Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

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Wes_Howes
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Wes_Howes »

Well, it's been a minute since I last posted on here but as I actually, finally, attended an airshow again, I thought I'd dip back in.

Firstly, thank you to Dom and Tommy for inviting me to sit with you, made a pleasant afternoon all the more enjoyable :grinning:

The show itself, yes there were gaps but on the whole pretty good. Was great to see the Wessex and Lynx displays, I haven't seen that much of a Wessex since they were retired from Shawbury in 1997 (I think). The Belgian Viper was obviously the best FJ display but the Rafale wasn't far off, with a lovely flowing and graceful, yet powerful display. I rather enjoyed the Vintage Pair too.

The static, however, wow. I would be interested to learn the method they apply to arranging the layout. Firstly, the Pucara being outside, wonderful! Not so wonderful, the outer wing surfaces missing and the awful arrangement amongst the 'Falklands Display'. Bravo November being left inside, the GR.3 Harrier also. The Puma being plonked behind the tower and then a handful of classic cars being dumped next to it. The trainer line-up was nice but again, the stalls and bins behind made any attempt to photograph it, disappointing. And, what was wrong with all the space between hangars 3 & 4? Park the classic cars/car clubs up there, out of the way. I'm also in two minds about the way the SAR helos and Gulf War aircraft were parked, maybe it's because I'm not used to seeing aircraft being parked side-on, it just looked a bit weird.

I can only echo Seahornet's points about the netting and the car park on Neachley Lane, I did get lucky and got out fairly quickly after sitting for 25mins but traffic management was and has always been poor at Cosford. In the future, I'll avoid heading in via that route too as lumping the kit about all day wasn't fun and it was a fair slog back to the car.

Stu666
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Stu666 »

First Cosford in many, many years for me. I have generally kept away after one too many negative experiences with the traffic.

Positives:

Minimal queueing getting in via A5/A41 route.
Initial parking well organised.
Plenty of food vendors and toilets, never queued for long.
Some brilliant fast jet displays, the Rafale and F-16 were particular standouts for us.
Flying display wasn't quite as gappy as I thought it would be except towards the very end.
The F-35 hover at the end was unexpected and a nice surprise. Luckily we were at the right end for it.

Negatives

Food prices were insane. I know vendors whack their prices up at events like this, but my god, £6 for an ice cream :rofl:
A bit too much boring filler in the flying display.
The RAF flypasts at the end were a little underwhelming and felt a bit desperate, as if to pad out the air display.
The F-35 initial flypast was lacklustre, a 3 second burst of the burner would've spiced it up. Missed a trick.

But for me, the main issue was getting out. I was shepherded to car park 7 and parked next to the flag for this - a nice, easy to remember mental note. I'm usually one for leaving a little early to try and beat the queues, but this time I decided to stick around for an hour and a half in the hope it would calm down. I couldn't have been more wrong as the entire car park was still gridlocked. To make matters worse, the car park flags had been removed, so it was with great difficulty that I eventually located my car. Even so, by now tempers were frayed and people were getting extremely annoyed, and sadly goodwill lacking in letting joining traffic filter in. Just when it did seem we were finally moving, we were directed off the metal matting onto a side route, which only made our exit even longer. To make matters worse, they decided to stop traffic while they moved a couple of helicopters, which further held us up. In all honesty, I will probably avoid Cosford in the future, as the grief of getting out wasn't worth it to me.

MiG_Eater
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by MiG_Eater »

I think objectively this weekend was a pretty average Cosford. The fast jets were fantastic and it was maybe the best F-16 display i've ever seen, but there were lots of gaps in the flying, a bit of filler and not the most exciting static display either.

But: this airshow is the first international military airshow i've been to since 2019 and at some stages over the past 3 years i'd wondered if we'd ever get to enjoy doing this again. For that reason alone I was, and am still, buzzing from this weekend. It was actually a pretty emotive experience hearing the roar of afterburners and seeing the throng of people move forward as the F-35 appeared on the horizon.

Lets hope next year we see the return of Yeovilton and that Cosford finally sees sense and makes this a two day event with a slightly smaller capacity each day (yes... getting out was a nightmare for me too).

TheMaster
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by TheMaster »

Be careful those of you criticising food prices and other things about the day! Is is apparent from replies to my comments it looks like the virtue signaling woke cancel culture brigade took offense and we have to be positive about everything on here now!!

I've actually reflected overnight and feel even worse about the day now! For a long round trip to get into a packed show site with ridiculous orange netting everywhere, I got to see about 3 decent displays. Poor vfm. I went by car having done the train last time and reading above thankfully didnt witness that chaos of an hour wait for a train. Legged it at 1630 to avoid what I could see would be chaos leaving.

