Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

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Jameslw1993
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Jameslw1993 »

JMC wrote:
Sun 11 Jun 2023, 7:54 pm
Jameslw1993 wrote:
Sun 11 Jun 2023, 5:50 pm
But if/when they pull 2 or 3 fast jet displays next year, this'll all be forgotten about, it's the fickle world we live in to be honest. Not to be funny, if you're hungry for strong participation, RIAT should be the only UK show on your scopes.
Well if the Cosford organisers have your attitude of ‘if you want strong participation go to RIAT’ good luck seeing 2/3 jets.

I don’t think any one is asking for RIAT levels of participation. Just a show that’s not run like a circus?
I didn't attend, but from what I've seen and heard, the show wasn't run like a circus at all. I'm also not quite sure of the relevance of the organisers attitude in tune with what I've said, I'm speaking to us enthusiasts.

I never stated RIAT levels, just a strong participation, which only RIAT offers at this moment. To be quite honest, is never going to be the case, as Cosford is a family oriented event, and has been for some time. Despite some of the star participants over the years.
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binbrook87
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by binbrook87 »

I think the last poster makes a very fair point, which I think i may have touched upon some years ago when Cosford has been previously slated. I've been going since the late 70s and it's never really been a 'large' show and always tended to be more of a smaller family event. The problem lies in that now it's become the only RAF At Home event the spotlight and pressure is always on. That it's been able to attract some real gems in the past few years has set the bar to a very high standard that it probably never intended to do. Enthusiasts (me included) probably expect it to deliver more than it probably should be able to. It hasn't really got the runway length or space to be a large player in terms of static and flightline items, and although RAF Shawbury helps with aircraft movements if more aircraft had the facility to operate 'on base' at Cosford this would help things I'm sure..but it doesn't and won't. The show is what it is. Some years are going to be knockout and others back to 'usual fare'. Yes... let's voice our opinion but it still needs our support or else we may lose it altogether!

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JJC
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by JJC »

We left for the car at 3:15, too hot & miserable from the heat, crowds and generally poor lineup.

Pluses:
- Typhoon display - the best I’ve seen from the type in RAF hands. Aggressive, low and close.
- Patrouille Suisse - simply superb from start to finish, with a brilliantly polished and punchy routine.
- That’s about it. I feel very deflated at the moment, and really have no desire to return to Cosford as it stands.

Cons:
- The showground was just appalling - chaotic, unpleasantly busy and absolutely rammed. I understand the layout makes it difficult, but the thin band of crowdline (which seems to get narrower as it moves towards the station?) just seems to get worse each year. Sardines.

- The static (was there one?) was so deeply buried in crap and so sparsely parted out that it may as well have not been there.

- Everyone commented how few stalls there were full stop, but particularly aviation-focussed ones.

- Queues stretching back a significant distance to access any amenities - I only saw one water bowser (were there others? I didn’t see on my 3 laps around the base through the day), which had what must have been 100 + people waiting in line. Toilets much the same.

- The lineup was frankly appalling. Cancellations on the day are unavoidable (and the organisers suffered, in fairness). Not booking anywhere near enough display items to fill the schedule, on the other hand.

- The *AWFUL* black bin liners taped around the SR.53 canopy…
Last edited by JJC on Sun 11 Jun 2023, 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Skylinerworld
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Skylinerworld »

JJC wrote:
Sun 11 Jun 2023, 9:50 pm

- Queues stretching back a significant distance to access any amenities - I only saw one water bowser (were there others? I didn’t see on my 3 laps around the base through the day), which had what must have been 100 + people waiting in line. Toilets much the same.
Funnily enough we used the toilets twice today - once early afternoon and again when the last display had finished, and both times (at different ends of the airfield) we got in pretty much straight away, we did see the big queue for the water bowser though.
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cobmauler
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by cobmauler »

Look, there's to much doom and gloom. I watched from off site and yes the line up was a bit thin, but I really enjoyed what I saw. I would love to turn the clock back to the eighties but it isn't going to happen. Yes more fast jets would have been welcome, but you can't have everything you want in life.
Funniest moment of the day came just as the French parachute team had started their drop. A light plane came out of nowhere and decided to land. The commentator said that the team had to halt their display. Awkward as they were 5000 feet up and couldn't get back in the plane! He then thought his microphone was off and shouted to a colleague "Does anyone know what's going on?!!" Quite an apt remark in view of all the cancellations! BTW does anyone else consider some of his comments regarding the French team somewhat patronising and a little unprofessional.

