RAF Museum Cosford (3)

Continuing where we left off….

Hanger 1 was not as spectacular as the others were, but there were some very interesting aircraft here, and a number of the types did serve in South Africa too. This was also Munchkin Headquarters, and the one corner of the hanger was off limits to non-munchkins so photographing the biggest exhibit in its entirety was once again impossible.
Hawker Siddeley Comet 1XB (XM823)

Hawker Siddeley Comet 1XB (XM823)

This was really one of those moments when you see something that you read about in the history books, and is now right in front of you.
I really did try getting an image of her from the corner of the hanger but just could not get it right.

The Spitfire in the image below is quite an  interesting one too, as it was the end result of a TV Program called James May’s Toy Stories. In this particular episode James May and his helpers successfully constructed a 1-1 replica of an Airfix model of a Spitfire. The pieces were built out of fibreglass but unfortunately the fibreglass pieces couldn’t support their own weight without internal supports, which were added to ensure it would be strong enough so that it did not collapse.  I saw the show 2 years ago and it was fascinating viewing. I just wish I had taken a better look at the plane at the time. 

The other interesting bird is an Armstrong Whitworth Argosy, a 4 engined twin boom transport that was in use by the RAF, 74 of which were built. 
The short haul passenger shuttle aircraft were also represented, and the Avro Anson C-19 (TX214) was representing her line. The Anson really gained fame as a training aircraft as well in the maritime reconnaissance role. The green aircraft on the left is a Fairchild Argus II. 
The other classic was hiding at the back of the hanger, and we have a similar one in South Africa. The Casa 352L (Ju52/53), A post-war Spanish version of which 106 were built.
I had seen the South African Casa in flight many years ago, but she seemed to stopped flying awhile ago, and it is quite sad because she was really fantastic to see and hear. This Casa was the first I had seen up close and personal, and frankly I did find the corrugated skin fascinating.
Helicopters are also represented here, there are three examples in the hanger.
Westland Dragonfly HR3

Westland Dragonfly HR3

Bristol Sycamore HR14

Bristol Sycamore HR14

Westland Wessex HC2

Westland Wessex HC2

There is a display of German rockets and missiles, and the V1 was of interest, although I have not been able to find out whether this is the real thing, or a replica. Behind the V1 is a V2, and the dayglo aircraft to the left is a Boulton Paul Balliol T21 advanced trainer. 

This aircraft rang no bells in my head, but further reading suggests that they were replacements for the Harvards used for training. This particular version is a naval version with fold up wings and arrestor hook. The other dominant aircraft in the hanger is the Hawker Siddeley Andover, and this was the first complete one that I had seen (a cockpit exists at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection).

There were a number of smaller aircraft scattered around the hanger, and these range from a Chipmunk,
To a de Havilland Devon,
To a Trans Antarctic Expedition branded Auster T7 that was fitted with skis for the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Dr Vivian Fuchs. It was known as the Auster Antarctic.
It was getting late and time was marching. I had two more places to visit, and these were a Lockheed Hercules C130 MK3 that was parked outside and close to the hanger.
and the Bristol Britannia 310 close to the visitors centre.
And then we were done. There are a few aircraft that I have not shown here, and of course my images are very variable because of differing light conditions or angles that I was forced to use. As for the munchkins? well, they are an irritation, however, it was nice to see children being enthusiastic about what they were doing, sprawled on the floor scribbling furiously on paper, or sitting quietly at tables concentrating on some task that had been handed to them. They were all of an age where everything is a new discovery, and probably very few will remember this visit when they are older. However, inside those developing minds may be a pilot, or an engineer, or maybe a designer of the new supersonic airliner. You can never tell with children. The museum is wonderful, although the food does tend to be expensive, and the shop has an excellent selection of goodies. My only gripe is about how difficult it can be to see an aircraft in its entirety. But, a good day was had, and old friends were seen “in the skin”. It never ceases to amaze me how different some aircraft are in real life compared to pictures, those V Bombers were probably one of four highlights, the others being the Catalina, the Casa and the Comet.

Maybe one day I will return, but if I never do at least this blogpost will serve as a reminder.
DRW © 2015-2020, created 29/03/2015, images migrated 29/03/2016

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