Hamilton's Lancaster bomber Vera returned from its wildly successful cross-Atlantic tour three months ago with something borrowed. This week, it would be graciously returned it to its rightful owner.
A C-130 Hercules from the Royal Air Force U.K. arrived at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Wednesday afternoon to pick up a Merlin engine it lent to Vera in the summer so the Canadian plane could fly home.
During an historic six-week tour in the U.K. with the only other airworthy bomber of its kind, one of Vera's four engines broke down. The Second World War-era plane was only able to continue its tour and then fly back to its home base at the CWHM with the help of a borrowed engine, a Rolls-Royce Merlin.
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"We were grateful to get it. We are glad to see it go back to its home," said Al Mickeloff, marketing manager of the museum.
The crew will finish loading the engine into the C-130 Wednesday afternoon, and the plane is scheduled to depart Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Vera's broken engine is still undergoing repairs in the U.K. and is expected to be returned to Canada in April.
An outpouring of support from both sides of the Atlantic has helped offset the costs of the repairs — totalling $180,000 — and some of the missed airshows while the bomber was grounded. The museum even had to redesign its website to accommodate donations in British pounds.