Avro 683 Lancaster B1 (PA474 / AR-L / VN-T) from the RAF BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) at the RIAT 2018, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The Avro Lancaster is the most famous and successful RAF heavy bomber of World War Two. It is a legend that lives on today and the contribution made by the aircraft and its crews to the freedom of our nation will, hopefully, never be forgotten. The prototype Lancaster took to the air for its first flight from Ringway, Manchester, on 9 January 1941; the first production Lancaster flew later that year on 31 October. PA474 is one of only two Lancaster aircraft remaining in airworthy condition out of the 7377 that were built (the other is in Canada with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton, Ontario). PA474 rolled off the production line at the Vickers Armstrong Broughton factory at Hawarden Airfield, Chester on 31 May 1945, just after the war in Europe came to an end, so she was prepared for use against the Japanese as part of the "Tiger Force". However, the war in the Far East also ended before she was deployed and she did not take part in any hostilities. The port (left-hand) side of PA474 represents Lancaster B3 W5005 with the code letters "AR-L" and named "Leader" of 460 (Royal Australian Air Force) Squadron, with its nose art of a kangaroo in Wellington boots playing bagpipes reflecting the mixed nationalities of the crew: Scottish, Welsh and Australian. The 'bomb log' on the nose will show a 'snapshot in time' at the point just after the 30th successful operation flown by W5005, to Munich on 6 September 1943. W5005 eventually completed 94 operations before ditching in the Humber on 27 August 1944, after having been transferred to 550 Squadron. The starboard (right-hand side) of PA474 carries the 50 Squadron code letters "VN-T" representing Lancaster LL922 in which Flying Officer 'Dougy' Millikin (grandfather of the BBMF's current Officer Commanding, Squadron Leader Andy 'Milli' Millikin) and his wireless operator John Tait, who is still alive, flew 33 operations together. The starboard side of the Lancaster's nose retains the coat of arms and name of The City of Lincoln.
The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) operates from RAF Coningsby, a Typhoon and fighter base, in Lincolnshire. The mission of the RAF BBMF is to maintain the priceless artefacts of our national heritage in airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country, to promote the modern day Air Force and to inspire the future generations. Flown by regular serving RAF Aircrew, the BBMF operates six Spitfires, two Hurricane, a Lancaster as well as a C-47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft (primarily used for training).
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.
The 2018 Air Tattoo will reflect the 100th anniversary of the RAF with a commemoration
and celebration of a century of service to the United Kingdom and its allies.
- Matthijs van Wageningen
- Created on
- Saturday 14 July 2018
- airplane, airshow, AR-L, aviation, Avro, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, BBMF, EGVA, England, Fairford, Lancaster, military, PA474, RAF, RIAT, Royal Air Force, Royal International Air Tattoo, United Kingdom, VN-T
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