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In pictures: Smiles galore as RAF Cosford Air Show returns after three years

It has been a long three years but the wait for Shropshire's most famous air show was certainly worth it.

The Red Arrows
The Red Arrows

RAF Cosford Air Show returned to draw 50,000 people from across Britain to Shropshire to see five hours of flying displays and more than 100 exhibitions and displays on the ground.

The famous Red Arrows stole the show with their colour-coordinated display but aircraft of all shapes and sizes wowed the huge crowds.

Two iconic spitfires

There were huge smiles on the faces of those arriving at the sold out show, from aviation enthusiasts to families and friends meeting up for a day out.

The gates to the site opened at 7am to welcome those who arrived early and while there were moving queues organisers said traffic control went smoothly.

Visitors queueing patiently

Squadron Leader Chris Wilson said it was amazing to see so many people all having a great time.

"The look on faces of delight and to see them in awe of what we have here, all the aircraft, is wonderful," he said.

All manner of aircraft was on display

"Two days ago this site was empty and thanks to all the hard work it has been transformed into a spectacular event."

Neil Draper and son Harley, from Birmingham, loved their day out

"We market the show as a family day out and seeing all the youngsters enjoying themselves shows that we have succeeded. And of course we have the aviation enthusiasts as well who set their cameras up at 8am to capture the flying displays."

There was all manner of pageantry on the day

Former Shrewsbury man Brian Durrant-Peart travelled from Suffolk with wife, Hana, and their sons seven-year-old Arte and three-year-old Etienne for the show.

Both dressed in RAF suits, the boys knew exactly what they wanted to see - the A400 M Atlas aircraft.

All manner of aircraft was on display

"Arte is also a member of the Catalina Society which is based near to where we live," Brian said.

The 'flying boat' was just one of the aircraft taking part in the show with the theme of looking back on the past 70 years to coincide with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

A Rafale from the French Air Force

Others taking to the skies included the RAF Typhoon display team and Rafale solo display, RAF Falcons, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and, for the first time, an RAF F35B Lightning.

Displays of Typhoons, Chinooks, the French Rafale and the Belgian F16 were also on the itinerary.

A Chinook takes off

Flight Lieutenant Paul Huyton from the Chinook display team said he, like the others volunteered to take part in display work.

"We are members of the team at weekends and go back to our day job in the week," he said.

Visitors craned their necks to keep track of the spectacular feats

"We are always ready for front line service, wherever that may be."

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