This was my first time at Cosford Air Show and only my third air show in total. I must admit, I have started to really enjoy air shows and I have become increasingly interested in aviation history and heritage, just from accompanying my partner to museums and shows.
The day before the show I felt a little apprehensive about the weather. On route to our hotel, we briefly stopped at the museum. The weather was wet and cold and I was dreading spending a day outside if it was going to rain and be miserable. On the day of the show, there must have been a miracle as the weather was predominantly dry and sunny, with only small spitting of rain. I was unprepared for sun and ended up getting sunburnt. Macmillan was giving out free sun cream samples, I definitely should have got one.
We stayed in nearby Shifnal, at the Park House Hotel. I paid £78 for 2 people bed and breakfast through ebookers. The hotel was nice and only a short drive to the air show. My advice, if you plan to stay here is to bear in mind that breakfast doesn’t start until 8am on a weekend and the air show opens at 8am. If you plan on getting to the show for opening, you may have to miss breakfast.
On approach to the show, we followed the yellow signs for parking. The signs took us to the back of the base, not to the usual museum entrance. We arrived at approximately 8.45am and got pretty much in and parked with no hold up’s. Considering how many people were attending the show, I was very impressed with the traffic management. I have read online that some other people found getting in and out of the show a nightmare, I suppose it depends on which entrance you use and at what time you were entering/exiting.
We paid for entry into the Cosford Club which was £65 each plus a booking fee of £1.50. Standard adult tickets to the show cost £29 and accompanied under 16s are free (based on the 2019 show). The Cosford Club gets you entry into a tent, a programme and a seating area with a view of the central fly line, with chairs and tables provided. If you book the Cosford Club my advice would be to get there early in order to get a table near to the front, especially if you want to take photographs. If you have general admission, the show was packed, again, there are some spaces that offer a clear view of the runway, but you have to get there early if you want to bag one of these.
I thought the show overall was great, but I personally feel that certain aspects could be improved for next year. The main thing for me is the food choices. I’m not a big meat eater and I like to eat relatively healthy when I can. I felt that the healthy and vegetarian food options were very limited and if you are a vegan they were non-existent. The only food stands that I saw were burger, fish and chips and pastie stands, along with some sweet and cake stands. I think a wider variety of food outlets would be welcomed, especially for people that are vegan/vegetarian/ gluten free etc. In the Cosford Club, there was a toastie van, which I got something from. It was nice, but a little greasy and definitely not healthy. Apart from the poor food choices, the only other thing that I was a little disappointed with was that there was not enough time to look around all the exhibits as well as watching the entire flying displays. After the flying finished, the grounds stayed open for another hour and a half-ish, until about 7pm. However, many trade stands started to pack up after the flying had finished and as there was so much to see, there wasn’t enough time.
I thought the show had something for everyone and every age. There was a variety of stands and exhibits. Some were related to aviation and others weren’t. There was also a small fairground and things for children. If you are considering applying to join the RAF or other British forces, there are stands where you can find out more information. Also, companies like Rolls-Royce and BAE systems had a presence at the show.
Some of the static aeroplane exhibits on display had open cockpits for people to sit in, there were quite large queues for these though. As well as the static displays, other attractions were the RAF Zone, STEM Hangers, Helicopter flights and the Vintage Village. More information on these can be found on the air show website.
Other than the flying displays, I thought the Vintage Village was the best part. I’m a history lover so I enjoyed seeing the people dressed up in WWII attire as well as The Bluebird Belles vocal harmony trio.
As for the flying displays, the Red Arrows were spectacular as was the Avro Lancaster B1 and the Supermarine Spitfire IX Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. I also enjoyed seeing the Boeing Chinook HC6. A few of the displays had the added effect of pyrotechnics which was fun to see.
Overall, I really enjoyed Cosford Air Show and can’t wait for next year.
- The Air Show is an advance ticket only event and it is the Royal Air Force’s only official air show.
- Next year’s date is Sunday 14th June 2020.
Thank you for reading.