This past weekend presented the first chance to take a look at the new viewing enclosure alongside the new Stephenson hangar at the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford. This part of the airfield has traditionally not been open to the public so it is a welcome development that this new hangar has a viewing facility attached.
It is an even more welcome sight that greats you on the other side of the doorway though. Through the window you can see the unmistakable shape of the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster, albeit with a few key components missing.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this viewing enclosure but it does put you surprisingly close to the airframe and makes fascinating viewing. The process of dismantling the airframe seems well advanced with the tailplane removed along with the top turret and landing gear.
Seeing the Lancaster in this state is a unique experience and the airframe really is an imposing sight up on jacks with all the access panels open, I’ll certainly be hoping to make a return visit over the winter to see further progress and I’d recommend that anyone who has a chance makes the journey. The Lancaster will be going back together as Spring approaches before being repainted into a new paintscheme which will see the airframe take on a different identity on each side. Hopefully this viewing enclosure remains in place after the Lancaster returns to Coningsby, allowing Duxford visitors viewing opportunities for even more aircraft.
We are very lucky in this country to have two Lancasters in this state of overhaul, with Just Jane at East Kirkby currently undergoing a deep inspection, another trip I hope to make this winter.