Thursday, 1 July 2010

RAF Cosford visit

As a birthday treat we were going to Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum at Ironbridge.  On the way we stopped off at RAF Cosford to have a coffee and see if there was anything new on display.  I always have a look around the back of the hangers and there was a Jetstream, a bloodhound missile and what appeared to be a silver Miles Magister to be seen.
In Hanger 1 we saw a Pioneer.  This remarkable aeroplane had a wing profile that enabled it to land on very short and makeshift runways.  Built by Scottish Aviation, the Pioneer saw service in the Far East between 1950 and 1969.  It was in service with 6 squadrons as a 4 seat STOL transport capable of flying 400 miles at about 100 miles per hour.
The latest addition to the Cold War collection is this Sikorsky MH53.  This long range combat, search and rescue helicopter was in service with the USAF from 1967 to 2008, this is the Pave Low or Stallion, nicknamed the "Super Jolly Green Giant".  It had a capacity of 27 troops and a range of  about 700 miles with the capability to refuel in flight.
The Cosford Museum near Albrighton is always a treat.  Entrance is free, though they are now charging £2 for car parking and it is also worth buying a guide book.  The cafe has been refurbished to include a Costa Coffee and there is a small refreshment shop in the Cold War hanger.
At present, there is a plan to move the Vickers Wellington bomber from RAF Hendon to RAF Cosford in the next week or so in order for it to undergo restoration work.  For some time the only place that you will be able to see a Wellington bomber will be at the Brooklands Museum.

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