As for that C130 I spoke to the crew saying I was surprised there was no barrier around the wings because there were some high vans parked near and the prop tips were close. They said they didnt know that was going to be a car park, first they knew was when cars started getting parked there on the day!

Won't be going again, it's Fairford only now, just one show in Britain that is worthy of the effort. Other than that Europe still has some good ones and visiting there is vfm even when more expensive that the stuff served up yesterday.

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stevebrodie
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by stevebrodie »

Great Show, some points
1) why oh why do cosford insist on 'punishing' people who arrive early by parking them away from the front, im not a parking management expert so there could be a valid reason, but why start in the middle and then fill the closest to the runway later in the day.
2) Displays - agree the F16 was superb, Reds just looked 'flat' this time out. just didnt seem as dynamic as in previous years. Tiffy as noisy as usual. The little ending surprise was cool, good to see they got the F35 to close the show
3) getting out - its cosford 11,000 cars all trying to leave at the same time is going to cause queues with only one exit. We hung around for a bit and went for a walk, cars hadnt moved for 40 mins, We managed to get out via the runway exit within 40mins.

will defo be back.
Viper: Good morning, gentlemen, the temperature is 110 degrees

bishbashbosh
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by bishbashbosh »

It was great to be back at Cosford. I echo many of the comments of others:

Positives
  • There being a show at all! Kudos to the team as it would have been easy for the RAF to follow the Navy and miss another year.
  • Although the display was quite gappy – just four slots per hour – there was actually a lot of quality and some excellent flying. Four fast jets, four excellent rotary displays (including a debut), the warbirds and the Reds were enough to keep me happy.
  • Traffic! As usual I arrived early and departed late to avoid the melee. I was straight in and parked up by 7.30am, and then out within 10 minutes at 7pm. This enabled me to enjoy a wander round the static while it was nice and quiet, and then at the end of the day hung around the Wessex and Lynx on the flightline and was treated to lovely departure pirouettes, plus a bonus arrival from the A109 as it returned.
  • As usual at Cosford, a nice relaxed atmosphere. Very friendly and enthusiastic service personnel - and no teams of people pressuring you to leave the second the flying ends as per RIAT! Plenty of people still wandering round enjoying the showground when I left at 7pm.
  • I was sat near a bunch of air cadets and it was a real pleasure to see them buzzing and enjoying the aircraft so much. Shows the importance of the RAF keeping this type of event going.
Negatives
  • OK – calling it a negative is a bit harsh, but the positioning of some of the aircraft was quite strange. If you only have one international visitor on static why stick it in front of the fairground? Why park the C-130 so far away that most people would have missed it? Why did some aircraft have no barriers at all? This made photography impossible but also showed how some people have no respect – I saw one guy getting his kids to swing off the missile on the Sea Harrier. Considering the Navy Wings Wasp is a live aircraft I was surprised people were allowed to touch it, lean on it, push the tail rotor etc (and I saw all that in just 10 mins). What happened to all the Jaguars – have these now gone? It seemed quite empty between the Puma at the tower and the blast pens.
  • The orange barriers - I get why they need to have dedicated lanes for the cars but a few more gaps would be nice!


Overall though, a very enjoyable day out and thanks to the team for making it happen.
2024 shows: Abingdon, Cosford, Sywell, RIAT, Zeltweg with a couple of Duxford and Shutteworth shows thrown into the mix.

Mike
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Mike »

TheMaster wrote:
Mon 13 Jun 2022, 8:38 am
...it looks like the virtue signaling woke cancel culture brigade took offense...
My nomination for the prize for the most nonsensical comment on this year's various Cosford threads :rofl:

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Tommy
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Tommy »

TheMaster wrote:
Mon 13 Jun 2022, 8:38 am
Be careful those of you criticising food prices and other things about the day! Is is apparent from replies to my comments it looks like the virtue signaling woke cancel culture brigade took offense and we have to be positive about everything on here now!!
😂😂

Jesus H man, calm down. You had an opinion on the food prices, which you are entitled to. Others had a different opinion to yours, which they’re entitled to.

No-one’s been “cancelled”. Stop digging a hole and chucking your toys out of the pram and being such a snowflake.

cg_341
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by cg_341 »

Seconded, imagine being SO irate about the price of food (that you aren't forced to buy) that you lose it on an internet forum and start going on about virtue signalling and the "woke cancel culture brigade". Embarrassing.

TheMaster
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by TheMaster »

😃😃😃

Woodford_was_wicked
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Woodford_was_wicked »

Overall a great day out with some surprises (mostly good)!

