Lincolnshire Lancaster out for most of display season after fire

Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Bomber Thumper III, the only airworthy model of its kind in the UK, will not return to the skies for most of the 2015 display season.

The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) aircraft was brought down with an emergency landing on May 7 after a fire broke out in the engine mid flight.

The aircraft was examined by engineers and industry partners to determine the extent of the damage and work is underway to get the aircraft back into the skies.

Built in 1945, engineers working on the Lancaster must find parts that are not readily available.

The Lancaster was unable to take part in VE Day commemorations, and will now miss a number of shows on the summer calendar.

Crew at RAF Coningsby say they are hoping at air testing during the last week of August and the first week of September.

Squadron Leader Dunc Mason, Officer Commanding BBMF said: “The Lancaster will be out of action for several weeks. Once we establish the extent of the damage we will know what additional rectification work is necessary and therefore what parts will needed, some of which may need to be manufactured.

“Everyone involved in the emergency responded magnificently, the aircrew, the RAF firefighters, and our own BBMF engineers. Their prompt and professional actions limited the damage to the aircraft, and more importantly, ensured there were no injuries.”

Whilst the aircraft is unavailable, BBMF will be using other aircraft in the fleet to fulfil as many airshow and flypast commitments as possible. View the latest flying programme here.

More than 7,300 Lancasters were built during World War II, and now only two airworthy aircraft survive.

Less than one year ago, Lincolnshire’s Thumper joined Canadian Lancaster Vera in a series of flypasts in Lincoln and across the country.

Photo: Sean Strange

Photo: Sean Strange