Serial No:          PA474              Mark:    I          Known Op's:  0

Current Location: RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, England

Current Status:     Flying – Royal Air Force (BBMF) Lancaster

Nickname:              Changes depending on current paint system (post war)

Service History:

Converted to Mk.VII FE (Far East) for Tiger Force, Converted to Mk.I PR (Photo Recon.), 82 Sqn del'd 9-48 as -M-, To Flight Refuelling Ltd del'd 8-52 (on loan), Royal College of Aeronautics (for trials), Air Historical Branch (AHB) c.64, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) at Coningsby.

Comments:

 

9/48: 82 Sqn, Photographic Reconnaissance duties in East and South Africa and had all turrets removed

 

8/52: to Flight Refuelling Ltd at Tarrant Rushton to be used as a pilotless drone. However, before the conversion started, the Air Ministry decided to use a Lincoln

 

c. late 52: Royal College of Aeronautics for trials on the Handley Page Laminar Flow wing. The trial wings were mounted vertically on the upper rear fuselage.

 

c.1961: a/c used in the filming of The Guns of Navarone

 

c.1965: a/c used in the filming of Operation Crossbow

 

c.64: Air Historical Branch (AHB) for future display in the proposed RAF Museum at Hendon and was flown to Wroughton where she was painted in a camouflage paint scheme, though without squadron markings. During this period PA474 also took part in 2 films, 'Operation Crossbow' and 'The Guns of Navarone'. Later in 1964 she was moved to RAF Henlow in preparation for display at the RAF Museum. The first unit to be equipped with Lancasters was 44 Squadron and in 1965 the Commanding Officer of this unit, which was now flying Vulcans from RAF Waddington, sought permission from the AHB for PA474 to be transferred to the care of the Squadron. An inspection found that the aircraft was structurally sound and permission was granted for PA474 to make a single flight from Henlow to Waddington.

 

C.66-67: restoration programme on PA474 began, that would take several years to complete. By 1966 work was progressing well and both the front and rear turrets were in place. Permission to fly PA474 regularly was granted in 1967, although restoration continued.

 

11/73: The aircraft eventually joined the Battle of Britain Flight in November 1973 prompting the change of the Unit's name to the 'Battle of Britain Memorial Flight'.

 

c.75: A mid-upper turret was discovered in Argentina and was brought to Britain aboard HMS HAMPSHIRE and fitted; and the same year that the aircraft was adopted by the City of Lincoln

 

06/95: During the winter the aircraft received a brand new main spar, extending her life for the foreseeable future. The first and likely only Lancaster to ever by "re-sparred"

 

Production Data:

Part of the first production batch of 500 aircraft built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd., Chester, under Contract No. 2791. PA158-PA198, PA214-PA239, PA252-PA288, PA303-PA351, PA365-PA396, PA410-PA452, PA473-PA478 and PA509. (265 other aircraft cancelled: PA479-PA508, PA510-PA512, PA526-PA563, PA579-PA625, PA646-PA687, PA701-PA737, PA752-PA799 and PA816-PA835.) Deliveries commenced 6/44; completed 9/45 (average rate of production, approximately 4 aircraft per week.)

Surviving Lancaster: PA474

 

Last Updated: July 2008