Archive for June, 2008

Minister of State for Transport Endorses Yorkshire Air Museums Education Resource Book

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

“Reach for the Sky”, an education resource book produced by the Yorkshire Air Museum and the Royal Aeronautical Society received an enthusiastic endorsement from the Rt. Hon. Rosie Winterton MP, Minister of State for Transport and Minister for The Yorkshire & Humber Regions, at a lively launch ceremony yesterday (Tuesday 24th June.). The event was held at the prestigious London headquarters of the Royal Aeronautical Society, at Hamilton Place on Hyde Park Corner.In her letter of acceptance to the invitation to launch this book, the Rt. Hon. Rosie Winterton, said: “I am delighted to see the diverse and innovative ways that the Yorkshire Air Museum is working with the Royal Aeronautical Society to promote interest in the aerospace industry using the rich history that this centennial year of British powered flight will celebrate.”

Some 27 pupils from Frith Manor Primary School, Barnet, North London, attended the event and displayed projects on the theme of future flight that they had undertaken for the occasion, which caught the attention of the Minister of State and other guests and clearly demonstrated the ideas and ingenuity that lie in the minds of our children, waiting to be developed.

This collaboration between the Yorkshire Air Museum and the Royal Aeronautical Society is indeed a unique venture. With the tremendous support received from Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency, we are to send a free copy to all the 25,000 primary schools in Britain this year and we don’t believe that any other museum has launched an education resource in such a manner before.

This KS2 level book has been written with the assistance of specialist schools advisors, the M.L.A. and the Government agency “Creative Minds” to fit into the current “STEM” (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) targets. It is easy to read and covers all the milestones of aviation history and development, including Yorkshire’s rich history in this. It features superb illustrations, ‘Science Bytes’ and activities and is designed for ease of copying for teachers. With the help of Virgin Galactic and EADS / Astrium, the book also covers the exciting developments in ‘passenger space flight’, which will once again fire the imaginations of children. It also explodes some myths about aviation in that Britain has the second largest aviation industry in the world and it is the second largest manufacturing industry in Britain.

As Ian Reed, Museum Director, points out: “We are very keen to engage our children in the science of flight at an early age and to inspire them with both Britain’s, and particularly Yorkshire’s extraordinary heritage in this field. We were delighted with the enthusiasm and interest shown by the Rt. Hon. Rosie Winterton the Minister of State for Transport at the launch of “Reach for the Sky”, acknowledging the importance of this unique project”.

Editors Notes:

Amongst those present at the launch were Thea Stein, Executive Director of Economic Inclusion, Yorkshire Forward, Sue Gradwell, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Business & Education Partnership, Ian Reed, Yorkshire Air Museum Director, John Edmonds, Chairman of Trustees of the Yorkshire Air Museum and Amy Parkinson, formerly of NYBEP, who co-wrote the book with Ian Reed.

EADS / Astrium.

Astrium is the subsidiary of European Aeronautical Defence Systems which is developing a European ‘passenger space vehicle’, who along with Virgin Galactic, offered information and images for the book.

Exclusive Airbourne Seating at Unique South Coast Venue

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Visitors to Eastbourne’s annual airshow can sit back and watch dynamic flying displays in style from a host of daredevil sky performers including the Red Arrows, Guinnot Wingwalkers and Tigers parachute team with exclusive seating around Eastbourne Bandstand.

Package tickets for the exclusive Bandstand viewing area are on sale from Friday 20 June at just £10 per person, giving free entry into the airshow plus a reserved seat at the Bandstand. Offering unrestricted views of all the twists and turns of the skies from the south coast’s premier outdoor entertainment venue, visitors can chill out, enjoy a cool refreshment and watch the action on their own deckchair for the day.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “The package offer of admission AND an exclusive viewing seat is a fantastic deal and offers visitors the chance to enjoy every bit of the airshow while relaxing and taking in the sun. Airbourne promises an action-packed day out for all the family and what better way to enjoy the event, than to have the freedom to wander round and watch the arena displays, knowing you have your own seat to return to when the overhead flying action begins.”

Airbourne visitors are being encouraged to reserve their seats early, with exclusive viewing tickets on sale from Friday. With exclusive Bandstand seats priced at £7 and Airbourne admission £5 when purchased separately, the package ticket offers value for money at this year’s airshow.

Available from the seafront office, Tourist Information Centre and online through Visit Eastbourne’s E-shop, Airbourne fans can ensure they’re at the forefront of all the Airbourne action when the airshow returns to the Western Lawns from 14-17 August 2008.

