Rare Reconnaissance Spitfire joins Air Show line-up!

May 10th, 2019

Spitfire PR-XIX at RAF Cosford Air Show

A collection of aircraft from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, including a rare reconnaissance Spitfire, will be joining the line-up in a static display at the RAF Cosford Air Show on Sunday 9 June 2019.

The Supermarine Spitfire Photo Reconnaissance PR. XIX PM651 will be the centre of a Museum display in the Air Show’s popular Vintage Village which transports visitors back to the 1940s. Visitors to the Museum’s stand, themed ‘Summer of Spitfire’, will be amongst the first to get up close to the last of the specialised photo reconnaissance Spitfires, for a view inside the cockpit. This exclusive access to Britain’s most iconic aircraft is guaranteed to prove popular with families attending the one day show which attracts in excess of 50,000 visitors each year.

The much more modern PR. XIX has a number of stark differences to the Mk1 on display at the Museum, fitted with the Griffon engine as opposed to the Merlin engine used in earlier models and was notably faster than its predecessor. The PR. XIX had extra fuel tanks in place of the machine guns, a retractable tail wheel making its profile more streamlined, and a pressurised cabin critical for the high-altitude reconnaissance flights.

RAF Museum Curator, Tom Hopkins, said:
“The Spitfire has only once made a brief appearance at Cosford, back in 2011, but regularly travels overseas to Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain for display at the British Embassy amongst other prestigious locations. Following its appearance at the Air Show the PR. XIX Spitfire will be displayed alongside the world’s oldest Spitfire, a Mk1 in the Museum’s War in the Air hangar as part of the Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities. The two aircraft side by side will illustrate the diverse roles in which the Spitfire served, ranging from a fighter interceptor to high altitude photographic reconnaissance.”

Other Museum aircraft confirmed for the shows ground displays include the Gloster Gladiator 1, Harrier GR3, de Havilland Devon, Percival Provost T1 and the Hunting Percival Pembroke C1. The aircraft will be rolled out of the Museum’s Hangar’s especially for the weekend, providing aviation fans and photographers the perfect opportunity to capture stand-alone photos.

RAF Museum Public Relations Executive, Michelle Worthington said:
“An exciting new addition being previewed on the 9 June is a Spitfire Virtual Reality Experience which gives visitors the thrill of flying in a Spitfire! Those attending the Air Show will have an exclusive first look at this brand-new experience which puts the visitor in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air. Once you’re wearing the VR goggles you can enjoy a fully interactive panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight. We will also be offering families visiting our stand free Spitfire themed face painting throughout the day, as well as the opportunity to try on uniforms and hats from the Second World War handling collection.”

A fantastic Spitfire merchandise range including many exclusive items will be available to purchase from the Museum’s Spitfire Shop on the airfield. The Spitfire range includes clothing, jewellery, models, prints, toys, books and homeware to name but a few, plus a NEW Swift collection, an exclusive range designed for the RAF Museum inspired by the Swift featured on the tail fin of the World’s oldest Spitfire.

In addition to the Summer of Spitfire stand and aircraft displays, the Museum’s Access and Learning team will be running workshops in the Whittle Innovation Hub, situated on the airfield. Families can enjoy some hands-on fun and take part in rocket car activities during free drop-in sessions, just one of the many STEM themed activities running throughout the day within the hub.

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are advanced sale only and cost £29 per person with free entry for accompanied under 16s. Tickets will not be available to purchase on the gate so to avoid disappointment, visit the show’s website cosfordairshow.co.uk and book online. Tickets are also available to purchase in advance from the Museum.

To view the Spitfire PR. XIX and to experience the Spitfire 360° virtual reality, head to the Museum’s Summer of Spitfire stand at the Air Show on the 9 June. For more details on the packed Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities and to book tickets visit: www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am until 5.00pm, entry is free.