The flying display was good, some gaps as people have noted but we already knew there likely would be and considering the short time to plan the show they did well. The schedule in the program was basically a waste of time but I guess that happens! As others have said the Rafale and F16 were maybe the highlights, though I would also give a shout out to the Pitts.

Shame about the Lancaster and the A400, think they'd have added something different just by being "large". Overall though what they did have was nice, the Falcons jumping from the Chinook was fun. Another good surprise was how much I enjoyed the glider. Expected that to be boring filler but it was actually a very graceful and enjoyable little display - certainly a contrast to the power of the Rafale that arrived not long after!

Traffic was terrible - lack of signs on the way in (saying to ignore satnav and follow signs only really works if there are signs to follow!) Though that could depend on the approach so maybe better from other directions. Getting out I managed to avoid the worst of it by having a look around the hangars and getting some food (which was expensive but a wood fired pizza for £11 not completely awful - would argue better value than a £5 grease burger). Another little gem was the 1940s pub that Jonnym mentioned, £4 pint with the live singers nearby and planes in the sky - can't complain!

As a show closer the F35 was great. The first pass seems to have disappointed a few on here but I actually liked it. Not seen one before and after reading about how loud it was I was amazed by how incredibly quiet it was (from where I was stood at least). It really seemed to match it's "stealthiness". Then when I saw the lift fan come up I got quite excited hoping for a hover, which it didn't disappoint. A final third pass with burner and a zoom climb to depart would have been the dream but beggars can't be choosers.

Overall a good day, nice to be back at an airshow!

Mike
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Mike »

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, the first time I'd been to a Cosford show since 1990. Yes, the flying was a bit 'gappy', and a couple more fast jets and some 'heavies' wouldn't have gone amiss, but considering tit was effectively a new team running the show after a 3-year gap since the last one in 2019, I thought it was a good effort.

I decided to dodge the much-mentioned traffic queues and took the train in from where we were staying in Telford. A really painless experience, less than an hour from leaving the hotel to walking in the showground, and all for a return fare of around a fiver. The same on the way back, in spite of having to stand in line outside the station for around half an hour waiting for the next train, I was back in Telford less than an hour after watching the F-35B hovering.

I can't say I noticed any 'filler' items in the flying. The selection of helicopters was excellent, and Rich Goodwin always puts on a great display. Had there been half a dozen civilian aerobatic acts I would tend to agree with the 'filler' comments, but in this case I think that's a little unfair.

High point of the commentary was listening to Ben trying to 'sex up' the Birmingham UAS segment by likening it to nine-ship 'home team' Lightning formations at RAf open days of the past, as a trio of Tutors came bimbling by in loose formation!

There were some interesting ground displays in the static and hangars, and I especially liked the 'timeline of UK SAR' line-up

Hopefully the team will build on this year and improve upon it for next year (especially in the area of pre-show comms, which took a lot of justifiable flak on social media)

All-in-all, a great day out and it's good to be experiencing a near-normal airshow season again, something we wondered if we'd ever have again after the last couple of years.

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capercaillie
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by capercaillie »

Less than an hour from leaving the house to parking in the VIP car park at around 7.20am, its where they directed us so who are we to argue?

Walk round the static, waiting for clouds to move out of the way. Puma was unnecessarily buried among crap, as to be expected. Did they forget where they left the Pucara's wingtips? Tornado GR1 looked the bees. :thumbsup:

Flightline looked very sparse this year. Fast jet displays were great, why do they all think black is best though? There are other colours available. Reds looked very unexciting this year. Razzleblades, Wessex and Lynx all great but after rehearsing why was the Wasp relegated to static? Needed something bigger than a Catalina in the display though. Rafale would have been better on later.

Another quick look round the static after the show, they opened the runway, got in the car and drove straight out, no hassles.

And the sun shone at mostly convenient times. Can't be bad. Good to be back at airshows.
Last edited by capercaillie on Mon 13 Jun 2022, 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mindy_monster
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by mindy_monster »

Gosh, it felt good to be back at a proper airshow! A few changes for me from my 'normal' Cosford attendance- missed out on Cosford Club tickets, and also drove in to the show for the first time. I also brought two friends, who were airshow newbies.

