At the moment there are only two flying Avro Lancaster Bombers in the world. The first one is the BBMF Avro Lancaster PA474 based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, and the second is based at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Canada. This will hopefully change in 2020 with the return of Just Jane NX611 to the skies.
For the last couple of months, workers at The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby have been working hard, stripping Just Jane of parts, rigging her in a flying position in the main hanger, and stripping her of her paint, right down to air frame. All this work is so they can check the air frame for any cracks, rust or anything else that may jeopardise her future for getting her back in the air where she belongs.
On Monday 13th February I took part in a private photo shoot through a company called Time Line Events. The night would involve three hours of photography in the hanger with Just Jane in her current state after the museum had closed to the public.
I arrived at 3.30pm as I wanted to have a look around and take a few photos before the event. I spent an hour and a half having a walk around the areas I could in the hanger taking some photos to document this historical event which was taking place. As it was late in the day there wasn't many customers still around, and only a few other photographers there for the night event. It was nice to be able to see the engineers working on Just Jane, and I was also lucky to manage to get a few shots from the platform which we was going to be using in the evening.
At 5.30pm we were all in the hanger and was having a briefing by Neil Cave from Time Line Events who explained what was going to be happening over the next three hours. During the evening we had two re-enactors, one was dressed as a air crew member while the other one was dressed as a ground mechanic. We would also have use of two platforms to get shots from above.
The overall night was a fantastic experience, as I would never get the opportunity to see NX611 looking like this again. I managed to capture some lovely images of her in this state, and also some artistic images with the help of the re-enactors. Next time I see "Just Jane" out on the airfield, engines running doing taxy runs for the public, I will always remember my night in the hanger while she was stripped bare.
Please click here to view the photos I took on the evening.
To know more about "Just Jane" and The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, you can do so by clicking here.
Below is a vlog of my evening at The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre photographing "Just Jane".