Repainting Updates – Newark Air Museum

May 9th, 2019

Heron at Newark Air Museum

With the advent of the better weather the pace of work on three aircraft repainting projects has stepped up a gear at the Newark Air Museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire.

Over the winter period as and when conditions have allowed paint stripping and de-corrosion work on de Havilland Heron 1.B G-ANXB has been progressing on a steady basis. Work has now just started on the application of primer paint to the upper wing surfaces and parts of the fuselage. Heron G-ANXB will eventually be repainted in the BEA Scottish Division markings it wore whilst serving as an air ambulance in the western Isles of Scotland.

Elsewhere on site, new painting teams have now also started work on the Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.14 WS739 night fighter aircraft and on the Avro Ashton fuselage from the WB491 flying test-bed aircraft. Both projects will be completed in parallel with various other restoration projects around the museum site.

Following detailed conservation studies on Avro Vulcan B.2 XM594 and some significant internal restoration work in the cockpit and bomb-bay areas of the airframe; planning is now in an advanced stage for some external restoration work on the aircraft. In the coming weeks a scaffolding structure will be erected around the tail fin, which will allow restoration work to be undertaken in a safe manner by another dedicated team of museum volunteers.

Progress reports on all of these projects will continue throughout the summer.

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Canberra Saturday 2019

May 4th, 2019

Canberra saturday at Newark Air Museum

Saturday 18th May 2019

The preparatory work for the 2019 Canberra Saturday event on Saturday 18th May, 2019 is now almost complete. The event will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Canberra aircraft and will be centred on the museum’s extensive collection of Canberra aircraft and cockpit sections.

The day will also mark the 20th anniversary of the Tribute to the Canberra event at our Gateway Aviation Site back in 1999, which was the forerunner of the ground breaking Cockpit-Fest event. As part of the event there will be a Canberra Reunion for former personnel who operated Canberra aircraft, with a number of veterans already having confirmed their participation at the event.

Canberra Saturday 2019 is also open to the general public and museum trustees, volunteers and staff have put together a range of visiting special displays and activities. On both days a number of museum aircraft will be open for people to visit – this will include the Canberra aircraft and cockpits at the museum. A small additional charge will be made for each aircraft visited (proceeds towards the museum’s various aircraft restoration projects).

Newark Air Museum Canberra exhibits

Canberra B(I)8 mod – WV787
Canberra T.19 – WH904
Canberra PR.7 – WH791
Canberra T.17 cockpit – WH863
Canberra PR.9 test-rig cockpit
Large scale Canberra radar profiling model

Visiting Displays

Mainly Military Model display
Canberra related sales stall
Newark Air Museum model display – Canberra & associated aircraft models
Airfield Research Group display
Andy Ward – Large Models display
Blackburne Aircraft – Canberra B6 (mod) cockpit, WK124
John Davies & Grub Street Publishing – Canberra Boys Book sales
Stephen Dring – 3D display/sales
Rob Williams/Kooky & Kitsch Publishing Promo display – e-book & activities
Wingless Wonders – Display of panels, manuals helmets & parts
Vulcan To The Sky – Canberra PR.7 Cockpit, WT534 & Canberra WK163 return to flight displays
Canberra/aviation related sales stall
Canberra Flight Simulator ‘flights’ will be ‘taking off’ in Hangar 1

During the event digitised extracts from the Roland Beamont interviews that the museum recorded shortly before his death will be played in the Cinema area in Hangar 2.

BBMF Flypast

Saturday 18th May – Dakota
(This will be subject to serviceability & suitable weather conditions)

Normal museum admission rates apply: Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00.

Opening times; 10am to 5pm; last admission 4pm.
Full event details and exhibit lists can be found on the News & Information page of the museum website: www.newarkairmuseum.org

 

F-35B Lightning Confirmed for Royal Navy International Air Day Flying Debut!

