Videos and pictures: Thousands thrilled at Cosford Air Show 2015

Spectacular aerial displays and death-defying stunts from the likes of the Red Arrows and the Breitling Wing Walkers thrilled an estimated crowd of more than 55,000 at Cosford Air Show.

Videos and pictures: Thousands thrilled at Cosford Air Show 2015

And while much attention was understandably focused on the skies, ground displays also celebrated key dates in history, such as The Victory Village, which commemorated the 1945 allied victory in Europe.

The imposing TSR2 aircraft had been wheeled out of the museum and placed outdoors, providing an even better view of a plane project that was controversially cancelled 50 years ago. Celebrity guests at the show included Carol Vorderman, who this year has been given the role of Air Cadet Group Captain Ambassador.

She is the first female honorary Group Captain Ambassador to the organisation and said she was truly honoured to have the role.

But it was the air displays that people came to see – and those began with performances by large model aircraft.

The largest of these scale models was a Bleriot monoplane, which was 60 per cent of the original size.

Among the full-scale aircraft that entertained the crowd were two Hurricanes and two Spitfires which performed a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

That was followed later in the day by a rare appearance from a Messerschmitt BF109, which clashed with the British planes during the Battle of Britain.

The Red Arrows unveiled new display formations at the show called Spitfire and Blackbird.

Spitfire was a tribute to the people who have secured our skies over the past 75 years, while Blackbird was based on the shape of the American SR-71 plane, known as The Blackbird.

There was also a graphic demonstration of aviation speeds then and now, as a 400mph Spitfire was followed by a 1,400mph Typhoon jet which seemed to crack the sky with the roar from its engines.

Also bringing things back up to date was an F18-C Hornet.

An appearance from the Breitling Wing Walkers, orange bi-planes that each had a very brave woman performing on the top wing, caused plenty of excitement among the show-goers.

There was also an appearance by a variant of Britain's first ever jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor, which entered service in July 1944.

This aircraft provided an interesting counterpoint to the more widely known WW2 aircraft at the show, the Spitfire and Hurricane.

The latter may have won the Battle of Britain, but they would soon be consigned to history by the new technology of jet propulsion.

For Eileen Greenwood, 74, from Willenhall, her visit to the Cosford Air Show came courtesy of winning free tickets from the Shropshire Star's sister paper the Express & Star.

She said: "It was my husband Frank's birthday yesterday and he was thrilled when I told him we were going to the air show.

"We used to come here a lot, bringing our children and then our grandchildren, but this is our first visit in quite a few years – and it's great to be back."

Sian Pugh, 31, from Shrewsbury, attended the show with husband Dominic and children Sophia, six, and Leon, four.

She said: "We came last year and really enjoyed it. My son is autistic and it is hard to find things he likes, but he loves the planes.

"And my daughter was really looking forward to the Red Arrows and the wing walkers."

Beth Siviter, from Halesowen, was attending the show with her care partner dog Taska, a five-year-old retriever. She said: "I am thrilled to be here today as me and my husband raised money to help get the Vulcan back in the air.

"I think the World War Two planes are the most interesting because that was such a period of transition in aircraft design."

Mark Kneel-Boxley, from Stafford, celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday and the trip to the show was a gift from his wife.

He said: "This was my first air show in 20 years and I love the old warbirds like the Hurricane and Spitfire.

"I have always been interested in planes, being hooked into them as a child by making model aircraft."

Frank Atherton and Ali Dolphin, from Whitchurch, have been to the Cosford Show three times before and said it was always a fantastic day out.

Mr Atherton said: "We took the train to avoid getting caught in the traffic congestion, and the combined train and entry ticket saved us money too.

"I used to be in the RAF and worked at Cosford 16 years ago on some of the museum exhibits."

Leah Gatward, 40, from Newport, attended the show with her husband Galwyn, 40, children Ethan, 10, and Rhys, six, and mother-in-law Linda.

Mrs Gatward said: "This is a really great family day out and for us the Red Arrows are always the highlight.

"We took the train to avoid the traffic problems, but it really could have done with more carriages, as a lot of people had to stand up."

Stacey Mellor, the visits and engagement officer at RAF Cosford, said she was pleased with how the day went, but that there were some issues to work on for next year.

She said: "The show has gone really well, but there have been a few niggles with traffic management, which we will be working on to relieve next year.

"The show this year was very emotional, with the last flight of the Vulcan and it being a tribute to Sir Jack Hayward – and it's also the last time you will see the likes of the search and rescue displays."

Squadron Leader Chris Wilson, media, communication and co-ordination officer at RAF Cosford, said the decision to make the show an advance ticket-only event had been the right one.

He said: "Some people complained because they hadn't realised it was advance tickets only and couldn't get a ticket – but we had advertised that exhaustively in the run-up to the event.

"By selling in advance we knew how many people would be coming and could plan our organisation accordingly, creating a better and safer event."

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