For more information on the exclusive Bandstand seating telephone 0871 663 0031 or visit or


Book Your Tickets Early for Worlds Biggest Seafront Airshow

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Airbourne fans make a note of this date now: Friday 20 June 2008 – the day tickets go on sale for the biggest seafront airshow in the world.Tickets for Eastbourne’s annual airshow will be available from Eastbourne Box Office, Tourist Information Centre, and online through Visit Eastbourne’s E-shop and enthusiastic visitors are being encouraged to book their tickets early. Priced at just £5 per person, visitors will also be able to take advantage of Buy One Get One Free offers in Eastbourne Herald and Gazette, with special vouchers slashing tickets to just £2.50 for a limited time period.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “Tickets for Airbourne really are a bargain price and present excellent value for money. Eastbourne is proud of its airshow and the four days in August promise to be action-packed with displays from the Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon, Tucano and Hawk, plus a special appearance from the Catalina. With tickets admitting visitors to the premier viewing position on Eastbourne seafront, they are guaranteed the best views and the most action.”

Advance tickets will be available online through e-shop on , over the phone on 01323 412000, or over the counter at Eastbourne Box Office and Tourist Information Centre.

Airbourne returns to Eastbourne seafront from 14-17 August 2008. With the Red Arrows, Guinnot Wingwalkers, and Tigers parachute display team already confirmed to perform daring aerobatics at this year’s airshow, visitors will also be able to buy tickets on the day from booths located along the seafront.

For more information telephone 0871 663 0031 or visit or

Book Now for All New Airbourne Aviator Club

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Tickets are now on sale for exclusive arena-side hospitality at Airbourne, the biggest seafront airshow in the world, as the dynamic seafront airshow launches The Aviator Club. Brand new for 2008, Airbourne hospitality goes arena-side where guests are invited to enjoy uninterrupted views of all the twists and turns in the skies, with a champagne welcome and three-course summer lunch. The Aviator Club will offer Airbourne enthusiasts the best seats on the seafront to enjoy the dynamic flying displays while dining alfresco in the sunniest place in the UK.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “Airbourne is a fantastic event in Eastbourne and the highlight of the summer, with the chance to be amazed by daredevil stunts from the Red Arrows and enjoy Eastbourne’s stunning seafront location. I am really pleased to launch The Aviator Club and it’s a brilliant opportunity for a special day out with family and friends or to wine and dine clients in a cool, seaside location.”

Organisers of the airshow, Eastbourne Borough Council, are looking forward to offering guests the chance to enjoy Airbourne in comfort and style. The Club opens at 12 noon, welcoming visitors with a glass of champagne before they tuck into a three-course lunch, with fine wine, Pimms and champagne all on tap.

With tickets for The Aviator Club at just £50, it promises all the fun of an action-packed day with the added luxury of the hospitality tent. Sit back, relax and watch breathtaking displays from the Red Arrows, Guinnot Wingwalkers and RAF Typhoon.

To book tickets or get a booking form contact Jayne Howard from the Events team on 01323 415442 or e-mail For more information about Airbourne telephone 0871 663 0031 or visit


POTY2008 – Theme 5 – Civil Aviation

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Summer is finally here, and the airshow season is well and truly under way. I’ll try not to waffle on too much, so you can all get back out on those patio’s and soak up this year’s sunshine allocation.

Theme 5 “Civil Aviation” proved to be another difficult theme to judge, with each of the 3 judges choosing a different image as their personal favourite. Tim Knifton came into this competition very early and flooded me with entries for the first 8 themes in about a week or so. A disappointing set of results across the first 4 themes kept Tim right at the bottom of the results table, until this month when he managed to grab 26 points and first place with his entry.

Malcolm Casson managed came in 2nd with 25 points pushing himself up towards the leaders, and Stefan Pankow netted 23 points for 3rd place with his only entry in the competition to date.

The leaderboard has barely changed over the last few months and currently stands as follows:

Neil Darby 104 points

Gergely Grosz 90 points

Simon Thomas 84 points

This can all change, and there are still plenty of contenders for the prize positions as we are only half way through with up to 180 points still up for grabs over the next 5 themes. What’s more I have been given permission to give away 3 more free advertising prizes on the Uradnet aviation banner network, so I shall be coupling these with Showcase prizes on Airscene to make 3 runners up places.

This months theme is “In Control”, and is gonna be tough due to the number of possible interpretations. If you think you are good enough – get your entry in and have a crack.

Good Luck.


Keep Eastbourne Airshow Safe for the Future

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Admission prices have been set for Airbourne 2008 and entry to Eastbourne’s most prestigious event will cost as little as £2.50, in return for the best front row location to watch the biggest seafront airshow in the world.Organisers, Eastbourne Borough Council, are keen to secure the long term future of this premier event and conform to revised health and safety regulations. All income generated will go straight back to Tourism, to sustain, improve and enhance the excellent tourism services in Eastbourne. The town boasts a bumper events calendar, a vibrant seafront and a wealth of visitor attractions, but with the cost of staging such high profile events rising plus the vision to continue improving these each year, a small admission charge has been introduced to keep Airbourne safe for the future.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “Airbourne is a world renowned event and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe. This is its 16th year and with the cost of securing top flying displays rising and becoming harder every year, a small admission charge is the best way to help us secure the long term future of this popular event. The fact that all income generated will be ring-fenced and pumped directly back into Eastbourne Tourism is a huge incentive, and will allow us to continue to deliver a fantastic events programme and keep drawing visitors back to our seaside resort.”

