The changing nose of PA474

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As with all ladies even aircraft like a change of style from time to time. Point in case in Lancaster PA474 who having been acquired by the BBMF in 1973 is the only surviving and airworthy Lancaster in the country (Canada also have one).

Too late to take part in the bombing of Japan when she was produced in 1945, she was assigned reconnaissance duties and was later adopted by the Air Historical Branch for display work. PA474 has also been a movie star having appeared in Operation Crossbow and The Guns of Navarone.

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Throughout her career with the BBMF she has been called ‘City of Lincoln’  and the crest is always found on the starboard side no matter which persona she is carrying, this serves as a memorial to all who flew with Bomber Command, most of whom hailed from Linconshire. Markings she has previously carried are ‘Phantom of the Ruhr‘, ‘Johnny Walker’ (with the slogan ‘Still going strong’) and ‘Mickey the Moocher’ . In 2014 she was given a make over with new markings ‘Thumper’. She also features the markings of bombs for operations over Germany, ice cream cones for those over Italy and poppies for poppy releases during exhibition flights.

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But which do you prefer? If you could choose which paint scheme she would keep which would it be? Personally I love the mix of cute cartoon and ferocious bomb on ‘Mickey the Moocher’!



  1. Laura Haley · July 12, 2015

    This is such an interesting post. I love the cartoon characters on her, didn’t know they put them on planes. My fave is Micky the Moocher too.


    Liked by 1 person

    • lenahedges · July 12, 2015

      Thanks Laura. There are loads of cartoon characters on planes, I’ve posted about some previously. Even Betty Boop has appeared on a couple. 🙂


  2. Laura Haley · July 12, 2015

    I really enjoyed this post, I didn’t know they put cartoon characters on planes. I love Mickey the Moocher too.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephanie · July 12, 2015

    I’m with you, I prefer the Mickey the Moocher design on the side of the plane x

    Liked by 1 person

    • lenahedges · July 12, 2015

      It’s just so cute but then I guess it wouldn’t be if it was coming at you on a Lancaster lol 🙂


  4. timjsparrow · July 13, 2015

    Since joining BBMF, PA474’s official title has and always will be ‘City of Lincoln’. That is applies whatever persona she adopts.The ‘City of Lincoln’ name and crest is always carried on her starboard side as part of her role as flying memorial to all those who served with Bomber Comand, the majority of whom flew from Lincolnshire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lenahedges · July 19, 2015

      Hi, thanks Tim. I’m still learning as I go, I’m by no means an expert so appreciate when being corrected if I have made a mistake or been remiss on a subject. Edits have been made. Thanks for the comment. Lena


  5. Dave Masterson · March 6, 2016

    Would like to see it marked up one day as the Aussie Lanc G-George W4783 on display at the AWM Canberra.

    Liked by 1 person

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