The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s (BBMF) Avro Lancaster B.I PA474 (nicknamed Thumper) has returned to the air for the first time since an in-flight fire earlier this year grounded the aircraft while repairs were carried out. It had been due to take part in a number of flypasts throughout the summer including overflights of Buckingham Palace accompanied by Hawker Hurricanes, Supermarine Spitfires and Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4s. Since the fire the aircraft has undergone extensive repairs with many parts having to be specially made while an exhaustive check of all the aircraft’s components has been undertaken to ensure none were damaged in the fire.
7,377 Avro Lancasters were built between 1941 and 1946 but only two aircraft remain airworthy in the world. The other aircraft resides in Canada but last year the two aircraft met in the skies of the UK for a dramatic airshow tour that many hope we will see again one day. The engineers at RAF Coningsby where the aircraft is based deserve to be applauded for their tireless efforts to keep this incredible aircraft in the air.