- Flying display- yes there were gaps, and a couple of unfortunate cancellations. However, I don't think I'd fully realised how much I'd missed fast jets, so overall, I was very happy with the display. I also found the gaps in the display allowed a chance to chat to friends, which was great. As ever, it was made by the international participation, would have been a bit lackluster without.
- Entry and Exit- arrived for around 8:30 with pretty easy and straightforward parking up in car park 6. We delayed our exit until they started shutting everything around us. Took about 30mins to get off base- thought they had a good amount of marshalls, and that it was well managed. However, why do they take down the car park flags so early?! I'd use it was a landmark, only to find they'd all been removed by not long after 6pm.
-Static- bit of a shambles, but always nice to walk round and get up close to aircraft, also enjoyed chatting to a few crew.
-Food- I brought my own, keeps it simple.
-Agree with others about the orange barriers. Seemed absolute madness how far you had to walk to find a route through to some places. Also, to me, there didn't seem to be enough toilets, and they were very widely spread out across the site.
-Would love to know actual crowd numbers at some point. Can't remember it being that busy before, I genuinely struggled to move through the site on foot at some points.

Roll on next year!

Luke28
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Luke28 »

I forgot how draining airshows are. Up at 4am, finally home at 9.30pm (and im very local).
My head hit the pillow at around 10pm last night and I've slept right through until 10am this morning and i'm still tired. Damn it's good to be back! Roll on Fairford. 😁

cg_341
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by cg_341 »

Luke28 wrote:
Mon 13 Jun 2022, 9:50 am
I forgot how draining airshows are. Up at 4am, finally home at 9.30pm (and im very local).
You're doing it wrong, that's a longer day than it takes me to do a day at RIAT and I travel from and to Manchester! :joy:

bishbashbosh
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by bishbashbosh »

Woodford_was_wicked wrote:
Mon 13 Jun 2022, 9:40 am
A final third pass with burner and a zoom climb to depart would have been the dream but beggars can't be choosers.
I heard on the scanner ATC informing the pilot that the planned/requested zoom climb was not approved.
2024 shows: Abingdon, Cosford, Sywell, RIAT, Zeltweg with a couple of Duxford and Shutteworth shows thrown into the mix.

IP1960
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by IP1960 »

Nice to be back at Cosford - been to a number of shows in the interim, but as one of the two "large" shows left great that they did hold a show this year.

Living less than an hour away helps, but drove straight in at 7.45. Leaving of course is different, but if you've been before you know that and plan accordingly! I got in my car at 6.30 and 10 minutes later was on the M54, so not so bad.

I've seen the 7-ship Red Arrows several times now (and a 6-ship!), and still doesn't feel right at all, having those 2 missing makes such a difference, particularly to the flow of the second half of the display. In some ways their display reflected the show - a bit "gappy", sometimes felt a little distant and some aircraft missing, but ultimately still entertaining.

As others have said, the Belgian Viper was the standout, but as a lover of old props I enjoyed the Mustang and the Vintage Pair - as is seen at Old Warden, a glider display is very graceful to watch. Great to see the helicopters, and the hover by the F35 (following it's less than exciting first pass) - which ended up being right in front of me and not at crowd centre was a good way to close the show.

The static seemed a little thin compared to previous years, but had a good time wandering around, and fitting in with a love of old props enjoyed a nice chat with Kevin Hale about his Auster and other airshow thoughts. I noticed the food prices, but I find them no different to any large event these days, and I always take my own food so not an issue - no doubt the same complaints will be heard in July at Fairford!

Overall great to have Cosford "back", and hopefully next year will be better, but I still enjoyed the day.

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jasonT1981
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by jasonT1981 »

1st thing 1st, the flying was excellent. Fantastic day of flying, even if there were some gaps in the displays. Rich Goodwin, F16 & Rafele stole the show for me.

Cosford club was excellent, front row seat and had the Falcon's land in front of us. A great viewing location with seating.

Programme was well produced, lots of information and stories etc, some just have photos of the aircraft with basic info and thats it.

Trains ran pretty smooth, all be it packed on the way home. I left Cosford as soon as F35 finished and was on the train by 5:10pm.

Morning arrivals were pretty good to see.

Commentry was great, whoever was on Cosford radio being broadcast via the speakers before the show started worked really well together.

The museum was good, I did it on Saturday, and had a very enjoyable VR flight in a Spitire.

First ever display of the Lynx in Civvy hands, that was a lovely surprise and fantastic to be there for.

Now, there were a few issues.

It's been beaten with a stick, but communication was a massive issue, if they had been more transparant earlier by saying it wouldn't be a full 6 hours, more people would have understood.

Food was, as already discussed to death, expensive. I saw the prices and went back and forth on if I should get something, the guy beside me got a burger and chip and with the amount he left, I decided against it.

Static was a little bland. Historic Helicopters line up was great though.

Not sure what happened to Team Raven or the A400, that was disappointing.

