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  Golden Jubilee Airshow - RAF Cosford, Shropshire 9th June 2002

Review - Driving rain and wind did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 39,000 strong crowd at RAF Cosford’s Golden Jubilee Airshow on Sunday 9th June 2002 and the superb hangers of the RAF Museum facility provided plenty of shelter from the elements as the weather front passed over. There was something for everyone, be it a few minutes in the cockpit of a mock up ‘Red Arrows’ Hawk T.1, or a PT workout in one of the hanger displays.  For the hardened enthusiast, there was time to contemplate the superb collection of Axis aircraft (including a Messerschmitt Me410 and Mitsubishi Ki46 Dinah), or the collection of UK test and trials aircraft, where the likes of the TSR.2 rubbed shoulders with the Bristol 188.

Much of the modern RAF was on display in the air with a BAe Harrier airfield attack proving that the RAF can find the target whatever the weather! Examples of the Jaguar, afterburner toting Tornado F.3 and Hawk entertained the crowds alongside a series of rotary players.

This was another show hoping, somewhat optimistically, for the Netherlands National Aviation Museum’s Constellation N749NL, which remained stranded in America due to paperwork.  There was still plenty of historic interest, including the Royal Navy Historic Flight’s oldest Swordfish, W5856, flown by Lt Cmdr Mike Abbey, which braved the weather from Yeovilton to perform.

By 3pm the low cloud and rain had began to lift allowing the Hunter Flying Club ‘prototype’ Hunter WB188 to open the historic jet proceedings proper with a spirited display. As the sun broke through, it was the turn of the DeHavilland Historic Flight aircraft to steal the show as they arrived overhead direct from their home base at Bournemouth. With sunlight glinting off the red and yellow of Sea Vixen D.3 Foxy Lady, Dan Griffith’s display was particularly awesome, brilliantly highlighting the size and power of the design.  Venom FB.50 G-GONE and Vampire T.11 G-VMPR, completed the threesome, treating the crowd to some classic British types.

Photographs (left to right) - Flypast August 2002; DeHavilland Sea Vixen D.3 G-CVIX; Red Arrows Hawk T.1As

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