Coventry Classic Air Show, 2003

G-AMRA, G-AMSV (left) and G-AMPY (breaking formation) performed rather majestic...

Douglas C-47B G-AMSV (c/n 16072/32820) is seen here on finals, only a few feet over the runway, seconds before that familiar screech of the tyres...
G-AMSV is the last DC-3 of Air Atlantique in the oil pollution role.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is responsible for responding to major oil and chemical pollution incidents from shipping at sea that would threaten UK interests. The MCA deals with oil and chemical spills from ships where these threaten to cause pollution in UK waters or on the UK shoreline. In the event of a major pollution incident from a shipping casualty at sea, the MCA will activate the National Contingency Plan (NCP) and deal with the spillage. The response will normally be through a combination of aerial dispersant spraying and mechanical recovery operations at sea.
On 13Jun05 it was registered to the Mustang Restoration Company,Coventry but it seems that this company failed and Sierra Victor was reported (Sep.2006) " property of Coventry Airport after the previous owner went bust. It has been stored, wings off, in Hangar 1 at Coventry since. Last I heard there were two interested parties but I'm not aware it has been sold yet."

G-AMSV c/n 32820 was restored by Reflight Airworks in the UK and ferried in April 2018 to Hindon AFB near New Delhi, now registered VP905 (named 'Parashurama') with the Indian Air Force Vintage Flight.

Douglas C-47B G-AMPY (c/n 15124/26569) is planning to touch down late (plenty of runway
left !).

G-ANAF (c/n 16688/33436) did not fly, pity, it must be quite a sight to see this "Thales Testbed" with the spherical radar under its nose on a flyby.
Thales, according to the add, is a technology firm in the market for avionics, in-flight entertainment, simulation and crew training, Air Traffic Management, etc.
It seems that G-ANAF in this configuration was used for the Nimrod 2000-project, testing the new Nimrod radar. This went on in the late 1990s and was all very secret of course..
More details on the use of this radar then and now, would be welcome.

I came across G-ANAF again on 18JUL2011, same place but different colourscheme!

Electra G-LOFE (c/n 1144) in a rather spectacular righthand final approach and will zoom along in front of the enthusiastic crowd ! It just goes to show you don't need a lot of noise to make a spectaculair air display !

Another shot of G-LOFE, note the smoke trails of the engines.

(Update: in April 2013 G-LOFC left Coventry for Canada, for a new future with Buffalo Airways; it was the last operational L.188 in Europe as G-LOFE had departed Coventry for the same new owner on 23Mar13).

The Nord N.2504 Nortatlas (marked as 62-SI, but registered as F-AZVM, c/n 105) performed a stunning approach, coming in high, diving steeply and after landing going in full reverse... The performance must have been similar as in wartime (Diên Biên Phú comes to mind: the longest, most furious battle of the French Expeditionary Corps in the Far East...."170 days of confrontation, 57 days of hell").
It is operated by the "Noratlas de Provence" and is a welcome guest at air shows. It has the colours which she wore in Algeria, when she was on duty at the "Sahara" transport Group.

The restoration of this Shackleton AEW2 WR963 (the radome has been removed and it's repainted like an MR.2) has not yet succeeded in getting it off the ground, but instead it ran its engines twice a day. The contra-rotating props made rather a nice sound, not anything like the Antonov An-22 at all.
No.1 is churning out the right rpm's here, while no.2 is just getting there.

Lockeed L.188PF Electra N2RK was supposed to be reregistered G-LOFI but apparently the paperwork has not quite been settled with the CAA. The titles "Reeve Illusion" apparently is not meant as back-stabbing Bob Reeve, but rather having to do with a slight 'dig' at John Reeve, the airline's general manager and responsible for the Reeve Aleutian Electra purchase deal and he is thus daily reminded that some things take longer than expected to come to fruition...
Apparently there is a crewing problem which does not permit the Reeve Electras to be flown as yet by Atlantic Airlines: the latter operates the Electras with 2-man cockpit crew while the Reeve aircraft are configured for a 3-man cockpit crew.

G-LOFI, ex/ N2RK left Coventry on 12Aug2010 for Canada. With intended stops at Shannon and Frobisher Bay it was on its way to Red Deer (Alberta) to join the fleet of Buffalo Airways. It had been reregistered C-FIJX.
It probably hadn't flown since 2002; good thing to note that its survival was not an illusion!
Arnold Begeman sent me images of its safe arrival: Photos by Friends & Guests (26)

C-FIJX was certified in 2016 (probably early may, I read the news on the 17th) for aerial firefighting. Buffalo remained loyal to the Reeve Aleutian colourscheme. See Photos by Friends & Guests (45)

Sad, sad, the demise of Reeve Aleutian (Bob Reeve ceased his operation in Alaska in December 2000).
This Lockeed L.188PF Electra (c/n 1140) still has '44C' on the nosewheeldoors, dating from the time it carried tailnumber N9744C, but it has been reregistered as N4HG for 'Electra Airways' (a Delaware Corporation).

It was registered on 27May2011 to Buffalo Airways as C-FIJV and in the Red Deer hangar of Buffalo it was seen on 10Sep2012, being worked on.
Buffalo Airways has embraced this Lockheed design to replace their DC-4s.

On 14Aug2015 C-FIJV was seen parked at Red Deer; it still had the Reeve Aleutian c/s and titles but had various parts removed. It was obviously acquired for use of parts.
Like the photo above it still had '44C' on its nosewheel door, a reminder of more glorious days when it was operated by Reeve Aleutian Airways between 1970 and 2002 as N9744C !
Before that, after its delivery in 1961, it was operated by Western Airlines (N9744C).

In 2019 I learned that N9744C purchase by Buffalo Aws must have fallen thru as it apparently was repossessed by a bank... It sat stored at Red Deer, waiting for its fate to be decided on.

The Twin Pioneer ('Twin Pin') G-APRS, with its fixed undercarriage, demonstrated its ability to fly amazingly slow and still remain airborne.
It truly was an event enjoyed by all, spectators as well as performers.

See my 2011 update, a visit to Coventry, including the 2018 update about its ground transport to Thornhill in Scotland, for a 'glamcamping' there... Where I found it in 2019, MY REPORT

Back to Propliners in the UK, 2003
The air museum moved in 2012 to former RAF base St Mawgan, near Newquay in Cornwall. See my 2013 report.

Due to a costly rent of the hangar at St.Mawgan's Newquay that bombed and the Classic Airforce returned to Coventry in 2015.
But re-opening the Airbase in 2015 was short-lived..

Propliner magazine, no.95 (Summer 2003).

Classic Airforce: the end (2015)
Curtains in 2015.
There is truth in that remark:"Don't be sad that it's over. Be glad that it happened."

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Created: 13-06-03
Last updated 21.01.2019