Sunday 28 May 2023

Bombing Run

I was sitting here at my computer yesterday, quietly building envelopes from a bunch of straight-line segments (no, I can't tell you why). 

Suddenly, the quiet was broken by a familiar and evocative sound - the rising rumble of a group of beating piston aero engines. 

The rumble rose to a dramatic, unmistakable roar and sure enough - as I looked out of my window - Avro Lancaster PA474 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight thundered over my house at 12:26 on a heading of 170 degrees at 825ft (according to the flight track I just retrieved from RadarBox).

Interestingly, the same track that gave me her altitude placed her a good deal E. of me (some 200m), but I (and the XYL, who saw her independently from the garden) have PA474 much closer on track for a 'direct hit' than that.

The Lancaster was flanked by a Hurricane and a Spitfire and the Hurricane (which was flying off the Starboard wing, which seems typical of all the images you see of this BBMF formation) was certainly well W. of my location. 

The formation was travelling between 'appearances' at Bury and Smallwood to place themselves over my QTH and after their performance yesterday they returned to overnight at Liverpool Speke to continue their part in the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial events.

The Lancaster will be showing her bomb bay to the good folks at Bury again today before going on to Stockport and then back home to Lincolnshire. If she runs a straight line over the ground between Bury and Stockport that will take her well E. of me but if (as happened yesterday) she routes via Barton field, I may get to see her again this lunchtime.  As I write we do have cloud cover, but it isn't nearly as low as it was for Charley's big day, which stopped PA474 flying down The Mall.

Last time I saw her, as recorded in these ramblings, was at Bletchley Park, from where we also saw another BBMF Spitfire on a subsequent visit.

So - fingers crossed I see the Lanc again today. Unfortunately, she's going solo today (so only 4 Merlins!) as the Spitfire and Hurricane are strutting their stuff elsewhere. I think I'll maximise my chances of a sighting by standing atop the local 'hill' (such as it is), rather than skulking indoors.

Many thanks to the good folks at the BBMF (and similar) for keeping these wonderful machines flying (notwithstanding their bloodstained past) and honouring all those who served and serve. A wonderful sight and an even more wonderful sound.



I did see her again today, and she did route via Barton, but then turned hard for Stockport, taking her well East of me. Here she is at 1025 feet, approx. 4km away over the M60, Junction 7, en route to Stockport:


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