May 1st, 2019

F-35 at RN Air Day

Lightning forecast! The cutting-edge F-35B Lightning will make its Royal Navy International Air Day debut on Saturday 13 July at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset. Making an airborne-only appearance, the state-of-the-art multirole stealth fighter will bring a glimpse of future UK airpower to Air Day with two flypasts – one slow and one fast. A full-sized F-35B model with cockpit access will also be on static display for a close-up look at the UK’s new fifth generation fighter.

F-35s currently equip the RAF’s legendary 617 Squadron – The Dambusters – at RAF Marham, where both RAF and RN pilots fly them. This autumn British F-35s will embark in HMS Queen Elizabeth for the very first time marking a new era of fixed wing naval aviation for the RN as they work up to becoming a fully-operational, global carrier strike capability by late 2020.

The F-35B will be joined by some very rare and exciting displays, including the world’s only flying Westland Wessex HU5 which will be opening the show. The Red Arrows will perform one of their last UK displays this year before their tour of North America. Unique to Air Day is the dramatic pyrotechnic-filled Commando Assault demonstration by Royal Marine troops and the Commando Helicopter Force – an unmissable finale to the thrilling line-up.

These displays will be part of the action-packed five hour flying display whilst on the ground there will be a vast range of attractions from the latest defence technology exhibitions, STEM fair and service displays to trade stalls, arena displays, military bands and the chance to meet the pilots and even sit in the cockpit!

Further information and discounted advance tickets (Adult £28, Child U16 £5 and Child U5 Free) available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/airday.

The Brilliant Breitlings Return to the Air Tattoo!

May 1st, 2019

Breitling Display Team return to RIAT

This summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo has promised to amaze and delight spectators with yet another thrilling flying display.

The world’s greatest airshow, which takes place at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds 19-21 July, has announced that the Breitling Jet Team will be returning to demonstrate their acrobatic skills for the first time in five years.

The Team was created by Breitling in 2003 to demonstrate the brand’s values – performance, prevision, aesthetic, sophistication and innovation – to a broad audience and is the largest civilian flight team in Europe.

Operating seven L-39 Albatros military jet training aircraft, the Team are world-renowned for their formation flying displays and have displayed in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Specialising in opposition passes, solo routines and synchronized manoeuvres, the distinctive twin-seater military training jets can reach top speeds of over 700 km/hour.
Head of Marketing at the Air Tattoo, Helen Webb said: “The Breitling Jet Team are a highly skilled and energetic in their close formation flying, exactly what we like to see. A great mix of experienced civilian pilots in military aircraft and I know they will wow the crowds as they did 5 years ago”.

Also taking to the skies above Gloucestershire are the RAF Red Arrows in their last UK display before flying to North America for their Western Hawk 19 Tour, the Ukrainian Air Force’s Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 and an airshow favourite the Spanish Navy’s two vertical lift AV-8B Harriers.

In addition to featuring exciting aircraft from around the globe, this summer’s Air Tattoo will host a wide range of entertaining and interactive activities in its critically-acclaimed Techno Zone®, including a planetarium show and a full-scale ExoMars rover prototype from Airbus Defence and Space, which visitors can witness drive across a simulated Martian surface.

Elsewhere on the showground, visitors can explore exciting exhibits in the Activity Zone, Vintage Village and RAF Experience.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at www.airtattoo.com or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

First Aircraft to Land at Dunsfold Aerodrome Joins Wings & Wheels Line-up

April 26th, 2019

Lysander at Dunsfold Wings and Wheels

Wings & Wheels are excited to announce that a Westland Lysander, the first aircraft to ever land at Dunsfold Aerodrome, will return to the aerodrome and display for the first time at the Show.

During the Second World War, Westland Lysander crews flew highly classified clandestine missions from England over Axis territory. As the aircraft will demonstrate during the Show, its wooden, fabric-covered wings taper gracefully, but it alights and takes off at extremely slow speeds on great, bulbous, fixed landing gear.

