Grounded Lancaster Bomber set to return to skies of Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Bomber Thumper III is on course to return to flight testing, five months after an engine fire caused it to be grounded.

As previously reported, the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) aircraft was forced into an emergency landing at RAF Coningsby on May 7 after a fire broke out in the engine mid flight.

The bomber was examined by engineers to determine the extent of the damage and the aircraft missed most of the 2015 display season as repair work was carried out.

The aircraft was due to fly at the Gedling Show in Nottinghamshire, the Bournemouth Air Festival and the fateful Shoreham Air Show in Sussex.

It was also unable to perform at the grand opening of the International Bomber Command Centre memorial on Canwick Hill on October 2.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

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

A Facebook post on the official BBMF page on Sunday, October 4, said: “The Bomber returns. This afternoon Lancaster Mk.I, PA474 conducted ground runs at RAF Coningsby following the repairs to her engine fire in May.

“Apart from some minor teething problems all went well. The next stages will be to iron out those issues and then for her to air test but a time for this is not yet confirmed.”

In 2014, Lincolnshire’s Thumper joined Canadian Lancaster Vera in a series of flypasts in Lincoln and across the country.

However, Vera also suffered an engine fire, this time during a flight in County Durham.