More than 38 minutes worth of World War One aircraft footage, including the awesome WW1 ground theatre scenario, which includes some excellent air-to-air dogfight footage. World War Two-era footage includes the Mustang, Kittyhawks and Catalina, along with the equally impressive North African Campaign ground theatre scenario.
This is more than 'just an airshow video'! The material certainly highlights the airshow, but also provides lots of great footage, dramatic scenes and interesting info about the aircraft, for people who were not there on the day. Don't make the mistake of assuming that if you weren't there, that this video won't interest you!
Already one UK-based aviation writer has previewed the tape, and desciribed it as "terrific!", while another early viewer has said:
Over The Front: Spring 2004 (Journal of the League Of WW1 Aviation Historians)
Classic Fighters Marlborough 2003
This DVD is the official video of the second Classic Fighters Marlborough Airshow held at Omaka Aerodrome, Blenheim NZ at Easter 2003." As has been mentioned in reviews of earlier installments of this airshow and other DVD offerings from Golden Micro Solutions Ltd, our friends in New Zealand are having much too good a time.
Like the video of the first show in 2001, this video coverage of the second air show that the crew at Blenheim has hosted features a combination of fly-bys, races and reenactments that are more varied than the usual air show footage. It is as entertaining and breathtaking as any aviation film out there. Aircraft of all vintages and eras make an appearance, but there are really no substitutes for the stars of the show, the Fokker Triplanes, Sopwith Camel, Bristol F2b Fighter, Nieuport 24, Halberstadt D.IV and Avro 504K that make up the WW1 replica stable.
A disclaimer on the group's web site cautions that only a limited quantity of VHS tapes of this presentation was made and those are in a non-North American format, so purchase of the DVD is probably necessary if you live in the USA. If you do not have a DVD player, now's the time to invest in one. There are too many goodies currently on the market or about to come our way to be without this technology. Highly recommended.
Click here to read the positive review on the Jasta Boelcke web site.
Classic Fighters 2003 VHS & DVD
For those who missed the amazing Easter weekend display at Marlborough last year, here's the official airshow video available on PAL VHS tape and DVD PAL/NTSC formats. Many readers were enthused by Alex Mitchell's photo coverage in WS 19/5 and so here's their chance to fully enjoy all the action in the comfort of their own living rooms.
The video runs two hours and there's barely a wasted second. Nearly 40 minutes are devoted to the WW1 element: Bristol F2b; Nieuport 24; Camel; 504k; Halberstadt D.IV and those five Dr.1 triplanes, not forgetting the ground theatre with the replica running and firing Mk.IV Male tan, plus superb air-to-air dogfight footage.
Several WWII classics are also involved: Curtiss P40s, P51 Mustang and Catalina, with other periods represented by a large number of DH Moth types and participation by the RNZAF to bring things bang up to date.
But for WS readers, the WWI context will be the main attraction and it's exciting stuff. The triplanes steal the show of course, seeing five of these split-essing all over the sky, (the Marlborough backdrops breathtaking in themselves) is a rare treat indeed. The DR.Is' authentic markings will further add to the enthusiasts' overall pleasure. There's even footage of the Triplanes in their sub-assemblies, all Fokker-factory painted together, before receiving their individual colour schemes at a later date - as per full size (sic) practice.
The commentary is well informed but even if you do find it intrusive, the DVD has an option of deleting most of it from the soundtrack, leaving all those wonderful aero engines to speak for themselves. Additionally the DVD carries an 11 minute slide show of Alex Mitchell's excellent photos. Incidentally the VHS version is a limited edition, once they're gone only the DVD format will be available. For details of postage rates, special discounts and other videos, fire up your PC or Mac and log on to the website.
This is one great addition to your VHS/DVD aviation library. The filming is exciting, crisply edited, and the images will stay with you. It's a terrific production and that triplane footage alone is worth the asking price. Firmly recommended.
Cross & Cockade: Dec 2003 [Journal of the First World War Aviation Historical Society]
Classic Fighters 2003 VHS & DVD
Five Fokker triplanes, a Sopwith Camel, Bristol F2b, Halberstadt D.IV and Nieuport 24 replicas and an Avro 504k, plus a tank and armoured car all form the WW1 part of the show, which comes right up to date with displays from the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
With extensive air to air footage, this is a real must-have for all enthusiasts. The 2001 show has also been reissued on DVD - great!
The Zone-free DVD discs may not be compatible with some old players, as they are DVD-R disks and designed for the future, but works well on a two year old PC with a DVD drive.
Note from Classic Fighters: the final comment above, regarding DVD-R disks only applies to the low volume run of CF2001 disks. The Classic Fighters 2003 DVD is a fully mastered disk, which will run on any DVD player
Flightpath: Feb-April 2004
Classic Fighters 2003 VHS/DVD
This is a great visual record of the second Classic Fighters airshow held on Omaka Aerodrome, Blenheim, New Zealand.
