Jan Forsgren recalls Sweden’s five-engined Lancaster
Asked to name a European operator of the Lancaster other than the RAF, I’m sure many readers would say France. From 1951 until the mid-1960s the French flew a fleet of 59 ‘Lancs’ on maritime patrol and air-sea rescue duties. Four of these veterans survive, including the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre’s Just Jane.
Full marks if you also knew that Sweden’s air force (Flygvapnet) used a Lancaster as a jet engine test-bed. It began life as a standard B.I, RA805, built in mid-1945 by Metropolitan Vickers in Manchester. It didn’t enter service and was placed in store until being struck off charge on February 6, 1948.