Sunday 10th June 2018 marked the day of the only official RAF Airshow this year and the first big airshow of 2018.
Held at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton in the Midlands. RAF Cosford is home to the Defense College of Aeronautical Engineering and a large branch of the RAF Museum. The Airshow had sold out all its 55000 online only tickets, and the rest of the local agent tickets Some enthusiasts travelled from across the world for this special event celebrating 100 years of the Royal Airforce.
A great many special aircraft were rolled out of the hangers for this airshow, some of which are the only surviving complete examples in existence. In addition, all the museum hangers were open to the public to explore the extensive collection of aircraft spanning the whole history of military flying. One hanger was dedicated to showing the work and skills of the technical Apprentices, under the banner of STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) In addition many aircraft were flown in to display either as static aircraft or as part of the flying display. Examples of special staic aircraft on display are the beautifully restored Phantom “Black Mike” and the Absolutely stunning English Electric Lightning.
The RAF put on some stunning displays, to include the world-famous Red Arrows as well as spectacular solo displays from a Panavia Tornado GR4 and the School of elementary flying in their Grob Tutors. An RAF Airbus A400M Atlas Transport aircraft made a welcome visit, albeit briefly with a single flypast. The crowds were particularly pleased and grateful for The Tornado GR4 of IX(B) Squadron as Tornados are coming to the end of their excellent service life and by next year will be withdrawn from service.
The RAF Typhoon from 29 Squadron was flown Flt Lt Jim Peterson and put on a superb display of speed, power and agility using plenty of reheat (afterburners) . The Polish Airforce sent us a superb Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum , an air superiority fighter belonging to No1 Eskarda Lotnictwa Taktycznego (1st Tactical Squadron). The participation of the Polish Air Force at this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show is particularly poignant with the Royal Air Force celebrating their 100th anniversary year and of a large number of Polish pilots who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain during the second world war
Belgium sent us an F16 Fighting Falcon. The jet was painted in a new eye-catching colour scheme and called “The Dark Falcon” which was designed by the display pilot himself, Senior captain aviator Stephan Darte, callsign “Vador”. As well as the aircraft’s livery being new, “Vador” was also in his first season as the Belgian Airforce display pilot. What a show he put on! In addition, the Belgian Airforce also sent an Augusta A109 helicopter to display. And it really was displayed well being expertly put through its paces in an agile exciting display by its pilot Captain Stijin Soenens.
Apart from old and modern Fighter jets and helicopters, a few large transport aircraft also displayed. Making a very long Journey for us was the Boeing 757-2k2 belonging to the Royal New Zealand Airforce’s 40 Squadron from their base in Auckland. The above-mentioned displays were all excellent and in addition, many more aircraft flew displays thrilling the crowds during the beautiful but hot day.