Cosford Air Show 2013

10th June 2013
Advance ticket sales were reported to be well up on last year’s sales, and the advice to get there early was well heeded. With the gates opening at 8.30 the traffic was already tailing back half a mile past the garden centre at Albrighton. It was clear later in the day just how many people attended, with huge crowds around the hangars and on the airfield watching the flying display.

The ground displays had more going on this year with cold war anti aircraft missiles, lines of Jaguar aircraft (retired from service but used extensively for ground crew training), a Harrier at Cold War readiness, and the RAF Regiment to highlight a few.

The flying display lasted five hours with no aircraft cancelled or substituted from the published programme, although a few slots were switched around. It’s hard to pick a highlight but for me it was the appearance of the Avro Vulcan XH558 ‘The Spirit of Great Britain’. The Vulcan was a Cold War bomber which carried a nuclear bomb, being first drawn on paper in 1946, well ahead of its time. It only saw active service during the Falklands war when it bombed the runway in Port Stanley and had to be refuelled in flight 18 times during that sortie, the longest bombing run in history. Yes it was loud (but no more so than the Typhoon!) but it could also fly quietly, as it was escorted in by the RV8tors propeller driven display aircraft. The Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the B17 ‘Sally B’ Flying Fortress made it a hat trick of heavy bombers.

The Red Arrows did a full display as there was no low cloud, and it was good to see them back up to strength with nine aircraft. A Sea King from RAF Valley made an appearance, but there was no prince. However, Captain Wales (Prince Harry) was in the Apache helicopter.

Below are some of the aircraft that were on display.

A Harrier as it would be at operational readiness in a forward position in the Cold War

The Vulcan

The Lancaster in the markings of 617 The Dam Busters Squadron

The 'Sally B' Flying Fortress

Prince Harry in the Apache

The Eurofighter Typhoon creating with clearly visible vortices due to the damp air

Mk XI Spitfire

All text and images © Keith Rowley 2012

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