The county of Lincolnshire has a long-standing association with engineering. Home to numerous RAF bases and the Red Arrows, Lincolnshire is also the birthplace of the tank.
Lincolnshire is known as Bomber County thanks to the exploits of the Bomber Command crews who flew from the county during the Second World War. But its aviation heritage can be traced right back to the First World War, when early aircraft manufacturers tested their planes on West Common in Lincoln.
The county’s wide open spaces and proximity to the North Sea made it an ideal base for the RAF in the Second World War, when 27 of Bomber Command’s 83 stations were located in Lincolnshire. More than 25,000 Lincolnshire aircrew lost their lives – almost half the total of Bomber Command aircrew killed in the conflict – and 3,491 aircraft were lost.
Today the RAF retains five operational bases in Lincolnshire The Red Arrows display team has been based in Lincolnshire since 1983 and the county is home to two Avro Lancaster bombers: one is part of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby (one of only two airworthy Lancasters in the world), while the other ‘Just Jane’ is privately owned and on display at the East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre.