Skip to comments.Man pays $79K for ride on one of only two remaining Second World War Lancaster bombers
Posted on 08/02/2014 12:25:57 PM PDT by Squawk 8888
Matthew Munson, age 34, of Henley-on-Thames, England, is an affable, unpretentious and ridiculously wealthy Brit. By his own admission he is captive to some impulsive spending habits, particularly when the spending involves mechanical things planes, trains, helicopters, automobiles and the like, but no boats.
His wife Helen is familiar with her husbands financial proclivities. As she puts it, shes a bit used to him doing these sorts of things, such as buying a $250,000 Ferrari to add to his Ferrari collection (he owns 12) without asking her first.
I didnt realize I hadnt told her, Mr. Munson says, laughing.
Ms. Munson was duly informed in advance of his latest gambit. She even encouraged it, if not the final price.
The electrical engineer with the thriving international IT business paid $79,000 in an online auction for a seat on an original, Second World War, Canadian-made Lancaster bomber, departing from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton International Airport Monday for a two-month air show tour of England.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalpost.com ...
“Man pays $79K for ride on one of only two remaining Second World War Lancaster bombers”
A better value and better use of your money than donating one cent to the deomcrap party.
We had one at our airpower museum; the plane was huge.
I pull down all the money, I don’t ask anyone for permission.
We agree on our personal rights, assert our mutual attraction, reinforce that by constant demonstrations of our devotion, admiration and love...daily.
Further, we agree there is always a budget and I couldn’t care less what you do with the money and ask only for two rooms which you have zero input and allow me some minimal influence over furniture, art and decorations.
Though most women I have been serious with share my tastes.
As the King and hunter of lions I will buy WTH I want.
Don’t I blow enough money on you?
It may be safe to say he’s at least somewhat conservative with a capitalist attitude and love of militaria. I hope he gets many more joy rides for his money.
There was a time when I would bet that there were a lot of men who would have paid $79,000 NOT TO FLY in one of those.
No doubt about that.
Remember all the `Lanc’ bombers in “The Dam Busters”?
Of course that was only ten years after V-E Day that they made that film.
Wonder how many flyable Hurricanes & Spitfires are still about?
That’s a very expensive toy, but it is his money. Better to spend on a warplane vs overdosing on booze or recreational drugs. Racehorses and yachts are also costly.
That money will go toward restoring old aircraft, right?
One of those babies got my slack-jawed attention in 1952. I was on a diesel sub at the time, taking a Grand Tour of the Caribbean, courtesy the USN.
On the way back to the States, we teamed up with another boat and a minesweeper. We had to transit a war games area and the minesweeper was there, flyng all kinds of flags, indicating that we were neutrals.
One afternoon a bunch of us were getting some fresh air up on the cigarette deck, just nattering away. To this day, I remember hearing a background drone and not paying attention to it.
Of a sudden, the starboard lookout yells “AIRCRAFT, CLOSE ABOARD!” as the done became deafening. At that time, I could identify all U.S. prop planes from a far distance, but this four-engined puppy was an unknown - and she was up close and coming in about 50 feet above the water with bomb bay doors wide open. That pilot had the pedal to the metal and you got the feeling of RAW power at work.
We all gaped and I swear I could see the wiring inside the bomb bay as she flew directly overhead. I also could see what looked like a Red Star on the nose and thought that we had gone to war with Stalin and that I was a dead man.
She made a graceful bank and that’s when I saw the red-white-blue circular emblem on the wings and thought “What the Hell are the French doing here?”
She came in again for another perfect bombing run and by this time we were all full of piss and vinegar and pointed our fingers at her, making machine gun noises. Then I saw that the “Red Star” was a maple leaf and it finally dawned on me that the Canadians were having some fun with us.
After a change of underwear, we all wondered what “neutral” meant to those guys.
Remember the black lab’s name.
There were still a lot of Lancs in service until the early 1960s. The aircraft doing the tour was used by the RCAF for search-and-rescue until late 1963.
