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The Aerospace Museum, RAF Cosford

Armstrong's ArgosyClickPhotography and report by Dave Eade.

The Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford in partnership with that at Hendon, is the services’ exhibition of types of old. Cosford has the advantage that it is situated on an active airfield where Bulldogs and Grob Vigilants of Birmingham University Air Squadron and the Air Experience Flight can be seen on a day to day basis taking tomorrow’s aircrews skyward.

Housed in redundant hangars on the airfield, over eighty airframes are stored here, mostly of RAF ancestry although a scattering of civil airframes from British Airways and a representative of the Dutch air arm, in the form of a Neptune (204/V) can be seen outside.

NeptuneWhere Cosford scores is its collection of "one-offs" which tell the story of the development of aircraft and systems that today we take for granted. If you ever wondered what happened to all those weird experimental types of yesteryear’s Farnborough Air Show, they are here!

Prone position Meteor WK935, Ejector seat trial Meteor T7/8 WA634, Blown flap Hunting H126 XN714, Bristol T188 (all-stainless steelVarsity WL679experimental air-frame), prototype Saro SR53 (we should have built it) and, of course a TSR2 (XR220) all sit in the hangar loosely titles "Research and Development".

The Warplane Collection houses examples of friend and foe of Second World War and more recent conflicts. Pride of place here must go the Lincoln B2 (RF398) although its hard to find a winner amongst a collection housing such immaculate examples. One is left with the feeling that you would only have to press the starter………. Superb examples of Spitfire (RW393), Hurricane (LF738) Thunderbolt (KL216) and Anson (TX214) all compete for attention with the most well known examples of the defeated Luftwaffe and Japanese Air Force. Rarer types such as the Sea Balliol (WL732), Pioneer and Twin brother (XL703 and XL993) all in immaculate condition add the element of the unusual to this hall.

BelfastStudents of aero-engines and missile development will find no finer collection than Cosford’s with examples going back to the early dawning of both fields. No such exhibition would be complete without its shop, complete with comprehensive aviation bookstalls, and restaurant and they are both to be found here in the impressive new entrance building. Easy to get to, it’s well worth the trip.

To obtain a complete listing of those airframes e-mail: david.eade@lineone.net.


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