Don’t miss the Avro Lancaster make its return to the Royal Aviation Museum

35 years ago, the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster, owned and operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM), made its first visit to the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC), then called the Western Canada Aviation Museum.

During its one-day visit, nearly 3,000 people showed up to see the World War II bomber on display. The Lancaster also visited the museum in 1990, 2009, and 2010.

On July 16 and 17, 2024, the Lancaster will once again be back in Winnipeg. Along with the opportunity to speak with the crew and tour the aircraft, visitors can purchase tickets for Reunion of Giants, which documents Lancaster C-GVRA’s flight from Hamilton to the UK where it met up with the only other airworthy Lancaster in the world.

A select number of tickets for a VIP reception, where attendees will get early access to the aircraft, will also be available.

What makes the Avro Lancaster so special?

The Lancaster is likely the most well-known Allied bomber of WWII. It could carry immense payloads and earned much of its notoriety through the Dambusters Raid of 1943.

Thousands of Canadians served with the RCAF and RAF’s Lancaster Squadron in England. Thousands more worked at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario which produced more than 400 Lancaster Mk Xs. Of the 7,377 aircraft manufactured, only two are airworthy today. One is the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster.

Why the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster?

This Lancaster, nicknamed VeRA, was acquired by the CWHM from the Royal Canadian Legion in Goderich, Ontario in 1977. The museum’s restoration crew, consisting mostly of World War II veterans, painstakingly restored the aircraft over eleven years. On September 11, 1988, the restored Lancaster flew again and has flown consistently since then.

The CWHM’s Lancaster is dedicated to the memory of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. It bears the colours and markings of his aircraft, part of 419 Squadron.

On June 13, 1944, a night fighter attacked Mynarski’s bomber. Fighting through flames and without regard for his own safety, Mynarski attempted to free the trapped rear gunner. Upon realizing he could not save him, Mynarski saluted and jumped. The gunner, in a twist of fate, survived the crash while Myarski, parachute aflame, fell to his death. Posthumously, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.  

The Lancaster’s 2024 visit

During its two-day stop in Winnipeg, visitors will need advance, timed-entry tickets to get up close to this World War II legend.

The aircraft is scheduled to arrive at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, July 16, and depart the morning of July 18.

On July 16, the museum will be open from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. On July 17, the museum will be open from 1:30 – 8:00 pm. Tours of the aircraft will be available on July 17 until 7:00 pm.

View full schedule and ticketing info here.

VIP reception

The museum will also host a VIP reception on July 16 to welcome the Lancaster. Attendees will be among the first to tour it. Tickets are just $100.00 and include front-row seats in our Observation Lounge to watch the Lancaster arrive and make its way into our Aviation Plaza, a wine and cheese reception, a meet-and-greet with the crew, and access to the Lancaster. Pass holders and members can save 10% on tickets to the reception.

Click here to purchase tickets to the VIP reception.

Documentary screening

At 6:30 pm on July 16, the museum will screen Reunion of Giants. In 2014, the last two airworthy WWII Lancaster Bombers reunited over England to make history.

In 2014, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Lancaster, VeRA, flew from Hamilton to the UK to meet Thumper, operated by the Royal Air Force. It was a mission unlike any other this Lancaster and her flight crew had ever undertaken. Two legendary bombers, separated by time and distance, met in Bomber County to fly together, this time in peace.

The reunion was also a farewell tour to veterans of Bomber Command, who are so entwined in their proud history. These marvels of mechanical engineering are part of a proud lineage credited with bringing an end to WWII.

The documentary features first-hand accounts from those connected to the bomber during the war, transporting us back in time as they share their memories of the Lancaster’s glory days.

Buy tickets for Reunion of Giants.

It’s been 10 years since the Lancaster visited Winnipeg — don’t miss it on July 16 and 17, 2024!



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