Auction-Winner Takes a Ride on Avro Lancaster

A recent auction at the Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum allowed one lucky bidder a chance to ride aboard the Avro Lancaster. The winning bid came in at over $79,000. This guaranteed a flight on one of the most famous WWII bombers still in existence today. The bidding had started at $40 thousand but was nearly doubled when one person at the auction decided that a seat on the Avro Lancaster was worth a great deal more.

The scheduled flight will be from Canada to England, and is set to take place in August of 2014. Part of the reason for the auction in the first place is that the Avro Lancaster as well as a similar English plane will be touring the world for a month, and the undertaking will cost a fairly large sum of money. The accompanying plane is to be another Lancaster which served the Royal Air Force, the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight). The auction-winner will be sitting aboard a single flight, not following the entire tour.

Planes from the era of the Second World War are being refurbished all the time, but that does not mean they are not getting harder and harder to maintain. The average person will most likely never be able to take a ride on the Avro Lancaster ever again, so the flight is partly being offered as a literally “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. While there may be other WWII-era planes still in service, this will not be one of them for much longer, the CBC Hamilton reports.

Estimates for the trips expenses clock in at over $650 thousand. The winning bid at the auction will certainly not pay for the entire tour, but it will help them quite a bit. It will be more than a simple plane ride, as well. The person flying on the Avro Lancaster will receive training so that they can help run the operations of the plane as if working as a member of its crew. They will also, upon signing the proper paperwork, be part of a documentary about the tour.

The tour of the Avro Lancaster will be partly funded by the spectators at the many stops it will make following the initial flight to England, but this will not cover everything. There will be a great deal of fuel and the plane will have to fly low due to the lack of a pressurized cabin. The flight will have some safety requirements as well, so the winning bidder will have to undergo some physical assessment before they can serve on the temporary crew for a day. Those in charge have stated this may easily be the last time the Avro Lancaster takes a trip of this magnitude.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE