Via various pick-up points in the Netherlands and Belgium, a total of 44 people gathered on Saturday 9 June 2018 to travel to RAF Cosford by bus. The next day the Royal Air Force would celebrate its 100th anniversary there and this was a great opportunity to visit this nice air base. Cosford is known for its extensive Royal Air Force museum and the many Jaguars of the No.1 School of Technical Training.
After a prosperous journey, we arrived at RAF Cosford on Sunday (10 June) at 07:00. We had to enter the field via very small roads, not suitable for a coach. When we were on the field and were able to park as the first bus to arrive it was already clear that the driver could not leave the field via the same road to drive to his hotel. RAF Cosford is not really suitable to visit with a large numbers of vehicles. After seeing our tickets we were allowed to enter the field and we could capture the very extensive static. The sun was shining and some of the museum aircraft were parked outside. The group quickly spread. The field only opened at 8:30 am so in the beginning it was still nice and quiet.
The static consisted of many ex-RAF aircraft such as a Gloster Meteor, Hunter, Lightning, Phantom, a Tornado F3 and various WWI and II aircraft. There was enough space between the airframe so that taking photos was not a problem. There were also a number of foreign participants such as an NH-90 from the Dutch Navy, an M-28 Skytruck from the Polish Navy and an Irish EC-135. There was also a nice row of ex-Desert Storm aircraft (for the RAF under the name Operation GRANBY); a Jaguar, Buccaneer and a Tornado, all in Desert Pink camo.
Also the many instructional airframe Jaguars were seen here and there (apparently up to 37 different aircraft of the type). Even on the other side of the field Jaguars were parked and a hangar full of them. A true feast for the enthusiast! There were several helicopters in the grass that would fly in the afternoon. Until 3 PM the air show was backlit. Highlights were a flying Sycamore and a Whirlwind. Fighter demos were performed by a French Rafale C, a Belgian F-16AM from Florennes and a Polish MiG-29A. Also a Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 came to provide a demo. It remains impressive to see a 757 fly in this way. Also old-timers such as the Bollingbroke, Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfire, Hurricane, Devon and Anson took part. At the end of the day the RAF came with a flyby of a Tornado GR4, a Typhoon demo and a one way pass of an A400M. Of course the Red Arrows were there on this anniversary show.
At 19:00 local time it was time to board the bus and we drove away from the base. This also went by fits and starts. Once we were off base it went well again and the trip to the boat went smoothly. On the way there we stopped for dinner and around 01:00 (Monday 11 June) we were in Dover. At 02:00 the boat left for Calais. We dropped of everyone on the road back according to schedule and at around 12:30 the coach back in Nijmegen, the place where this trip started and where the last people got off. We can look back on a very nice trip with good weather.