The Cosford base is about 30 minutes from the city of Birmingham. It is home to the RAF’s 22-group (Training), which includes several training, including mechanics, radio, and engineering (keep this in mind mind).
Cosford also houses the RAF Museum, including a collection of aircraft from the cold war very rich. It’s the only place in the world where you can 3Vs (Valiant, Victor and Vulcan). There is also a lobby prototypes including a BAC TSR-2 and a beautiful Bristol 188.
It’s the second Sunday in June is held every year. It’s the only meeting officially supported by the Royal Air Force. This year, for the 100th anniversary of the RAF, the organizers of the meeting had relied on both static and dynamics.
In good spotters, eager to discover new horizons, so it’s armed with our cameras that we disembark on June 10 in Cosford.
In waiting in the queue, we see 4 jaguars shining under morning sun a few steps away, near a shed. Rather than wait opening the doors, one of our trademarks being to arrive early, we ask to be able to approach the wild animals to better photograph, A volunteers accept a big smile and it is under his guidance that we Photograph.
When Finally, the doors open we hurried back into the car. In bypassing the hangar, 4 other jaguars are revealed. Cosford truly a sanctuary for these aircraft. In the end, between the jaguars static and those housed in the hangars, which are used to training future RAF technicians, we will discover about 20 of these Had. All have in common to be in excellent condition and well maintained. We let’s say it would take little to see one again in flight.
Start so by a turn of the static while waiting for the start of the show.
The parking is a veritable debauchery of planes and helicopters, all of which are also emblematic and rare. For the RAF’s 100th anniversary, we can admire the first mounts of the nascent RAF such as the Bristol M.1, the soptwith Triplane or the Royal Factory B.E.2.
Some planes of the interwar period are also present as the Hawker Nimrod. Then there are the safe values of the Second World War such as the Spitfire or the P-51 Mustang.
But static is also an opportunity to admire more discreet aircraft like the Boulton Paul Defiant, in his night fighter dress.
The static tour continues with the first jets (meteorology) and Cold War aircraft such as the English Electric Lightning or the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II FGR.1.
The Gulf War is illustrated with a series of Pinkie (Jaguar, Tornado and Buccaneer) of the most beautiful effect under the shy English sun.
For finish this tour of the static, we can take advantage of the hangars to rave in front of so much material. At the corner of a hangar, you can admire the prototype of the Boulton Paul Balliol, which in its time was the first aircraft in the world to have flown with a single turboprop.
We also meets on the car parks, the planes of the company Qinetiq, a company British military research and armaments and research, founded in 2001 by privatization of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.
Has hardly time to regain our place along the barriers that already happen one of the new features of the 2018 meeting circuit at landing, P-47 Thunderbolt “Nellie” previously known to aficionados under the name “No guts, No Glory”.
The meeting itself begins with an evocation of the sky above the 1918 with a trio consisting of an Avro 504, a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c and Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a.
Then as we are reminded that barely 100 years separates us from this period, we let’s attend the presentation of the Belgian F-16 Solo with the talented Vader.
Then history resumes and it is a patrol of 8 Tiger Moth who comes occupy the space followed by a presentation by a Hawker Fury (not to be hawker Sea fury).
The meeting continues with an emotional picture when a Hawker Hurricane and a Mig 29Polonais to evoke the famous squadron 303 Polish who did so much in the RAF during the Battle of Britain and After.
As a little air of Duxford, one can then contemplate a Bristol Blenheim, then Sptifire. The BBMF (Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight) almost in full with C-47, Hurricane, Spitfire and the famous Lancaster also came to participate at the party.
The planes follow one another and it is then a parade of more exotic aircraft boeing 757s of the RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force), Avro Anson, Percival Pembroke.
The helicopters will not be left out and the rotary wing fanatics have thus could see in flight a Bristol Sycamore, a Westland Whirlwind, a duo of gazelles Agusta 109, the Chinook and the helicopters of the “defence helicopter flying school” (H135 Juno and H145 Jupiter)
Of alongside the “ambassadors” the Rafale Solo Display with Babouc Nativel had made the trip for a very dynamic and largely applauded by the English public. The Red Arrows are also in the game well Heard.
For to end this meeting, we will be entitled to a presentation of the current arsenal RAF with a Tornado in the order of entry, certainly one of the last opportunities to see it before its planned withdrawal in 2019, the Eurofighter Typhoon and A400M, interspersed with tucano and hawk presentations.
The meeting is already over… we have stars in our eyes. Cosford was a great meeting. The hangars that are full of planes, a varied program, without downtime, an organization at the top have made this moment a real enchanted parenthesis. We’ll definitely come back to that.