Victor Night Shoot
|An Evening with 'Lusty Lindy'
The former RAF Elvington has been the home of the Yorkshire Air Museum (YAM) since 1986. With now over 40 aircraft on display and an increasing membership of currently 1,000 plus, it is a museum that is not standing still. On March 21st the museum tried something a new by organising a very successful photographic night shoot of what many would say is their prize exhibit, a Handley Page Victor K.2 (XL231) known affectionately as 'Lusty Lindy' as her nose art shows. She is kept in ground operational condition by Andre Tempest and his groundcrew. The night shoot was a ticket only, priced at £25 per photographer the event added around £400 to the museum's much needed funds. The money raised will be used to buy 10,000 litres of fuel to add to the 35,000 lbs in her tanks currently, and for on-going maintenance.
As the sun sank in the almost clear sky, the 'pack' of photographers from all over the country closed in on the former RAF 'beast' of the sky. The engines started to whine up and navigation and landing lights began to glow. As it got darker and darker and four spot lights were arranged around the airframe it became more obvious that 'Lust Lindy' was one very beautiful girl with a brooding power unlike any other aircraft ever built.
Photographers were asked not to use flash and so upset their colleague's lengthy timed exposures. A tripod was essential and these could be placed at 360 degrees around the jet so that everyone could get every possible angle of shot. It didn't matter if anyone was in the background as it was eventually too dark to see beyond the aircraft itself. The YAM volunteers were helpful throughout the shoot, giving everyone the opportunity to go into the cockpit if they wished. After the shoot had finished, 'Lusty Lindy' was put to bed to make way for a presentation made by former Victor and Vulcan aircrew.
Other events are regularly planned thoughout the year by YAM, including another night shoot in October, for which it is hoped will include other museum aircraft and perhaps some visiting military helicopters. Please check the Yorkshire Air Museum website for the latest information on forth coming events.
|Victor K.2 (XL231) 'Lusty Lindy' at the end of the night photo shoot.|
| The Victor was the third and final aircraft design in the 'V' bomber fleet, the less well known Valiant and the more famous Vulcan completed a trio of cold war nuclear capable bombers.
Victor K.2 (XL231) 'Lusty Lindy' joined 139 Squadron in 1962, before being converted to B.2 standard the following year. It was the first of 24 Victor B.2 bombers to be converted K.2 standard as air refuelling tankers in 1972. The K.2 could carry 91,000 pounds of fuel (41 metric tonnes), it had a cruising speed of 640 mph (Mach 0.92) at 40,000 feet with a range of 3,500 miles. Victor K.2s performed well during the Falklands War, flying 600 sorties from Ascension Island in support of the Vulcans, Nimrods, Hercules and Harriers. XL231 with other Victor K.2s remained in service until the first Gulf War refuelling when it was utilised by the Tornado. In November 1993 following the Victor's retirement from service 'Lusty Lindy' was flown to Elvington for the museum.
Only five complete Victors survive today, a B.1A at Duxford (XH648) and four K.2s at Cosford XH672), Marham (XH673), Bruntingthorpe (XM715) and Elvington (XL231).
|Just before sunset, the light was perhaps even more interesting.|
|A quick 360 degree tour around Victor K.2 (XL231) 'Lusty Lindy'|
|Showing the centreline air refuelling dispenser as though in operation, even with the hose and drogue deployed.|
|Left to right: From the front with views of the 'Lusty Lindy' nose art which dates back to the Gulf War.|
|Before the sun set, the light did nothing to enhance the Victor's elegance. Not forgotten one the museum's two Buccaneers lurked in the background, Buccaneer S.2 (XN974).|