Want to fly a WWII bomber? Bid now on eBay!

Side view of a RCAF Avro Lancaster Mk. X at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Photo: Redkyponite, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Side view of a RCAF Avro Lancaster Mk. X at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Photo: Redkyptonite, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Bids for a seat on a cool and unusual flight are taking place now through May 10th.

This was mentioned under the heading “travel” in an account by David Kates for Canada.com. For the full treatment, check out one of my guilty pleasures, a lushly-detailed treatment from the UK’s Daily Mail Online:

For aviation buffs, it’s the trip of a lifetime. A warplane heritage museum is auctioning off the opportunity to fly in a famous Second World War bomber on eBay.

The winner of the trip – in one of the only two remaining airworthy Lancasters left in the world – will have to fork out £25,000 for the unique journey, travelling from Canada to England over four days.

The 18-hour trip – the last time the Lancaster Mk X will make the flight – will take place in August, according to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, which is selling the unique opportunity.

Is this really such a big deal? Well, yes. According to organizers, again from the Mail write-up:

CEO of the museum David Rohrer said it is the first time the plane has been in a suitable condition to make the flight since the Sixties, adding of the eBay auction: ‘You’ll never be able to do anything like this ever again, so we thought why not put it out there? Somebody must have this on their bucket list.’ 

The cash to join the crew of seven others will be put towards the £380,000 cost of the trip in what is considered to be the most famous Allied bomber of the Second World War.

Here’s a list of known surviving Avro Lancasters.

The Kates article says the 18-hour route will be as follows:

The flight will take off from Hamilton, Ontario, with mid-way stops in Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Narsarsuaq, Greenland, and Keflavik, Iceland, before reaching its destination: RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, England.

It’s part of a two-plane “tour” being conducted by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (more details on that here). The Canadian-built plane is described thusly by that museum:

Probably the most famous Allied bomber of the Second World War, the Avro Lancaster had impressive flying characteristics and operational performance.

Wikipedia backs that up, for what it’s worth: “The “Lanc”, as it was affectionately known,[2] thus became the most famous and most successful of the Second World War night bombers”

The bid when I wrote this post had jumped to $50K (Canadian dollars).

I could maybe scrape up $500 for something like that, so clearly I won’t be going. But what a ride for someone!

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5 Responses to “Want to fly a WWII bomber? Bid now on eBay!”

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  1. Jeffrey Evans says:

    I have had a fascination with World War two aircraft ever since I filled my room in 1957 with models I painstaking built. B-17, B-24′s, north American’s B-25′s (filmed in the movies Catch 22), Martin,s B-26 Marauder B-29′s, Wildcat’s, Hellcats, Mitsubishi Zeros BF 109′s, Stukas, Heinkels, Junkers, Douglas’s Dauntless, Curtis P-40 Bell P-63′s, Douglas C-47,s, Lockheed’s incredibly fast plane, the Constellation, British mosquitoes (made of wood), Spitfires, the unusually designed P-82 Mustangs, Republic’s (-47 Thunderbolts and Seversky’s P-35, the first all metal American fighter.
    My hands down favorite will always be North American’s single seat fighter, the P-51 Mustang.

    In closing after stating everything that you already know, my dad used to bring me to an airfield on Long Island. It was the same airfield as Lindbergh flew to Europe. The airfield existed way before it became one of America’s first mega-malls. The ancient airfield had numerous displays of old aircraft on the runway.
    As a 7 year old, I was able to climb in the cockpit of many of those planes, at least until I was caught.
    m
    My dad was always angry but found it difficult to conceal his smile.

    I wish I had the $50 k for your Lancaster trip.
    I do intend on being somewhere near the runway when you take off.
    Remember me as you leave the runway on take off.
    I will watch you as you disappear into the clouds
    I’m talking to the plane as you may know.
    Safe journey.
    jeff

  2. Hank says:

    I’m pretty sure the cockpit of a Lancaster bomber served as the stand-in cockpit of the Millenium Falcon (Han Solo’s ship) is the Star Wars movie series.

  3. Lucy Martin says:

    A little less than 3 hours to go on the bidding and it’s at $72K Canadian. Any guesses what the winning bid might be? I was thinking $100K. But who knows what a last-minute bidding frenzy may produce?

  4. Lucy Martin says:

    Closing bid was $79,100 Cnd.
    Less than I expected, but still quite a sum.