DVD to shed light on East Kirkby’s Just Jane Lancaster bomber

Set for the release of NX611 ' The Flying Years, (from left) HAPS members Alan Bridges and Richard Taylor, Just Jane owner Harold Panton, and Primetime Video DVD producer Joanna White.
Set for the release of NX611 ' The Flying Years, (from left) HAPS members Alan Bridges and Richard Taylor, Just Jane owner Harold Panton, and Primetime Video DVD producer Joanna White.

A forthcoming DVD is set to shed new light on the history of the Just Jane Lancaster bomber based at East Kirkby.

NX611 – The Flying Years is being released by Primetime Video Productions and the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, the home of the aircraft.

An archive image of Just Jane's last flight. Picture: Richard Taylor

An archive image of Just Jane's last flight. Picture: Richard Taylor

It follows a group of aviation enthusiasts who in 1964 devised a plan to return Just Jane to the UK from New Caledonia, where the aircraft was flying reconnaissance missions for the French military.

Their dream was realised in May 1965 when NX611 touched down on Biggin Hill runway in Kent, having made the 13,000-mile journey from Sydney, Australia.

The DVD tells the rollercoaster story of the Historic Aircraft Preservation Society (HAPS), as its members tried repeatedly to establish a museum centred around NX611, taking audiences through to the present day where work takes place at East Kirkby to return the aircraft to flight.

It features exclusive, unseen, in-flight footage of Just Jane in operation, dating from the 1960s and 1970s, plus famous wartime visitors including Richard Todd, Leonard Cheshire, and Eve Gibson, widow of Guy Gibson.

Andrew Panton, from the heritage centre, says the DVD charts the ‘forgotten years’ of Just Jane when it was the only airworthy Lancaster in the world, adding: “Throwing light on this era in NX611’s history opens up a chapter in her life that is little known the general public but is quite possibly one of the most important times in the aircraft’s history.”

The DVD will be launched at the heritage centre’s 30th anniversary celebrations on Saturday, September 22, where stars of the project will be signing copies and chatting with the public.