Lancaster Formation Flight Planned

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Mynarski Memorial Lancaster will cross the pond in August for a formation flight not seen in 50 years.

The CWH Lanc was a popular attraction at Wings Over Gatineau last September.Jim Cole Photo
The CWH Lanc was a popular attraction at Wings Over Gatineau last September.
Jim Cole Photo

The aircraft will form up with Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, the only other flying example in the world, for a series of exhibitions in England.

The flights will be “once in a lifetime opportunity, something that will never happen again,” said Al Mickeloff, spokesman for the museum.  “We don’t expect to ever do another trip like this.”

The two aircraft will fly in events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that led to the end of the Second World War.

Museum CEO David Rohrer said the two groups have been trying to get the aircraft flying together for at least 10 years but the timing became right for this year.

“A window of opportunity was identified to bring the last two flying Lancasters in the world together in tribute to the crews who flew it, the people at Victory Aircraft who built it, and all the veterans of the war,” Rohrer told CBC News. “We always would have regretted it if we hadn’t tried our best to make this happen when the window presented itself.”

 Ironically, this will be CWH Lanc’s first time in the U.K. The aircraft was built by Victory Aircraft in Malton, ON and used for training on Canada’s east coast.
The last time Lancasters flew in formation was at RCAF Station Downsview in 1964 when three Lancs did a flypast to mark the retirement of the type by the Air Force.
Last year, the CWH Lancaster appeared at numerous aviation events in Central Canada, including the Music of the Merlins at the Hamilton Air Show last June. In that show, it flew with the world’s only flying Mosquito, along with other Merlin-powered aircraft including Spitfires, a Kittyhawk and  P-51 Mustang.