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by G-CVIX »

cobmauler wrote:
Sun 11 Jun 2023, 10:50 pm
Look, there's to much doom and gloom. I watched from off site and yes the line up was a bit thin, but I really enjoyed what I saw. I would love to turn the clock back to the eighties but it isn't going to happen. Yes more fast jets would have been welcome, but you can't have everything you want in life.
It probably was more enjoyable as a free day out, and the line up was more akin to a free seaside show.

No-one is suggesting a mini RIAT, but so little was planned to fly to begin with, and such little effort was made towards the other aspects of the show.

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by G-CVIX »

Then again, comments are overwhelmingly positive on the RAF Cosford Facebook page.

bishbashbosh
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by bishbashbosh »

I think I’ve just about cooled down… what a scorcher!

The positives:
- I was straight in and out with no traffic - 7.45am arrival and 7pm departure.
- It’s clear a huge amount of effort is put in by the base personnel and others - lots of people giving up their weekends with a smile on their face and it’s appreciated.
- The crew of the Herc did a shift - welcoming people onboard from 8am to 7pm!
- The flying was well executed. I thought RAF participation was generally OK - we’re never going to get Zeltweg levels when the service views RIAT as its home show. Shame about the cancellations which made it a bit gappy towards the end. Highlights for me were the Swiss, the Wasp, and the observation pair.
- Missing the almighty thunderstorms which came later.

The negatives:
- The static - as others have said. There seems to be an attitude of roll out a few museum pieces and the same old base airframes, and build a vintage village, and the punters will be happy. It’s hard to believe that Ireland and the Netherlands are the only two countries in the world prepared to send an airframe to the only RAF show. And why, when you have only two international visitors, do you literally place one in the car park? I wasn’t quite sure how to get to it so didn’t bother. Why have eight airframes in the blast pens and then cordon it off? The pens are one of the best static spots in the country, why not use them properly? RAF participation in the flying was OK, but a few more on static would have been nice - runway length permitting.
- When the show finished I decided to follow the advice given over the commentary and visit the new Bomber Command exhibition, only to find the museum had already closed up shop on its busiest day of the year.
- As others have mentioned the crowdline is ridiculously thin, and even thinner this year it seemed. When you have so much space to play with, ramming people in like that is really quite unacceptable. It was Zeltweg levels of crowding - where you couldn’t easily move around with treading on someone. Why not give people more space? - yes you may lose a row or two of car parking but if it makes people more comfortable and improves safety…

A comment above mentions the aircraft that landed after the French parachute team had jumped. I was listening to ATC and it was on frequency while the skyvan was doing its prep and so they were definitely aware of it - it didn’t appear from nowhere - and cleared to land after they had jumped which caused some raised eyebrows. Seemed a difficult day for ATC. And yes, I also wasn’t keen on the commentator referring to them as just the warm up for the British display etc. I hope their guys didn’t hear that.

I can see why the general public enjoy the show. I think we’ve been spoiled in recent years by a team that tried to cater for both families and enthusiasts, whereas I think there is a different emphasis now. I’ll be back again next year, but with my little boy who I think will be old enough (he’s only done Shuttleworth and Duxford so far). If you can’t beat em… and perhaps I’ll get a different perspective, or enjoy it in a different way.
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Cole
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Cole »

If you had heard the things that went on over the weekend on ATC you'd be shocked.

I understand its not a run of the mill day for them but they were really shoddy especially on arrivals.

They didnt have a clue what was going on, pilots telling ATC where they were supposed to be parking as they were directed to the wrong place... more than once.

and thats just the tip of the iceberg :rofl:
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wdg
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by wdg »

bishbashbosh wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 6:20 am
And yes, I also wasn’t keen on the commentator referring to them as just the warm up for the British display etc. I hope their guys didn’t hear that.
I think that was just a bit of friendly inter-service banter from the British (RAF Falcons) team's own commentator, who was covering both displays because the French team's own commentator was unavailable.
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Cole
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Cole »

wdg wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 8:20 am
bishbashbosh wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 6:20 am
And yes, I also wasn’t keen on the commentator referring to them as just the warm up for the British display etc. I hope their guys didn’t hear that.
I think that was just a bit of friendly inter-service banter from the British (RAF Falcons) team's own commentator, who was covering both displays because the French team's own commentator was unavailable.
i agree it did seem lighthearted and the guys were having a good time on the ground together.
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by rockfordstone »

it was my first cosford visit and whilst you can't blame the organisers for stuff going tech or being pulled out for operational reasons, the whole show just felt a bit flat.

