major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
[personal profile] major_clanger
I've already posted my Red Arrows pics from the Cosford Airshow, but I took a lot more than just that. As well as the flying display, there was a lot to see on the ground too.

The RAF Museum at Cosford has a lot of historic aircraft, including some unique experimental and development planes. One of the nice features of the Cosford Airshow is that every year the organisers and the Museum wheel some of these planes out of their hanger and onto the flight line so you can imagine them as they were in their heyday.


This is the Avro 707C. If it looks like a miniature Vulcan, that's because it was developed to test the flight characteristics of the Vulcan's delta wing.



Here's the Fairey Delta 2, designed to investigate the performance of delta wings in supersonic flight. In 1956 it became the last British aircraft to take the world air speed record, and still holds the record for the biggest percentage increase over the previous record - 38%, from 822 to 1,132 mph.


Other experimental aircraft were developed from operational types to try out new technologies. Here are modified versions of the Jaguar and Harrier, in the distinctive 'Raspberry Ripple' paint scheme worn by British test and development aircraft from the 1960s to the 1990s.

A lot of training aircraft were out on display too.


The Scottish Aviation Bulldog equipped the RAF's University Air Squadrons from the early 1970s until 2001. I learned to fly on it from 1987 to 1990 and have very fond memories of it - it didn't go very fast or very high, but it was easy to fly and the view was wonderful!


I got to fly the Jet Provost Mk.5 a couple of times when I was on engineer officer training at Cranwell. That would have been in 1991, at the very twilight of its RAF service, but it was still quite a step up from the Bulldog.

The Jaguar was an Anglo-French project for an advanced trainer that grew into a lightweight fighter-bomber that entered service with both countries in the mid-1970s and is still operated by India. Originally expected to be replaced in RAF service by the Tornado, it performed well in the 1991 Gulf War and got a new lease of life with updated systems, finally retiring in 2007. Even then, a large number of RAF Jaguars avoided the scrapheap and went to Cosford as technical training aircraft for the MOD's aircraft engineering college. Many of them are not just static exhibits, but are maintained in running (although not flying) condition so that trainee technicians can practice all aspects of maintenance and ground handling of 'real' jet fighters. (Back in my day, we had Hawker Hunters, which were very pretty, but the Jaguar is rather more representative of a modern aircraft.)

The upshot of this is that Cosford has a lot of Jaguars. Indeed, since the hangers were emptied out for the air show to be used for exhibition space, there were Jaguars parked absolutely everywhere on the day, wearing a remarkable variety of paint schemes and markings depending on when they had been withdrawn from service and from what squadron they had been serving with at the time.


Classic 1970s-80s two-tone camouflage


From the 1990s, RAF aircraft adopted a more low-key overall grey camouflage scheme. This Jaguar is wearing the markings of 6 Squadron, which along with 41 Squadron operated the Jaguar throughout the whole of its RAF service.


This one had a little memento of its final flight!


And here we see what was really under that boring grey paint... (This was a special paint job to mark the Jaguar's retirement in 2007.)


This one meanwhile was done in 'Desert Pink' to represent the 1991 Gulf War colour scheme, although I think it's also wearing non-standard tail markings that I believe are a WW2 reference.


A trio of tail-codes.


Looking mean.

2016_Cosford_Airshow-55.jpg 2016_Cosford_Airshow-57.jpg


Internals on display.

As well as all the real aircraft, there was a replica.


Well, you might be wary of letting hundreds of kids crawl over a real Spitfire!

Now to sort through the photos of Flying Stuff Other Than The Red Arrows.

Date: 2016-07-08 08:39 am (UTC)
nanila: (kusanagi: amused)
From: [personal profile] nanila
I'd be more afraid of the adults crawling over the Spitfire. :D

That orange jaguar paint job is quite something!

Date: 2016-07-07 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We'll be close to Cosford when we finally get moved.

Even the replica is a handsome machine.

Date: 2016-07-07 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was at the Pima Air and Space Museum again a few months ago. A couple of the locals were wondering aloud and at length about the pink Jaguar they have. I considered explaining, but on the whole it was too much fun listening to them be puzzled and slightly annoyed about it.


major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
Simon Bradshaw

September 2017


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