The RAF Cosford 75th Anniversary Air Show team is excited to announce that a Chinook and an Apache helicopter from the MOD Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) will be coming to the event on Sunday 9th June.
The Chinook helicopter, operated by the Royal Air Force primarily to support troop movements, will be joined by an Apache attack helicopter from the Army Air Corps. Although operated by different services, the two aircraft are far from strangers as they operate alongside each other regularly whilst on overseas deployments. The heavily-armed Apache helicopters usually work in pairs to act as escorts for the Chinook and the personnel onboard, offering an extra layer of protection whilst being transported.
The focus of the displays will be to demonstrate the outstanding work carried out by the Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERT) who are frequently called into the firing line on military operations in order to save the lives of injured personnel. In addition to the MERT demo, both the Chinook and Apache helicopters will show off their stunning individual flying displays that promise to thrill the crowd with dazzling performances of agility and grace.
A MERT, which usually comprises of a Military Doctor, an RAF Emergency Nurse and two RAF State-Registered Paramedics, is tasked to deliver expert pre-hospital emergency care at the point of injury before rapidly recovering the casualties to the deployed hospital. RAF Regiment gunners are also enlisted on MERT missions to provide armed protection when the Chinook helicopter lands, allowing the MERT crew to collect the injured individual as quickly and safely as possible.
The demonstration being provided at this year’s Air Show aims to be as realistic as possible to provide an insight into the day-to-day activities on overseas deployments. As such, RAF Regiment gunners that work at RAF Cosford are being utilised on the Chinook helicopter as well as a MERT that is supported by the specialist aeromedical evacuation unit, 4626 RAuxAF Squadron, at RAF Brize Norton, all while the Apache is flying overhead providing protection from above, just like it would in operational theatres such as Afghanistan.
Air Show spokesman Flying Officer Sam Jewell says “The RAF Cosford Air Show team is delighted to offer our visitors the opportunity to witness first-hand the incredibly vital life-saving work that the MERT provide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The additional displays flown by both aircraft either side of the MERT demo will also be a wonderful treat to remind everybody of the hugely diverse capabilities of these amazingly versatile aircraft.”
To further help members of the public experience life on operations in Afghanistan, significant effort has been put in to provide a mock up “Afghan village” as part of the extensive ground displays provided at this year’s event.
Master Aircrew Chas McHugh, one of the individuals in charge of organising the Afghan village as well as the MERT demo, says “In 2013 the RAF Cosford Air Show brings you an insight into present day operations in Afghanistan. This multi-service display is exclusive to RAF Cosford and demonstrates the co-operation between UK Forces that is essential to success on the modern battlefield. We hope our visitors find the displays both insightful and eye-opening”.
The RAF Cosford Air Show team have also introduced several new hospitality enclosures for the 2013 Air Show including the popular ‘The Cosford Club’ sponsored by Nikon. With a dedicated crowd line spot, private domestic and catering facilities as well as the opportunity to trial exclusive Nikon equipment and the chance to win a taxi ride in a Jaguar aircraft, ‘The Cosford Club’ offers its members a fantastic enhancement to the Air Show experience. For details of the full range of packages on offer to suit all requirements and budgets, please visit the air show website at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk.
All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to service and local charities.
Air show tickets can be purchased online at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk, by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083 (10p/min plus network charges), or at various other outlets details of which can be found on the website. Advance adult tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20% discount on tickets bought on the day and FREE admission for children under-16 accompanied by an adult as well as FREE car parking.
Leading figures from the UK aviation and airshow industries met in Gloucestershire this month to launch the British Air Display Association (BADA).
The association, which announced an initial membership of 82, aims to be the focal point for developing and encouraging safe practices as well as promoting the industry to those involved in staging airshows, including display pilots, organisers, and authorities such as the Civil Aviation Authority and the Military Aviation Authority.
Held at the headquarters of the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, the inaugural meeting saw the election of a committee to run the association. It comprises: Acting Chairman Ian Sheeley; Acting Vice Chairman George Bacon; Secretary Robert Windsor; Treasurer Colin Hitchins and committee members Geoff Brindle, Rod Dean, Dave Walton, John Davies, Rick Peacock-Edwards and Glen Moreman.
Ian Sheeley said: “the inaugural meeting was a great way to launch this new national association with an encouraging number of members present. The new committee provides a wealth of experience that will help BADA get off to a flying start”.
He added: “The key thing now is to maintain the momentum, and the first issue we’ll be looking at relates to airspace restrictions associated with the London Olympics next year and their effect on the airshow business – that’ll be receiving a great deal of our attention. The launch of BADA is an exciting development for the UK airshow industry and I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the committee and our members to build for the future.”
The AAC Blue Eagles Display Team are to be put in abeyance for the forthcoming 2010 season.