The Events Development Team work extremely hard securing exhibitors and trade stands and sponsors who pay to enjoy the commercial benefits that Airbourne gives them. Furthermore the souvenir programme not only gives valuable and exciting information about the event it generates a significant income towards the costs involved in hosting the international airshow.

Unable to obtain sponsorship for last year’s airshow, the council tax payer had to contribute towards staging the event. This year that cost has been shifted so that those who attend the airshow are charged a minimal amount.

Tickets for this year’s Airbourne are priced at £5 per person per day but with Buy 1 Get 1 Free offers available soon, visitors can get tickets for just £2.50.

The charged area will run from the Beachy Head side of Eastbourne Pier to the end of the Western Lawns with a fence marking the area.

With top flying displays already secured for 2008, including crowd favourite, the Red Arrows wowing the crowds over 3 days, plus the RAF Typhoon, Hawk, Tucano and Tutor celebrating 90 years of the RAF, visitors are in for a jam-packed 4 days in August.

Visitors are being encouraged to book their tickets in advance to guarantee their prime viewing space when Airbourne returns from 14-17 August 2008.

Tickets go on sale from 23 June. For more information on how to get tickets for this year’s airshow visit or , or telephone 0871 663 0031.

German Luftwaffe Veterans visit Yorkshire Air Museum

Friday, June 6th, 2008

An extraordinary act of compassion which took place in the heat of war sixty four years ago was once again remembered at Elvington on Sunday 1st June, when the Doncaster Air Gunners Association brought a party of German WWII veterans to the museum.This annual re-union, which alternates each year between here and Germany, has now existed for 20 years and stems from an act of human kindness following the shooting down of an RAF Lancaster in 1944.

On return from a raid on Berlin, Lancaster “Sugar 2” from RAF Wickenby, was hit by fire from a Messerschmidt 110. On fire and spiralling earthward, the crew baled out of the stricken aircraft. Navigator Arthur Lee however, was pinned to the floor by the centrifugal force of the spin, until, suddenly, the aircraft blew apart and he was forcibly ejected. Luckily, he had put on his parachute harness and was able to pull the cord, with the chute just opening in time to break his fall into the trees below, in a wood near Katzelenbogen, 20 miles south east of Koblenz.

But for Rudi’s intervention, things could have been very different for Arthur and Rudi himself had risked the possibility of a court martial. After the war had ended, Rudi erected a 10ft high wooden cross at the crash site, flanked by six smaller crosses to mark the rest of the Lancaster crew who had perished in the crash. Forty five years later, Rudi and Arthur were reunited at the cross, when a pilgrimage of RAF Wickenby members and Doncaster Air Gunners Association made the trip to the crash site, after researching the details with assistance from the current Luftwaffe and the German Nightfigters Association, which meet at Sobernheim airbase. Thus, German veterans and current servicemen at the time took part in a service of remembrance at this reunion.

This set the spark of a friendship between Doncaster Air Gunners and the Nightfighters Association that has remained strong to this day. The Air Gunners association identified the site of the last crash of a German aircraft on British soil, at Dunnington Lodge, near Elvington, as the most appropriate for a twin memorial to “The Cross in the Woods” erected by Rudi Balzer in Germany and , for twenty years, the reciprocal visits have taken place.

Last Sunday, Yorkshire Air Museum Chaplain Neil Mackay led a short Service of Remembrance at Dunnington Lodge before the Doncaster Air Gunners and the visiting German veterans and family proceeded to the museum for a luncheon and a special tour of the museum’s unique restored Halifax bomber.

Museum spokesman, Ian Richardson, said: “We were delighted to assist our friends at the Doncaster Air Gunners Association in making this a very special occasion for the German veterans and their families. The long lasting friendship that has existed since that remarkable act of kindness shows us that conflicts are about politics, not people in general, and that old opponents can respect each others courage in the pursuit of their duty, thereby finding the similarities that lasting friendships can be based upon.”

Both Arthur Lee and Rudi Balzer are sadly no longer with us, but they would have been astounded at the continuing legacy their friendship has created.

RAF and Luftwaffe veterans in front of Halifax

Pictured with the impressive Halifax Bomber “Friday the 13th” are: (left to right).

Stan Wannell – Doncaster Air Gunners Association. (Former Wireless Operator / Air Gunner on Wellingtons.)

Theo Nau – German Me. 109 fighter pilot.

Eric Foynette – RAF Lancaster Navigator an ex POW. At 92 years of age, Eric is the last remaining witness to the re-union of Rudi Balzer and Arthur Lee.)

Ulrich Majewski – Post WWII Luftwaffe pilot.

Walter Rehling – Dornier 217 pilot in WWII.

Otto Markruse – Luftwaffe Dayfighter pilot on Focke-Wulfe 190.

Herbert Gleich – Junkers JU 88 pilot.

Kneeling in front are: L to R:

Moira Hurrell, Jacqui Whitehead (Event Organiser) and Sue Collett of the Doncaster Air Gunners Association.

Further information at: