Sunseeker stunt revealed for Bournemouth Air Festival

August 11th, 2022

Sabio Group Biplane G-JPIT

A Top Gear themed high-octane stunt in the air and sea has been revealed ahead of this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.

Sunseeker’s high performance day boat, the Hawk 38, will be pitted against aerobatic plane G-JPIT, in the new Sea and Sky Sprint at the UK’s best free air, land and sea show this September.

G-JPIT is a custom built, highly modified Pitts Biplane that gives it enhanced manoeuvrability and unparalleled power-to-weight ratio.

Meanwhile the Sunseeker Hawk 38 delivers an incredible top speed of up to 70mph (62kts).

The Sea and Sky Sprint will take place on Saturday September 3 and Sunday September 4 of the four-day festival.

Bryan Jones, Marketing Manager at Sunseeker International, said: “We are delighted to have helped put together this incredible stunt which will see the Hawk 38 being driven at its limits across a 1km slalom course just in front of the beach, while the plane will be following both a horizontal and vertical flight path in an attempt to cross the finishing line first.

“Given the agility and performance of both machines, it’s going to be an exceedingly tight race.”

Jon Weaver, Air Festival Director said: “We are delighted that renowned aerobatics pilot Rich Goodwin has agreed to take on this exciting Sea and Sky Sprint challenge. He has had a regular presence at the Bournemouth Air Festival for a number of years performing mind-blowing aerobatic stunts in his muscle biplanes.

“The Air Festival provides a great platform to showcase the prominent international status of local brands including Sunseeker International, based in Poole. We are looking forward to our partnership going from strength to strength and we cannot wait to see this spectacular demonstration play out on sea and in the air.”

Cllr Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Places, said: “Now in its 14th year, Bournemouth Air Festival is the biggest date in the area’s calendar.

“This Platinum Jubilee year, the festival is not only a chance for residents and visitors alike to celebrate, it also represents a major opportunity to showcase local businesses and for traders to get in front of consumers.

“In 2019 Air Festival made a major contribution of £32m to the local economy attracting over 600,000 visitors, retaining its reputation as an important attractor event for the region.
“With stunts like this Sunseeker and muscle bi-plane on the display programme to draw in the crowds, we hope this year will be another huge success.”

Retired RAF pilot Richard Goodwin, who will be flying the Sabio Group-sponsored Muscle Biplane, G-JPIT, will be pulling off some dare-devil loop-the-loops and barrel rolls at between 200ft and 1,800ft as part of another individual display during the air show.

He said: “I am very excited by the challenge of doing something a little bit different at the Bournemouth Air Festival; an event which is a real highlight in the UK Air show calendar and one that I look forward to each year.

“We aim to push the boundaries of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to create a unique experience and I am passionate about inspiring our future STEM aviators and engineers.

“Taking on the incredible Sunseeker Hawk 38 at Bournemouth Air Festival is a great opportunity to push the boundaries of aerobatic flying once more. It’s shaping up to be a wonderful occasion!”

Across the weekend a myriad of exhilarating aircraft will rip through Bournemouth’s skies including the RAF Typhoon and The Battle of Britain Memorial planes – the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster.

One of a kind Second World War aircraft to fly in historic flypast at IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show

August 10th, 2022

Duxford Flypast

The world’s only two-seater Hurricane and airworthy Bristol Blenheim will join the famous flying finale of warbirds at this year’s IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. With plenty of Spitfires and Hurricanes confirmed to take flight and a showground packed full of historical and 1940s entertainment, this annual event pays tribute to those who defeated the German Luftwaffe for control of the skies over Britain at a site where real history happened.

Other must-see aerial displays over the weekend include the much-loved Boeing B17 ‘Sally B’, the last airworthy Flying Fortress in Europe; a visiting display from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; the P-51D Mustang ‘Miss Helen’; and the Tiger 9 Aeronautical Display Team, amongst many others and with more flying acts soon to be announced. Across the showground, the summer of 1940 can be seen and heard at every turn as jazz, blues and swing music fill the air, living history groups recreate life on the home front during the Second World War and a traditional steam fairground delights families with classic rides. Visitors can also enjoy access to IWM Duxford’s exhibitions and hangars throughout the day, packed full of aircraft, vehicles, collection items and personal stories of war and conflict.

IWM Air Show Event Manager, Phil Hood, said: “This year’s Battle of Britain Air Show is set to be a memorable one with a fantastic array of Second World War aircraft participating in the finale flypast, a site which never ceases to capture audiences as Spitfires and Hurricanes take to the sky in unison to close out the event. What makes this Air Show so special is its connection to the history of Duxford which visitors can explore during their visit and find out more about the men and women who worked at RAF Duxford to help secure some of the most important victories in the skies. The Battle of Britain Air Show gives us the opportunity to commemorate these efforts whilst delighting audiences with aerial displays and history packed entertainment on the ground.”

