One of only two remaining airworthy Lancaster bombers will fly over several airfields to mark the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) plane PA474 will be seen over 28 former air bases in Lincolnshire on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of Operation Chastise.
The daring mission saw 19 Lancasters, crewed by 133 airmen, attack several German dams on the night of May 16-17 1943.
As part of the route, the BBMF Lancaster will take off from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, travel down to London to conduct a flypast over the RAF Museum, Hendon, London, before returning to Lincolnshire to fly over the ex-Bomber Command bases.
Speaking ahead of the flight, Flight Lieutenant Giles Croft, BBMF Operations Officer, said: “We are working hard to produce an achievable plan that allows us to showcase the Lancaster, commemorate the unsung heroes of Bomber Command and also incorporate the tasking we already had for the evening of 16 May.
“I personally can’t wait to see our Lancaster over her home turf, against the same backdrop she would have had in the 1940s; I just hope that backdrop is clear evening skies with less than 15kts crosswind.”
“We will try to ‘make up the time’ by reducing most events to a single overflight so that we can meet our fixed time over the RAF Museum in Hendon but still manage a tour of the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Airfields prior to landing before sunset.
“I personally can’t wait to see our Lancaster over her home turf, against the same backdrop she would have had in the 1940s; I just hope that backdrop is clear evening skies with less than 15 knots crosswind.”
The Dambusters raid – led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson and which famously saw the use of Barnes Wallis’ “bouncing bomb” – saw eight Lancasters shot down and 53 airmen killed.
The timings for the Lincolnshire flyovers are as follows:
Spitalgate, Lincolnshire, NG31 9EW – 18:58
Fulbeck, Lincolnshire, NG32 3JE – 19:02
Swinderby, Lincolnshire, LN6 9US – 19:04
RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, LN5 9NB – 19:07
Lincoln – IBCC, Lincolnshire, LN4 2HQ – 19:08
Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, LN6 0HX – 19:12
Scampton, Lincolnshire, LN1 2TH – 19:15
Dunholme, Lincolnshire, LN2 3QF – 19:16
Wickenby, Lincolnshire, LN3 5AX – 19:18
Faldingworth, Lincolnshire, LN8 3NW – 19:19
Ingham, Lincolnshire, DN21 5BU – 19:21
Hemswell Cliff, Lincolnshire, DN21 5TY – 19:22
Blyton, Lincolnshire, DN21 3PE – 19:24
Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire, DN20 0NT – 19:30
Kirmington, Lincolnshire, DN39 6YH/DN39 6YW – 19:31
North Killingholme, Lincolnshire, DN40 3JL – 19:32
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, DN36 4RX – 19:37
Binbrook, Lincolnshire, LN8 6EG – 19:39
Ludford, Lincolnshire, LN8 6AD – 19:41
Kelstern, Lincolnshire, LN11 0RQ – 19:42
Strubby, Lincolnshire, LN13 0LN – 19:47
Spilsby, Lincolnshire, PE24 5BD – 19:51
East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, PE23 4DE – 19:53
Bardney, Lincolnshire, LN3 5TZ – 19:58
Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, LN3 4EZ – 20:00
Metheringham, Lincolnshire, LN4 3RD – 20:03
Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, LN10 6QG – 20:05
RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, LN4 4SY – 20:07
The plans are dependent on the weather, with times also subject to change.