I enjoyed my first visit to Cosford airshow, the weather may not have been perfect, but it could have been a lot worse! At least the B-52 was visible (I saw last time it was at Cosford the cloud base was lower so nobody saw it) and it was nice that we got 2 passes, as I was expecting just one. So nice to see the only airworthy Whirlwind, that was one of the things that attracted me to Cosford initially. And exciting news that a Wessex might be flying again at some point, my first ever flight was in a Wessex, rather funny as the commentator also mentioned it was the first thing he flew in and that was also as a cadet, like me, however I'm sure he said it was his first non commercial flight, for me it was my first flight ever! I was not at all bothered that the Reds display was further away than planned, I have to admit display teams are not really my thing, not that I don't respect and admire the skills of the pilots, it's just that I'm an aircraft enthusiast, it's the aircraft I go to see and Hawks aren't particularly interesting aircraft, not to me anyway! having said that I was glad they showed up because I know a lot of people love the Red Arrows, for some it's the main attraction. Rather strange that one of the gate officials mentioned to me that they had actually called of the Red Arrow display!
I am also not to disappointed that the Typhoon was unable to do it's display, again mainly this is because I like seeing unusual and rare aircraft, and I've seen the Typhoon so many times I just don't get as excited about them anymore. I feel more disappointed for the pilot, who I'm sure was looking forward to doing the display and would have done so if he felt it was safe to go ahead. At least he gave us a treat of a flypast and vertical climb into the clouds, it was quite dramatic, and against the grey sky the afterburner plumes showed quite nicely, I think if it was clear blue sky my photos would not have had the moody and dramatic look they do. I have been informed that the Typhoon was the one that was painted up in camo colours, I never got to see that so that's really my only negative about the Typhoon.
The Italian Tornado was superb, I feel like Tornado's are becoming quite a rare sight at airshows now so really appreciated that display, I normally prefer seeing aircraft in standard colour schemes (I know that contradicts my last statement regarding the Typhoon!) but the paint job on the Tornado was pretty nice, certainly made it stand out! I think I heard the commentator mention it's the first time an Italian Tornado has been to a UK airshow, is this correct?
The most annoying this was the B-1, well no, not annoying, confusing really, was why so sneaky! it did its flypast with no announcement that it was coming in, i had my camera set up for the Apache and was still watching that, I only heard from someone in the crowd about the B-1 coming, looked to my left and saw her approaching rather fast, I didn't even have time to adjust my camera settings so just fired of a few snaps in the hope I might get 1 or 2 keepers, they were all naff really, a combination of poor light conditions, a grey aircraft against a grey sky and wrong camera settings but I'm still keeping them as they are my only photos of a B-1 in flight and I am very happy that I got an opportunity to see one in flight again, it's been quite a few years! I noticed it has some kind of pod thing on the forward fuselage, I don't remember seeing that before so guessing it's a fairly recent addition?
So was there ant reason why the flypast was unannounced, I don't believe that the control tower did not inform the commentator, was it purely done for the surprise element? It is a shame it could not have held for a few minutes before its run, as there was some nice clear sky approaching.
Rich Goodwins display was awesome, especially that low pass with the aircraft at a funny angle at the end that was a surprise, I did not think maneuvers like that at such low level would have been permitted, may be it wasn't as low as I thought but it certainly looked low and made for some nice photos!
I enjoyed the Anson as well, I saw it once at Farnborough but only had a pap camera then so didn't get any decent photos, now I have upgraded to my DSLR I got some much better ones!
Also nice to see the An-2 Colt it's the first time I have seen one displaying but it is also cool that it's the first aircraft i have seen at an airshow that i have had the pleasure of flying in myself! As it's based not to far away from me in Popham and people can get to fly in her if they join the AN-2 Club http://www.an2club.info/
I managed to squeeze in a visit to some of the museum but didn't see all the exhibits as i really wanted to get a good spot by the flightline, If I come again I will probably stay a few nights so I can have time to visit the museum.
There was lots of static aircraft to see as well, I did not spend much time looking at them but I've never seen so many Jags (and that's a good thing!) and the Harrier GR.1 in arctic camo was nice to see as well, the GR.1 is my favourite Harrier variant and I have a model of one in the same camo, it might even be the exact one, I have not checked yet.
Now onto the fun part, sorting through my photos, I took so many it could take some time!