The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre has released a statement regarding the efforts to return Lancaster NX611 to flight
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre (LAHC) have been working with les Ailes Anciennes at le Bourget in France to create a plan that can help both Avro Lancaster NX611 and Avro Lancaster NX664.
Avro Lancaster NX664, a Mk7 Lancaster just like NX611, was built at Longbridge just a few places after NX611. She is currently under restoration by les Ailes Anciennes at le Bourget near Paris, France.
LAHC have released a statement regarding NX611, highlighting the difficulty of the wing restoration in particular.
"As you know we are restoring NX611 over winter periods each year as she has to taxy during the summer to raise the funds to spend over winter. Due to this schedule there are various pieces of work that we already know will not fit into a 6 month period. The biggest of those is the wings."
LAHC went on to explain the plan to be able to get Just Jane up and flying again:
"Through these conversations we have developed a plan to help both les Ailes Anciennes in France and ourselves.
The one part of NX664 that Ailes Anceinnes have not yet restored are the wings, so here is the plan. We will borrow the outer wings of NX664, one at a time, and bring them to LAHC. We will start with the port wing, make a jig and then restore the port wing of NX664 to a taxying condition. We will then remove the port wing of NX611 and swap it for the wing of NX664 so that NX611 can continue to taxy the following season. The port wing of NX611 with then be fixed in the jig and restored to airworthy condition. This means that we can work on the wing for a full 12 month period without having to stop and start.
"Once the port wing of NX611 is finished it will be swapped back and the port wing of NX664 will be taken back to le Bourget for the starboard wing to be brought to LAHC where the process starts again.
"We are expecting this to be a 4 year plan and it is the biggest and most complex job of the whole project."
While the wing project is underway, LAHC will still be restoring the rear fuselage of KB976 and NX611 so that the restoration plan as a whole still meets their previously outlined 10 year plan, making up for the time lost in the restoration due to COVID. One problem, however, is the cost of the project itself. As the wing project is running alongside the rest of the restoration, LAHC will need to raise £500,000 over the next 4 years to fund the restoration of the wings.
"This wing project has huge benefits for NX611 as we can get a jig made without disrupting the taxy runs, we can learn about the wing and the best methods of working on it before we even attempt the airworthy restoration on NX611 and we can have a full 12 months period working on each wing making the restoration much more efficient. The added benefit to the warbird world and all those that love Lancaster's is that another Lancaster gets her wings as well!
"To help with this we have started a Gofundme campaign so that anyone can donate to the project and we can get the news out there about this huge step forward."
If you would like to donate to the restoration costs, click here. Alternatively, if you would like to donate via cheque, you can post it to:
Panton Bros - Lancaster Restoration Fund
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
East Kirkby Airfield
The work itself, says Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, has already started. The first wing has arrived ready for restoration work to be undertaken.