During the 1991 Gulf war conflict there were 10 Victors involved in Operation Granby (named for The Marques of Granby John Manners who was a British Commander in the 7 year war) though only 6 of these gained the colourful and risqué artwork that has become synonymous with Victors. This distinguished them from other aircraft deployed during this time and although it gained them a notoriety which continues today, the Gulf war was also the Victors ending their careers and reaching retirement, with the last tanker retired on 15th October 1993.
The style of nose art on each of the 6 was a more modern and sexualised take on the pin-up girl. Each female is pictured holding a spear and given an alliterated name. Not so much the girl they left behind as in World War II, more like the girls of their fantasies with their provocative outfits and suggestive poses. They may not have been the most artistically competent of all nose art however they are definitely lurid in colour and erotic in genre. I for one just love the eye for detail…even giving the girls accessories!
Slinky Sue (XH671)
Her name was later changed to Sweet Sue, though I am not sure how sweet she appears all dressed up in her black lingerie complete with stockings and suspenders and her head thrown back in wanton abandonment.
Maid Marion (KH672)
Maid Marion was the last of the Victors to take flight and landed for the last time on the 30th of November 1993 at RAF Shawbury. She is now on display at the RAF Cosford Aerospace Museum. The lady in question appears rather more clothed than the other ladies in this series. Though with her dress ripped and stockings and suspenders showing in a provocative pose she is no less risqué.
See a first hand flight from Maid Marion here:
Saucy Sal (XL164)
She is the most regal looking of the Victor vixen and appears to be sitting, holding court in her red belted outfit and black cape. The cockpit was delivered to her new home in 2003 at the Gatwick museum, though on arrival she was a little worse for wear and the art work had certainly seen better days.
Lusty Lindy (XL231)
Almost demure in comparison to the other ladies in this list, dressed in baby pink with her raven haired heard thrown back she is almost using the ever-present spear as a pole with which to dance with.
She made her last flight on 25th November 1993 to former RAF Elvington, near York, she is display at The Yorkshire Air Museum and to date she is maintained quite impressively to a serviceable and taxiable condition by their team of dedicated volunteers.
Teasin Tina (XM715)
Blond Tina does appear to be teasing the onlooker with her submissive pose and grasp on her spear.
You can see her (accidentally) taking off here:
Lucky Lou (XM717)
(the first picture I took of nose art, taken at the RAF museum in Hendon)
By the time of the Gulf war Lucky Lou (though without the artwork or name) was already a veteran having made a name for herself in the Black Buck operation of the 1982 Falklands war. The beautiful kneeling lady was not added until the Gulf war in 1991. It was painted by Cpl Andy Price in Bahrain and the given name was in tribute to the wife of crew chief Geoff Shilton (whose name can still be seen on the crew door). She was acquired (albeit in part) by the RAF museum in Hendon in 1997 where her nose still resides. Lucky Lou appears to be draped in a strip of fabric and accessorised with silver bangle and cuff. The wind appears to be blowing through her hair whilst she blows a kiss to the viewer.
I have to say that Lucky Lou holds a special place in my heart as she was the first nose art I took a photograph of and which began my interest and in effect started this blog.
Which is your favourite vixen from the Victor series and why?