Monday, 29 September 2014

Three Lancasters at East Kirkby

Due to engine problems suffered at Teesside-Durham Airport by the Canadian Lancaster the East Kirkby events had to be moved to a later date and thanks to friend Andy Hellen I acquired two tickets to go over with colleague and fellow RAG member Nick Marsh.

Model towing the UK and Canadian flags
This was the day, Sunday 14 September 2014 when three Lancaster would meet for a second time during the Canadian Lancaster's Tour of the UK at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby west of Skegness.

Although not a cold day it was grey and overcast and as a consequence photography was not optimum, but one takes what one can and makes the most of it. Here then an impression of the event in pictures.

The flying display was opened by a large scale model towing both the Union Jack and the Canadian flag, followed by a superb model of the Handley Page HP-42 airliner of the late NineteenTwenties. Looking at the picture one could almost imagine oneself at Croydon Airport in 1929 or thereabouts.

Handley Page HP-42 Large Scale Model
Handley Page HP-42 Large Scale Model
Handley Page HP-42 Large Scale Model

Two veterans posed in front of NX611 for the photographers and had earlier in the day told their stories.

Avro Lancaster NX611 "Just Jane" taxiing around the airfield with "fare paying" VIP passengers

"Just Jane" positioning herself for the flypast of her two sisters

Sisters VeRA and Thumper arrive over East Kirkby Airfield

Three Lancasters and twelve Merlins singing on tune
Another pass with Thumper leading VeRA as has been the case throughout the Tour
The final pass resulted in this lovely "separation", could hardly call it a bomb burst.

And then Jane was "Just Jane" again with her sisters having gone back to RAF Coningsby
Perhaps never to be repeated again, this was a very emotional event, one that surpassed all others where only VeRA ands Thumper had flown together, even when in formation with Vulcan XH558 the previous month.

In the future, as and when NX611 takes to the air again and Shackleton WR693 becomes a "renewed" air show act can we expect to see three Avro piston-engined bombers flying together again. Until then, the memories of the Lancaster Bomber Tour 2014 will have to suffice

28 September 2014
Theo Claassen

Highlights from The Victory Show at Cosby

On Sunday 7 September 2014 the weather approved compared to the previous day so I to make my annual visit to The Victory Show at Cosby.

The show is a mixture of military vehicles, dioramas and set battle pieces with a small airshow thrown in in the afternoon. Unfortunately the flying display on the previous day was marred by low cloud, whereas the Sunday was a glorious summer's day. As frequent visitors to the air display know the crowd line is close to the runway and photography opportunities are usually plentiful. This year was a bit disappointing as it was a limited for getting a clear shot across the temporary runway. The first reason was that the wind was coming from a northerly direction and aircraft were taking off and landing from the south. Standing at the northern end of the runway one was behind a line up of aircraft and my usual spot half way down the runway was inaccessible for most of the day as the Skytrain was parked there. So this year more ground-to-air and less ground-to-ground shots. but the compensating factor was the brilliant sunshine at least when the aircraft were flying towards it. 

The following pictures are more or less in the sequence the aircraft appeared in and as usual I will let them speak for themselves through their captions.
Douglas C-47 ~Skytrain basking in the early morning sun
French built Messerschmitt ME-108 Taifun

Breighton-based Bücker Jungmeister

In previous years some of the aircraft, notably the ME-1087 Taifun would fly over the "battlefield" during the morning tank battle. This year the display by the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight's North American TB-25N Mitchell, followed the very same pattern with only a single pass from north to south, hence photo opportunities for this aircraft, which was based at nearby Bruntingthorpe, were somewhat limited, especially as it displayed in the morning with the sun directly into the camera lens. But the display itself was brilliantly executed showing the aircraft's capability to the full. 

Gilze-Rijen-based North American TB-25N Mitchell
Piper L4 Cub

Bücker Bestmann
One of the attractions of the air display at The Victory Show is the contingent of smaller "warbirds", e.g. the Cub, Taifun, Bestmann etc. Even smaller aircraft are displayed, the large scale models, which have their own display slots with some great tail chases by WWI and WWII models. Some of these aircraft are very realistic especially as seen from a small distance. 
Cessna OV-1 Bird Dog
The Grace Spitfire making a low pass

A unique formation display by  Hurricane UP-W and Spitfire OU-V
Hurricane UP-W on short finals
Leah Hammond in T-6D Texan EP-H plotting her route home prior to departure
Maurice Hammond in P-51D Mustang "Janie"
Peter Teichman in P-51D Mustang "Jumping Jacques"
This year there were a few gas in the flying display, which were filled by the large scale models and unfortunately the C-47 Skytrain, having made a single pass, had to retire to Bruntingthorpe, where it made an emergency landing with problems on one of its engines.

The air show was concluded by "Jumping Jacques" flown by Peter Teichman with a what felt like a long flying display making it a fitting end to The Victory Show 2014.

26 September 2014
Theo Claassen