The airshow's drawcard is the remarkable array of replica fighters from WWI era performing. The highlight of 2003 was a formation of five Fokker Dr.1 Triplanes, a sight not seen since 1918. On show too was the Airco DH-2 (Ed. - not on the DVD), Nieuport 24, Halberstadt D.IV, Sopwith Camel, Bristol Fighter right through to P-40s and the P-51. The winged warriors came in all shapes and sizes.
The DVD reviewed, while covering the whole show, has the bonus for the viewer who can program out the narration of most segments, via dual audio streams. Enthusiasts are able to appreciate the unique sounds of these awesome beasts as each act is individually reviewed. [duration is 118 minutes+]
Aviation News (NZ) Dec-Jan 2004
Classic Fighters Marlborough 2003
DVD Format. Also (available) as VHS Video. 129 mins.
Classic Fighters Marlborough 2003 is a great presentation of the air show that was held during Easter 2003. It contains amazing footage of air to air and ground to air filming.
The DVD/video initially talks about the display aircraft and gives a brief history of the colours and pilots of the plane, with footage of the plane flying today.
At the beginning of the DVD there is a brief introduction about Blenheim and Omaka Aerodrome before getting on to the planes.
At the end of the planes from the World War One and Two time periods there is a ground thatre action with narration involving planes and vehicles. The ground theatre is interesting with the british storming (an) artillery battery, or (with) a Panther tank attacking a British convoy.
In the DVD you can use the audio button to choose between the sound track of the planes or narrators voice over of what is happening.
This DVD/video would be a great present for people of all ages. With its wide range of planes it is good for people who want to learn about the planes or just to look at how they fly.
A good point about the production is that it has a wide range of planes from different time periods. It would be even better with a few interviews of pilots or owners of the aircraft, or a walk around showing features of the planes like the interesting engines that they have.
It is nearly as good as being there. The only thing missing is the sweet smell of castor oil.
Classic Fighters Airshow
The Official Video/DVD: Golden Micro-Solutions
After a long wait the DVD/Video of this memorable Easter event has arrived on the market and yes, it was worth the wait!
Many visitors to the show commented at the time that with so much happening at any given time both in the air and on the ground, they needed at least two days to take it all in.
Well this 2 hour production allows you to see all the things you missed and of course for those who missed the show altogether, this is certainly worth having to allow you to witness what was a truly unique event.
For those who have the video of the 2001 Classic Fighters Airshow, there were aspects of the production which did raise a little comment, such as the occasional 'strobing' effect on propellers. Happily this distraction has all gone and the 2003 video is very much more slick in production.
That said, it is still two hours long because it is recording a larger and more involved event and also includes many more features such as the extensive air to air filming of the WW-I machines. In fact the WW-I sequence is very well covered with all of the action involving the world-record FIVE Fokker Triplanes attacking from the air with the full size operational WW-I Mk.IV tank, Rolls Royce Armoured Car and 80 or so personnel from soldiers to nurses active on the ground. Likewise the WW-II sequence with P-40s, Mustang etc. joined by 'Vichy Curtiss Hawk 75As' and a 'Macchi 202' in an aerial tussle over the dramatic ground sequence, all the spectacular and the unexpected that the Classic Fighters event has become known for.
Bonus material includes background coverage of preparation for the event, the Hurricane rebuild, the Fokker Triplanes being refurbished and other material taken in the months leading up to the show. The DVD also includes a great album of still photos. Perhaps the most comprehensive coverage I have seen on such a production and highly recommended - will make a great Christmas gift for those who were at the show and for those who weren't!
Available from Classic Fighters Merchandise, PO Box 590, Blenheim, New Zealand Fax: +64 3 578 8227, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or see it at the website www.classicfighters.co.nz
Reviewed by: Tony Skinner
Classic Fighters Marlborough 2003
As the second Classic Fighters air show starts to fade in the memory, the official video of the event has arrived to satisfy hungry aviation fans.
Those who made it to the air show can expect all the action that made the Easter event a success as well as plenty of extra features, such as air-to-air footage and aircraft mounted cameras.
From staring through the propeller of the Fokker Dr.1 triplane as it guns for the Sopwith Camel to sitting in the gunner's seat of the Bristol Fighter as it tries to evade three triplanes, the footage makes for thrilling viewing. Thanks to clever use of camera angles, the large crowd that attended the event is rarely seen and does not detract from the action.
In-depth narration gives all the stats of the aircraft as well as how they were used in combat and stories of the pilots who flew them, making this more than simply an air show souvenir.
While the information could become overwhelming watching the video version, the features of the DVD make it easy to skip back to anything you may have missed the first time around.
