Lancaster bomber control wheel found in loft

The control wheel from Avro Lancaster Bomber that flew during World War II is now up for auction more than seventy five years later.

The wheel features a mounting for the radio to transmit button and brake lever.

The Lancaster bomber planes were mainly used by the Royal Air Force during nighttime raids against Nazi Germany.

The wheel was recently found in a Kent farmhouse loft, where it had been stored for about fifty years.

Chris Kirkham, associate director at Hansons London, said: "The vendor found the item in the loft. It had been stored at the home for around 50 years. Her late husband came across the wheel at an aircraft crash site in Kent together with other plane parts we are selling in Hansons London's June auction, all from the Battle of Britain period."

The item is now being put under the hammer with an estimate of £200-£300 but experts think the price could soar higher.

The find has stunned militaria expert Adrian Stevenson. He said: "This is a rare, original and highly sought-after item taken from the cockpit of the iconic Second World War bomber. These seldom come onto the collectors' market.

"This example is in unrestored condition and has the original covering to the yoke. It is complete with its brake lever and mounting for the radio transmit button.

"The Lancaster became famous for night-time raids over Nazi Germany. More than 55,000 aircrew lost their lives carrying out these missions. The Lancaster Bomber achieved its finest hour with 617 Squadron, The Dam Busters."

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