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RAF Cosford Armed Forces Day 2019



Armed Forces Day is now a widely celebrated event in the UK, it is a chance for the public to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. Every year there are many events up and down the country where people can get involved. The RAF Museum held events at both sites across the weekend. Today we embraced the hot weather and attended the celebrations at Cosford, Shropshire.

The Museum was brought to life with living historians, interpreters, children's activities and nostalgic displays, representing all aspects of military history. Visitors were able to chat among Second World War pilots, have a go at plotting maps and meet the ground crew preparing themselves for a mission. Time & Again Theatre Company were also in attendance, performing ‘Greyhounds’ at 11.00am throughout the day. This was a short play set in 1941 in the fictional village of Shuttlefield, bringing to life history on the home front.

The main theme for the RAF Museum is ‘Summer of Spitfire’ where both sites are hosting a series of events and activities to celebrate one of the most iconic aeroplanes ever built. We were able to take a closer look inside the cockpit of the world’s oldest Spitfire and also compare this to the later Spitfire Photo Reconnaissance PR. XIX (PM651) which are now positioned next to each other.

Today the team at Cosford also opened the brand new virtual reality Spitfire flight. As soon as we put on the VR goggles we were in the cockpit and have a fully interactive 360° panoramic view of Duxford Aerodrome. The 6-minute flight included engine start, taxi, take off and a circuit of the airfield with low passes, swoops, banks and a loop-de-loop. The experience ended with a landing and taxi into the hangar. The Spitfire 360° Experience is available daily, tickets cost £5.00 per person (recommended for 13 years+) and can be purchased in the Visitor Centre on arrival.

Elsewhere on site live engine runs of a Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk500 and Bristol Hercules Mk216 brought the museum to life with their thunderous rumbles echoing around the hangars. Visitors were also able to dress up in RAF attire and grab some props from the Museum’s handling collection and take photos as a memento of their day. There was also plenty to do outside, including a small selection of military vehicles available for close inspection.

The RAF museum is open daily and is free to enter, up-coming ‘Summer of Spitfire’ events include the Cosford Food Festival (July 20th and 21st) and the Vintage and Handmade festival (17th and 18th August). The virtual reality Spitfire flight experience is available until September 1st. Don’t forget to enjoy some tea and cake in the café whilst you are there!


Review by Lee Chapman