Lancaster KB882 Restoration Project Update – Move to ATESS & Parts Needed
After calling the City of Edmundston, New Bruinswick home for 53 years, in April 2017 Lancaster KB882 was donated to
Avro Lancaster KB 882 was built in November 1944 by Victory Aircraft Ltd in Malton, ON — one of 430 Mk. 10 Lancasters built under licence in Canada. Ferried to England in March 1945, it was taken on strength by 428 “Ghost” Squadron, 6 Bomber Group and based at Middleton St. George, Yorkshire. Wearing the Squadron code NA-R, it flew 11 combat missions prior to the end of hostilities in Europe. KB 882 returned to Canada in June 1945 as it was destined to become part of “Tiger Force”, Canada’s contribution to the air war in the Pacific. The war ended prior to deployment and KB 882 was placed in storage at MacLeod, Alberta.
In 1956, KB 882 was taken out of storage, extensively modified and eventually delivered to 408 “Goose” Squadron at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario a little more than 12 years since its last operational mission. The most notable modification to KB 882 was to Mk 10 AR (Area Reconnaissance) configuration with included a 40-inch extension ahead of the cockpit in order to house the additional camera and RADAR installations. For the next 8 years, KB 882 flew a wide variety of photo mapping, intelligence gathering, and photo reconnaissance missions including the surveillance of numerous Soviet ice stations. It was also tasked to conduct photo and intelligence gathering during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962.
Struck off strength in 1964, KB 882 was bought by the City of Edmundston, New Brunswick and placed on static display at the local airport.
Restoration of KB882 is well underway. After arriving at the Museum in 2017, the restoration team’s first priority was to reassemble the fuselage – fabricating new transparencies and replacing external fixtures to complete the exterior body of the aircraft. Restoration Workshop Technician, Mike Joly, refers to this as one of the most difficult parts of the restoration effort to date; affording no margin of error and complete precision to line up over 230 rivets on each section.
Following reassembly, the team got to work on the interior finishes as they waited for paint. Come 2020, the restoration of KB882 was paused due to public health restrictions at CFB Trenton, and it wasn’t until late 2021 that the team was able to continue their efforts in the shop. The team continued work on the interior of the aircraft while waiting for paint – finishing the walls, flooring, and shelves and preparing the instrument panels. In August 2022, the Aerospace Telecommunications and Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) at CFB Trenton was finally ready to begin work on the exterior of the aircraft. In the following weeks, the restoration team moved the wings, bomb bay doors, and fuselage to the ATESS paint shop. Moving this Second World War bomber across the base was no small feat – even for our team of experts. Broken wheels and narrow roads made for a challenging move, but they made it happen.
Work on the exterior finishes and paint is still underway. The restoration team is working alongside ATESS personnel to complete this stage of the restoration, which is expected to be finished by Summer 2023. In the meantime, volunteers continue to work on refinishing the nose cones and wing flaps, and will soon begin reupholstering the interior seats.
While the interior restoration is on hold, the Museum is actively seeking original parts and instruments for the cockpit, navigator seat, and radio shelving. If you have parts you think could be useful to the project and are willing to donate, please reach out to our Assistant Curator, Jennifer Dunn.