#1727 Lancaster and Typhoon, Operation CHASTISE 80th Anniversary

Lancaster and Typhoon, Operation CHASTISE 80th Anniversary
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£10.00 €11.69 $12.67
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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Lancaster BI; Typhoon FGR4
PA474 'AR-L'; ZJ914
29 Sqn; 617 Sqn; BBMF
RAF Coningsby
UK - Air Force
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1727 - Lancaster BI, PA474 and Typhoon FGR4, ZJ914, Operation CHASTISE 80th Anniversary.

To commemorate the 80th Anniversary of what was arguably the most famous single Operation undertaken by the Royal Air Force during World War II, the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster and the Royal Air Force’s solo Typhoon display aircraft performed a series of memorable flypasts together at several airshows and events throughout the 2023 display season. Operation CHASTISE, more commonly known as the Dambusters Raid, commenced on the night of 16 May 1943, and was undertaken by 617 Squadron using modified Lancaster B Mk.III bombers. The Squadron had been formed at Scampton on 21 March 1943, specifically for the task of breaching major dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley using engineer and inventor Barnes Wallis’ unique bouncing bomb known as “Upkeep”. Nineteen of 617 Squadron’s Lancasters took part in the raid which saw the Möhne and Eder dams being successfully breached. The Operation was not without loss however, with eight out of the nineteen aircraft failing to return to Scampton with the loss of 53 aircrew. For his gallantry during Operation CHASTISE, the Squadron’s first Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Guy Gibson DSO DFC, was awarded the Victoria Cross. Based at RAF Coningsby, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster is a B Mk.I, serial PA474, one of just two airworthy examples out of the 7,377 Lancasters built. PA474 currently wears the dual markings of 460 and 50 Squadrons. Lancaster B Mk.III W5005 “AR-L” is represented on its port side with nose art depicting a kangaroo in wellington boots playing the bagpipes, signifying the mixed nationalities (Scottish, Australian and Welsh) of its crew at the time. W5005 flew 51 operational missions with 460 Squadron (RAAF) from Binbrook and was then transferred to 550 Squadron at North Killingholme. It ditched in the Humber Estuary having been hit by flak on its 94th operational mission. On its starboard side PA474 wears the 50 Squadron code letters “VN-T”, these being the code letters of the aircraft in which Flying Officer Millikin flew 27 of the 35 operational missions on his tour with 50 Squadron. The RAF’s solo Typhoon display is flown by 29 Squadron, the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit, also based at RAF Coningsby. The colour scheme worn by the designated display aircraft, serial ZJ914, for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 display seasons was designed by Mr Adam Johnson and was applied by a team of painters from SERCO at RAF Coningsby.  The Typhoon Display Team consists of ground crew specialising in Mechanical Engineering, Avionics and Weapons Systems backed by support and management teams drawn from 29 Squadron. Using the callsign “Anarchy”, Flight Lieutenant Matt Brighty displayed the Typhoon FGR4 during the 2023 Airshow Season. Separated by 80 years of aviation history, the stark contrast between the iconic Lancaster and Typhoon flying together in the sky could not be understated, and their poignant sight and sound was a particular airshow favourite during the 2023 display season.