RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 preview

One of the region’s most popular events, the annual RAF Cosford Air Show returns later this month, with the organisers promising another action packed day that all the family will love!

Last year the show was voted ‘Best Event of the Year’ in Shropshire by the public and attractions planned for this year are bigger and better than ver before, with more aircraft on display, more interactive exhibitions and a wider variety of catering outlets on site.

Following on from last year’s success, the air show – being held on June 19 is again an advance ticket only event with no access available on the day for anyone who doesn’t have a ticket. 

Last year’s event sold out in the weeks leading up to the show, and organisers are expecting the same to happen this year so if you intend to visit the show, be sure to purchase your admission tickets soon.

Adult tickets are priced at £25 per person, with accompanied under-6s entering for free.

The easiest way to get tickets is to visit the shows website – www.cosfordairshow.co.uk – and buy them online. 

As well as purchasing tickets online, at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk, there are also a number of retail outlets who are also selling tickets to the air show. 

The RAF Museum at Cosford is selling tickets, as are a selection of Mid-Counties Co-Op stores across the region. Local tourist information centres also have a limited number of tickets.

And of course, the combined rail travel & air show admission tickets are on offer again this year, designed to encourage visitors to use Cosford’ s rail links rather than drive to the show. 

These tickets are available from any manned railway station, anywhere in the UK.

Of course the highlight of the air show is the flying display, with a huge variety of aircraft performing incredible aerobatics during the five hour flying display.

This year’s show has more than 20 different display items scheduled to wow the crowds, from thrilling aerobatics from modern fast jets to inspiring demonstrations of classic wartime fighters and everything in-between. 

Peter Reoch, part of the Air Show Operations Team, said: “We always try to get a really eclectic mix of aircraft in the flying display for everyone to enjoy. 

“Of course a lot of the aircraft are related to our themes; with ‘Speed’ and ‘Training’ running throughout the display this year.”

With so many things to look forward to, here is a pick of the highlights that you need to watch out for.

Red Arrows

Red Arrows
Red Arrows

World famous for their signature displays which combined graceful formations with exhilarating stunts, the RAF Red Arrows need no introduction.

The team is once again the headline act in the flying display, but they have a few new moves for 2016, creating new and unique shapes with their signature red, white and blue smoke. 

Unique for their appearance at RAF Cosford, the Red Arrows will also be performing a joint formation flypast with a King Air, to highlight the aircraft’s role in flying training which is a key theme at this year’s air show.


The mighty CH-47 Chinook helicopter
The mighty CH-47 Chinook helicopter

It might sound odd that a helicopter weighing up to 50,000lbs could possibly perform aerobatic manoeuvres more accustom to light aircraft, but that’s exactly what the RAF Chinook Display Team manage to do with their helicopter. Chinook aircraft are used for troop movements, resupply, and battlefield casualty evacuation.

This helicopter has incredible cargo carrying ability, carrying loads both inside the cabin or under-slung the airframe.

The display really does puts this huge helicopter through its paces and is sure to leave you breathless.

Sea Vixen

Sea Vixen
The Sea Vixen will take part in a rare flying display appearance. Picture: Rich Cooper

Even seasoned visitors to the air show may struggle to remember the last time they saw the Sea Vixen performing in the skies over RAF Cosford. 

This naval fighter has been out of the display scene for the past few years but now she has been given a new lease of life as part of the Fly Navy Heritage Trust.

The Sea Vixen is a classic British cold-war fighter, with a distinctive design with sleek lines and twin-boom tail. The jet was used by the Royal Navy and was equipped squadrons on all of the fleet’ s aircraft carriers during the 1960s.

Its appearance in the flying display at the show is part of a theme celebrating the British development of the jet engine by Sir Frank Whittle which is integral to this year’s event.

Gazelle Squadron

Another helicopter display to keep your eyes on is the pairs display from Gazelle Squadron, who will be performing for the very first time in public.

The Aerospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat helicopter used for light transport, training, and light attack duties. 

The UK military operated nearly 300 of the type, and the Gazelle has the distinction of being the only combat aircraft to be used by all three UK armed forces; the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps. The helicopters performing at the show are now in civilian hands, and alongside the two in the flying display the team will also have a further two helicopters on static display.


The Eurofighter Typhoon is the Royal Air Force’s primary air defence fighter, standing by 24/7 to project Britain’s airspace. The jet’s world-class agility and power will be showcased during a solo demonstration of the aircraft, flown by Flt Lt Mark Long. 

The display at RAF Cosford will be a return to familiar territory for Mark, as whilst studying at the University of Warwick, Mark learnt to fly the Bulldog aircraft as a member of the University of Birmingham Air Squadron, based at RAF Cosford. 

The Typhoon’ s display will be 10 minutes of excitement, noise, power and will leave you wanting more. 

However, ear protection is advised for those with delicate ears.

STEM Hangar

Titan the robot will be returning to the event

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Hangar at the air show is set to be bigger and better than ever this year! 

Supported by the RAF Charitable Trust the hangar is one of the major attractions on the showground and will include a wide variety of charitable organisations, local academic institutes and world famous companies. 