The Lysander could land in and take off from places that no one would normally recognize as an airfield. It could operate comfortably from pastures, fields and even clearings in the forest. This unique ability meant the Lysander was used primarily to drop off and pick up secret agents deep in enemy territory. Most of the operational record on this unique airplane remains tightly locked in official secrecy.

Jamie McAllister, Event Director, Wings & Wheels comments: “Wings & Wheels has always sought to celebrate, commemorate and acknowledge the incredible history of Dunsfold Aerodrome. Our air displays aim to reflect the Second World War planes that flew from the aerodrome and so we are thrilled the Westland Lysander is joining the air display. The Lysander (nickname the “Lizzie”) is a very special aircraft and, with its unique look and history, will delight our visitors.”

The sensational summer event for the whole family, Wings & Wheels at Dunsfold Aerodrome, will be celebrating its 15th and final Show with a change in date to Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June. Famous favourites in the air and on the ground will blow your mind, whilst the attractions and Zones in the Arena will keep you entertained and buzzing with delight the WHOLE weekend.

Eyes to the sky as the ‘Wings’ of the event treats visitors to outstanding and diverse 5 hour air displays include show favourites the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (two Spitfires), Chinook, Hurricane, the Tigers Parachute Display Team, The Blades, Strikemaster, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, Richard Goodwin, The Turbulent Display Team, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B and Fireflies Aerobatic Team, accompanied by witty and knowledgeable commentary from aviation experts and display pilots.

The ‘Wings’ of the event would not be complete without a close-up inspection of all the weekend’s visiting aircraft including Dunsfold’s resident Boeing 747 and Brooklands Museum’s VC10 in the ‘Wings Park’, both open for tours.

Supercars and classic and vintage icons put on an awe-inspiring display of power and speed on the Top Gear track in a 2 hour auto spectacular. The ‘Wheels’ of the show included displays from Koenigsegg Agera R, McLaren 12C, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and Huracan, Pagani Zonda, Ferrari California T, Aston Martin Rapide, Dodge Monaco, TVR Tasmin 280i, Ducati Multistrada 1200s, Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, Ford GT40 and Lotus Elise. Visit the Wheels Zone with a bigger and better crowd line parade and interactive displays from car and motorbike clubs.

The Military Zone & Parade is interactive and explosive bringing re-enactors in a living history zone and our popular military vehicle parade. The Zone has over 80 military vehicles, six re-enactment groups, as well as the history of Dunsfold Aerodrome and Army, Navy and RAF recruitment stands for everyone’s enjoyment.

Sid’s Zone is an action packed free area for the little ones. From 10:00 until 16:00 the kids can join in with colouring competitions, arts and crafts, paper plane challenges, face painting and the popular Sid’s Trail which encourages the whole family to search the arena for questions and answers to win a goody bag. Meet and greets with show mascot Siddeley and the display pilots are not to be missed.

The excitement and anticipation doesn’t stop at the main displays as the 32 acre public arena is bursting with a huge variety of interactive attractions containing all you need for a great family day out. The show arena boasts go-karts, aviation and motoring simulators, military outlets and displays, static aircraft, fairground and over 60 retail outlets selling a wide variety of products and gifts. Shopping in the arena includes a craft marquee full of tempting tea time treats to take home and craft gifts.

As the last aircraft touches down the party starts across the arena with musical evening entertainment from Champagne at the Blitz, a 1940s songbird trio armed with smooth harmonies, seamed nylons and lots and LOTS of red lippy!

Taking the hassle out of your day the show includes added extras to make your experience even more enjoyable; over 18 fixed-price catering outlets, two bars, hospitality facilities, free on-site parking, public camping, lost children point, disabled access, informative show commentary, opportunities to meet the pilots, official show merchandise and grandstand seating.

The 15th annual Wings & Wheels will be held on Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th June 2019, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 20:00.

