Archive for June, 2007

Museum Bright Spark Wins Apprentice of the Year

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Rebecca Pitts, an Apprentice working for the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, beat the competition hands down to become the Telford College of Arts and Technology, Apprentice of the Year 2006/2007.Rebecca, aged 18 from Telford, was nominated for the ‘Engineering Apprentice of the Year’ award by her Company Representative, Mr Tim Wallis, Manager of the Royal Air Force Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC). After winning her category Rebecca was entered for the Telford College of Arts and Technology ‘Overall Apprentice of the Year’ along with the winners from each of the other categories, and was crowned the overall winner.

Having worked for the Museum for two years as part of a 5 ½ year apprentice placement, Rebecca has just completed the first year of a BTEC National Certificate in Operating and Maintenance. The course consisted of 6 modules in total which included Mechanical Technology and System Measurements and she received distinction grades in all six modules. Rebecca is also the only female in the country studying the course and she is delighted her hard work and effort has paid off.

Rebecca is also studying for her NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineer Operations and has completed the first year of her course four weeks early. Tim Wallis, Manager of the MBCC says: “Rebecca is a very focused, driven student which stood her in good stead for a difficult year. Next year will be even harder to achieve but I have no doubt that Rebecca will be successful in anything she sets her mind to.”

The Modern Apprentice Scheme provides a work-based training and development for 16 – 24 years olds who have left full-time education. Two days a week are spent at college and three days are spent in the workplace.

The location of the Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre and the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering offers a unique training opportunity. The scheme also offers a unique opportunity to fill a skills shortage of technicians qualified and skilled to work on the conservation and preservation of historic aircraft.

The Royal Air Force Museum will be recruiting a further two apprentices to begin training in October 2007.

Rebecca will be enjoying the summer break from college and working full time at the Museum over the summer months, before returning to college in September for her third year.

Record Breaking Aviator Unveils Airbourne Exclusive

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Record breaking aviator Polly Vacher, flies into Eastbourne on Tuesday to launch an extra special prize for Red Arrows fans at Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow.

As well as flying on Saturday and Sunday at the show, the world famous team are offering Airbourne the exclusive opportunity for two guests to win a day with the team at RAF Scampton.

The competition which can be entered by SMS text message, will raise funds for Polly’s ‘Flying Scholarships for the Disabled’ charity, as well as funding some of the flying at the show.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism & Environment, Councillor Steve Wallis said “We are delighted to team up with Polly and the Red Arrows to provide this once in a lifetime fantastic opportunity. To spend a day with the team at their base is very rare indeed – the lucky winner has a wonderful day lined up ahead.”

Polly, who flies into Eastbourne seafront with the Army Air Corp Historic Aircraft team on Tuesday, is launching the scheme as part of her whistle-stop Wings Around Britain tour. Raising funds and awareness for the charity, the scholarship aims to empower disabled people, building confidence and self esteem while undertaking the challenge of learning to fly.

Polly brings with her a wealth of experience which has seen her achieve many records including – the first woman to fly solo in a single engine aircraft over the North Pole and Antarctica. The flight is documented in her inspirational book ‘Wings Around the World’, which also helps fund the charity.

Airbourne returns from 16 – 19 August with RAF flying from the Eurofighter Typhoon, Chinook, Hawk, Tucano, Merlin, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Falcons parachute team.

Competition entries are open now, to enter simply text AIR1 followed by your date of birth (DDMMYY) to 84222 eg AIR1 260880.

Texts cost £1 plus one standard rate text message. For full terms and conditions visit

New Chinook Exhibition to be Unveiled

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce the unveiling of a new permanent exhibition: The interactive, walk-through Chinook Helicopter.The Boeing Chinook is a versatile and powerful helicopter, used for troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield re-supply. It was first procured by the RAF in 1980 and has seen operational service in The Falklands War, The first Gulf War and the current Gulf conflict.

Based around the frame of an actual Chinook forward fuselage, the exhibition will allow visitors a ‘walk-in’ experience and includes a full cockpit with controls, along with additional display materials including interactive kiosks and audio-visual presentations on wide-screen monitors. The exhibition is fully accessible by ramp and is supported by a number of graphics panels.

The ex-US Army Chinook model: CH-47D (serial currently unknown), was flown across from America to Osnabruck in Germany and then to Mildenhall in the UK. From there it travelled by road, to the Museum site in London. This fuselage is a product of the current refurbishment programme for US CH-47s, which are receiving new front ends.

The exhibition is sponsored by Chinook manufacturer Boeing, who organised the gift of this ex-US Army airframe, along with a large scale model displayed over the exhibit and a kind donation through RAFM American Foundation. Honeywell have donated the T-55 engine and Rockwell Collins has provided a mock up of their Collins Avionics Architecture System, (CAAS) – a fully integrated tactical helicopter flight and mission management system comprising five advanced Multi-Function Displays and two colour Control and Display Units. Summit Aviation assisted in preparing the Chinook fuselage for the exhibition.

Technical assistance was provided by RAF Odiham, where the RAF’s Chinook fleet is based, along with the provision and fitting of many additional parts, ranging from pylon fairings taken from a wreck, to crew seats replicated by their workshop and rotor blades.

The exhibition will be on permanent public display in the Rotorcraft area of the London site, from Thursday 18th July 2007.

For more information please visit