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20th July 2017

bruce dickinson

Bruce Dickinson took to the stage in front of thousands of screaming fans at a sold out Toronto show last Saturday night but the intrepid frontman was flying over Hamilton in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's prized Lancaster Bomber before he took to the stage.

Museum CEO and pilot David Rohrer said the World War II aircraft, nicknamed Vera because of its VRA flight initials, holds a special place in Bruce's heart, telling CBC News:

"The first model airplane he ever built as a young lad was a Lancaster."

The museum invited Bruce to their facility which is next to the Hamilton airport knowing that he is a massive aviation and history buff and it's already been well publicised that he is currently flying Maiden around North America on their current 'Book Of Souls world tour final leg in the band's 747, Ed Force One.

The previous legs of the tour saw him flying across the globe to thirty-five different countries, including stops in Canada, the United States, Central and South America, China, Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe, hitting every continent except Antarctica.

Bruce told Wales Online earlier this year that the thrill of flying feels totally different than the thrill of being onstage.

"The satisfaction flying airplanes is getting the job done, but the satisfaction with playing live is external, looking out at all the people looking at you," he said.

"With an airliner, it's all internal. If you've got passengers, nobody goes, 'wow, wasn't that great'. They're thinking about the rest of their day. Your job as an airline pilot is to deliver them safely and be invisible."

Hamilton's 1940s-era Lancaster is one of only two left flying in the world. It was built at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario, in 1945 and was used to train air crews and later for coastal patrols and search and rescue work, before being retired in 1963.

The Warplane Heritage Museum bought it in 1977 for around $10,000. A team of volunteers led by Royal Navy aeronautical builder Norm Etheridge spent eleven years restoring it before it returned to the air on September 24th 1988.

Bruce spent the best part of the day at the museum, talking aviation and signing autographs for fans.

"He was just unbelievable. So nice," Rohrer said. "You could really see how much he appreciated the planes."

But Bruce needed to ensure he would be back in time for the concert and had the problem of gridlocked traffic heading back into Toronto so he flew a friend's small Cessna 172 back to Toronto Island to be back at the Budweiser Stage on time.

"What a truly interesting guy," Rohrer said.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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