MAJOR RESTORATION ANNOUNCEMENT!!
We have some very special news for you!
Over the last two years we have been working with les Ailes Anciennes at le Bourget in France to create a plan that can help both Avro Lancaster NX611 and Avro Lancaster NX664.
Avro Lancaster NX664 is a mk7 Lancaster just like NX611 and was built at Longbridge just a few places after NX611. She is currently under restoration by les Ailes Anciennes at le Bourget near Paris, France.
As you know we are restoring NX611 over winter periods each year as she has to taxy during the summer to raise the funds to spend over winter. Due to this schedule there are various pieces of work that we already know will not fit into a 6 month period. The biggest of those is the wings.
We have been networking with many of the Lancaster groups/owners around the world as you will have seen from our recent dealings with the South Yorkshire Air Museum and the rear fuselage of KB976.
Through these conversations we have developed a plan to help both les Ailes Anciennes in France and ourselves.
The one part of NX664 that Ailes Anceinnes have not yet restored are the wings, so here is the plan. We will borrow the outer wings of NX664, one at a time, and bring them to LAHC. We will start with the port wing, make a jig and then restore the port wing of NX664 to a taxying condition. We will then remove the port wing of NX611 and swap it for the wing of NX664 so that NX611 can continue to taxy the following season. The port wing of NX611 with then be fixed in the jig and restored to airworthy condition. This means that we can work on the wing for a full 12 month period without having to stop and start.
Once the port wing of NX611 is finished it will be swapped back and the port wing of NX664 will be taken back to le Bourget for the starboard wing to be brought to LAHC where the process starts again.
We are expecting this to be a 4 year plan and it is the biggest and most complex job of the whole project.
While all of the wing project is underway we will still be restoring the rear fuselage of KB976 and NX611 so that the restoration plan as a whole still meets our 10 year plan, making up for the time lost due to COVID.
This wing project has huge benefits for NX611 as we can get a jig made without disrupting the taxy runs, we can learn about the wing and the best methods of working on it before we even attempt the airworthy restoration on NX611 and we can have a full 12 months period working on each wing making the restoration much more efficient. The added benefit to the warbird world and all those that love Lancaster's is that another Lancaster gets her wings as well! What's not to like!?!
There is just one problem.... as we are running the wing project alongside the rest of the restoration we will need to raise £500,000 over the next 4 years to fund the restoration of the wings.
To help with this we have started a Gofundme campaign so that anyone can donate to the project and we can get the news out there about this huge step forward.
The campaign can be found on the link below and we would be so grateful for any support you can give us whether it be financially to the campaign or by sharing it on social media, over the internet and by word of mouth.
Alternatively if you would prefer to donate by cheque you can send it to -
Panton Bros - Lancaster Restoration Fund
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
East Kirkby Airfield
Or you can donate online but please note that is for the WINGS FUND HERE
This is the single best opportunity we have to take a huge step forward with the restoration of NX611 to airworthy condition. I cannot over stress how exciting and important this step is!
What's more, we've already started! The first wing has arrived and you can see photos of the delivery below. Special thanks must go to Welch's transport who moved the wing for us and had to spend 65 hours at Calais customs before they were given clearance to come to the UK.