Tri-Service

Lancaster Bomber Returns To The Skies

One of only two Avro Lancaster bombers still allowed to fly has taken to the skies.

One of only two Avro Lancaster bombers still allowed to fly has taken to the skies. It was the first flight for the aircraft, nicknamed Thumper, since an engine fire grounded it back in May.

The Lancaster Mk I, belonging to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the only one still flying with the RAF, was on a practise run when it caught fire.The crew escaped unharmed after returning to RAF Conningsby in Lincolnshire.

It had been due to take part in a number of flypasts throughout the summer, including flights over Buckingham Palace accompanied by Hurricanes, Spitfires and Typhoons.

Since the blaze the aircraft has undergone extensive repairs with bespoke parts having to be specially made. A full check of all the aircraft's components has also been undertaken to ensure none were fire damaged.

Last year the aircraft flew in a 60 venue tour with the only other surviving flying Lancaster to honour veterans of Bomber Command. 'Vera' as she's affectionally known has since returned to her home base in Ontario, Canada.

7,377 Avro Lancasters were built between 1941 and 1946 with thousands lost along with their crews during bombing missions over Europe in the Second World War.

The team at RAF Conningsby hope the latest test flight will see Thumper restored to its former glory.