Lancaster bomber KB882 now at Trenton to be restored

The restoration of Lancaster bomber KB882 can now begin.

The aircraft’s fuselage, engines and propellers arrived at the National Air Force Museum at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., on Wednesday. The RCAF reports that the wing structures arrived earlier. The aircraft was transported by flatbed truck from Edmundston, New Brunswick.

Ownership of Lancaster bomber KB882 was recently transferred from the City of Edmundston, where it had been a local landmark, to the National Air Force Museum of Canada.

Technicians from the RCAF’s Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) and the National Air Force Museum of Canada dismantled the aircraft.

KB882 symbolizes the more than 50,000 Canadians who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War and the nearly 10,000 who lost their lives, according to the RCAF.

In addition, the aircraft represents the roles that were also conducted by Lancasters during the postwar period; those include contribution to the RCAF’s Arctic patrol activities and aerial photographic work as Canada charted its wilderness.

At Trenton, the aircraft will be restored to her post-war Mark 10 AR (area reconnaissance) configuration with the aid of donations and volunteer efforts. Restoration is expected to take five to seven years. The RCAF has April 1, 2024, as the target date for its unveiling. That will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the service.

When KB882 is on display for public viewing, the National Air Force Museum of Canada will be the only museum in the world to have in its collection a fully restored Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster, the RCAF noted.

Built by Victory Aircraft Ltd. in Malton, Ont., KB882 flew several combat missions over Europe before returning to Canada in 1945. In 1952, the aircraft underwent a major overhaul and conversion to area reconnaissance. Assigned to the photo-reconnaissance role with 408 Squadron at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, in Ottawa, in 1953, KB882 proved instrumental in the mapping and charting of Canada’s Arctic. The aircraft was also used as an electronic and photographic intelligence gathering platform during the Cold War.

Shortly after retirement in 1964, KB882 was sold to the City of Edmundston where it has been displayed at the Edmundston Airport.

 

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