like has been said in some other posts, it felt like a seaside air show at times

not a fan of the layout by the fence, looked like a sardine can in there.

doesn't feel like a show that needs to fit 55k people in to be honest

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by MiG_Eater »

I started attending Cosford when Waddington ceased - a bit of a downgrade, and further away - but I always enjoy the opportunity to get on to an actual airbase, albeit one that can't accommodate fast jets.

I enjoyed the day yesterday, but as has been said there was a lot of disappointing elements. In a way I think this is best summed up by the positioning of the Irish EC135 which I didn't spot until the end of the day, and couldn't easily be accessed without walking around a couple of car park delineators. Essentially the helicopter had been parked in a car park.

Why not have a row of statics - however meagre in one place? Why not line the helicopters up behind the Hercules so there's a specific area for people to visit? It just seemed as though it hadn't been thought out.

The flying display was reasonable and I agree that the Typhoon was probably the best i've seen it in RAF hands, and the Swiss were of course fantastic. Really not sure why the RAF has an aversion to lighting the afterburner on their F-35s, but even so, enjoyed that too.

I might be back next year but whilst i'm usually someone who books hotel and purchases tickets in January, i'll probably wait and compare with Midland Air Fest next year. Fingers crossed for some decent foreign fast jet participation, and a better static display. I have no doubt it can be done!

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Cole
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Cole »

MiG_Eater wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 11:22 am

Why not have a row of statics - however meagre in one place? Why not line the helicopters up behind the Hercules so there's a specific area for people to visit? It just seemed as though it hadn't been thought out.
It hadn't, us with scanners on the station will tell you. The Organisation was a shambles the ATC had no clue where they were parking stuff and imo made it up as they went along.
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BossMann
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by BossMann »

Cole wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 12:40 pm
MiG_Eater wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 11:22 am

Why not have a row of statics - however meagre in one place? Why not line the helicopters up behind the Hercules so there's a specific area for people to visit? It just seemed as though it hadn't been thought out.
It hadn't, us with scanners on the station will tell you. The Organisation was a shambles the ATC had no clue where they were parking stuff and imo made it up as they went along.
Is that why the Irish Air Corps HS135 was placed in a car park away from the other statics - notably the Dutch NH90?

The C130 location was strange as was on its own surrounded by car parks

There was also a t28 on the flight line but not a display aircraft ? Was this meant to be part of the static display too?

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by DerekF »

A few thoughts

Good
-Getting in and out. The queue was slow getting in but not bad. Getting out at 5.30 was a breeze - drove straight out . The only hold up was a queue at the A5/A449 roundabout.
-The weather - maybe a bit warm but it didn't rain as forecast.
-Flying Display - despite some cancellations there were some decent items, the Patrouille Suisse and the RAF Typhoon as others have mentioned. The size of the airfield suits items such as the Jordanian Falcons and helicopters - there were only three helicopter displays so that was good as well
-Cosford club - good enclosure and friendly chat with the chap that I shared a table with. See also bad.

Bad
- why didn't the RAF Hercules fly past in time for the Falcons salute - as they used to do
- the static display - all over the place - I didn't walk to the Hercules - it was too far away especially in the heat.
- Cosford club - only one food stand and one cold drink stand. And why were there no bins dotted around?
- the impression given, rightly or wrongly was that the flying display was badly organized.
- the Red Arrows commentator - maybe he needs a few more attempts and maybe nerves took hold but it wasn't great to be honest.

Not the best Cosford show I've been to but on the whole a decent day out.

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by globemaster50 »

Cole wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 12:40 pm
MiG_Eater wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 11:22 am

Why not have a row of statics - however meagre in one place? Why not line the helicopters up behind the Hercules so there's a specific area for people to visit? It just seemed as though it hadn't been thought out.
It hadn't, us with scanners on the station will tell you. The Organisation was a shambles the ATC had no clue where they were parking stuff and imo made it up as they went along.
I saw the Jordanian Falcons parked in the drop zone for the parachutists and had to be told to move, could see one of the pilots wasn't too happy when he had shut down and got out!