In addition to the Air Show, IWM Duxford will also be commemorating the Battle of Britain with the following:

Duxford In A Different Light: Battle of Britain Photography Evening – taking place on 15 September, known as Battle of Britain Day, this after-hours photography event is dedicated to this pivotal moment in 20th century history. Using innovative lighting techniques, Second World War and Inter-War aircraft will be illuminated to create evocative photography opportunities and scenes will be brought to life with the help of period vehicles and living history actors dressed in authentic period costume, all against the backdrop of Duxford’s historic buildings.

IWM In Conversation: Battle of Britain – on 17 September, come and listen to fascinating lectures from IWM curators, Adrian Kerrison and Craig Murray, as they delve into the history of the summer of 1940, including Duxford’s controversial Big Wing and its contribution to the Battle of Britain and the development of The Dowding System. Author of The Forgotten Few, Paul Beaver, will pay homage to the overlooked efforts of 57 naval pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain, whilst historian Victoria Taylor will re-tell this iconic British victory from the Luftwaffe’s perspective.

The Battle of Britain: A Visual History by Anthony Richards – out 8 September 2022, this new highly illustrated book brings together multiple elements of IWM’s collection, many of which have rarely been seen before by the public, to explore one of the most testing periods in Britain’s history and the stories of the individuals who witnessed it all, on the ground as well as in the skies.

Sports artefacts up for adoption

July 31st, 2022

RAF Museum PTI badge

In celebration of the Commonwealth Games launching in Birmingham, the Royal Air Force Museum is adding two new sporty objects to the Adopt an Artefact initiative.

The new objects representing sport within the RAF have been specially selected from the Museum’s collection of more than 1.3 million items and join over 60 artefacts in the adoptable collection.

Sported by the apprentices at RAF Cranwell in the 1920s, the Cranwell Boys’ Wing Sports Cap is first of two new sports artefacts available for adoption. Royal Air Force apprentices aged 15-16 would undertake three years of technical training, passing out as highly qualified mechanics. Sports were a feature of an apprentice’s life, with regular afternoon sessions being devoted to games. The cap can be viewed on display at the Museum’s London site and is the perfect adoption for any Cranwell attendees or all-round sports fans.

Formed from three arms bearing gymnastic exercise clubs is the Physical Training Instructor Badge, the second new addition to the Museum’s adoptable collection. The Royal Air Force School of Physical Training was formed on the same day as the Royal Air Force, 1 April 1918. It is responsible for preparing instructors to lead physical training education and activities. This object, circa 1923-1949 recognises the important role sport and fitness has played within the RAF and is an ideal adoption for any trainer, as well as those with a close connection to RAF Cosford. Look out for this artefact on display next time you visit the Museum’s Midlands site.

Adopt an Artefact’ highlights a selection of iconic and unusual objects from the Museum collection which span more than a century of aviation and RAF history. People can browse the items and adopt online at

Ella Hewitt, RAF Museum Individual Giving Manager said:
‘With the Commonwealth Games inspiring the next generation of athletes, it’s a great opportunity for the Museum to look back at the RAF’s sporting history and reflect on the role sport has played for service personnel. Adopting an artefact such as the Cranwell Boys’ Wing Sports Cap or the Physical Training Instructor Badge, helps raise funds for the Museum, enabling us to continue sharing the RAF story. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to buy an unusual gift for a budding athlete or sports lover, and to receive something unique in return for your support.’

Starting at £25.00, adoptions last 12 months from the date they are adopted. Every adoption includes a digital adoption certificate and photo, online recognition with a personalised message, and exclusive updates throughout the year.

Adoptees can view their artefacts during a visit to the Museum. The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free, simply pre-book your arrival time online at

Newark Air Museum Awarded Accreditation Accolade

July 25th, 2022

Newark Saab Safir

From its humble beginnings in the 1960s, when a group of like-minded aviation enthusiasts set out with a desire to own a Spitfire, over the years the Newark Air Museum has evolved into one of the UK’s leading volunteer managed aviation museums. Open to the public for forty-nine years; the museum is located just to the north of Newark-on-Trent; on part of what is the former World War II training airfield of RAF Winthorpe, which is in eastern Nottinghamshire.

Administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the UK Accreditation Partnership, Accreditation is the benchmark for well-run Museums and Galleries.

