Aeroplane – February 2023
English | 102 pages | pdf | 18.38 MB
Welcome at Aeroplane Magazine February 2023 issue
It’s such eforts as those which brought Lancaster NX611 back to this country in 1965 — and, for a few years, kept it airworthy — that are the bedrock on which our aviation heritage scene has been built. What they lacked in money they made up for in enthusiasm, and a will to make something happen. In the Lancaster’s case, they certainly did that. Yes, the dream of lying it regularly on the display circuit fell by the wayside as the aeroplane was forced into a peripatetic existence, and successive operators imploded. But the aim of saving the airframe was achieved, and the result of that is now clear for all to see. As the exhibit around which the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby was founded, NX611 further typifies the spirit of preservation’s pioneers. As Andrew Panton says in this month’s ‘Aeroplane meets…’ interview, when his grandfather Fred and uncle Harold opened the centre, they had no idea whether anyone would visit.
Thank goodness they stuck to their guns, because they created something very special indeed. Now, Just Jane’s ongoing return to lying condition looks set to turn the wheel full-circle, fulfilling the ambitions of others more than 50 years ago. It’s a remarkable efort, entirely self-funded, bringing together many different individuals and organisations. Indeed, there could be few better illustrations of just how interconnected the historic aviation world can be. In that context, it was poignant to hear Andrew mention how, when the return-to-flight project was getting under way, one of the Lancaster’s Merlin engines was acquired from Carolyn Grace, for news of her tragic death in Australia had not long come in. ere is another example of someone who blazed a trail. An inspiration to many through her operation and flying of two-seat Spitfire ML407, this ne lady also afforded others the most generous of opportunities, making the vintage aeroplane scene much the richer and ensuring she leaves a legacy writ large. Our most heartfelt condolences go to Carolyn’s family, friends and colleagues. Not a couple of weeks later, my thoughts turned to somebody who once flew in Carolyn’s Spit re: that great French aviation writer and commentator Bernard Chabbert, whose passing leaves its own great void in our world. A virtuoso with both the written and spoken word, bringing a poetic aspect to the description of aviation, Bernard was a one-of . I honestly cannot imagine going to the La Ferté-Alais Meeting this coming May and not hearing his voice. But, again, what memories remain.
Finally, a quick note to say that our Workshop feature will return next month; it’s taking a break in this edition for space reasons