RAF Cosford Air Show

The 2018 edition of the RAF Cosford Air Show took place on Sunday the 10th of June. The theme for this year’s edition was ‘RAF100’, showcasing the history of the Royal Air force with up to a hundred aircraft as a tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary. RAF Cosford also celebrated their 80th anniversary

Four different zones were created, covering key events of the past century, which included ‘vintage villages’ and historical aircraft surrounded by re-enactors and period vehicles, recreating historical scenes. The centenary was captured in four themes; Policing the Empire, World at War, Age of uncertainty and New Millennium.  

The flying display opened with the RAF Falcons delivering the RAF100 Baton to the Station Commander, Group Captain Tone Baker.

Policing the Empire

The Great War Display team and the Tiger 9 Display Team represented the Policing the Empire theme in the air. Aircraft, original as well as replica’s, from the Royal Air Force Museum were also towed outside of the museum and the nice weather allowed them to be parked in the open.

World at War

Spitfires, Hurricanes, and the Lancaster are probably the first types that come to mind when thinking of aircraft that played an important role in history. But there was much more to be seen that day. One of the highlights was definitely the only remaining Boulton Paul Defiant Mk1 that had been towed outside of the museum. The only flying Bristol Blenheim soared through the sky over RAF Cosford among other warbirds, including participation of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Age of Uncertainty

The world’s only flying Bristol 171 Sycamore made its first appearance at an air show in the United Kingdom.  The Westland Whirlwind HAR10 was on static display, while another example participated in the air show. The audience could also enjoy the Westland Wessex HC2 and the Sea King HAR3 in  the static display. The Gazelle Squadron Display Team flew their display with two Gazelles while a third Gazelle was on static display. Three aircraft (a Tornado, Jaguar and Buccaneer) in Desert Pink reflected operation Desert Storm on static display. The based No 1 School of Technical Training owns may Jaguars and these were seen in high numbers all over the airfield.

New Millennium

The Airbus Helicopters H135 Juno T1 and H145 Jupiter T1 were both present on static and could both be seen flying as well. The Juno T1 replaced the Squirrel HT1 in the basic rotary wing training role with the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury. Twenty-nine H135s and three H145s were contracted for from Airbus Helicopters in Germany by Ascent. The three H145 Jupiter T1 helicopters replaced the Bell Griffin HT1 fleet. Also on static display was one of the newly acquired Airbus H125 helicopters from the QinetiQ Civil Flying Organisation (QCFO), wearing the new Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) livery. The Chinook Display Team from RAF Odiham demonstrated the Chinook HC.6A at RAF Cosford. A Tornado GR.4 made two passes and this was the last time that a Tornado flew during an airshow at RAF Cosford, the Tornado will be phased out in the short term.

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity presented their newest addition of their fleet, the Airbus H145, that was officially unveiled in February 2018. The Irish Air Corps participated with an EC135 on static display, the Defence Helicopter Command of the Royal Netherlands Air Force could also be seen in the static with one of their NH-90NFH helicopters. A Belgian Air Component Agusta A.109 from Beauvechain flew a display. Another display that impressed the audience was the Red Bull Bo-105 with a lot of loopings and daring manoeuvres. Five Jet Rangers arrived in the morning for the Joy flights that could be booked and flown that day, the big smiles on the faces after the landing proved that many people enjoyed their ride.

The air show, blessed with great weather, was a day well spent for the almost sixty thousand visitors that attended this event. The presence of the museum also provided a great opportunity to see other unique aircraft that day.

A small note: This article was published in Helicopter Life and this explains why there are only photographs with helicopters on this page.