A roadside attraction

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Senior Airman
Oct 25, 2005

6/20/2003. Remarks by Trevor McTavish: "After the war, my grandfather's uncle, a Mr. Eggbert, purchased an Avro Lancaster from war surplus and towed it to his gas station outside of Red Deer Alberta. This wasn't the only Lancaster bought by a local after the war (the CWH's Lancaster used a center section salvaged from a Lancaster turned shed). But for a quarter, you could climb up inside the bomber and take a look around. It was something that my dad remembers quite well, since he and his brother would play in the Lanc every time the family drove through the area.

At one point a group of Americans came to town and bought the Lancaster, rumor was to make a fire bomber. Rather than disassembling the airframe by removing the wings and engines and towing everything back to the Red Deer airport the new owners figured they could just fly it out of the wheat field next door. As they started doing engine runs in preparation for flight an engine caught fire and the Lanc burnt to nothing right in the middle of the field. From what I've gathered over the years, the carburetor for the Merlin engine was notorious for leaking, and it was probably draining fuel that caught fire.

The reason I've mentioned this Lancaster is because the P-40 was apparently what the Americans traded for the Lanc. I guess Mr. Eggbert didn't care what kind of roadside attraction his gas station had, as long as he had one."

How cool would it have been to buy a Lanc or something as a backyard toy, the best I ever got was an old VW Beetle :lol:

Pity it burnt to the ground though :(
That very large bombay would make an excellent roost far better then either the 24 or 17
interesting story, any more info on mark/serial? i might look into it, there were a LOT of spare lancs back then, a lot of farmers bought them for about £100 because of all that sheet metal and the wiring :lol:
All the canadian Lancs were scrapped in the 60s with the last fusleage of Lancaster KB994 going to CFB Comox and then onto the uk for rebuid.Sadly the hangar roof fell onto it and the best sections were solf to Kermit Weeks in florida for his Lancaster rebuild of KB976
Found another story along the same lines
Google Earth: the black helicopters have landed | The Register


We've edited down David's epic explanation of how this aircraft came to be sitting in this unlikely location, but it's still worth quoting at length:

Milwaukie, Oregon - only in America can you beat a B-17 into a gas station.

Shortly after WWII a guy named Art Lacey (he had a British wife) went to Kansas to buy a surplus B-17. His idea was to fly it back to Oregon, jack it up in the air and make a gas station out of it. He paid $15,000 for it. He asked which one was his and they said take whichever you want because there were miles of them. He didn't know how to fly a 4 engine airplane so he read the manual while he taxied around by himself. They said he couldn't take off alone so he put a mannequin in the co-pilot's seat and off he went.

He flew around a bit to get the feel of it and when he went to land he realized he needed a co-pilot to lower the landing gear. He crashed and totaled his plane and another on the ground. They wrote them both off as "wind damaged" and told him to pick out another. He talked a friend into being his co-pilot and off they went.

They flew to Palm Springs where Lacey wrote a hot check for gas then they headed for Oregon. They hit a snow storm and couldn't find their way so they went down below 1,000 feet and followed the railroad tracks. His partner sat in the nose section and would yell, "TUNNEL" when he saw one and Lacey would climb over the mountain.

They landed safely, he made good the hot check he wrote, and they started getting permits to move a B-17 on the state highway. The highway department repeatedly denied his permit and fought him tooth and nail for a long time so late one Saturday night he just moved it himself. He got a $10 ticket from the police for having too wide a load.

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