Given the price of UK aircraft fuel and landing fees at most airports It probably won't even cover the flying costs.
Fuel consumption seems to be around 150 Imperial gallons per hour at a cruise height leaned out, and up to 400 Imperial gallons per hour at more power lower down -
That money won't last long...:^)
Earlier on the day of the raid, the flight leader’s black Lab was struck and killed by a hit & run driver.
He gave orders that the dog should be buried precisely at midnight, since as he put it, “We’ll both be going into the ground at about the same time.”
Eight of the nineteen Lancasters did not return.
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I gulped at the $400 for about 30 minutes on a B17.
Lancasters to me were good looking planes.
79,000 for a ride in an Avro Lancaster!?! Don’t get me wrong. I’m a WW2 buff but here in USA you can get a ride in a B-17 for $400.00
That’s for a ride from Canada to the UK.
Wonder how the Lancaster compared with the B-24 and B-17? Heard an interesting review by a 91 year old AAF pilot over a local talk show, (Vicky McKenna WNIB, am 1310 Madison WI.) who flew both. He said the 24 carried almost twice the bomb load and went twice as far but was slower and had a lower service ceiling the “Flying Fortress”.
The ocassion for the talk show was while the 24 along with other WWII aircraft were being exhibited at the Madison airport prior to the EAA convention in Oshgosh WI. Paid for rides on the 24 were being promoted the funding of which would go into WWII aircraft restoration.
On two different occasions here in southern NJ I had the same experience you did. I was at work in Wall Township, NJ, there’s a private airport, Allaire Airport nearby that every few years hosts a “WW2 Warbirds’’ show. I was out by the loading dock when just as you heard that roar so did I. I said ‘’Damn, that sounds like a Pratt&Whittney engine!’’ Well it was four of them and like a giant shadow that momentarily blotted out the sun a B-24 bomber, the only one still flying, swept overhead no more than a hundred feet or so. I could see the pop rivets in the wings and felt the air stream from it’s passing. Took my breath away. And then as gentle and smooth as if it owned the sky it banked slightly to the left(west) to Allaire Airport and was gone. Some years later, recently in fact in the same area coming out of work again I heard that roar and this time it was a B-17. It’s one of a few that are still flying. “909’’ it’s called. Took a tour of that baby! Talk about cramped. You can read all you want about the four engine bombers of WW2 but until you see one actually in flight can you appreciate their grace and power.
for 79K I hope he got to drop some real bombs.
Well in that case ... yeah.
55 Spitfires and 13 Hurricanes are in airworthy condition. By contrast, there are over 150 P-51 Mustangs still in the air, and several dozen others in various stages of restoration.
more pics and videos at
I have to laugh when I read that. I worked in Macon, GA back in the '90s when the "Sentimental Journey", a B-17G flown by the Confederate Air Force, made its appearance there.
I went out to the airport and took a tour, and was blown away at the small interior. It felt like I was walking (stooped) through a highway culvert. They were playing actual combat intercom conversations and I well remember the "Get out of there guys!" as they watched one of their own go down and counting the chutes as they bailed out. Christ, talk about chills!
The guys said their next stop was Savannah and a day later I was in a Big Wheel conference when I heard THE drone. I had seen so many WWI films on B-17s I immediately recognized the familiar sound. I startled everyone by saying "THAT'S A B-17!" and bolted from the room.
I went outside the plant and caught her just as she approached the area at about 1,000 feet. I took of my cap and waved - and by God, the pilot waggled its wings - and I damned near wet myself. For the life of me, I don't remember going back to the meeting, but boy, I will remember that event until my dying day.
A prime reason for the P-51s is that they stayed in use to the Korean War and then became the mainstay of the air-racers. Of course the modifications as air-racers can render some barely recognizable as being derived from the P-51. If Britain hadn't had such a depressed economy post-war, maybe more Spitfires would have been saved but I don't think that the Spitfires were competitive as air-racers even so, the 5+ year difference in basic design just shut the Spit down and of course the Hurricane was even older.
