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Canadian Lancaster with BBMF
Ladybower Reservoir, Derwent Valley
September 21, 2014
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) flew their beloved Avro Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A' registered C-GVRA) across the Atlantic for a six week tour of the United Kingdom. Based at RAF Coningsby they were always in the company of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's (BBMF) only other airworthy Lancaster B1 (PA474 'KC-A') in the world. Almost daily the pair of Lancasters made appearances at air shows with numerous planned flypasts en route. It's hard to say when two Lancaster were last seen flying together it was perhaps more than fifty years ago.

With just two days left of their tour 'VeRA' as she is affectionately known flew at the Southport air show and returned to Coningsby via the Ladybower Reservoir in the Derwent Valley. As a opener for the event a BBMF Spitfire Mk.LF.IXe (MK356 '5J-K') and Hurricane Mk.IIc (PZ865 'EG-S') also twice flew low the length of the Derwent valley.

This final UK fly past was in honour of the crews of 617 Squadron who gave their lives during the 'Dambuster' raid and to the other Lancaster pilots of World War Two. 30 Canadians flew in the famous 'Dambuster' raid over Germany with just 16 making it home, the tour gave many the opportunity to reflect on the over 55,000 Bomber Command crews who lost their lives during the war.

There could not have been a more memorable sight and sound of such a significant aircraft visiting our skies as this, well done to all that made it happen.

Mark McNeil, Hamilton Spectator reported from the CWHM's home town in Canada.

The Canadian Warplane heritage Museum's Lancaster bomber is back after a two-month visit to the U.K. You think you spend a lot on gasoline? Well, some figures are in and the recently-completed seven-week tour of the United Kingdom by Hamilton's Lancaster burned a whopping $340,000 worth of fuel.

Museum CEO Dave Rohrer says even with the fuel costs, the unexpected expense of an engine failure, and some bad weather that cancelled events, the trip will end up in the black. Rohrer says it will take a couple of weeks to come up with a bottom line to figure out what the "final profit number is".

One positive was souvenir sales. A giant trailer full of Lancaster souvenirs was hauled from air show to air show and 95 per cent of it sold. Final figures weren't available, but Rohrer said at one event, the trailer sold $48,000 worth of merchandise. Also helpful were three passenger/crewmembers who each paid about $80,000 for the privilege of making the transatlantic voyage as part of the crew.

Fixing the blown engine in England is expected to cost $180,000, but Rohr notes the engine was due for a major overhaul, so maybe only $100,000 of the cost should be applied to the trip's budget.

"My overall assessment is that it was worth every ounce of effort and sweat and turmoil and long days and nights. We touched thousands of peoples' lives. We did something that no other organisation in Canada could have done," Rohrer said.

The BBMF Lancaster B1 (PA474 'KC-A') and CWHM Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A') about to pass over the Derwent Dam at around 500 feet.
Left to right: The first pass was high for me but fortunately they returned for a second run through the valley.
Left to right: Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A') flying north to turn south for the second run.

Left to right: Lancaster B1 (PA474 'KC-A') leading and CWHM Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A') on their second pass over the dam they were using callsigns 'Memorial 1 and 2'.
Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A' registered C-GVRA) of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM).
Left to right: Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A' registered C-GVRA)
Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A' registered C-GVRA) on its second run about having passed over the dam.
Left to right: Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A' registered C-GVRA)
Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A' registered C-GVRA) about to disappear around the corner for the final time

BBMF Spitfire Mk.LF.IXe (MK356 '5J-K')
Left to right: Spitfire Mk.LF.IXe (MK356 '5J-K') is now painted to represent Spitfire Mk IXc ML214 and coded '5J-K' as flown by Squadron Leader 'Johnny' Plagis, the Commanding Officer of 126 Squadron from July 1944.
Left to right: Spitfire Mk.LF.IXe (MK356 ‘5J-K’)
Left to right: Spitfire Mk.LF.IXe (MK356 ‘5J-K’)

BBMF Hurricane Mk.IIc (PZ865 'EG-S').
Left to right: Hurricane Mk.IIc (PZ865 'EG-S') is now painted to replicate Hurricane Mk IIC HW840, coded 'EG-S', of 34 Squadron, South East Asia Command during 1944, when flown by Canadian pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Whalen DFC.

CWHM and BBMF Lancasters visit RAF Waddington
August 21, 2014
Left to right: BBMF Lancaster B1 (PA474 'KC-A') takes the lead followed by CWHM Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A')
Left to right: BBMF Lancaster B1 (PA474 'KC-A') lands first followed by CWHM Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A') close behind in front of a large appreciative crowd.
Left to right: BBMF Lancaster B1 (PA474 'KC-A') takes the lead followed by CWHM Lancaster Mk.X (KB726 'VR-A')