Living History – Lancaster Re-Flies its Most Famous Mission

This week marks the 70th Anniversary of the "Dambuster" raid.

This week marks the 70th Anniversary of the “Dambuster” raid.

In honour of the 70th Anniversary of RAF No. 617 Squadron’s Operation Chastise (aka. The Dambuster Raids) vintage aviation photographer Martin Keen of the U.K. forwarded this image of the mighty Avro Lancaster. This particular bird (Lancaster NX611) sits on the runway at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. The museum is dedicated to the RAF’s Bomber Command of World War Two.

One of the last flying Lancasters, which is part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, recreated its famous dam-busting mission today by buzzing a water reservoir in Derbyshire. Check out the AMAZING pictures here or watch video of the fly-by below.

And then there were two. Al Mickeloff, marketing manager at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada provided us with this shot by Rick Radell of one of the only two flying Lancasters on earth.

And then there were two. Al Mickeloff, marketing manager at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada provided us with this shot by Rick Radell of one of the only two flying Lancasters on earth. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

The only other airworthy Lancaster in the world is currently part of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s collection in Hamilton, Ontario. Throughout the spring and summer each year, residents of southern Ontario can often see the famous plane overhead and hear the unmistakable drone of its engines. The Canadian Lanc will take to the skies again in June as part of the museum’s annual Fathers’ Day air show.

Of the approximately 7,300 Lancasters built in Canada and Britain during the war, more than 3,200 were lost in combat while flying more than 150,000 sorties. Although the Lanc will forever be associated with the famous bouncing bomb attacks on hydroelectric dams in the Ruhr Valley, the plane performed everything from precision daylight bombing to maritime patrol missions. After the war, Lancasters were provided to the air forces of France, Argentina, Greece, Sweden and even Egypt. Air cargo operators in Britain flew Lancasters in the late 1940s and a civil airline variant was even put to work shuttling passengers across the Atlantic. Eventually almost all of the surviving aircraft were scrapped.

2 comments for “Living History – Lancaster Re-Flies its Most Famous Mission

  1. 17 May, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    We need to pay our respects to the tens of thousands of young lads who were killed flying these missions. Space was so tight within the craft that many conducted their missions WITHOUT their parachute strapped to them. A death sentence once a plane started it death dive.

    But carry a big bomb load they did. And while two are left, the overall number of flying WWII bombers of any nation dwindle by the month.

    History is slipping away.

  2. 21 May, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I don’t know if it is mentioned in the links, but the reason for flying along that particular reservoir is that is where they did practice runs for the actual dam-busters raid. Cheers!

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