It has been directed by the Director of Army Aviation, Brigadier David Short, that, where practicable, the AAC Blue Eagles will support events in 2010 with ‘role demonstrations’ and/or static displays.
The intention is to re-establish the Blue Eagles on the display circuit with a new invigorated display in 2011.
This aspiration will be confirmed or otherwise during the middle of next year.
SWANSEA’S skies will be sizzling with activity this summer thanks to the return of the Wales National Airshow to the city.
Swansea Council is teaming up with the Royal Air Force, the Army and the Navy to organise two days of jaw-dropping entertainment on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12.
The event will be held along the promenade and across Swansea Bay with ground displays, trade stands and funfairs starting at the Civic Centre and running along the coast towards Mumbles.
And it will tie in with celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of an announcement on July 3 back in 1969 that Swansea was to receive city status.
The Prince of Wales made the announcement from the steps of the Guildhall just two days after his investiture at Caernarvon Castle.
Some of the other plans to mark the occasion include the opportunity for the 1st the Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) to march with bayonets fixed and colours flying through the city centre to a formal freedom ceremony at The Guildhall on July 11.
And this event will be a double celebration for the Afghanistan veterans because it also marks the 50th anniversary of their formation.
The Wales National Airshow was last held in Swansea two years ago when over 50,000 people from across the UK attended and this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than ever before.
The Royal Air Force has already confirmed the Red Arrows, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Hawks and Tutors will all be making appearances and the Royal Navy says the Black Cats Helicopter Display Team will also be taking part.
Further participants will be announced over coming weeks with displays set for the ground as well as the air.
Cllr Chris Holley, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The event two years ago is probably still very much alive in people’s memories and I’m delighted that we have been able to secure the Wales National Airshow as a highlight in this year’s Swansea Bay Summer Festival programme.
“This is a real coup for Swansea as the only Welsh city to be hosting such a prestigious national airshow and it will give local residents and visitors the chance to see some spectacular state-of-the-art technology both in the air and on the ground.
“I’m sure the atmosphere will be terrific and the local economy is sure to benefit from the inevitable influx of visitors over the two days.”
Arfon Davies, of Ammanford, attended the event in 2007.
He said: “It’s great to see major events like this coming to the area.
“I really enjoyed the event two years back and will definitely be coming to the airshow in July. The Typhoon Eurofighter was absolutely amazing.”
Opening times will be approximately 10am to 6pm with flight times to be confirmed closer to the event.
Have a look at www.swanseabayfestival.com for more information.
An appeal is also being made to people celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary from July to December this year and to people celebrating their 40th birthday on July 3 this year to attend a series of garden parties being hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House.
And any people marking these milestones in 2009 are being asked to contact Swansea Council’s corporate marketing department by emailing email@example.com or by writing to the team at the Civic Centre.
Other plans to celebrate the occasion include the distribution of commemorative coins commissioned from The Royal Mint to babies born on July 3 this year.
After a difficult 2008 season, the Blue Eagles display team has hung up it’s flying suits for the last time. Operational reasons are the main reason for the lack of a full team for the 2009 season.
The army will however be displaying both the WAH-64D Apache AH1 and Lynx AH7 as solo displays, though only at a few events. It is likely that these displays will be restricted to venues afforded “Priority 1″ status by the Royal Air Force Events Teams (ie. those that were allotted the RAF Role Demo in 2007.) 2009 will see a major change for the Army Air Corps displays as they come under the Joint Helicopter Command for the first time.
Also on the circuit will the Historic AIrcraft Flight who are now integrating the Gazelle AH1 into their fleet and displays for 2009 and will be seen at a wider range of events.
National Veterans’ Day, 27 June, 2008, Blackpool – Events start to take shape
The UK’s number one resort is masterminding the country’s largest ever celebration of HM forces veterans.
Blackpool is busy planning numerous high profile events for not only the official National Veterans’ Day on Friday 27 June 2008, but for a nine-day long event that will involve the whole town and draw in visitors from all over the UK.
Highlights of the festivities, which run 21-29 June 2008, will include a night time parachute drop onto the beach, military land, sea and air displays, the opportunity to get up close to vintage vehicles, veterans’ badge presentations, an evening parade and events for families and school groups.
The event aims to bring together veterans of all ages, backgrounds and experiences.
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June 2008 will see land, sea and air military displays and exhibitions transform the promenade near North Pier with a buzz of activity. Take a closer look at the trades and equipment used by the Armed Forces and experience a Royal Marine beach landing. Enjoy a nostalgic journey back in time as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights’ vintage WWII flying machines – Hurricane, Spitfire and Dakota – soar through the air.
The RAF Falcons’ parachute display team will be dropping in over the weekend to say hello from 12,000 feet and helicopter search and rescue teams will demonstrate their vital skills. Also showcased will be the agile Hawk Jet. In level-flying, this plane approaches the speed of sound. Other planes to be spotted over the weekend include the Tucano and Tutor training aircraft.