Advanced rate tickets from £24 for adults or £55 for a family. Single child tickets (for children aged 5 – 15) will be £8. Children under 5 go free. Hospitality packages start from £199 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit www.wingsandwheels.net or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.

Hunter F2 ‘Heidi’ Restoration Complete

April 24th, 2019

Hawker Hunter at Sywell

On the 20th April 2019 the Sywell Aviation Museum Grand Opening saw the final unveiling of Hawker Hunter F.2 WN904 ‘Heidi’ after her 6 year long restoration. Only 45 F.2s were made – WN904 is the last complete example. F.2s were only flown by 257 and 263 Squadron. Heidi was flown exclusively with 257 as ‘Q Queenie’. VIP guests attended with a close connection to the F.2. On 6th March 1956, Flying Officer Denis Richard Courtney Whiteman took off on a routine night time cross country training flight in Hawker Hunter F.2 WN921 of 263 Sqn from Wattisham. He never returned and no wreckage was found. He was 23 years old leaving two young children. His daughter, Mary-Ann Andrews contacted the Museum last year when she discovered SAM had an F.2 and wanted to come and see it.

At the opening she and her brother Peter were witness to a surprise as whilst the Hunter’s port side is marked as it would have been in service with 257 Sqn, the starboard side has been finished in the colours of 263 Sqn, as WN921, their father’s own aeroplane, as a memorial to him. A short dedication by the Vicar of Sywell and Mears Ashby and the sounding of The Last Post followed.

Geoff Millward also attended as a VIP as his brother Dick Millward probably flew Heidi when on 257 in the 1950s before moving on to an illustrious RAF career.

The jet was formerly part of the IWM collection displayed on the gate at Waterbeach until the barracks closed in 2012 when she was gifted to the Sywell Aviation Museum as their first ever complete airframe. She has been restored as close to stock as possible including the addition of her radar, gun camera, restored ejection seat, cockpit and gunsight under the supervision of project manager and Museum Trustee, Damien Burke. Roundels and squadron markings designed by him were kindly supplied by local firm Sprint Graphics. Funding has been entirely through donations from the public and sales of donated model kits and aviation books (for which the Museum is always grateful).

Sywell Aviation Museum is now open every weekend and bank holiday 1030-1630 and Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 1200-1600hrs until the end of September. Group Bookings available outside hours. email sywellaviationmuseum@gmail.com or call 07968061708 for more info.

www.sywellaviationmuseum.org.uk

Historic Jet Provost planned for RAF Cosford Air Show

April 24th, 2019

Jet Provost at RAF Cosford Air Show

With the RAF Cosford Air Show now less than two months away, the organisers have announced that the event will celebrate 65 years since the first flight of the BAC Jet Provost, with unique displays in the air and on the ground.

The Jet Provost served the Royal Air Force for nearly 40 years as a flying training platform, on which thousands of RAF fast-jet pilots honed their skills.

In the air, there will be a special trio of aircraft performing a formation flying display together, including a Jet Provost T3 in the colours of the RAF Red Pelicans display team – a predecessor to the Red Arrows team of today.

Thanks to the participation of the RAF Museum, and a number of civilian aircraft operators, visitors will be able to see a chronologically arranged display of Jet Provost aircraft, from the initial T1 design, through the T3, T4 & Strikemaster armed variant. A Piston Provost – the aircraft on which the Jet Provost was based – will also form part of the display.

Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott said, “We are delighted to have this exciting display to celebrate the Jet Provost through the decades. We look forward to seeing them take to the Shropshire skies, as well as getting up close to these great aircraft in the static display.”

With the Air Show just over six weeks away and tickets selling fast, organisers are encouraging those wishing to attend to purchase their tickets soon. Air Show Tickets, priced £29.00, are currently available from the www.cosfordairshow.co.uk , RAF Museums in Cosford and Hendon and selected Tourist Information Centres. Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event a superb family day out. The RAF Cosford Air Show is an advanced tickets only event, tickets will not be available on the gate.

