The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Lancaster will fly as scheduled this summer, fueled by donations from across the country.
The Packard Merlin engines on the aircraft, one of only two flying in the world, are due for overhaul and cost about $125,000 each. A fundraising campaign has brought in more than $200,000 so the overhaul schedule can be maintained for this year at least.
The engines are done one at a time and work has just begun on the second. The process will carry on through the next year or so.
Museum CEO David Rohrer told the CBC the engine work is in addition to the $500,000 annual maintenance bill for the aircraft, which travels to air shows in North America and is used as a fundraising tool itself by the museum.
CWH’s Lanc was built in Malton, Ont. during the war although the centre wing section came from another airframe after a serious accident. It served the RCAF until 1963 and was restored to flying condition in 1974.
It is dedicated to the memory of Andy Mynarski, whose valiant effort to save a tail gunner trapped by fire after the aircraft was hit by ground fire cost him his life. The gunner, Pat Brophy, survived the crash and told the tale of heroism. Mynarski was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.