Titan the Robot will once again be entertaining the crowds with his wacky behaviour and wild sense of humour, see if you can figure out just what it is that makes the Transformer like robot work.

A huge crowd puller last year, Titan is sure to be a hit with the spectators once again. Once inside the hangar members of the public will have the opportunity to visit a number of organisations, such as BAE Systems and Tesla, encouraging children of all ages to get ‘hands on’ and engage in the STEM fields.

RAF Cosford is the home of Royal Air Force Engineering and as such is the perfect platform to display the training that takes place at the base. The training hangars will give the visiting public the chance to engage with RAF personnel working at RAF Cosford and get a behind the scenes understanding of how the Royal Air Force works.

Visit the Mechanical Hands Skills stand and have a go at riveting, as though serving in the RAF, or climb inside a fast jet and imagine life as a pilot. 

Michaela Kitto, STEM Engagement for the RAF Cosford Air Show Office, said: “We are pleased that the RAF Charitable Trust are supporting the STEM Hangar again, the hangar is a great platform for a number of organisations to engage with the public and demonstrate the work they do not only in the local communities but around the world.

“Throughout the day a number of pilots will be visiting the hangar and taking part in ‘Meet the Pilot’ sessions, come along and ask them questions like what makes them love flying so much.”

Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman will be attending the show in her position as Ambassador to the Air Cadet Organisation, promoting the Air Cadets and visiting the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Hangar to encourage young people to get involved. 

With all the exciting attractions plans, the STEM Hangar is a must see attraction for everyone at the show.

1950s Vintage Village

Visitors to this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show will have the opportunity to be transported back in time to the 1950s in the University of Wolverhampton Vintage Village. 

Following the huge success of last year’s Victory Village, this year’s display will complement one of the main show themes of speed to showcase life in Britain during the formative years of jet engine design. 

Excellent examples of vintage aircraft and vehicles will be on display together with social & military history exhibitions. The University of Wolverhampton Race Team will be showcasing its Morgan Plus 4 Babydoll racing car which is based on a 1950s design – showing how engineering has evolved over the past half a century.

Marilyn Summers, Air Show Commercial Manager said “We are really excited to welcome the University of Wolverhampton back both as sponsor of the Vintage Village and as a major exhibitor. The 1950s is credited as the decade when the teenager was invented and this year’s village will give our visitors the chance to learn about the history of the time in a really fun atmosphere.” Once again the live stage will host an exciting line-up throughout the day. The performances will be compered by Colin Bourdiec returning as George Formby and including the return of the fantastic Glamophones. In between live performances a 1950s radio station will be broadcasting popular tunes of the time. For those looking for a spot of retail therapy there will be a host of vintage trade stalls to browse and a great mix of authentic catering options from Lily’s Vintage Tea Room to a classic 1950’s milk-shake bar.

Carol Vorderman

Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman is ambassador for the air show. This is what she had to say about the spectacular show:

“I was very privileged to be given the rank of Honorary Group Captain because I’m ambassador for our wonderful Air Cadets of who there are many. In fact the Air Cadet organisation is bigger than the Royal Air Force now. 

“We have 60,000 people that’s cadets and adult volunteers that are part of the organisation. It’s an enormous organisation!

The cadets come to Cosford every year and assist with all sorts of different things and they absolutely love it because we all share this passion for aviation, so it’s wonderful. 

I genuinely love working with the cadets; the discipline, the boundless energy that they have is a joy. It’s infectious, they do all sorts of different things from shooting to flying to marching bands to everything. It’s a great adventure being an air cadet and that’s why so many adults now who were cadets when they were younger say it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done in their lives. 

“We have lots of amazing things happening through the year. We have our brand new Royal Patron; Prince Philip used to be the Royal Patron of the Air Cadets organisation and now it’s the Duchess of Cambridge. She started in her position officially in February and that was the launch of our 75th Anniversary Year of Air Cadets. 

On the day at Cosford Airshow Cadets will be involved everywhere. You’ll see them in their sparkling uniforms and being very helpful and smiling lovely to every body. But also for everybody else there’s a massive hanger there with lots of people of other organisations who are promoting engineering and getting science experiments going, hangers where you can look at all sorts of kinds of aircraft because Cosford is the home of the Royal Air Force Engineering.

“So it’s just fabulous and then there are displays in the afternoon obviously which are probably the key to why we go so it’s a fantastic day and actually, I shouldn’t say this, but I think it could go over two days. Clive the organiser won’t thank me for saying it but there’s so much there to see you never get round it all – you know because so much is provided and what you notice when you go to the air show is that everyone is so happy because they are sharing a love of aviation and the magic that goes with it. 

“There is so much going  on. It’s just thrilling to see.  The Red Arrows, or a Flypast by the Spitfires and Hurricanes or whoever’s displaying, it’s just amazing. 

“The best thing to do is get on line now before all the tickets are sold out because they do sell out way before the show takes place.  So, if you have a child or anyone under the age of 16 is free of charge. Adults can buy their tickets at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk Get those tickets now!”

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