February/March 2017

There are less than 100 days to the RAF Cosford Air Show. Just like the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team that will open our show, some of us are starting to experience a bit of ground-rush as we head towards the big day on Sunday 11 Jun 17!  

So what has the team been up to since the last blog. We’ve certainly been busy in a fair amount of areas, but I’ll start with the line-up.  The RAF has confirmed that once again we’ll be thrilled by the Red Arrows. If you love 9-ship display teams you’re in for a real treat; even more so now that we’ve secured, for the first time at Cosford, the Swiss PC-7 display team. Typhoon will be making a showing with a display that defies aerodynamics. Michaela and Peter went to RAF Coningsby to meet the new Typhoon Display pilot as he works up his routine. To watch their interview please tune into the RAF Cosford FaceBook page.  There are a couple of other FaceBook live recordings as well; but with me, so not remotely as glamorous as the Typhoon display chap.

We’re thrilled to have secured the RAF BBMF Lancaster this year, but as we’re helping them to celebrate their 60th anniversary they are bringing 4 (yes 4!) Spitfires to wow us all. We’re not done yet with the flying display as we’re still awaiting some key announcements for our bids and Peter and I are still treading the Embassy circuit and sitting on desks at the RAF Northolt Air Events Team. There are far too many additional aircraft to list one by one, so please check out our Twitter feed @cosfordairshow to see the full line-up for flying and static displays. We’ve really got a warm feeling that you’ll be impressed, as so many of you have commented favourably on social media as we announce the new additions to the display.

Showcasing #Cosford17 at the recent European Airshow Convention in Malta, Marilyn, Clive and Peter attended this important event on the Air Show Organiser’s calendar in order to listen and contribute to debates on safety and promoting excellence. Many thanks to our friends in Stn Graphics for pushing the boat out to assist us with amazingly professional displays. The stand was the best by a country mile!

Whilst Malta is interesting, I’m strangely excited by the work that is going into our traffic planning. We have 2 teams that we’ve contracted to assist us. One looks after the road network in the local area whilst the other looks after the parking and close-in management that our visitors have enjoyed over recent years. Our experienced contractors work closely with the local Police Force and local authority. I’ve learnt loads about clearways and the different types of traffic cones needed; important stuff!

Our office team of Heather and Nadia are making a real difference by efficiently dealing with customer requests and complex bookkeeping respectively. They’ve settled in to the team and are now inculcated with the importance of Haribo and Jaffa Cakes to fuel the day’s activities.

Our RAF Project Managers are really getting to grips with their projects. Their teams are forming and the complex manning plot is taking shape. No one at RAF Cosford is excused Air Show duties, mainly because they all want to join in to be part of this great endeavour. We’ve challenged all of the teams to come up with refreshing new ideas and they’re not going to disappoint. One thing I can guarantee is that you’ll see more of our students demonstrating aircraft engineering in the hangars. This will also include our students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time, something that chimes nicely with our theme of international cooperation.

After this week’s BADA pre-season symposium, ahead of us we have an Emergency Planning seminar in April and a local exercise to test our responses in May. All of this is the serious side of planning such a large event and we’re grateful to all of the emergency services who so ably support our training and exercises. As Eisenhower said on the eve of D Day: ‘The plan is nothing, but planning is everything’.

Exciting times indeed 🙂  Wing Commander Chris Jones, Chairman #Cosford17

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