Ukrainian Fast Jet to star at Air Tattoo

April 18th, 2019

Ukrainian SU-27

One of the stars of last year’s airshow, a Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 from the Ukrainian Air Force, is set to grace the skies above RAF Fairford once more in a thrilling flying display at 2019’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

The Soviet-era heavy fighter was initially created in reaction to the United States Air Force’s F-15 Eagle. The Sukhoi design, which was the first Soviet aircraft to be operated using an electronic interface instead of conventional manual flight controls, is an exceptionally agile aircraft that can reach top speeds of 2,500 km/h.

Codenamed ‘Flanker’ by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), it first flew in 1977, and was much feared by potential Western opponents during the Cold War.

Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the original Su-27 series has continued to equip the Russian armed forces and serve with the Ukrainian Air Force, which we are excited to be welcoming back to the Air Tattoo this July.

Also delighting visitors with their thrilling flying displays will be the RAF Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the rarely seen Spanish Navy Harriers.

On the ground, visitors will be able to marvel at large transports like the Ukrainian Il-76 ‘Candid’, attending in support of the Su-27, the Royal Jordanian Air Force C-130H Hercules and the US Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster III, to name a few.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at www.airtattoo.com or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

STAAR recruits are ready for take-off!

April 18th, 2019

STAAR Engines

The Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) class of 2019 has been selected from a record breaking number of applications from students across England, Scotland and Wales.

This summer, sixty Year 10 students aged 14-15 will participate in two, week long residentials that will see recruits experiencing life as an aerospace engineer, where they will live, work, learn and solve tasks together!

Over 260 students applied for the 60 places available for this year’s summer camp which offers a unique insight into the exciting world of aerospace for youngsters interested in future careers in STEM related fields. Prior to selection, applications were verified ensuring students met the criteria and then placed into a random draw of girls and boys for week 1 and week 2. The draw took place on board the VC10 aircraft by representatives of the organisations who help deliver the programme.

STAAR is fully funded by the global aerospace and defence technology giant, Northrop Grumman, with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. The residential weeks will accommodate 30 students per week and is delivered by the RAF Museum, Royal Air Force Cosford, RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team and Tablet Academy.

Sophie Millward, Access and Learning Administrator STAAR Programme, RAF Museum said:
“As we head towards the third year of the STAAR programme, it’s brilliant to see the demand for places growing year on year. We received hundreds of applications from schools spanning the entire length of the country, more than double the number compared to last year. We look forward to welcoming students in July for what will be a truly unique, engaging and memorable experience working with some of the best mentors in the aerospace industry.”

Gillian Arnott, Communications Manager and Corporate Citizenship Lead at Northrop Grumman UK said:
“This year, we are delighted to welcome and work with the Jon Egging Trust Blue Skies Programme, to offer STAAR places to four of their students, each of whom has met the STAAR recruit criteria. The mission of the Blue Skies Programme, to create opportunities to engage and inspire young people, particularly with an interest in aviation, is closely aligned with Northrop Grumman’s STEM educational outreach mission.”

Laura Carey, Area Director Central, Jon Egging Trust said:
“We are excited for our Blue Skies students who will be taking part in this fantastic opportunity to develop their skills in STEM in such an inspirational environment. The Jon Egging Trust delivers accredited programmes to increase young peoples’ self-confidence, self-esteem and other vital life and work skills and was set up in memory of Red Arrows Pilot Jon Egging who tragically lost his life at the Bournemouth Air Festival. The Trust realises Jon’s dreams of inspiring young people through his love of aviation, teamwork and leadership, helping them to overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions.”

The class of 2019 will be invited to attend the RAF Cosford Air Show on 9 June, where they will have the opportunity to meet with fellow recruits, STAAR partners and enjoy a day viewing the very pinnacle of the aerospace industry. Recruits will also be handed their starter packs and kit ready to start the residential week on 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August 2019.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR.