PLANS FOR VE-DAY 70 CELEBRATIONS CONFIRMED FOR AIR SHOW

Organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show today confirmed details of displays marking the 70th Anniversary of VE-Day planned for Sunday 14th June, along with the exciting news that the University of Wolverhampton will be sponsoring the VE70 theme at the show.

Visitors to the Shropshire airfield will be taken back in time to 1945 in the ‘Victory Village’ with an exciting array of displays lined up. As well as vintage vehicles and WWII re-enactment groups, there will be period entertainment courtesy of The Glamophones, Bexi Owen & George Formby tribute artist, Colin Bourdiec. For those who fancy some retail therapy, Blondies Vintage Events will be running a Vintage Fair inside the village too. A 1940s tea-room will give visitors the chance to sit back and relax surrounded by classic aircraft such as an Avro Anson, Percival Proctor and Supermarine Spitfire. WWII Veterans will be on hand to tell their stories to visitors and there will also be speeches from historic characters such as Winston Churchill, Field Marshall Montgomery and King George VI.

Air Show Commercial Manager Marilyn Summers said, “We’re all extremely excited about the Victory Village, it will definitely be the centrepiece of a fantastic family day out at this year’s Air Show. We would urge all our visitors to go and enjoy the period entertainment we have lined up, which will continue after the flying displays have finished.”

Of course the ‘VE70’ theme will also feature in the spectacular six hour flying display, with an increased number of historic aircraft appearing at the show this year. Alongside favourites such as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfires & Hurricanes there will be displays from a P-51 Mustang, P-40 Kittyhawk, PBY-5 Catalina and Gloster Meteor.

This year the RAF Cosford Air Show has become an Advanced Ticket Only event in an effort to speed up access to the showground and improve access for visitors. With ticket sales up on last year’s numbers, organisers recommend the purchase of tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. With adult tickets only £22.00 and accompanied under-16s entering for free, it is a great value for money event with entertainment for all the family.

For the first time, tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2015 are advance sale only. Adult tickets are priced £22.00 with accompanied under-16s coming free! For more details on the event, hospitality packages and to purchase tickets, visitwww.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Marine Corps readies for F-35B IOC

VMFA-121 ‘Green Knights’ at MCAS Yuma are gearing up to declare initial operating capability in July

VMFA-121 ‘Green Knights’ — the Marine Corps’ first front line F-35B Lightning II unit — is preparing to declare Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on July 1.

Led by Lt Col Steve ‘Glibby’ Gillette and currently forming part of Yuma’s Marine Air Group (MAG) 13, all eyes are currently on the ‘Green Knights’.

Lt Col Gillette told Combat Aircraft that the big things that are still needed in order for his squadron to make IOC ‘aren’t really in our sphere of influence or control — these are big programmatic things.’

‘For us, the end user, at VMFA-121 there are things that the programme must deliver’, he continues. ‘Primarily 10 aircraft in IOC configuration, of which we are set to receive our first in the next few days.’

Whilst all of Lt Col Gillette’s aircraft are in Block 2B software configuration, the IOC-configured aircraft are further modified to so-called Group 1 standard.

More from our exclusive interview with Lt Col Gillette will appear in the July issue of Combat Aircraft.

Dassault enjoys further export success with Rafale

Dassault Aviation said that Qatar has agreed to purchase 24 Rafale aircraft to equip its air force.

Dassault reports that the contract between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation will be signed on Monday May 4 in Doha, in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Mr. François Hollande.

The new deal for Qatar follows the very recent announcements of the deal to sell 36 Rafale fighters to India, earlier this month, and also the first export deal for 24 Rafales to Egypt as announced in February 2015.

Dassault has previously entered the Rafale in several competitions, presenting what the company describes as its “Omnirole” fighter to countries such as Brazil who subsequently chose the Gripen, and the UAE which has yet to decide. The recent spate of export orders will undoubtedly increase the Dassault Rafale standing for further procurement competitions. “