For fans of the Classic Fighters air show this is a must but there is more than enough here to grab the attention of those coming in cold.
Some Personal Email and Correspondence
I enjoyed your coverage and treatment of the Classic Fighters 2003 airshow. Viewing it as a documented record of the great show, I congratulate you and your team of camera operators, editor and producers of producing a balanced appraisal and condensing it into the 118 minutes of screening time.
As a former cinematographer with international experience in both film and video mediums for television and production industries, I applaud the skill level shown by your camera operators in capturing the actualities of the event and using their own creativity in framing images, both still and moving to a pleasing visual effect.
As an aviation enthusiast of long standing with considerable professional experience in general and commercial aviation sectors, I appreciated the unique ambience that the visual record of Classic Fighters 2003, captured. - Ian McIntyre. New Zealand
Thank you for the video of the 2003 show recently received. I have viewed it and was really impressed with the quality, content, and great flying shots. So much so I would like to order a DVD. - David, New Zealand
We (my two sons and I) have watched the DVD and are very impressed with it, very professional presentation, nice information on the featured aircraft, would have no hesitation to buy the next release following the next show. Thanks - Glenn Kruger. New Zealand
All that I can say for the moment is: ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! I've watched the introduction as well as the WW1 section and part of the WWII section. I find the DVD easy to navigate and generally well done.....All in all I can say that it is by far more than just video footage of aircraft buzzing around at just another airshow. It tells the spectator stories about the region where the airshow had been held at as well as some background information on the aircraft and vehicles on display. - Webmaster, Jasta Boelcke, Germany
I thought the composition of the Video/DVD was excellent and I will certainly recommend it to Warbirds members. The historical research was also very well presented.One of the best aviation videos in my collection. - Trevor Bland, New Zealand
The DVD of the Classic Fighters  had only one thing lacking. That was the smell of various types of aircraft exhaust and fuel. It is a very professionally produced DVD and I am sure it will give hours of enjoyment to all enthusiasts. It is almost as good as being there. It has a good balance in viewing time of all the Aircraft displays and also the feild action. I am looking forward to being at the next Show in 2005 and gedtting the next DVD- Ian Miles, Featherston, New Zealand.
Well done on the video. I did not go to the 2001 show but I went to the 2003 show and what a show. I think as equal to Wanaka - they have their different themes of course so it is hard to compare but in seeing the video of 2001 I was very impressed and it made me feel I should have been there. In watching the 2003 video I relived the show again and I am sure the more times I play it the more I will relive it. I have been to Wanaka 3 times now but I believe I will do the classic fighters airshow in 2005 once again. Well done on the production and feel free to fwd my e-mail to tell people about the video best regards - John Rolfe, Australia
.... very impressed particularly with the narration - we didn't get a lot of opportunity to watch the activities and it made it very easy to identify with the action/story. Undoubtedly very Marlborough, and there is no question that the overall organisation and the venue made this an airshow to be at and remember. For those that missed this event the Video/DVD are a must have. We look forward to doing it again! - Geoff Cooper, ZK-DAK
I have watched my DVD of the 2003 Classic fighters air show and was very impressed. The photography is terrific and the feature of being able to blank out the commentary and just hear the aircraft noise is great too. I also really enjoyed the extra features in the two photograph albums that were part of the DVD. I would recommend it to everyone. - Bob Penno, Australia
Many thanks for the DVD received today. It's terrific and was worth waiting for. Looking forward to 2005 Classic Fighter Airshow. - Andrew, Australia
Received and really enjoyed Classic Fighters 2003. Thanks again and keep up your excellent air show productions. New Zealand
Congratulations - the video is superb. - Sid, New Zealand
Congratulations to all concerned with the production of the Classic Fighters 2003 video. The video has an excellent mix of technical detail, superb flying segments and the drama of the ground theatre. We strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in classic fighters.- Bill Roepcke, Australia
You are to be congratulated upon a very good documentation of the Classic Fighters 2003 airshow. The air to air filming is outstanding, and compares well to many of the other major International airshow productions that I have seen and enjoyed.Where else in the World can one see five Fokker Triplanes take off in formation? Or a collection of DeHavilland classics such as you had in the Dominie, Tiger Moth, Moth Minor, Devon and the gaggle of Chipmunks? - Kenneth, USA.
A thoroughly enjoyable professional video which relives the spirit of the happening - Rees, New Zealand
I have watched the DVD of both the Classic Fighters 2001-2003, and the content is certainly of great merit. One complaint is the editing or the presentation format.There too many gaps between the items and makes the DVD look like a whole lot of little segments put together on a disk.For what it is worth, the segments could of been faded together/suitably linked with an appropiate voice over. Just a thought for a better looking production. Overall 9/10 - Rob Gard, Australia