Vera, Hamilton's Lancaster bomber on tour in the U.K., returned to the sky Wednesday after having a new engine successfully installed.
The plane arrived at a Royal Air Force base in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, around 2:30 p.m. local time.
But the historic bomber's ability to fly home to Canada in a couple of weeks still depends on being able to fix the damaged engine that grounded it last week. An urgent fund-raising appeal is underway on both sides of the Atlantic to help fund that repair.
The National | The Lancaster bomber: D-Day's workhorse
The Lancaster was grounded Friday after one of its engines had to be shut down mid-flight, resulting in plumes of smoke billowing along the plane’s fuselage as it landed at Durham Tees Airport in northern England.
Repairs were done at Durham Tees before the plane flew to Coningsby — a journey of about 250 kilometres — to rejoin the other airworthy Lanc, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Al Mickeloff, marketing manager for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, called RAF Coningsby the Lancaster’s "home away from home" because it’s where the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is maintained.
Mickeloff said Wednesday's flight went smoothly and the plane will join the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight during appearances in Scotland and Ireland this weekend. The appearances marks the first time the plane has been to either of those countries, he said.
Museum seeks funds for engine repair
Meanwhile, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum issued a news release warning the plane’s planned return to Hamilton on Sept. 22 may be delayed if it cannot come up with the funds to repair the broken engine — which the plane’s crew refers to as Engine No. 4.
The engine currently powering the Lanc is a loaner from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The museum said it will not be able to take the rare engine back to Canada.
“As such, engineers are working around-the-clock to repair the faulty incumbent — all at huge cost to the Museum,” it said.
The museum is appealing to both the Canadian and British public for funds to help with the additional costs.
Where's the Lanc?
Here's where Canada's Lancaster will be on the weekend of September 5-7:
|Friday September 5||Private event at the BBMF. The BBMF Hangar will be closed to the general public. There will be no guided tours available.
|Saturday September 6||Flypast - Woodhall Spa - both Lancasters at 11:30 am.
||Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire|
|Saturday September 6||Flypast - Ludborough - both Lancasters at 11:40 am.||Ludborough, Lincolnshire|
|Saturday September 6||Flypast - North Coates - both Lancasters at 11:50 am.||
North Coates, Lincolnshire
|Saturday September 6||Flypast - Kirmington - both Lancasters at 12 noon.||
Saturday September 6
|Flypast - Allerton Castle - both Lancasters at 12:15 pm.||Allerton, Yorkshire|
|Saturday September 6||Flypast - Barnoldswick - both Lancasters at 12:40 pm.||Barnoldswick, Lancashire|
|Saturday September 6||Scottish Airshow - both Lancasters at 4:00 pm.
*Souvenir trailer on site* http://www.scottishairshow.com/
|Saturday September 6||Air Waves Portrush - both Lancasters at 4:50 pm.
|Portrush, Northern Ireland|
|Sunday September 7||Air Waves Portrush - both Lancasters at 1:30 pm.
|Portrush, Northern Ireland|
|Sunday September 7||Scottish Airshow (Static Display Day) - both Lancasters will be on static display until approximately 12 noon. On the return from another airshow, both Lancasters will perform a flypast at 2:15 pm (note: not an airshow display) *Souvenir trailer on site*
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Windermere - both Lancasters at 2:50 pm.||
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Morecambe - both Lancasters at 3:05 pm.||Morecambe, Lancashire|
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Blackburn (Thwaites Brewery) - both Lancasters at 3:15 pm.||Blackburn, Lancashire|
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Holmfirth - both Lancasters at 3:25 pm.||
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Ludford - both Lancasters at 3:45 pm.||Ludford, Lincolnshire|
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Ludborough - both Lancasters at 3:55 pm.||
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Cleethorpes - both Lancasters at 4:05 pm.||Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire|
|Sunday September 7||Flypast - Wickenby - both Lancasters at 4:15 pm.||Wickenby, Lincolnshire|
|Sunday September 7||Both the BBMF Lancaster and the CWH Lancaster perform a flypast together at 4:25 pm over the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre's "Just Jane" Lancaster as she does a taxi run. Don't miss this rare photo op of the three Lancasters together.
|East Kirkby, Lincolnshire|