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by JJC »

A few more points (not all of which are Cosford’s fault):

- What is the RAF aversion to displaying their special schemes?
The wonderful 40 Years Chinook was nowhere to be seen at the RAF’s only show….the less said about the C-130 ‘effort’, the better.

- Scandalous pricing of drinks. Lattes £4 each, and £3.30 for a lukewarm 500ml bottle of Tango from one vendor…
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jasonT1981
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by jasonT1981 »

Alright, first and foremost. The show was, to all extends a success. It sold out, had massive crowds and social media is buzzing about the Red Arrows and Typhoon. All in all, as Cosford look at it, it was a 100% success.

However, it is now clear they are going fully for the family type event, nothing wrong with that at all, but that means seaside level family displays it seems. Nothing wrong with that, I promote a seaside show myself. But it isn't what you would expect from the RAFs only airshow.

We are seen as a vocal minority I guess as enthusiasts.

OK, lets get on with it.

The Good

I won't knock any display, they all take skill, time and dedication and I appreciate that. Rich Goodwin was amazing as always. The Lancaster was amazing, I found myself packing my camera away and just watching her. The Swiss F5s were brilliant, to see them twice this weekend was great. Possible it will be the last time I see them unless a RIAT appearance next year and they will be missed.

RAF Falcons - What can I say, these guys went above and beyond. After their display they came to the Cosford club and spent so much time talking to people, signing autographs and letting people get pictures with them. That actually was a big highlight for me, great bunch of people. If any of you are here, thank you.

Getting in and out was easy. I walked right in from the train station at 10.30am, no queue, right into Cosford club and front row seat. Getting out was the same, I was out of Cosford club by 5.20pm and was on the train with it rolling out by 5.30pm. They had the management really done right this year. Though I guess a mass exodus after Reds may have helped?

Royal Jordanian Falcons - I said before the show I was looking forward to seeing them on a smaller airfield and it delivered. So much better with a smaller display area for them, they get lost in the skies at RIAT where-as they were much easier to watch on both displays this weekend.

The people on the platform on Saturday, got talking to a few of you. Don't know if it was anyone here, but if it was, I was the fat guy with an Irish accent lol. Great just to be around people with the same interest and passion for aviation.

Shorts Skyvan flying - As someone partly raised in East Belfast and had family who work in Shorts (Or whatever it is now, Spirit?) this was fantastic to see.

The Bad

OK, if Cosford seem to be going down the family friendly seaside show route I wish them well. Obviously the Reds and Typhoon make the biggest impact with the general day trip public. But I felt I paid £75 for a very expensive seaside level show. Nearly every one of those aircraft types I have seen at seaside shows in recent years, or have attended sea-side shows I have not had the chance to get to (F35, A400 aside) including the Swiss who displayed at a free seaside show here in Ireland a few years back.

Speaking of expensive, £75 for a rather pathetic attempt of the Cosford Club enclosure. I've supported the Cosford Club enclosure on all my visits to Cosford and enjoyed it, but this was just piss poor, sorry. 1 food vendor, a cold drink vendor and a beer vendor and that was it. £75 freakin' quid!! Usually get a warm greeting and armband on arrival, this year I was met by barely interested cadets who just scanned my ticket and handed me a programme followed by 'next'. No "welcome to the Cosford club, enjoy your day" etc. On the way out I said "Thank you" and was met by an disinterested grunt.

Cancellations - OK, not a fault of Cosford, but hearing cancel after cancel over the speakers really felt disheartening. I don't think I have ever been to a show with so many cancellations. At one point we were on 8 on the day until the Lancaster and Stearman managed to thankfully get fixed. Credit to the engineers. Not the fault of Cosford, but just had a massive impact on the day.

Static - Oh my goodness, what the heck was going on here? The Herc should have really been centre, not parked up on the far side of the airfield. I wanted to see it, but it was just to hot to drag myself up to where it was and back. Irish Air Corps placement was bizarre. And normally aren't we allowed to walk down the middle of where the Jags/Tornados were parked up? This year we were funnelled down what felt like two narrow paths on each end. I never even bothered with vintage village. Cosford 2018 had 100 static aircraft, this year they dragged out a few pieces from the museum and said that will do.

