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One of the most iconic aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force during World War Two was the mighty Avro Lancaster. Powered by four RollsRoyce Merlin engines, the Lancaster was a heavy bomber, first seeing service with Bomber Command in 1942, principally performing night operations, although the aircraft was also used for daylight precision bombing.
Boasting a very large bomb bay, the “Lanc”, as she became fondly known by aircrews, could carry massive payloads, including the 12,000lb (5,400kg) Tallboy and even 22,000lb (10,000kg) Grand Slam. But perhaps its most famous role was when Lancasters of 617 Squadron from RAF Scampton were equipped to carry the Upkeep “bouncing bomb” to successfully breach the dams of the Ruhr Valley in Operation Chastise, on the night of 16 May 1943, the iconic “Dambusters”.
Today, of over 7,000 Lancs built during WW2, only two remain airworthy, and the aluminium metal these cufflinks are crafted of originates from one of these survivors, 1945 vintage Lancaster “PA474”. PA474 is owned and operated by the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, in whose service she has been seen by millions of people displaying at airshows and similar events, alongside the equally famous Spitfire and Hurricane fighters.
On 7th May 2015 PA474 suffered an in-flight engine fire necessitating a rapid return to home base RAF Coningsby. Much damage was caused to the aluminium engine nacelle, such that it had to be replaced, and it is this material that was later acquired by TMB for use in crafting products of and from this very famous Lancaster.
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