Header image: A tour of the inside of Lancaster PA474 and its cockpit is waiting for the lucky winner of this month's ballot prize. (PA474 has dual controls, unlike operational wartime Lancasters.) (Photo: John Dibbs)
This month one lucky member of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club will win a ‘money cannot buy it’ opportunity to experience what it is like inside BBMF Lancaster PA474, which is very representative of operational wartime Lancasters, with the exception of having dual controls.
All current Club members have been automatically entered into this month’s ballot with a chance of winning this exclusive prize.
About the prize
The prize winner may bring up to two guests to share in this special experience and to take photographs. They will be able to climb into BBMF Lancaster PA474, one of only two airworthy Lancasters in the world, and make their way up through the cramped interior to the cockpit, with a BBMF guide to explain it all. The prize is available on any weekday, by prior arrangement to fit in with the Lancaster’s availability, from June up to the end of September 2022, at the BBMF’s home at RAF Coningsby. Access to the BBMF hangar will be via the BBMF Visitor Centre.
Climbing into the BBMF Lancaster and making your way up to the cockpit is a once in a lifetime experience, but some restrictions apply. To make sure you are able to take up this prize and to be fully prepared for your day please note these points:
- Prior to entering the Lancaster, you will be required to empty all your pockets of all items to prevent the possibility of dropping anything inside the aircraft and it becoming a loose article or foreign object debris hazard.
- The Lancaster is surprisingly cramped inside and the route up to the cockpit is something of an obstacle course, requiring a degree of physical fitness and mobility. You must be physically fit enough to climb a small number of steps to the access door, and to stoop inside the aircraft where the headroom is restricted. After ducking under the mid-upper turret another two steps lead up onto the top of the bomb bay and to get to the cockpit it is necessary to swing your legs over the two wing spars.
- Please wear trousers. Skirts and dresses may be undignified or even restrict or prevent access.
- Please wear flat shoes with a good grip on them, the BBMF cannot allow access to the aircraft with inappropriate footwear.
- Once inside, space is severely limited and the guide’s instructions must be followed precisely.
- There is a risk of cuts and bruises from sharp protrusions if care is not taken when moving about inside the Lancaster.
- You are more than welcome to take pictures, but large cameras are not a good idea. Smartphones must be in flight/airplane mode.
How to enter the ballot if you are not already a Club member
You need to join the Club by 30th May 2022 to be included in this prize draw.
As well as being entered into this month’s prize draw, you’ll also receive a Club membership pack. Members can also claim free aircraft hangar tours at the BBMF Visitor Centre, they will receive our superb Club magazines, published twice a year, and can register to receive monthly e-newsletters with content exclusive to Club members.