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.
How to enter the ballot
All current members of the RAF Memorial Flight Club have been automatically entered into this month’s ballot. If you’re not already a member, please join the Club before 1st June 2019 to stand a chance of winning the prize.
As well as being entered into this month’s prize draw, you’ll also receive a Club membership pack. Members can also claim free hangar tours via the BBMF Visitor Centre, they will receive our Club magazine, published twice a year, and will receive monthly e-newsletters with content exclusive to Club members.
About this month’s prize
The winner will be able to climb inside BBMF Lancaster PA474, one of only two airworthy Lancasters in the world, and make their way up 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 2019 at the BBMF’s home at RAF Coningsby. Access to the BBMF hangar will be via the BBMF Visitor Centre. The prize winner may bring up to two guests to share in the experience and to take photographs.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Last year’s winners of this ‘once in a lifetime’ prize, Adam and Claire Chester, absolutely loved the opportunity to explore the inside of the BBMF Lancaster and to gain a brief insight into what it must have been like for the wartime aircrew who flew the bombers on ‘ops’.