RAF displays just felt... flat, including the flypasts, but the F35 noise was incredible. Reds don't work well as a 7 ship and the display seemed further away than I've ever seen them. Typhoon really didn't do it for me this year, but it was good to see the Chinook pull double duty with the Falcons before their display, that was a very nice surprise.

Over-all - I did really enjoy the flying when all was said and done, there is plenty to build on by the new team and with the date for 2023 already announced, a full year planning should see the show returning to its full 6 hours. But communication is essentail and that needs urgently reviewed.

Still, for only 5 months preperation, they did a very good job. More positives than negatives. But out of the big 3 I usually go to (Cosford, RIAT and Duxford) Cosford is probably the least accessable and biggest slog to get there and back.

I'm only home an hour ago, long weekend and plenty of photos to process.

On a side note, I talked to a good few on the train platform on Saturday, not sure if it was from anyone here, but Saturday was so quiet there was excitement for the Tutor practice. Tutor did actually surprise me, probably the best Tutor display I have seen over the years.

binbrook87
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by binbrook87 »

@jasonT1981.....I echo your thoughts on the Saturday....you know it's a quiet day when we all get excited to see the Tutor display! Haha 😃

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DerekF
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by DerekF »

A few thoughts of my own.
Getting in was easy to the off-base parking, I arrived about 8:45.
Took plenty of time to have a good look around but apart from one or two well placed aircraft, photographing the static was difficult. It's good getting all round an aircraft but does lead to a lot of clutter.

I found a spot to stand near the crowd centre and by show-time it was pretty rammed. The crowd did seem to appreciate many of the items , especially the Red Arrows and the BBMF.
The flying display itself did feel a bit like three hours crammed into five with lots of gaps, not helped by a few cancelled items. What did fly though was pretty good, the fast jets being the highlights for me.

I headed for the car park just before the end as the day had taken its toll on my lockdown-conditioned physique. It seemed to take ages to getting moving out of the car park, it was only half an hour and I was home by 7pm.

All things considered a decent day out and pretty good VFM. £35 for that amount of entertainment is pretty good. I probably spent that much diesel on getting there and back...

Mgmarky
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Mgmarky »

My thoughts are firstly,how good it was to be back at an airshow,we have all missed them and the entertainment they provide for enthusiasts and families alike.
Most things have been pretty much covered in the thread,as far as the flying display goes it was decent considering the constraints the team appeared to be working under.
I actually didn't mind the display time cut back to approximately 5 hours and with the addition of 3/4 more flying items the show would have scored higher than the 7 out of 10 which I will award it.
A couple of points picked up from elsewhere.
1. Worryingly people still trying to get in without tickets, we arrived via the back entrance off the A464 and tickets were not checked until entry to base,if no ticket not sure how you would be able to refuse entry as it was one way in.
2. People slating the show comparing it to RIAT.
Cosford is more aimed towards families than RIAT and as such is needed in the airshow calendar, with the loss of so many shows over the last 20 years it is important we don't lose any more.
Finally I would like to thank the organisers and all helpers for enabling us all to have an enjoyable day out without you it wouldn't happen.

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jasonT1981
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by jasonT1981 »

I forgot, those damn orange netting.

I walked down to the Cosford Club enclosure, only to be met with the net, had to track backwards and to the other side just to get back to where I was. There was no reason why it needed a divide. The way it was laid out was baffling.

Woodford_was_wicked
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by Woodford_was_wicked »

bishbashbosh wrote:
Mon 13 Jun 2022, 10:58 am
Woodford_was_wicked wrote:
Mon 13 Jun 2022, 9:40 am
A final third pass with burner and a zoom climb to depart would have been the dream but beggars can't be choosers.
I heard on the scanner ATC informing the pilot that the planned/requested zoom climb was not approved.
Ah, I see - thanks! Shame that, seems a bit spoilsporty considering the rest of the noise they'd had all day. I'd have imagined stuff like that would be requested in advance but oh well.

If only there was someone senior enough in the cockpit to not worry about getting a rollicking... Not as if the RAF would shoot down its own plane for flying a bit too quickly and even if they did send a couple of QRA typhoons to force it down then that'd just add to the spectacle!

cg_341
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Re: Cosford 2022 - your thoughts

Post by cg_341 »

I've heard, though I can't confirm, that no matter how stealthy the F-35 is it still makes one hell of a mess when it ploughs through an airliner as it's doing a rapid climb through controlled, and busy, airspace.

In seriousness though, a rapid climb may have been requested and planned subject to ATC approval based on other air traffic in the area and above.

Fairford also has (had?) this issue with aircraft needing to climb above a certain height as part of their display needing approval from London AC.