It means that Newark Air Museum is properly managed and governed to the nationally agreed industry standard and shows the museum takes proper care of its collections, sharing them with visitors and keeping them safe for future generations.

Accreditation opens up exciting funding opportunities, allows museums to host touring exhibitions and gives access to professional advice and support. It also gives confidence to donors and sponsors who may wish to support the museum in preserving heritage and inspiring future generations.

Accreditation covers museums of all types and sizes – from the smallest volunteer-run museums to national museums – and more than 1,700 museums are currently taking part in the scheme across the UK.

More information about the Accreditation scheme can be found here.

Colin Savill, Museum Trustee said: “The renewal of our Accreditation with Arts Council England has been running throughout the Covid-19 crisis and we are grateful for everyone’s support in us finally being able to secure this prestigious award.”

Liz Johnson, Director Museums and Cultural Property at Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted that Newark Air Museum has been successful in gaining their Accreditation status. This means that their Collections will be looked after and maintained offering inspiration, enjoyment and learning for the local community and visitors to enjoy now and in the future.”

RAF Museum Recent Aviation Photo Acquisitions

July 14th, 2022

RAF Museum Arrow

The Royal Air Force Museum has been fortunate to acquire three significant collections from 20th century aviation photographers. Each adds to the record of aviation in the 20th century, especially the history of the Royal Air Force, and they have been generously donated by their families.

The first collection was acquired before lockdown. Richard Winslade worked with historic aviation organisations, including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Royal Navy Historic Flight. He had scanned and cleaned many of his images before uploading them to his Flickr site, About Richard Winslade | Flickr.

The second collection was offered just before lockdown but couldn’t be collected before travel restrictions were imposed. Richard Wilson was one of the foremost aviation photographers of his generation, learning from the masters, such as Charles E Brown, and take their place when they retired. Richard, like Brown, worked closely with RAF PR and was awarded the CP Robertson Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the person considered to have made the best contribution in presenting the work of the RAF to the public. An interview with Richard was published in Supplement No. 7 to Aeroplane Monthly, 1985.

While we were waiting for an opportunity to collect the Wilson collection, the Rentoul and Wakeford collection was offered to us by Tom Wakeford’s widow. The collection is far larger than the other two combined and is more varied in its content. Tom Wakeford was a semi-professional aviation photographer, author and magazine editor. The subject of his books included the Panavia Tornado, Operation Granby and the RAF 75th anniversary. He worked closely with Ian Rentoul whose photographs are included in the collection.

The RAF Museum is grateful to the families of the photographers.

Vulcan Repaint Fund Raising Boost

July 6th, 2022

Newark Vulcan XM594 repaint

The trustees and volunteers at the Newark Air Museum (NAM) have received a fund raising boost thanks to the generosity of the British Aviation Research Group (BARG). Having been advised about the museum’s much needed refurbishment and repainting work on Avro Vulcan XM594, members of the BARG DVD Implementation Team have kindly agreed to meet the cost of the paint and associated materials.

In December 2021 the museum took ownership of Vulcan XM594 and this was undertaken in the knowledge that some significant structural repairs and repainting work was required on the huge delta winged aircraft.

During spring 2022, the museum received a letter from BARG asking if they had any military aircraft preservation projects that required financial support. In response the museum submitted an application to BARG in relation to the materials required for the Vulcan repaint.

BARG’s history dates back to the 1950s, which is longer than the museum’s. This is when a group of young enthusiast started a monthly publication reporting aircraft sightings at Blackbushe Airport (then London’s second airport). The group expanded and became a byword for military aviation enthusiasts. Eventually BARG transferred their publications and research data onto searchable DVDs, which were sold around the world. The proceeds from these sales have enabled BARG to support projects like NAM’s Vulcan repaint project.

“We are extremely grateful to BARG for their generous support of the repainting work on Vulcan XM594.” Said Newark Air Museum trustee Howard Heeley, he concluded, “Their contribution is being made as and when we purchase the paint, and it allows us to proceed at a steady pace that makes the most of the sometimes changeable British weather.”

Sywell Aviation Museum Book & Model Appeal

July 6th, 2022

Sywell Aviation Museum

After the success of the Sywell Aviation Museum book and model sale earlier this year, the Museum is actively seeking the donation of more items to help raise funds to restore its 1969 Handley Page Jetstream aircraft into a classroom. If we can collect enough then we hope to hold another sale later this year or early next.

If you have any surplus second hand military/aviation books, diecast models, model kits or accessories you would be able to donate we would love to hear from you (we can collect).

Based at Sywell Aerodrome, the Museum is free to enter and relies on donations to survive. It remains open each weekend and bank holiday until the end of September between 1030-1630hrs and each Tuesday and Wednesday 1200-1600. Also we are actively recruiting new members so if you are interested please get in touch.

