The first confirmed display for the Newcastle Festival of Flight is the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight who will be sending their newly painted Lancaster Bomber alongside a Spitfire and Hurricane to Newcastle on the 5th August.
The BBMF have become a regular fixture in Newcastle since their debut in 2013 and the Lancaster has been to Newcastle twice before, most recently last year when it displayed alongside two Spitfires!
The Hurricane will be making its Newcastle debut and it will be the first time Newcastle has seen the iconic trio together in the skies.
The Hurricane was originally scheduled to display with the Lancaster and Spitfire last year however due to operational reasons the BBMF sent a 2nd Spitfire (Not that this admin was complaining at the sight and sound of two Spitfires in Newcastle’s skies!!)
The Lancaster will however no longer be in the paint scheme known as ‘Thumper’ and will have a new paint scheme, a duel sided paint scheme for 2017 onwards.
On the right hand side we will see the markings of 50 Squadron code letters ‘VN-T’ representing Lancaster LL922. The Lancaster flown by the grandfather of the current BBMF OC Andy ‘Milli’ Millikin. The ‘City of Lincoln’ markings will be retained.
And on the left side we will see the markings of Lancaster BIII W5005 ‘AR-L’ “Leader” of 460 (Royal Australian Air Force) Squadron. There will also be a special nose art kangaroo in wellington boots playing bagpipes reflecting the mixed nationalities of the crew: Scottish, Welsh and Australian.
The BBMF confirmed the Newcastle display last night with the release of their schedule to the public, and on August 5th 2017 Newcastle will once again hear the sounds of 6 mighty Rolls-Royce Merlin engines!!