The return of the world's third Lancaster to airworthy condition may move closer this winter when a huge amount of work, valued at £250,000, will be undertaken at the Lincolnshire Aviation Centre in East Kirkby.
The Company that operates and maintains 'Just Jane' is The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre (LAHC).
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requires that a if work to restore an aircraft to flying condition is to be carried out, a company has to be registered with specific responsibility for the restoration work. The separate company set up by the LAHC to adopt that role is the 'Lancaster Restoration Company'. That company has to be approved by the CAA.
Different approvals apply to different types of aircraft. A company authorised to restore a multi piston engine aircraft has to be approved under rules known as A8-23 and, if approved, is known as the A8-23 company.
The A8-23 company known as the 'Lancaster Restoration Company' is, in effect, the engineering arm of The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.
Over the winter of 2016 - 2017 Just Jane will be completely stripped of all paint. The bomb doors, ailerons, elevators, rudders, turrets, propellers, cowlings, wing tips, undercarriage doors, H2S blister, engine nacelles and fillet panels will be removed.
In this stripped down state, the condition of the airframe and aluminium skin can be assessed, problems dealt with and future rectification needs assessed. All being well, any work necessary to the external airframe will be carried out during the winter. When the work has been done, the aircraft will be reassembled and repainted. The stripping and repainting is being done on a voluntary basis ('pro bono' - for the good of the people without payment or compensation) by MAAS Aviation, using materials provided by other companies.
It will be possible for the public to see Just Jane, up close and personal, during tours of the maintenance area. There will be more details about this on the Lincs Aviation web site.
A new club, called The Rivet Club, has been launched. A subscription from £2 per month will entitle members to special access to news updates and weekly overhaul reports