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News: Third Lancaster to fly?

By Gary Parsons on 19 February 2010, 17:42

NX611 at East Kirkby in the UK may fly again.

February 19: Owners of Lancaster B Mk 7 NX611, based at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby in the UK, the Panton brothers, have publically stated that they are aiming to get the aeroplane flying within the next few years.

In an interview on local radio, Fred Panton confirmed that plans are being put in place to accumulate enough spares and develop an engineering programme to get the Second World War bomber airworthy.

NX611 last flew in the mid-1970s when registered as G-ASXX on the civilian register. It spent many years as the gate guardian for RAF Scampton before being purchased by farming brothers Fred and Harold Panton, who wanted it as a memorial to a brother killed while serving with Bomber Command.

In an official Statement, spokesman for the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, Andrew Panton, said “It is fair to say that we have been considering making moves to fly Avro Lancaster NX611 for some years now; it has been our ultimate ambition to be able to restore NX611 to an airworthy condition but also keep her accessible for the general public to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere created by a Lancaster. We must strike a healthy balance between keeping her in a good condition and also allowing the public to experience her.

“We are sourcing four airworthy engines, acquiring parts from all over the world, undertaking feasibility studies, sourcing AP's and the relevant paperwork - are all working towards enabling us to 'push the button' and let the Lanc feel air under her wheels once more. No move will be made until we are happy that we have built up enough parts and solved all the logistic issues.”

Andrew also confirmed the project will be funded by the family and that “there is no funding or involvement from Peter Jackson or the [new] Dambusters film.”

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