Saturday, 19 September 2015

Victory Show, Cosby, 6 September 2015

The annual Victory Show is a great military spectacle that combines military exhibits and mock battles with an air display of mainly vintage aircraft, some of which taking part in the main battle of the day. This year saw exceptional crowds with the prospect of the Vulcan To The Sky Trust's XH558, but helas she could not make an appearance have experienced an undercarriage issue the previous during her displays in Northern Ireland (Portrush) and Scotland (Prestwick). This made for a welcome gap in the flying display mid-afternoon to put down the cameras and have a drink.

Your author had made the decision to attend on the Sunday (because of the planned display by Vulcan XH558), which turned out to be a fabulous day with ideal lighting conditions for photography, especially in the latter part of the afternoon.

Participation in the flying display is growing year on year and on the flightline were some of the old favourites the Hardwick Warbirds P-51 Mustangs "Marinell" flown by Rob Davies and "Janie" flown by Maurice Hammond, Peter Vacher's original Hurricane I, Bückers Bestmann and Jungmeister from Breighton to name but a few. Another frequent visitor is the Grace Spitfire, flown by Richard Grace, this year accompanied by the new and beautiful Seafire III, flown by Dave Puleston, the pair flying some excellent close formation sequences as exemplified by the picture above.

Other first were the newly restored Bristol Blenheim I expertly displayed by ARC's John Romain, the ARC HA-1112 Buchon, Hardwick Warbirds Stearman, German registered Yak-3M, D-FLAK, now owned and flown by Will Greenwood and Gloster Meteor T7 of the Classic Air Force shown off to superb effect by Chief Pilot John Corley. There were also a few interesting visitors in the shape of Richie Piper's camouflaged T-6 Texan, a red and silver DH-82 Tiger Moth and lovely looking  butterfly-tailed Beech Bonanza.

Here are some of the images of the day in no particular order.

North American Formation of RNLAFHF Mitchell and Hardwick Warbirds Mustang
Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight TB-25M Mitchell operated out of Bruntingthorpe
Hardwick Warbirds North American P-51D Mustang "Marinell" flown by Rob Davies

Hardwick Warbirds North American P-51D Mustang "Janie" piloted by Maurice Hammond
"Janie" and "Marinell" in close formation
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B"paying tribute to the fallen WWII USAAF crews

Will Greenwood takes off in his Yak-3M to defend the Allied ground forces in the main battle.
ARC's Hispano Ha-1112 Buchon sets off to attack the Allied ground forces in the main battle.
BBMF Spitfire Vb AB910 made several passes.
TRIG (Richard Grace and Dave Puleston) are regulars at the Victory Show and never fail to impress.
Richard Grace and Dave Puleston again as a different duo, but just as close in formation.
ARC's John Romain lifts Bristol Blenheim I off the Cosby runway
Peter Vacher's Hawker Hurricane I takes off to display alongside the Blenheim

The Blenheim and Hurricane made a several passes in formation showing off both aircraft to good effect.
Here the Hurricane breaks formation for each aircraft to perform some solo passes
Bristol Blenheim I flown by John Romain against a beautiful clear blue sky
From piston power to jet propulsion, Classic Air Force's Gloster Meteor T7, skillfully displayed by John Corley

A unique formation of RAF and Royal Navy cousins, Spitfire and Seafire.
After the formation passes a few minutes of pure magic presented by Richard Grace
Seafire magic delivered by Dave Puleston.
Hardwick Warbirds North American T-6 Harvard departs for home in the hands of Leah Young-Hammond.
Another Hardwick Warbirds leaves for home, the Boeing Stearman.
Yak-3M D-FLAK, owned and flown by Will Greenwood sets off for home 
Another Cosby regular Breighton-base Bückers Bestmann
Amongst the visitors was this rare radar-equipped Beechcraft Bonanza with its distinctive butterfly tail.
Unfortunately this North American T-6 Harvard did not display. It is owned and flown by Richie Piper.
This brightly coloured De Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth was also amongst the visitors
Yakovlev Yak-52 trainer G-BXJB was also a visitor seen here departing Cosby at the end of the air display.
This Piper L-4 Grasshopper is a regular acting as a spotter for the main battle.
And finally, standing behind the flight line is not always good for taking photographs of landing and departing aircraft, but it can provide other opportunities such as the small image at the start of the blog that shows the nose of the Blenheim with "Sally B" approaching Cosby.

Dave Puleston in Seafire LFIIIc PP972 takes of for Leicester Airport to refuel. Oops Blenheim got its nose in.
Following through, maybe cropping can rescue this one.
Just caught Hurricane I  in this shot of the Blenheim taxiing in after its solo display.
Flightline action: Richard Grace and ground crew member assist Dave Puleston parking Seafire PP972.
The final selection are some of the pictures reproduced in black and white, like the Buchon earlier, which can give the image a period look. Provided the background is "ageless", this works well and Cosby provides opportunities like that.

Bristol Blenheim I...the modern fence and gate could be "removed" from the image.
Not a clue in this image of the era
If you have not been to Cosby, you not just like vintage/WWII aircraft and you like to be close to the action, then you should make you way there next year. 
I'll be back.

Theo Claassen
19 September 2015


  1. Great report Theo and as ever, superb photos. Thanks a lot.

  2. the Bestmann belongs to Will Greenwood too, based in Sussex. See you next year !