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Lancaster FM159 at Bomber Command Museum of Canada

Submitted by Doug Bowman, EAA 1029350

The Lancaster FM159 debuted at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta, September 20 and 21 with all four Merlin engines running. This aircraft has undergone a 54-year restoration, which started in earnest in 1986, by a team of skilled and dedicated volunteers with almost no outside government funding.

While not flyable, the airplane is "taxiable," and the debut celebrated the first public run-up with all four engines functioning. A crowd in excess of 500 people attended the night run-up on the 20th, and another large crowd attended the two daytime runs the following day. The museum is now home to one of only four running "Lancs" in the world.

FM159 carries the marking F2-T, the designation of the Lancaster flown by Ian Bazalgette, the only Albertan to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War II.

According to the museum's website, the museum does "...not honour or glorify war here. Rather we remember and try to understand the massive and important efforts and sacrifices [that] were made by a previous generation to secure the peace and freedom we enjoy today."

Summary of bomber command's operations:
Total sorties: 392,137
Total tons dropped: 955,044
Total mines laid: 47,307
Total aircraft lost: 12,330

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada (formerly the Nanton Lancaster Museum) is dedicated to preserving the memory of the 10,659 bomber command air crewmen lost during the 2,000 days of the WWII bomber offensive through exhibits such as the FM159 and the memorial wall. The museum has 37,000 square feet of space, housing 13 aircraft and related displays. There is also workshop space and a library. Admission is by donation.

See more photos of the evening run-up.


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