The “Lanc” was easily the best heavy bomber produced by Great Britain in WWII—clearly superior to its predecessors, the Wellington, Stirling and Manchester. In fact, it incorporated lessons learned from those earlier designs; the Lancaster had more power than the Manchester (as a four-engine bomber) and a higher service ceiling than the Stirling.
Contrasting the Lanc to the B-17 and B-24 is really an apples-and-oranges comparison. Both of the American bombers were built around the doctrine of daylight precision bombing, so they were more heavily armored (and armed) than their RAF counterparts, and both the Fort and Liberator were equipped with the Norden bombsight.
By the time the Lancaster entered service, the RAF had long abandoned daylight raids, settling for area attacks at night. So accuracy was less important and the Lancaster didn’t carry as many machine guns to fend off enemy attack.
In fact, the great vulnerability of the Lancaster was that it lacked a ball turret, found on the B-17 and B-24. As a result, Germany began fitting its night fighters with upward firing guns; the standard tactic was to fly beneath the bomber stream and when the fighter was under a Lanc, the pilot would loose a deadly stream of fire that sent many an RAF bomber plunging to the ground. That’s one reason the rear turret gunner was (perhaps) the most important man on the crew; his job was to look for any sign a night fighter was over-taking the Lancaster and tell the pilot to maneuver. More than a few rear gunners asked that the Perspex glass of their eye-level panels be removed from the turret to maximize their visibility.
Despite its deficiencies, the Lancaster was a great bomber. Along with the famous dam buster raid, Lancs were also quite successful delivering Tall Boy and Grand Slam bombs against such targets as the U-boat pens in France and sinking the battleship Tirpitz in Norway. A magnificent plane, piloted by brave men; as I recall, Bomber Command had more than 55,000 casualties in WWII; the odds of a crew member completing an operational tour was somewhere between 30 and 40%.
A read-out from the dark recesses of my beady little mind sez that the full name was Avro-Lancaster. FWIW.
So it went from this Avro Bulls Eye
to this Manchester
to this Lancaster
to this Vulcan
In the early days of the Manhattan Project the Lancaster was being considered as the A-Bomb delivery aircraft. But General Groves (head of the Project) nixed the idea — because he wanted a US plane for the purpose.
I knew the head fueler there. I live nearby.
Fun story! Thanks for the imagery.
I’d love to take a flight in a B-24 Bomber. My dad was nose gunner on it in WWII. Of course I don’t want his experience of having to bail out, twice, while still in training here in the states and being injured doing so. Engine fires both times on the “war weary” bombers that were sent back to the states for the new crews to train on, while the new production craft went to Europe and the Pacific for combat missions.
See my post #37 WWII aviation
lol that’s what I first thought.
“The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys who Flew the B-24s over Germany “ Stephen Ambrose
A superb read,
and yes, it’s an homage to his friend George McGovern.
I have been involved in some odd stuff and come from a Mil Spec family but would never consider anything like the old Army Air Force.
Please ping me to aviation and aerospace articles. Thank you.
For my uncle , mid upper gunner Flt/Sgt. Jack Rennick , who died with the rest of his Lancaster crew in G for George , June 23 1943. He was 22 years old, his 27th trip. A terrific hockey player.
FYI there are 2 B 24 still flying. Diamond Lil is owned by the CAF and the other one is owned by the Collins Foundation.
Diamond Lil was the 38th B24 built.
I hope someday to be able to treat myself to such things.
Thanks for your post #37. I hope you get to ride in a B-24!
The next day she flew out and the 321st Bomb Wing launched a B-1B and the two aircraft flew in formation over the base. The Lanc was at full throttle while the B-1B was doing everything possible to not fall out of the sky.
I have a great professional photograph of that moment. I doubt it will ever occur again.
Good to know. The one I saw had the natural(silver) finish.
God bless him and his mates. I thank them for my freedom.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of two or four radial engines when they are synced. I loved flying the old Twin Beeches and DC-3s. Didn't care to do much else when I was doing some air cargo work.
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