The Aviation Heritage Centre, at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, has received delivery of a very rare new bird – Mosquito NFII HJ711. The Mosquito has been lovingly rebuilt over the last 45 years by Tony Agar, who has moved it to East Kirkby to realise his dream to see it taxying under it’s own steam again.
Yesterday, our cameras caught this auspicious arrival and interviewed Andrew Panton, manager of the Aviation Heritage Centre, who confirmed this to be a new era for the Aviation Heritage Centre. He added:
“East Kirkby was originally home to the Lancaster, Dakota and Mosquito aircraft so having it here has completed our collection… I can’t wait to see 6 merlin engines running on our airfield simultaneously as these world war two icons taxy together for the first time.”
It’s a particularly poignant union, as Tony Agar bought the very first piece of this Mosquito (the cockpit section) at the same Blackpool auction attended by the late Fred Panton who intented to purchase Just Jane. Andrew, Fred’s grandson, expressed how he believed that this development has a feeling of divine interventions.
The aircraft will be available to view at next weekend’s air show (August 5th, 2017), before the rebuild commences in following weeks. Primetime will be there to document this remarkable event for inclusion in a forthcoming DVD, due October 2017. Watch this space!
Primetime have been busy recording the deep restoration currently underway on Just Jane at the Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby. This restoration has been dubbed “NX611 Return to Flight?” by the team at East Kirkby, leading many to believe it’s the beginning of the final stage for returning this bomber into Lincolnshire skies. Insipration for this latest push may have come from the recent sight of BBMF Lancaster PA474 in the skies with the visiting Canadian Lancaster, the first time two flying Avro Lancaster bombers seen airborne together in many decades.
The Panton family, who own the museum and Lancaster, began the restoration late this year, removing the upper and rear gun turrets, engines, elevators, undercarriage and many other components. Most recently all of Just Jane’s iconic paintwork has been removed and a thorough inspection of the skins is underway.
We’re documenting this process for the continuation of our DVD series, and we’re providing mini cameras for 24/7 visuals inside the hangar at East Kirkby.
To find out more visit their website where regular updates are given and from where you can order our previous DVD titles.
Five thousand fans and WWII enthusiasts flooded the Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby to witness an event surely never to be seen again, when three Lancaster bombers were reunited. It has to be to only place on the earth where this sight could be witnessed, and Primetime were there to document it for the Aviation Heritage Centre.
The 69 year old Canadian Lancaster made the epic journey across the Atlantic in August 2014, and stayed in Lincolnshire before returning home again safely (although they had to borrow a BBMF engine) September 28th, 2014. ‘Thumper’, as the Canadian Lanc is affectionately known, made many tours and trips about the UK with RAF Coningsby’s ‘City of Lincoln’ allowing thousands to witness this unique pairing.
The material recorded at East Kirkby is due to be released in the next Just Jane DVD installment, hopefully being released later this year. The short film will draw on recollections of the Lavenham team who last restored NX611 to flight in the 1960s, using their archive film and photographs. We’ll be telling this story in preparation for the inevitable return to flight of NX611 which has started in ernest and which we’ve been filming. You can read their regular return-to-flight maintenance updates on their website here. What sight could better illustrate this wonderful anticipated event than the Canadian and BBMF Lancasters flying together over Just Jane?
Primetime has produced a detailed range of Just Jane NX611 DVDs which are available now from the Aviation Heritage Centre online store or from Primetime Video’s site. Both sites also stock the DVD release of ‘Return of Giants’, detailing the whole journey made by the Canadian Lancaster team including both Atlantic crossings.
The Lincolnshire Film Archive has launched a major new series of DVDs showing life and work in the historic county throughout the 20th Century. Drawing on its extensive motion picture collection, much of it never before made available for home viewing, LFA has set out to present a wide-ranging picture of a hundred years of Lincolnshire life. Town and country, work and play, wealth and poverty, peace and war, youth and age. You’ll find them all here, preserved on archive motion picture film. Volume One of this exciting new series, written and narrated by Alan Stennett, covers the century’s early years, with film dating back to as early as 1901. Grimsby trawlermen bringing home their catch, hats and dresses to die for – 1904 style, vintage motor cars and horse-drawn traffic in Lincoln; quarrymen working entirely by hand, but proud of their steam-driven lorry; industry that led the world with products designed and built in Lincolnshire, like the first caterpillar tracked vehicles and pioneering packaging machinery. There are royal visits, coronation and Empire Day celebrations; Great War recruitment and early aviation, Isaac Newton’s bicentenary, early Lincolnshire Shows, all the fun of the fair and seaside holidays; a children’s party in the 1920s, and bathing the baby in a small tin tub. And it’s true what people say about the old days; things really were different then. The policemen were actually taller, holiday-makers wore their best suits on the beach, and an aeroplane used to be something you could pick up and carry. Available now from Primetime Video. £14.95 each or for discount bundle prices.
Alfred Worden, NASA Astronaut and Empire Test Pilot, visited Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire yesterday.
He was visiting the UK to talk at the Space Lectures in Pontefract, and before returning to the USA particularly requested to visit Bomber County to see Lancaster NX611. The team at the Aviation Heritage Centre opened their doors especially on a Sunday for Alfred, who is one of only 24 people to have ever visited the moon.
Alfred served as command module pilot during the Apollo 15 mission that took place July-August 1971. Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar landing mission and the first to visit and explore the moon’s Hadley Rille and Montes Apenninus which are located on the southeast edge of the Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains).
Alfred, now a sprightly aged 81, climbed on board the Lancaster and joined Andrew Panton in the co-pilots position as they taxied this original Second World War bomber on the original wartime airfield of RAF East Kirkby. The brothers Fred and Harold Panton set up the museum in the late 1980s after purchasing the Lancaster bomber and transferring it from RAF Scampton where it was the gate guardian. The museum commemorates all those from East Kirkby who lost their lives during the War, and most importantly Fred and Harold’s eldest brother Christopher Panton who was killed during the Nuremberg Raid 70 years ago next year. As well as the Lancaster, East Kirkby is home to several excellent museums, wartime vehicles, an authentic control tower and a chapel of rest which names all the aircrew who died flying from RAF East Kirkby.
Primetime Media have enjoyed filming with the Panton family since the early 1990s, documenting Lancaster NX611’s return to taxy condition, and are now poised to continue recording the restoration to flight of this magnificent aircraft which the team at East Kirkby hope to achieve sometime in the next few years. It was Al’s particular wish to be kept up to date with progress and he’s requested to return to East Kirkby when they do fly her. Footage from the shoot was featured on tonight’s ITV Yorkshire news programme Calendar and you can view it again from their live news stream, link below.
Primetime’s official event DVD of the Blue Force Conversions Day is in production and will be available in early November. Primetime’s Steve White was there all weekend on the 29th & 30th September 2012 filming the whole event in high definition. Following on from the hugely successful Roadless 90 event which was held three years ago this event was just as spectacular with 174 conversions present based on Ford & Fordson tractors. Machines came from the manufacturers Roadless, County, Doe, Muir-Hill, Northrop, Matbro, JJ Thomas, and Bettison. Many of them were there to work on the 500 acre site in Lincolnshire. The official event DVD also features bonus footage of Saturday’s practice day, and will be released early November. It can be pre-ordered now from Primetime’s DVD website.