. The rear fuselage and rear gunner's position was salvaged from the wrecked original fuselage and is on display at the AeroVenture Museum in Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK. The original extended nose of KB976 has been built backwards into an authentic fuselage and cockpit by Jeremy Hall and is on display at Brookland's Museum in Weybridge, UK. The residue of parts from KB994 were stored in the UK before being sold to the Australian National Aviation Museum to assist in the restoration of Avro Lincoln RF342.
  • References

    List of surviving Avro Lancasters Wikipedia


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