Social Media - Oh dear, where do I start? We bugged them to get active, and fair play they finally did. But the minute they announced they sold out, their social media interactions seemed like a cocky teenager thinking he is the 'Bees knees' as they say. The posts got cocky, sometimes rude and just unprofessional with criticism being met with replies from their social media along the lines of "Well enjoy RIAT then". They promised plenty of updates and lots to announce, then as soon as they sold out they said nothing. Then teasing a B1 and saying "we want to surprise our guests" etc only for.... once again nothing. OK, I am guessing the KC135 was the surprise and it would have been great, but another cancelled slot.

Communication at one point was dead, nothing. No updates, whenever they posted there was 0 substance to their posts. It was not even a half hearted attempt.

The show just felt so flat and underwhelming.

As I said, in all aspects the show was a success with selling out and all the positive 'I loved the Red Arrows' posts. What is losing a few enthusiasts when you can sell out the show with a family seaside show feel with the Reds and Typhoon? To Cosford, nothing really.

Will I be back at Cosford? Maybe in the future but I won't be rushing back into buying a ticket like I have in recent years. It will be a closer to the show decision and I won't book tickets without knowing a good lot of the line up before-hand.

Last year we all gave them the benefit of the doubt in the end, they only had 5 months to put together a show. This year they had a full 12 months and it felt like a last minute scramble to salvage something. Lessons were not learnt and mistakes got worse.

One last thing, Cosford really do need to sort out this insurance issue with the MOD. It is hampering things meaning a lot of displays are unable to come to Cosford.
Last edited by jasonT1981 on Mon 12 Jun 2023, 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by UKAirshowTour »

I do feel sorry for you I battled for 2 hours to get back to rugby down the m6 so can only imagine how it felt travelling from further afield. I’m years past the fight to get home was worth it for what I’d seen but this year I literally sat by the museum for an hour on the internet as there just wasn’t much to see. Also this stupid orange barriers I was parked in line with the Dakota and had to walk for ages for a gap in it to get to the crowd line

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Cole »

BossMann wrote:
Mon 12 Jun 2023, 1:56 pm

Is that why the Irish Air Corps HS135 was placed in a car park away from the other statics - notably the Dutch NH90?

Yes, it was parked on the flightline friday evening and was moved saturday afternoon after everything had already been put in place.
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by purple_95 »

One last thing, Cosford really do need to sort out this insurance issue with the MOD. It is hampering things meaning a lot of displays are unable to come to Cosford.
Not sure its the insurance issue that is stopping a lot of displays, several displays and not just the classic jets that people mentioned in the build up said they could attend, could meet the insurance requirements and yet nobody ever contacted them. Could the actual issue be Cosford not having the budget to fill out the flying and static displays since the show came back following the pandemic.

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by G67 »

JJC wrote:
Sun 11 Jun 2023, 9:50 pm
- The *AWFUL* black bin liners taped around the SR.53 canopy…
It has been wearing those since it was hauled out of the Test Flight hangar along with some other unique types to make way for the medley WW1 & interwar display.

The SR53, H126, Jaguar, JP and Meteor have been living outside and suffering the British weather. The Bristol 188 is at least indoors in storage until another museum accepts it.

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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Comet102 »

We are very excited to announce that the Royal Navy Black Cats have received their PDA from RAdm Moorhouse!
This is to enable them to display as a pair for the first time since 2017 at National Armed Forces Day in Falmouth.
Introducing your 2023 Royal Navy Helicopter Display Team, Lt Cdr Jim Carver and Lt Scott Sunderland.
We can't wait to see you there!!
From the Royal Navy Black Cats Facebook.

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Cole
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Re: Cosford Airshow 2023 (discuss everything)

Post by Cole »

Comet102 wrote:
Thu 15 Jun 2023, 7:11 pm
We are very excited to announce that the Royal Navy Black Cats have received their PDA from RAdm Moorhouse!
This is to enable them to display as a pair for the first time since 2017 at National Armed Forces Day in Falmouth.
Introducing your 2023 Royal Navy Helicopter Display Team, Lt Cdr Jim Carver and Lt Scott Sunderland.
We can't wait to see you there!!
From the Royal Navy Black Cats Facebook.
So there was no hope of it attending cosford as a display, but why not on static..

Im sure the Irish would have liked some company in the car park.
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