On Sunday 12 June, making a welcome return after being cancelled for the last two years due to C-19 Restrictions, was the RAF Cosford Airshow. It was also the first of the season that the Event Unit was making it appearance.
For those who had not seen the revised unit before it was an experience not to be missed as now it is “access all areas” due to the creation of steps and entrance into to the unit from the front. It demonstrated in a small way that during the pandemic no part of the teams at Vulcan to the Sky were sleeping, not only was the aircraft maintained to the highest level but even the support teams were active.
So it was on Saturday 11th June that the Events Unit arrived at Cosford for set-up, and it was an interesting day due the gusty and sometimes strong winds. But undaunted the team had the unit looking good and pre-prepped for the show the following day and retired for a quiet meal and a well-earned drink.
The day kicked off early, as airshows do, so the team was on site ready to go at 07.00 hrs. Breakfast taken on the hoof as always but the coffee always helps wake us up. By 07.30 the first sales had been made and so it progressed through the morning.
We had a steady stream of customers with good sales until the Wi-Fi failed. Now this is unfortunately a common thing at Cosford and the public had been warned to bring cash as the RAF could not guarantee connectivity at times. Sadly, as in 2019 apart from odd times there was no real reception, it was very hit and miss all day. But we muddled through and were not as badly affected as we might have been.
At lunchtime the air display commenced and for the most part appeared to be well received by the crowds. Working on the stand you can always tell when something interesting is on as the number of customers drops, it never actually disappears so those who think helping at an airshow is a great way to see the displays think again. At least three out of the crew did not see a single full display of any aircraft. Not helped by the fact that the back of the unit was to the Display Line.
Displaying on the day were; RAF Falcons; UAS Tutors; RAF Chinook; ASK 21 Glider; Catalina; French Rafale; Rich Goodwin Pitts; BBMF Spitfires; Spitfire & Typhoon; RAF Typhoon; Wessex Helicopter; P-51 Mustang; Belgian A-109 Helicopter; Chipmunks; Red Arrows; Belgian F-16; Lynx helicopter; Texan T1; Hawk T2; and F-35B.
Unfortunately, the Lancaster had technical problems so did not display with the rest of The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).
Anyway, it was a great day, crowds were good, the banter with customers was positive and good humoured. Awkward questions were answered honestly and sales made. Certain lines of items that sold very were our new Platinum Jubilee clothing.
We even launched the 2022 AVRO Vulcan 70th Anniversary Raffle with people commenting that the range of Prizes was different, for those who have not seen there are 12 prizes and you can buy paperless entry online.
So next comes The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), Friday 15 to Sunday 17 July. RIAT is considered to be the world’s largest Military Airshow and typically attracts a total of 150,000 to 160,000 spectators over the weekend.
We will be there so if you are going look for us in the Red Zone.