Lancasters Thumper and Vera fly over RAF Marham
- Credit: Archant
With a grace that belied their deadly pedigree, two sisters of the skies thundered past.
It was the first time in more than 50 years that two of the giant four-engined warplanes had flown together.
The preserved aircraft - called Thumper and Vera by their crews - are the last two airworthy Lancasters in the world and are usually based thousands of miles apart.
Thumper is part of the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, stationed at Coningsby, Lincs; while Vera is based at an aviation museum in Canada.
Today they were joined by a preserved Vulcan jet bomber from the Cold War for their first pass over RAF Marham, which was staging its annuyal Friends and Families Day.
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They came in from the west under leaden clouds, the Vulcan flanked by the 'Lancs'. Then the great delta-winged jet reared up in a near vertical climb, streaking away over the horizon.
As the Lancasters turned away to reform as a pair, a Spitfire swooped down from the clouds and threw a string of loops with a roar of its Merlin engine.
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As the Battle of Britain fighter signed off with a roll, the Lancasters re-appeared to fly 10 minutes of circuits before they too disappeared.
Thousands lined the runway for the display, with hundreds more in fields and lay-bys around the base.