RAF Cosford Air base, Shropshire, northwest of Wolverhampton for the third consecutive year in June we are here and for the third consecutive year we have witnessed one of the best aeronautical appointments of the British Isles. Together with over 55,000 people (source: Dailymail) we could see at almost 6 hours of display in the sky above the Air Base.
This year the event focused on two main topics: Women in Defence and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) 70th anniversary.
As always, in addition to 100 aircraft, there were also many attractions on the ground, among all the Vintage Village now a point of reference for the visit to the show and this year focused much on the World War II with its historical figures that are mixed between the military and civilian vintage aircraft and vehicles. As mentioned by the organizers: a way of mixing with British life in the 1940s.
The static display, in addition to the many RAF aircraft and host nations, also offered the most that the Royal Air Force can offer. In fact, among the hangars and out of them you could admire all the activities that the British air forces can offer. Important and always growing both as a display and as a visitor is the STEM Hangar, a complete immersion in the scientific offer at the industrial and academic level of the RAF. STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, one of the attractions that has involved young people a lot and can be a driving force for kids in investing their life in a job in the aeronautical world.
Among the many aircraft in the static display the main interest of all the public moved to the stand of the BAE System, where the mock-up of the new joint project between UK Defense Minister, BAE System, Rolls Royce, Leonardo S.p.A. and MBDA was exhibited: the BAE Tempest. The sixth generation stealth fighter which was proposed by the aforementioned consortium to many European states as the future defense aircraft in place of the Eurofighter for 2035.
Like every year, many exhibitors and sellers weren’t missing with a vast choice of aeronautical products and also the possibility of taking a tour around the base with the helicopter.
Returning to the display in the Shropshire skies we witnessed an impressive flight development in the 6 hour show. Starting from the launch of the famous Red Falcons of the RAF, passing to the Eurofighter display and to the various foreign guests there was no solution of continuity.
The various displays expressed their best and even with a mild weather, not a novelty for the period, everyone was satisfied with what they saw flying. To mention the splendid displays of the Czech L159 ALCA and the F/A-18 Hornet from Swiss Air Force, not least the Gripen also of the Czech Air Forces and the splendid P-3C Orion of the German Navy.
The all British Forces already with the aforementioned paratroopers and Typhoon, have been very well represented (as always happens in many airshows) also by the Chinook displays and by the historical and much loved Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, but also by the Tucano and by various training aircraft. We enjoyed the presence of the De Havilland DH.84 Dragon and also the sudden attack of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 (a Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon recolored as the Bf-109 of the Luftwaffe) immediately intercepted by a Hawker Hurricane Mk.I who took off from the Cosford runaway to engage in a battle with the German enemy.
But the most spectacular performances took place with the presence of the famous British aerobatic team the RAF Red Arrows and the return of the Apache of the British Army Corps. The first juggled their 2019 program of acrobatics that left the spectators speechless as always. The Apache simulated ground attack maneuvers with lots of small and large explosions very well simulated by experienced ground personnel.
An event that for the third consecutive year has left us no reason for dissatisfaction, but has allowed us to return home with the desire to participate again next year. In fact, the organization has announced the date of June 14th 2020 for the next RAF Cosford Airshow, of course we will not miss and we are sure that also next year we will have the chance to see the best aeronautical acrobatics in the skies of the West Midlands.
From RAF Cosford (UK): Daniele Maiolo