Thursday, November 8, 2012

French Navy Lancaster WU 21 (NX664) accident at Wallis Island - January 26, 1963

 Hihifo, Wallis Island - 1984
Hihifo, Wallis Island - 1984
 Le Bourget, France - 2004
 Le Bourget, France - 2004 - Rolls Royce Merlin XXII V12
Heavy Bomber Lancaster WU 21 at Tontouta, New-Caledonia - Early 60's

On 26 January 1962 a French Navy Lancaster WU 21 pranged on landing at Wallis Island in the South Pacific. Apparently it suffered severe fluid loss from the hydraulic system which meant only partial flap went down and no brake pressure. The runway was wet and the aircraft over-ran the airstrip until the right wheel hit a ditch beyond the end of the runway causing the right landing gear to collapse. The aircraft was considered a write off and it was left to rot at Wallis for 20 years. The French transported the remains by ship to France where it has been partially restored by Ailes Anciennes le Bourget.

Stamp dedicated to the last flight of the WU 21 - Wallis & Futuna Islands - 2003 Collection

1 comment:

  1. When I was a very young engineer, in 1970, I worked at the upgrade of Hihifo runway for a French company (Caltra Dumas) in about 1970. We lived alongside the runway for 6 months to rebuild it. I recall a colleague being very involved in restoring another Lancaster at the Auckland Museum of transport and Technology. I recall helping him remove parts from this derelict bomber which he then brought back to Auckland where they were used in restoring the Lancaster at MOTAT.