Lancaster NX611 was the perfect backdrop to launch the new DVD with HAPS members, Harold Panton and producer Joanna White – 48 years to the day of its last ever flight

Primetime Video Productions, and the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre are delighted to announce the release of their latest DVD title ‘NX611 The Flying Years’ which exclusively features unseen in-flight film of Lancaster NX611 Just Jane from the 1960s and 1970s. In 1964 a group of aviation enthusiasts devised a plan to return NX611 to the UK from New Caledonia, where the aircraft was flying reconnaissance missions for the French Military. Their dream was realised in May 1965 when NX611 touched down on Biggin Hill runway in Kent, having made the 13 thousand mile journey from Sydney in Australia. This film tells the rollercoaster story of the Historic Aircraft Preservation Society (HAPS), as its members tried repeatedly to establish a museum centred around NX611. Featuring archive film and photographs recorded by these men, digitally remastered images show NX611 as you’ve never seen it before, in-flight!

Lancaster NX611 up for auction at Blackpool Airport

This DVD also includes exclusive archive film of engine and air tests conducted to achieve a CAA certificate of airworthiness, in-flight film recorded during the aircraft’s visits to airfields across Britain, plus famous wartime visitors that included Richard Todd, Leonard Cheshire and Eve Gibson, widow of Guy Gibson. There are funny and unique moments involving an unexpected taxying mishap, and a novel use for a kitchen sink! Viewers of this DVD will witness the emotional recollections by the few men in England who can claim to have flown in Lancaster NX611. Despite their every effort to keep the aircraft flying and establish a museum, the Lancaster seemed destined for a different home, eventually becoming the centrepiece of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. We join Harold Panton, as he explores the official log books of NX611 in the East Kirkby archives, retracing these earlier activities, and reflecting on the Panton family’s dream to own this Lancaster. After over two decades spent restoring NX611 to tail-up taxy condition, the Panton family are now poised to return ‘Just Jane’ to the skies again – nearly half a century after its last flight.

NX611 Just Jane today during a recent respray at East Kirkby

This heart-warming story concludes with the ‘Three Lancasters’ event when Canadian Lancaster ‘Vera’ and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s PA474 fly above NX611 ‘Just Jane’ at East Kirkby Airfield – the only moment in recent history where three Lancaster, all engines running, have been seen together. Other sites featured in the archive films include Biggin Hill Aerodrome, Lavenham Airfield in Suffolk, Hullavington in Wiltshire, RAF Scampton during the Dambusters’ 24th Anniversary Reunion, Blackbushe and Blackpool airports. Also includes flight sequences in the skies over the UK.

Former HAPS / Reflectair member, Richard Taylor sat in the pilot seat of NX611, reminiscing about the time he co-owned and flew in this iconic aircraft

This DVD documents a fascinating period of British history when those early innovators describe the apathy they encountered when appealing for help to keep this iconic aircraft flying. The shame associated with Bomber Command’s missions was still sharply felt during the lifetimes of the crews, many still in their 40s and 50s during the period covered in this DVD. The emotional interviews with the HAPS members, Harold Panton’s recollections of his father’s post-war feelings and his thoughts about NX611’s loyal followers today, beautifully illustrate the dramatic alteration in public support for this wartime relic.

Lancaster NX611 in-flight before landing at RAF Scampton

We’ve had some wonderful feedback already including “Great content, wonderfully put together and narrated. The last bit nearly had me in tears and the end wasn’t just neat it was strangely poignant.” … “It’s fantastic, we both welled up whilst watching it. It’s quite simply brilliant, the best thing I’ve seen in years”… “I’ve just finished watching the film. Absolutely brilliant. Hats off to everyone from getting the old girl where it is today to the people making this film. Well done everyone you should be so proud.”

To buy a copy visit our online store, or make a trip to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre and collect a copy from their NAAFI shop.

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