Tuesday, 11 June 2013

RAF COSFORD AIRSHOW 9-6-2013 - AN AIRSHOW PHOTOGRAPHER'S PERSPECTIVE AND SPOTTER GUIDE


The skies above Cosford were quite spectacular, breaking out from being totally overcast in the morning to becoming almost devoid of cloud while the flying display was being held. Looking at photos from previous editions, the conditions over Cosford last Sunday were probably among the best in the past 10 years, if not the best.

The flying displays stretched out almost over 6 hours.


LIGHTING

The single runway at Cosford stretches between 06/24.  The crowdline is parallel to the runway; facing forward, one is pointed towards bearing 150.

The direction of the sun changes throughout the day as it travels from east to west.

The sun is against you at 1000, but it shifts around in a clockwise direction until it is ideally placed behind you at day's end.

Which means you will generally have great shots if you point your camera at planes to the left of your position.



POSITIONING


It was pretty packed. By all accounts, in excess of 50,000 people turned up for the Airshow, leading to the massive traffic jams around the airfield.

Being a first-timer at Cosford, I picked out a spot by the crowdline near  the van owned by the people engaged in making the Official DVD of the airshow (below). If the spot is good enough for them, it is probably going to be among the best available. I certainly was not displeased with the choice at days' end.  I'm not here to reinvent the wheel.

The problem is that many areas on the crowdline had been reserved by people who have set up tents, windbreaks and picnic chairs. Nonetheless, these impediments can be overcome. It just means that some landing shots may be missed. However, most of the display aircraft do not take off and and at Cosford; the runway is too short. Instead, the fly in from elsewhere to display. An example are the Red Arrows (based at Shawbury) and Sally B (based at Duxford).





Unlike many airshows, it seems the Display is not centered on the Control Tower, but on a red pyramidal marker near the runway, that is due east from the Tower. Due to the direction if the sun, you really want to be south of that marker.






Tents, windbreaks and crowds galore




Below is a video of this site:


 


This is a preview of the Planes DVD video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GYABWAV0MY&list=UUt15-P7HWMVXImmysnse6HQ






 

JAGUAR TAXIING DEMONSTRATION


These no longer fly (and the runway is too short for them to actually take off), but these Jaguars provide engineering apprentices with a an important part of their training.








(this being at 1015, the sun is right in front)


RAF COSFORD FLYPAST







RAF FALCONS PARACHUTE DISPLAY TEAM









RAF TYPHOON


Maneuvered so hard, condensation starts to form over the airframe.











AEROSTARS AEROBATIC DISPLAY TEAM



















RAF SEAKING DEMO






O'BRIEN"S FLYING CIRCUS





JET PROVOST
















F86A SABRE













ROYAL NAVY HISTORIC FLIGHT SEA FURY





PITTS SPECIAL




BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL FLIGHT









This photographic Spitfire Mk 19 is the unit which executed the last Spitfire sortie on 1st April 1954, which interestingly nough, was from Seletar Airbase in Singapore, to look for Communist Terrorists in the Johor jungles.










ARMY AIR CORPS LYNX










Backflip!



THE RED ARROWS














ARMY AIR CORPS APACHE








It was announced at the last minute that the front seat is occuied by Capt Wales (ie Prince Harry), Can you ID him?


More info at:



http://www.itv.com/news/central/update/2013-06-09/prince-harry-flies-apache-helicopter-at-raf-cosford-air-show/







RAF CHINOOK














Walking down 2 wheels



RAF C130 HERCULES







SWIP TWISTER TEAM





AVRO VULCAN XH558







 















For a machine this size, the aircraft is quite nimble and silent!



RV8TORS DISPLAY TEAM






SPITFIRE MK IX





 BBMF C47 DAKOTA






B-17 SALLY B











RAF TUCANO





This being 1700, the sun is now at your 4 o'clock.


 THE BLADES EXTRA 300 DISPLAY TEAM






Quite apart from the Flying Display, there was also the Static Display, as well as the permanant displays of the RAF Museum. There are also the numerous stalls set up by entrepreuneurs, ready to sell to the public. And if you just wanted to sunbathe with the drone of warbirds above you, well, that can be done too. This is the charm of the airshow at Cosford.

I shall post the full galleries of the show online when I get home- I am afraid my laptop is really not up to the demands of heavy-duty photo editing and uploading. In the meantime, enjoy the shots above.


What to do later: A trek round the exhibits at the RAF Museum in Hangar 1.





The colour of the blue sky is just gorgeous.

This is a review of the show:

http://www.airshowsreview.com/2013_Cosford_airshow.htm









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