How can you get an invitation to fly in the same show as the world famous Red Arrows?
Option 1: spend maybe at least £100000 on a spectacular aircraft, preferably of rare vintage and spend years learning to fly it in display conditions.
Option 2: Join the LMA!
Yep, this is precisely what was offered to LMA members when we received an invite to fly at the RAF display at Cosford on Sunday 13th June. Well what an opportunity this was.
Dave Johnson, our Chairman, phoned me about a month before, told me about the invitation and asked, what is the largest model you have? We need the largest since we will be further away than normal from the spectators as we will flying off the full-size display runway. Well my current longest wingspan model is a 33% scale Super Cub. Not at all huge by the standard of some of the current models owned by LMA members, but it goes to show a more normal model is just as welcome as those with the ‘mega’ models at our events. I also planned to take along my 42% scale Ole Tiger racer. Only approximately 7ft wingspan, but it would be nice to fly if the opportunity arose.
Unfortunately, the date of this show clashed with another major LMA event, the week long fly-in at Belle Vue. This event has grown in popularity and meant that there were not actually many members who could take advantage of this invitation. Also, we only had a flying slot of about an hour, so obviously all 700 members couldn’t come along. Still, it was advertised on this web site’s Forum and some of us couldn’t resist.
This is a major show with approximately 50000 spectators. Mindful of this, we planned to get into Cosford with our special passes by 9am and so miss the traffic jams. Well we did, but only just, even by then it was getting busy. We were immediately given access to the flight-line and set up our models next to the Utterly Butterly Stearmans and a Mustang.
Please click image to enlarge.
We flew for an hour and it was great fun. Afterwards, we moved the models up to the crowd-line and then retired to watch the full-size from the great advantage point near the VIP area.
A good quote during the day was made by Andy Johnson who left his B17 next to the VIP tent. “This will give them something to look at” he said in his usual modest way.
For me the stars of the show were, obviously the Red Arrows, the short display from Eurofighter and a Yak 52 display team.
The next day Dave Johnson received a phone call of thanks from Cosford for helping to entertain the crowd. It was a great day and hopefully we will be invited again next year.
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