Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire (AHL) has launched a new interactive education display called ‘Counting Them Home’.

AHL was funded by a £436,000 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and contributions from North Kesteven District Council, East Lindsey District Council and West Lindsey District Council, with support from Lincolnshire Tourism. A unique partnership which promotes the extensive aviation experience that is to be found in Lincolnshire, a central theme of its business plan is innovative interaction with the schools, education establishments and voluntary-led young people groups across the county. On Thursday 24th May 2012 the latest innovative element in this plan, an interactive display called Counting Them Home was formally launched at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre at RAF Coningsby.

Officer Commanding Designate, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Sqn Ldr Duncan Mason undertook the first ‘Official Op’ on Counting Them Home and his immediate reaction to the interactive display was, “This is exactly what we need to impart the story in a simple way to the younger generation!”

The Counting Them Home interactive display is based around a Lancaster, with a seasoned crew, departing an airfield in Lincolnshire and completing a raid over occupied Europe.

Around the interactive display there are six pod stations that have to be successfully ‘navigated’ before the crew can return home safely. The game can be played by up to six people at any one time and is suitable for young people and families. Official statistics were incorporated into this mechanically operated display module to simulate losses at all stages of the raid – from take-off; coastal flak; night fighters; and anti-aircraft fire.

The Counting Them Home interactive display is fully transportable and at different times of the year it will be relocated to different sites in the AHL partnership. Bookings have already been taken for Counting Them Home to be used at the following AHL sites:

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Centre 1st – 31st July 2012. Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre 15th September 2012.

“The introduction of Counting Them Home provides another exciting opportunity for Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire and its partner sites to interact with Lincolnshire’s young people and their families.” Commented Dave Harrigan AHL’s Outreach and Learning Officer (O.L.O), he continued. “The interactive display is very thought provoking and details all aspects of a typical World War II bomber op.”

He concluded, “As well as skill, an element of luck has been incorporated into Counting Them Home, because all crews needed a pinch of that to help them survive.”