The Edmunston Lanc KB882 shown in 2010. While it looks alright from a distance, close inspection reveals its in dire need of restoration. Concerns are it may all collapse within a year.
Photo Credit: Joseph Normand Grinnell- YouTube

KB882: Unworthy fate for heritage survivor of WWII

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It is one of the most iconic aircraft of the Second World War.

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The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Lancaster: Of over 7,000 built, it’s one of only 2 still flying, Here warming its engines at night is a scene that would have been familiar to thousands of Canadian and Commonwealth aircrew during the Second World War. © CWHM

To those who flew them, they were a wonderful machine, to the enemy they were deadly and terrifying.

Now, the few remaining pilots and aircrew alive, along with all those who love planes, regard the Lancaster bomber in awe as a brilliant piece of technology, and almost a work of art.

During the war, Canada built thousands of warplanes, including 433 Lancasters. Of 7,377 originally built in total, there are believed to be 17 still in existence.  Only two are still airworthy, one in Britain, the other in Canada, where there are six survivors only.

Of those six, the only one not in a museum is in dire condition at a small airport in Edmunston New Brunswick where it’s been sitting, outdoors, for 50 years.

Avro Lancaster Mk 10P KB882 is a true war veteran, having survived at least11 missions into Germany.

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Mychele Poitras says time is running out to save the Lancaster Bomber that will mark its 50th anniversary at the New Brunswick-Quebec border this year © CBC

It may not survive the next winter.

It’s pitiful,” said Mychele Poitras of the Edmundston society for the Preservation of the Lancaster. “It’s really, really fragile.”

Salt mist from the road nearby has already eaten a hole through the aluminium in one wing. General weather wear and tear, and lack of any maintenance means the historic craft could collapse soon.

Poitras and her group have been searching for federal and provincial funding to try and restore the local landmark. But federal, provincial, and local governments and other fund raising has resulted in little cash.

She says a new hangar to house the plane while its worked on, would cost up to a million dollars, simply moving it to another location or museum, about $500,000.

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The “Mynarski” Lancaster of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Preserved with dedication, love, and lots of monay, the CWHM Lanc is a flying memorial to the thousands who gave their lives defending freedom. Canada contributed thousands of planes to the war effort, including hundreds of Lancasters. © Rick Radell

“I know the value of this plane,” said Poitras. “I know how important it is in the history of Canada and in the history of World War Two”, she says. “It did a lot of work for Canada and it deserves a much better future than what we seem able to get her.”

She notes the group will face a heart-wrenching decision about the fate of the plane by the end of the year.

Surviving Lancasters KB882

Visit to Kb882- JJ Grinnell- YouTube

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum- Lancaster

City of Edmunston- Lancaster page

Bomber Command Museum, Alberta- Lancaster

 

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2 comments on “KB882: Unworthy fate for heritage survivor of WWII
  1. Avatar John C Seguin says:

    It pains me to see such a wonderful aircraft falling apart.

    I cannot understand why the city of Edmunston purchased it from
    the RCAF 50 years ago if they were not prepared to look after it!

  2. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    You need a polythene envelope to encase this Lancaster to bring in from the weather while more finance is found. Here’s hoping that a plastics/polythene manufacturing company can step in, and also get some positive publicity at the same time.