The July issue of AFM includes coverage of the 311º Gruppo Volo (311th Flight Squadron) of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV, Flight Test Department), the flight-test unit of the Aeronautica Militare (AM, Italian Air Force).
For many, the star of last Sunday’s RAF Cosford Air Show was stunning Tornado IDS CSX7041 ‘RS-01’, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the 311º Gruppo Volo. Unsurprisingly, the aircraft is also prominent in our feature on the flight-test squadron.
On June 9 the specially marked Tornado accompanied by C-27J Spartan CSX62219 ‘RS-50’, also from the Pratica di Mare unit, made a short stop at RAF Shawbury, where the aircraft were photographed by Daniel Griffiths.
The Spartan dropped off crew and ground equipment at Shawbury and after a short stop it departed to participate in the nearby show’s static lineup.
The Tornado remained at Shawbury until departing on Sunday June 11 for its RAF Cosford Air Show flying display. It was the first time the AM had bought a Tornado or C-27J to Shawbury.
The Hartree Memorial Trophy, awarded for the best flying display at the RAF Cosford Air Show, was given to the Swiss PC-7 Team for their immaculately flown formation display. Meanwhile, the RSV Tornado was recognised with an award for its paint scheme. The United States Air Force also sent a B-1B Lancer and B-52H Stratrofortress which both flew past during the event, making rare public appearances in the UK.
The RAF Cosford Air Show 2018, which will be held on June 10 next year, is the region’s official RAF100 celebration and will pay tribute to the past, present and future of the Royal Air Force.