With only two Avro Lancaster taxy runs remaining for the 2012 season, the annual night taxy run and fireworks display was a very fitting end to another busy and successful season for the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.
Just Jane performed three taxy runs - noon, 3pm and 7pm – with Flt Lt Mike Leckey and Keith Brenchley at the controls, thus presenting visitors with an opportunity to experience how the Lancaster appears, and indeed how the four Merlin engines sound, as the light fades – it really does make a difference and provides a unique experience that would be hard to find at any other location. As a result the 7pm taxy run attracted a lot of attention, with photographers lining the safety cordon with their tripods to take long exposure pictures; this is possible as the Lancaster holds at set points during the taxy run, allowing for a couple of exposures per hold. As I have commented in past reports, the sight of Just Jane taxying into the darkness, then reappearing to slowly taxy towards your position is really something you need to experience in person!
The day was planned to include two demonstrations of the museum’s WWII 60cm German low level searchlight, however despite being tested prior to the event, it suffered a technical fault that could not be rectified on the night. Displaying during the gaps in the taxy runs was a small number of radio controlled aircraft, with such types as the Wellington and Corsair represented. Adding to the experience, The Summer of ’44 Living History Group provided a kit talk and dingy drill demonstration. These talks, hosted by Sean Taylor, are presented in an informative, yet relaxed manner, and if you ever have the opportunity to see one please do as they are highly recommended!
Also making a most welcome appearance outside was the Ford WOT 1 Crew bus; once a common sight on Bomber Command airfields during WWII, the museum’s example is the sole surviving example and was parked near to the control tower.
The final Lancaster taxy runs of 2012 take place on the 6 and 8 November, where after Just Jane will serve as a backdrop for the Christmas Carols Concert on 7 December prior to entering her winter maintenance schedule.
2013 taxy runs re-commence on 19 March at 11am, more details can be found via this LINK.