WORK is progressing well on fixing the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster and it is hoped the plane will be airborne again by Tuesday.
The Lancaster, which arrived at Durham Tees Valley Airport on Wednesday, was the focal point of a celebration day on Thursday but was forced to cancel its weekend engagements after engine trouble.
The plane had suffered an internal oil leak on the starboard outer engine as it was coming in to land after a 30-minute demonstration flight over Hartlepool and Saltburn.
Four engineers from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum – which owns the plane – have worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to get it back in the sky.
They sourced a replacement Merlin engine from the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby airfield near Skegness and work to remove the damaged engine is taking place today (Sunday, August 31).
The engineers plan to install the new one on Monday.
It is hoped that the Lancaster will be ready to fly again on Tuesday and if it does, it will visit East Kirkby to meet up with the heritage centre’s RAF Lancaster Just Jane.
It will then fly in formation with the RAF Lancaster from Coningsby over Just Jane, which presently only ground runs.
David Thompson of The Cleveland Aviation Society has helped the engineers with the repairs and said that the crew worked non-stop in less than perfect conditions and with very little technical tools and kit.
He said: “The problem will be lifting the Merlin out as they have no lifting frame or hoist which will need to be found to do the job safely.
“Their Tuesday date with Jane looks a bit tight but if they make it then it will all be down to the hard work and ingenuity of the four Canadian engineers, as ever - the unsung groundcrew coming to the fore.”
The engine trouble has meant that the plane missed a several scheduled appearances over the weekend including at Bournemouth and Shoreham airshows.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum has used social media to thank people for their support and for the donations of money it has received to help cover the unforeseen expense of getting the Lancaster fixed.