Shropshire Star

Cosford Air Show: Watch as crowds build at RAF base ready for a festival of flying

Crowds have been building up at a Shropshire air base in the hours before one of the biggest air shows in the country.

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A massive 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the RAF Cosford Air Show today with flying due to start at 11.30am.

The gates opened at 7am to the public car parks and long queues were building up across the M54-A5 corridor from early on. According to an RAF spokesperson the weather looks good for flying and an afternoon of aerial enjoyment has been scheduled.

This year’s theme is 'Take Flight' with the emphasis on kickstarting interest in all the varied careers in the Royal Air Force. The RAF Cosford Air Show is the only remaining RAF-organised air show and is ranked number two across the UK.

Children and young people were among the excited early arrivals, queuing to sit in cockpits, and get excited about all man-made things with wings.

Max Habberley and Hannah Huxton, both 15 and from Wem, were among the early arrivals queuing to sit in cockpits. Max said he had liked the RAF his for his "whole life".

11. RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield. Hannah Hutson, aged 15, in the cockpit of a Hawk T1.......

Air cadets were out in great numbers too, including representatives of 1165 (Oswestry) squadron. They were there just to enjoy the day out and to take it all in for what could turn out to be careers in the service.

Rob Evans, a civilian instructor, said: "The squadron is buoyant at the moment but we will always have room for more. You can get in touch via the Oswestry Air Cadets Facebook page."

RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield.1 165 Oswestry Squadron......

2497 Cosford squadron were very much on home turf, and enjoying the air show. 16-year-olds Sgt Lucy Hartland, Cpl Hollie Morton, Cpl Gwen Williams and her sister Megan Williams say their squadron has lots of members too.

RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield. 2497 Cosford Squadron Sgt Lucy Hartland, corporal Hollie Morton, corporal Gwen Williams and corporal Megan Williams..

Among those arriving early were locals who decided to get inside the operational air base as soon as they could. One spoke of being in a three-hour queue last year and did not want to repeat that experience.

Andrew Dugmore and his son Leo, aged five, from Perry Barr, in Birmingham, are big fans of Cosford air show.

"Leo came for the first time before he was born!" said Andrew. Leo has the RAF bug, and was all kitted out in the red flying suit of the Red Arrows.

RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield. Leo Dugmore, aged 5, from Perry Barr.......

"My granddad Frank was in air sea rescue in the war in Africa and India, so we are passing on the interest down the generations."

Tribute singer Rich Hazlewood was among the array of entertainers. He's a tribute act for Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin. From Leek, in Staffordshire, he travels around the country in bands as an in-costume tribute act.

14. RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield. Singer Rich Hazelwood......

Colin Bourdiec and Gary Walker also tour the country as wartime singers Flanagan and Allen and George Formby, as well as being a mean Captain Mainwaring-Corporal Jones Dads' Army combo.

13. RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield. Flanagan and Allen Gary Walker and Colin Bourdiec.......

Winston Churchill and Clementine Churchill lookalike double act Derek and Linda Herbert hail from the Wirral in Cheshire. Derek is a full time actor-entertainer.

RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield. Derek Herbert as Winston Churchill

Also among the early arrivals, enjoying a go on the slide were Martin Fellows who was happy to take youngsters Ethan, 11, and Roman, aged three, on the slide.

RAF Cosford Air Show 2024..Photo: Tim Thursfield.Martin Sylvester and son Roman, aged 3......

Mum Rachel Fellows and the family hail from Bridgnorth and she has been to the air show many times.

"But this is the first time with the kids," she said, waiting for her adventurous family to reach the bottom.