Activities planned for National Veterans’ Day, on Friday 27 June 2008, include a veterans’ parade through the town, followed by a spectacular illuminated beach-landing by the Red Devils parachute display team, who are serving military from the Parachute Regiment. The finale will include a massive firework display.
The Veterans’ Badge Challenge, taking place throughout the nine-day event will see veterans young and old collecting their badges in unusual and daring ways. This will demonstrate the transferable skills learned in the forces, including diving, climbing and abseiling. On National Veterans’ Day itself, a young veteran will make a daring dive into the shark tank at Blackpool’s Sealife Centre to claim his badge
All ex-Service personnel are entitled to apply for the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge and many veterans from all over the country will be presented with theirs on Veterans’ Day in Blackpool. The Veterans’ Badge was established in 2004 and over 550,000 have been issued to date.
A Gala Dinner on Wednesday 25th June 2008 at the stunning Empress Ballroom welcomes veterans and their friends and families to a five-course meal, including entertainment from the Lancashire Royal Artillery Band and post-dinner cabaret. Early booking is recommended and tickets are available at £16 a head on T: 01253 299 277.
Sunday 29 June 2008 is Sporting Sunday and will feature the Veterans’ Golf Tournament and Veterans’ Cricket Match, both in the town’s Stanley Park. The golf tournament will feature intergenerational teams, one of which must be a veteran, and the cricket, which runs alongside a family fun day and afternoon tea, will pit veterans of all ages against currently serving forces. To take part in the golf, contact Paul on T: 01253 478 435 or firstname.lastname@example.org and the cricket, Julian on M: 07900 086 761.
Free activities for schools throughout the event include tree planting in memory of conflicts, a schools’ Veterans’ Day tribute, schools’ visits by veterans and a war time cinema experience, featuring archive news footage of children being fitted for gas masks, plus a light-hearted Laurel and Hardy film.
Blackpool is no newcomer to hosting veterans’ events and pioneered the country’s first festivities in 2005. It has run its own Veterans’ Week every year since then, as well as being a favourite resort for veterans’ get-togethers since WWII.
The third annual National Veterans’ Day is a chance for the nation to recognise the contribution made by veterans of all ages in conflicts both past and present.
A large number of Veterans’ Day events, ranging in size, will be taking place across the UK during the summer, although Blackpool’s contribution will be the largest and will take the national focus. Events are being organised by Blackpool Council and the Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee.
The Ministry of Defence has pledged to provide £25,000 towards the cost of Blackpool’s celebrations, which are supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). In June 2007 funding of £3.5 million was been approved by the NWDA to support a programme of signature events in Blackpool over a three year period.
Derek Twigg, Under Secretary of State for Defence and Veterans Minister, said: “Veterans are of all ages with a variety of different backgrounds, and they all deserve our recognition. Not only have they honoured their commitment to defend our country’s interests in Service, they have also used their skills and experiences to enrich their local communities.
“With the establishment of an annual Veterans Day, each year June 27 is our chance to recognise the achievements of those veterans who live amongst us.”
Mayor of Blackpool, Cllr Robert Wynne, said: “Blackpool is absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the host for National Veterans Day 2008, it’s a great honour for the town.
“Blackpool has many historical links with the Armed Forces and has a special place in the hearts of many veterans. Every year we welcome a large number of Ex-Service Associations into the resort for their annual reunions.”
“We have been holding an annual Veterans Week here in Blackpool since 2005, and plans are already well underway to make this year’s celebration even more special.”
Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing at the NWDA, said:
“Blackpool is putting an enormous amount of effort into ensuring veterans and other visitors thoroughly enjoy National Veterans Day and the week’s festivities. The NWDA was delighted when Blackpool was announced as host of the celebrations and these exciting plans demonstrate the commitment the town has to creating a successful event.”
“Major events such as this are hugely important, both in terms of economic impact and in promoting Blackpool as a year-round resort.
Regular updates on events will be posted at www.veteransweek.co.uk, where you can also sign up for a newsletter or alternatively call 01253 478 2222
Shoreham Airshow welcomes back some old friends and some new for two day event on August 30th-31st
At the DASC Pre-season flying display symposium, a couple of changes to the Army Air Corps displays were annouced.
The first change concerns the Blue Eagles. For 2008 the team has been reduced to a single Lynx AH7 and a pair of Gazelle AH1s. This change has been put on to the team following the acceleration of the retirement programme for the Gazelle helicopter. A full season is planned.
The second announcement was the introduction of a solo Apache AH1 demonstration. This will be only offered to few events and will start with Cosford on the 1st June. The display will then appear at Biggin Hill, Waddington and RIAT. Further displays may be conducted if operational circumstances allow.