Category Archives: Airshow News Warbirds

The Victory Show to be held for the final time in 2020

COSBY | One of Britain’s largest Second World War-themed events is to be staged for the final time next year, the organisers announced today.

The 2020 show, which is expected to bring together vintage aircraft, vehicles and combat re-enactors, will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

However, the event organisers said on social media today: “The Victory Show dates for 2020 will be 11th, 12th & 13th September. This will be our FINAL SHOW!! After fifteen amazing years of running the best event of its type in the UK we will be closing our gates for the last time.

“We would like to thank all who have contributed to the show in every capacity, especially our lovely friends of WWII.”

In the past, The Victory Show was regarded as one of Britain’s premier warbird airshows. However, it ran into problems in 2016, when restrictions on the display box imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority made flying all but impossible, and forced the cancellation of the aerial displays.

The show returned in 2018 with a modified curved display line, which proved popular with photographers, but precluded traditional aerobatic performances.

BREAKING: One killed in OV-1 Mohawk crash at Stuart Airshow

STUART | One person has been confirmed to have died in a plane crash at the Stuart Airshow in Florida, with the opening two days of the airshow cancelled.

The OV-1 Mohawk came down at 13:15 on Friday 1st November, just hours before the scheduled start of the Stuart Airshow at 17:00 on the same day. The Mohawk is a two-seat observation and attack aircraft designed by Grumman. Introduced in 1950, it was retired in 1996.

The crash occured during a practice flight for the airshow. The pilot, Joe Masessa, who also owned the aircraft, did not survive. He was the only person on board. The plane was adorned with the names of US troops missing in action in the Vietnam War.

The Stuart Airshow said: “Due to an unfortunate incident today, the Audi Stuart Air Show’s night time air show and TD Bank Dirty Flight Suit Party have been cancelled for this evening, Friday, November 1, 2019. We are working to reschedule this event for after tomorrow’s airshow, Saturday, November 2, 2019. At this time, the remainder of the weekend’s event will resume as planned.”

Saturday’s show was later cancelled due to poor weather. Friday and Saturday tickets will be accepted on Sunday, the organisers said.

The Stuart Airshow is one of the last major airshows of the season, and is due to run from Friday evening until Sunday.

Seven killed in crash during B-17 passenger flight

WINDSOR LOCKS | Seven people were killed when a B-17 Flying Fortress crash-landed at Bradley International Airport, Connecticut, on Wednesday 2nd October.

NBC News report that the aircraft, with a crew of three, was taking ten passengers for a ride when it attempted to make an emergency landing due to possible engine problems shortly before 10:00 local time. The aircraft then crashed into a shed and burst into flames.

Windsor Locks Fire Department confirmed that the aircraft is a B-17 Flying Fortress, with Bradley Airport adding that the aircraft comes from the Collings Foundation. Seven fatalities have been confirmed, along with a number of injuries – including one person on the ground.

The Collings Foundation said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley. The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.”

B-17G “Nine-O-Nine” was one of five historic aircraft taking part in the Wings of Freedom Tour at Bradley International Airport on the day of the accident. The other aircraft included a B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, P-51 Mustang and P-40 Warhawk, all owned by the Collings Foundation. During the tour, the aircraft appear on static display and take paying passengers on experience flights.

UK and France mark D-Day anniversary with historic flypasts

Large-scale flypasts in southern England and northern France marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Wednesday 5th June.

The Daks Over Normandy event brought together over 30 vintage Dakotas from around the world, coinciding with official commemorations in Portsmouth and in Normandy.

The UK’s official commemorative event was be held at Southsea Common in Portsmouth on Wednesday 5th June, attended by the Queen, the British Prime Minister, the US President, 16 other world leaders and 300 veterans of the operation.

The event included flypasts of 25 military aircraft, including a Spitfire, Hurricane, Wildcat helicopter, two Merlins, two Hercules, a Sentinel, A330 Voyager, four Hawk T.1s, two Typhoon FGR.4s and the nine Hawk T.1As of the Red Arrows. The Red Arrows returned for a full flying display later in the afternoon.

On the same day, a formation of over 20 Dakotas, escorted by P-51D Mustangs, Beech 18s and T-6 Texans, took off from Duxford en-route to France as the culmination of Daks Over Duxford. In addition, Duxford saw warbird displays and flypasts, flying displays by C-47s and DC-3s and a flyby from the United States Air Force over the weekend.

The main Dakota formation flew low over Colchester, Southend-on-Sea, Medway, Maidstone and Eastbourne before crossing the English Channel to France, flying over Le Havre before commencing a parachute drop at Sannerville, landing at Caen shortly afterwards.

Also on the 5th June, a variety of aircraft staged flypasts and parachute jumps at Carentan, including Dakotas, Spitfires, a Staggerwing and military aircraft from France, the UK and the USA. Hundreds  of jumpers took part, including re-enaction groups and military teams such as the  Red Devils and Golden Knights. Several veterans of the operation also participated in tandem jumps.

The French and US heads of state met in France on the Thursday 6th June for further commemorative events, which included a flypast of specially-painted F-15s. On the same day, the RAF Red  Arrows staged a flypast over Arromanches.

Further jumps from the US military and historic aircraft continued around Caen over the following days.

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover announced for 2020

WASHINGTON | A huge flyover of nearly 100 vintage warbirds will thunder over Washington DC to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The event, scheduled for the 8th May 2020, will comprise 24 individual formations, each representing a major battle from the conflict. This will include aircraft from the Battle of Britain through to those which featured in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The flypast will conclude with a missing man formation.

Aircraft expected to participate include the P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Aircobra, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbold, F4U Corsair, B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Stratofortress, C-47 Dakota, Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and many others.

Many of the participating aircraft will appear on static display at Culpeper and and Manassas airports on the days preceding and following the flyover.

In 2015, more than two-dozen planes participated in a similar flypast to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

World’s last flying Meteor NF.11 makes final flight

BRUNTINGTHORPE | The UK’s last flying Gloster Meteor in private hands touched down for the final time on Saturday 5th January, and will now be maintained in a taxyable condition.

Meteor NF.11 WM167 arrived at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome as part of a celebratory ticketed event. Other classic aircraft, including a Vampire T.11 and Strikemaster Mk.80A, joined the Meteor for an impromptu fly-in.

WM167 was built in Coventry in 1952 and flew with the Royal Air Force  until 1975, seeing out the final years of its service as a target tug. It was  purchased by a private collector and reverted to NF.11 configuration shortly afterwards.

The jet was operated until recently by the Classic Air Force, a now-defunct aviation museum and warbird operator based first in Coventry and then Newquay. She was a regular airshow performer during this time, and the only flying Night Fighter Meteor in the world. The charity, who owned two Meteors, folded in early 2016.

Both Meteors, as well as two ex-CAF Venoms, were purchased by American collector Marty Tibbitts in 2017. The first Meteor, T.7 WA591, was taken to the United States and made its American airshow debut at Oshkosh last summer, while the remaining jets stayed in the UK. Meteor NF.11 WM167 was donated to the Classic British Jets Collection at Bruntingthorpe following Tibbitt’s death in an accident last July.

The jet will be maintained in a fast-taxy condition, along with a collection of other Cold War-era jets at Bruntingthorpe, and will likely participate in public events such as the biannual Cold War Jets fast-taxy events.

A further pair of UK-based Meteors are used by Martin Baker as testbeds for their ejector seats, but these are rarely seen in public. The only other airworthy Meteor in the world is a Meteor F.8 owned by the Temora Aviation Museum in Australia.