BBMF Lan­caster’s progress

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

Vis­i­tors to the Air­craft Restora­tion Com­pany’s Stephen­son Hangar at Dux­ford early in March will have seen that the re­build of the BBMF Lan­caster PA474 is gath­er­ing pace. Sig­nif­i­cant com­po­nents such as the tailplane, un­der­car­riage legs and bomb bay doors are now back in place and items that have been with sub-con­trac­tors for over­haul and re­fur­bish­ment are com­ing back. The crit­i­cal path items, the Nos 1, 2 and 3 en­gine frames and bear­ers, are due back by the end of March. The air­craft will be painted in new colours in the Stephen­son Hangar dur­ing April. The port side of PA474 will rep­re­sent Lan­caster BIII W5005 AR-L of No 460 (Royal Aus­tralian Air Force) Squadron, with its nose art of a kan­ga­roo in Welling­ton boots play­ing bag­pipes. The star­board side will wear No 50 Sqn code let­ters VN-T, rep­re­sent­ing Lan­caster LL922 in which Fly­ing Of­fi­cer ‘Dougy’ Mil­likin (grand­fa­ther of the cur­rent OC BBMF, Andy Mil­likin) and his wire­less op­er­a­tor John Tait, who is still alive, flew 33 op­er­a­tions to­gether. The star­board side of the Lan­caster’s nose will re­tain the coat of arms and name City of Lin­coln. The air­craft is cur­rently on track to re­turn to RAF Con­ingsby in time for the start of the busy BBMF dis­play sea­son in May. Re­port & photo: Adam Smith

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