Assessment complete, preservation work to be done this summer, dismantling and shipment scheduled for next spring
Since announcing in late March that Avro Lancaster KB882, now located in Edmundston, NB, will be moving to the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, AB, our team has been busy preparing for the re-location.
The museum has hired Lancaster specialist Tim Mols, of Ingersol, ON to lead the complex job of moving this 70-year-old aircraft. Mols is an experienced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) and was the crew chief for the restoration of Canada’s only flying Lancaster, at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, in Hamilton, ON.
Mols has completed an initial on-site assessment of the Lancaster and has found the aircraft is in better shape than expected, despite its exposure to the elements for more than 50 years. Three of the four propellers still turn, which raises hopes that we will be able to restore KB882 for “ground running” to allow visitors to hear the roar of its four Rolls Royce Merlin engines.
The leadership of the Alberta Aviation Museum has decided to do preliminary work to preserve the KB882 at its site near the Edmundston, NB airport this summer and complete the task of moving the aircraft next spring.
“It’s a complex job of logistics,” notes Project Director Jack Van Norman. “We want to take the time to do it right. It will also give us more time to raise the money we need to bring the aircraft to Edmonton.” Van Norman estimates that cost at about $350,000.
The job will require moving the aircraft, which has a wingspan of 31 metres and a length of 21 metres, to Moncton by road and then to Edmonton by rail. Mols and his crew are still trying to locate the wheel assemblies needed for the first part of the trip.
Van Norman notes that additional work will be done this summer to clean the interior of the aircraft with a special preservative that will make the task of dismantling next spring easier.
KB882 is one of only 17 complete airframes to survive worldwide. One of 430 Mk. X models built in Canada by Victory Aircraft, it flew about a dozen bombing missions in Europe at the close of the Second World War.
But the aircraft went on to see active service with the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was modified for coastal patrol and Arctic mapping. The Alberta Aviation Museum has decided to acknowledge that role by displaying it in its post-war configuration.
Fundraising is underway, and a major sponsor has come forward to help with the move. Those details will be made public later. But we are still looking for individuals and organizations to join our team to help preserve this important part of Canada’s aviation history. Anyone interested in getting involved as a donor, sponsor or volunteer please contact the Alberta Aviation Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.