Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - Biggin Hill, 19 August 2006

We were very fortunate, through one of Maggie's contacts at work, to be able to take photos of our Sevens with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Gold Air International's hangar at Biggin Hill Airport. Gold Air provide hangarage for the BBMF when they undertake displays in the South East. We were accompanied by Jenny & Steve Walker and we are grateful to Steve Crane, one of the Flight Engineers at Gold Air (who doubles as an excellent photographer!) who provided us with some of the photos he took on the day.

Having watched the Flight arrive at Biggin Hill, we were then introduced to Warrant Officer Dick Harmer who is responsible for keeping the BBMF's aircraft airworthy. We were left in the capable hands of two of his flight engineers who helped us position the Sevens to the extent that they even insisted on aligning the propellers on the Spitfire and Hurricane!

An article was subsequently written for Low Flying and this was published in September 2007. The full article can be seen here.

The photo of C7CAT underneath the bomb bay of the Lancaster was also used as the front cover of the January 2008 edition of Low Flying.

Hurricane PZ865 (Mk 11c)
The last Hurricane of 14,533, built in Langley, Buckinghamshire in 1944
Hurricane and Spitfire
Steve Crane (ex-RAF Flight Engineer) reminisces by
the Hurricane with one of the RAF Flight Engineers
Spitfire AB910 (Mk Vb)
Built in Castle Bromwich in 1941
PZ865 did not see active service but Hurricanes were at the forefront of Britainís defence in 1939/1940 and played a major part in achieving victory in 1945.
Spitfire AB910 had just returned from Dieppe that morning, where it had undertaken a fly past in remembrance of all the Canadians that died on this day 64 years ago.
The Spitfire appeared in the films 'Operation Crossbow' and 'The Guns of Navarone' and the Hurricane gained fame in 'The Battle of Britain' film
PZ865 now appears in the markings of Hurricane IIC BE581,as flown by the Czech fighter ace Flt Lt Karel Kuttelwascher during night intruder operations with the RAFís legendary No 1(F) Squadron in 1942
In June 1942, AB910 was delivered to 133 (Eagle) squadron at Biggin Hill...
...with whom she flew 29 operational missions.
AB910 continued to fly operationally up to July 1944, serving with 242 (Canadian), 416 and 402 (RCAF) Squadrons
With 402 Squadron she flew numerous cover patrols over the Normandy invasion beach heads on D-Day itself (6 June 1944) and on subsequent days
'The Last of the Many'
In 1950 PZ865 was entered in the Kings Cup Air Race by HRH Princess Margaret. Flown by Group Captain Peter Townsend it achieved second place
Felix the Cat with a swastika 'kill' symbol
Avro Lancaster PA474 with 'Mickey the Moocher' pulling a bomb trolley towards the 3rd Reich in Berlin
This Lancaster was built in Chester in 1945 and adopted by the City of Lincoln in 1975
C7 CAT reflected in the Lancaster's nose
C7 CAT fits neatly under the bomb bay...
...which can carry a payload of 22,000 lb!
'Bucket and Chuck It!
C7 CAT viewed from the mid-turret of the Lancaster
Bomb Aimer's position
Port view from the cockpit. This Lancaster is only 1 of 2 remaining in airworthy condition.
PA474 has been fitted with two control wheels for safety purposes in flight and also to allow for training of flight crew
View of the rear turret showing scarcity of manoeuvrability inside the fuselage. The crew would have to move up and down the aircraft, jumping over bulkheads in full flying gear
With its distinctive twin-tail fin and four Merlin engines, the Lancaster carried a crew of seven...
pilot, navigator, flight engineer, bomb aimer/front gunner, wireless operator, mid-upper and rear gunners.

One of the flight engineers, Junior Technician Leigh Poiner, is the proud owner of a Lotus 7 Series 1 which he has been working on for 4 years now and is still unfortunately in many bits in his garage! Working with the Flight all round the UK does not give him much time to give it the attention he wants to.

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Lincolnshire Lancaster Association