For more information please email or call 07968061708.

Historic RAF air defence system placed on loan at Newark Air Museum

July 6th, 2022

Newark Air Museum Rapier system The trustees of the Newark Air Museum (NAM) are delighted to announce that they have entered into an agreement with MBDA UK Limited (MBDA) to accept on loan what is believed to be the only complete example of the company’s famous Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) Ground Based Air Defence system.

The recently deactivated, and now inert, system was delivered to NAM’s site in north eastern Nottinghamshire on Monday 27th June 2022, and will form a display that is unique from any museum in the United Kingdom.

In service since 1971, some Rapier systems are still defending military assets around the world today. Rapier FSC was also the last air defence system used by RAF Regiments to protect its airfields, before the British Army took on that responsibility.

Rapier was even used to help protect the 2012 London Olympics, and had a brief on screen Hollywood appearance when seen in the 2014 film ‘Kingsmen: The Secret Service’.

The Rapier FSC system complements the museum’s stated wider Collecting Policy and more specifically of that of displaying “Equipment used for the maintenance of aircraft and for the running of airfields, both military … etc.”

Undercover display space has been found for the Rapier Field Standard C System in the south-western section of Display Hangar 2. Not only will the unit’s complement NAM’s existing RAF Regiment displays, but they will also support the recently opened Royal Air Force (RAF) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) display, which are located in the same display area.

“We are excited and extremely proud to have secured the loan of such a unique set of objects for the collection,” commented museum Curator, Mike Smith. He concluded, “We are especially grateful for the assistance provided by the staff at MBDA, in helping us to establish this loan agreement and to complete the safe move of this Rapier Field Standard C System to Newark.”

“We are proud of our heritage of producing equipment for our Armed Forces that protected our troops, airfields and the UK” said Al Byford, a retired RAF Air Commodore now an advisor at MBDA. He added, “Equipment such as this Rapier FSC is of historical military significance and it is only right we share it with NAM, so those that are interested in such piece of RAF history can visit and see it preserved.”

RAF Museum apprenticeship scheme vying for top business award

July 1st, 2022

RAF Museum Apprentices

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce that we are a finalist in the Nachural Summer Business Ball and Awards for Promoting Apprenticeships. Winners will be announced at the awards event in Wolverhampton on 8 July.

The Nachural Summer Business Ball and Awards programme recognises the achievements of individuals and companies from across the West Midlands region, in all business sectors. Judges at this year’s awards acknowledged our excellence as a Museum and the work of our Michael Beetham Conservation Centre and Apprentice programme.

The RAF Museum apprentice scheme was launched in 2005 at our Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC), with a vision of preserving heritage aviation skills. The scheme ensures that apprentices are trained in subjects such as Heritage Aircraft Conservation & Restoration, Aircraft Carpentry and Welding & Fabrication. Since then, the scheme and its participants have gone from strength to strength, with local and national recognition and awards and the MBCC is now listed as one of the country’s Top 100 Apprentice Employers in the UK.

The Michael Beetham Conservation Centre, located at our Midlands site, is responsible for aircraft and large 3-D artefacts in the Museum and those on loan. A world centre of excellence, its primary function includes care, conservation, and restoration of the National Collection along with the movement or suspension of aircraft or large exhibits. Current projects include long term restoration of the Wellington, the Hampden, and the Dornier.

Darren Priday, Manager, Michael Beetham Conservation Centre:
“I am proud that our Apprenticeship scheme is being recognised by the Nachural Summer Business Ball and Awards. It is acknowledgement for all the hard work put in by the mentors in developing the skills of the apprentices, along with the desire of the apprentices to learn and better themselves for their future careers.

There are not a lot of Apprenticeship schemes where one minute you are restoring an undercarriage door from a Bristol Brigand, and preparing aircraft for exhibitions, and the next minute you’re building a Spitfire in the middle of the Shrewsbury food festival, such is the diverse work they get involved with, all with a smile on their faces.”

Winners will be announced at the prestigious Nachural Summer Business Ball & Awards 2022 being held at Wolverhampton Racecourse on Friday 8 July.


RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre 60th Anniversary Event

July 1st, 2022

RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre

On Sunday 31st July, we are holding a special event to remember the 60th Anniversary of the closure of RAF Bircham Newton in 1962.

Featuring Tony Nelson’s amazing model aircraft, Docking Heritage Group and Dreamy Hollow Woodland Campsite and WW1 Trenches.

Open 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, refreshments available, free entry and parking.

We’re also open on Sunday 17th July, as normal.