RAF Cosford 75th Anniversary airshow, June 9th 2013
Record numbers attended this year’s show resulting in large tailbacks on surrounding roads and the M54 motorway with many people queuing for several hours to get in (and out apparently). Others gave up entirely and took to social media to vent their anger.
One surprising announcement, as the Apache display was under way, was the name of the occupant of the front seat, gunner’s position – Captain Harry Wales. Better known to many as Prince Harry, Captain Wales has been selected as one of the team for this year’s Apache demonstration. Having already served tours of duty in Afghanistan, the Prince was making his airshow circuit debut at RAF Cosford.
Other notable aircraft in this year’s display included B-17 “Sally B”, Europe’s last flying B-17 Flying Fortress, the only flying Spitfire Mk XI and the world’s only flying Vulcan Bomber. Previously, it had been announced that 2013 would be the Vulcan’s last flying season but, just prior to the show, the Vulcan to the Sky team announced that provided adequate funding could be generated, they were hoping to keep this magnificent aircraft flying into the 2015 season.
Other notable items included a Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) role demo featuring the Chinook and Apache and RAF displays from the Typhoon, Sea King, Falcons parachute team and the Red Arrows. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, with one of only 2 flying Avro Lancasters, this year painted in the colours of 617 Squadron, the famous Dambusters squadron, also took part.
Several aerobatic acts, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, The Pitts S2s, the Aerostars with their Yak 50s, the RV8tors, who arrived at the show in formation with the Vulcan, SWIP Twister team and the Blades, provided further entertainment for the huge crowd.
The organisers of the RAF Cosford airshow must be pleased with the huge support they received from the public but will need to work on the traffic management if they hope to sustain the level of support into the future.