Lancaster fun

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Aug 21, 2006
Lancaster fun and fun it was. I was lucky enough this year to climb aboard the Candian Lancaster. What a magnificant bird. Here are some pics of her both on the inside and out. One point. Pictures dont show the awsomeness of this bird or the history behind it.




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the GPS was only recently aquired by them in the last couple of years, they still use maps to double check their posistion, the BBMF still navigate solely by maps, compas and stopwatch, hence they carry a specialist navigator, the red arrows do the same during their display, their entire displays are done with a map and stopwatch- not easy when you're pulling moves like that it really is amazing...........
Gnomey said:
They certainly don't use GPS, it is all maps and stopwatch...

Cool pics Micdrow.
I'd actually really be depressed if they had to use maps during their display mind you it would be spectacular :lol:
no that's exactily what we're saying, the red arrows don't use navigators or GPS, their ferry flights and their entire routine is all done by the pilots with maps and stopwatches, quite amazing how they manage it all.......
I'd really be impressed if they flew their routine with maps (not the routine cards) there would be black smoking holes allover the place:lol:
I renew my Lancaster manual to the local library every 3 weeks.... Every now and again they ask me to lend it them for a while..

It works for me... :)

It's not just the size of the county that governs the navigation requirements but also just how busy it's airspace is...
Personally, if I were in charge of a rare flying warbird like the Lanc, I would require the usage of a GPS. If the navigator were off and they crashed for lack of fuel or place to land, that would be criminal. But I would like to see it as a quick disconnect that gets stowed before people walk through it so that it looks as original as possible.
well in the UK it's not gonna run out of fuel any time soon because of the short distances and you're never far from somewhere you can land, never. Plus they do of course factor in things like emergency plans and nearest airports for each route, as you'd expect, when flying the UK's so small you can't get lost. Also as PA474 is a military aircraft it's very rare for civvies to get on board, although everything is still original, they even have a working radio set! although their primary radio is of course a modern set.........

and kiwi you will love that manual it really does have everything........
What I mean is that the GPS affords you an additional level of safety that was not available when these aircraft were built. Anything that makes an airplane safer is good, especially when you are talking about a plane as rare as a flyable Lancaster.
that's true but a map, compass, stopwatch and very highly trained RAF Navigator will do just as well, and i believe is better than relying solely on technology......
the lancaster kicks *** said:
that's true but a map, compass, stopwatch and very highly trained RAF Navigator will do just as well, and i believe is better than relying solely on technology......
I'm curious as to why RAF Navs are more highly skilled as opposed to other air arms Navs. Do they know something about a compass or map maybe the skies.....
The best navigators in my mind would be the old Bush Pilots flying over totally uncharted wastelands in a single engine VFR equipped aircraft no nav aids other then a compass airspeed and a clock .The met forecast would be go outside and stick your finger up to see wind direction. Flying in the north where the difference between true north and magnetic north is amazing.

You said you had the oppurtunity to go aboard the Lancaster.... having done this myself on various occations I was wondering if you'd share some of your thoughts on the experience...

I'm told that tissues are often required and I too found that a 'draft' of wind was effecting my eyes at various times...

I'd also be interested in your description of the passage past the mid-upper gun turret.

One of the things that surprised me..was how narrow the cockpit is, the field of view from the cockpit and just how close those propellor tips are to the side of your head.

The wing spar was a particular challenge to this 6'4" bloke, my 11 year old son had no problems and my 72 year farther was very determined to tackle something that he'd spent his whole life wondering about.


well you've gotta remember the young lads of the 40's RAF would've looked on 6"4 as massive as they'd be very lucky to hit 6ft, and obviously that in the event of a bail out no one has to get over the main spar but yes the small opening is something of a challenge..........

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