Archive for August, 2009

The Battle of Britain Weekend

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Take part in a weekend of special activities at the RAF Museum London, celebrating the bravery of all those who took part in the Battle of Britain.

Dates: 12 September – 13 September

Time: 1000 – 1800

Admission: FREE



Re-enactors: Meet the young fighter pilots of 1940 and ask them about their experiences during the great battle in the sky.

Living history area: Visit the scramble tent, to see how the pilots lived. Always on standby awaiting the ring of the bell.

Tableaux will include a “Scramble” and raid interception at 11:30 am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm each day based on events taking place at RAF Hendon on 15th September 1940.

Special film shows: Watch some classic wartime footage, newsreels and propaganda shorts in the Museum’s own 200-seat movie theatre:

Handling Collection: Get in character with four pocket tunics, flying suits and other paraphernalia. Here’s your chance to try on some authentic RAF uniforms and flying clothes and have your photo taken by the Spitfire.

Live music: Kick back and listen to some authentic 1940’s era music. 


The Kew Wind Orchestra will be providing two concerts underneath the Lancaster in the  Bomber Hall at 12.15 and 2pm with the Dambusters March, 633 Squadron, Oklahoma and As Time Goes By forming part of the Orchestra’s programme.

London Pro Arte Choir will round the afternoon off at 3.30pm with a series of haunting and evocative choiral works such as would have been heard by “The Few” when attending concerts with family and friends. 

Polka Dot Dolls performing hits from yesteryear such as “Kiss me Goodnight Sergeant Major” and  “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B


The Barnet Band, back by popular request, will provide rousing musical entertainment on the Sunday.

Polka Dot Dolls performing hits from yesteryear such as “Kiss me Goodnight Sergeant Major” and  “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B


Taking place in the Battle of Britain Hall at 12.15, 2.15, & 4.15 pm by our resident experts, these will give an added insight into the Battle, The Few and the women so integral to operational success.

Sat & Sun
*12.15 pm – In the Round(al): The RAF and the Battle of Britain.

* 2.15 pm – ‘The Few’: The Fighter Pilots of the Battle of Britain.

* 4.15 pm – Wind Beneath Their Wings: The Women of the Battle of Britain.

Free Tours

Free tours around the Museum’s Battle of Britain Hall will give added insight into the heroes who defended London from the air and the ground.

Children’s activities

There will be a range of activities in the Museum’s Aeronauts Interactive Gallery where children will be able to make, free of charge, their own cut out and keep Spitfire as well as a fun quiz trail that will take them Battle of Britain Hall.

 All this and the permanent ‘Battle of Britain’ exhibition Hall, featuring the emotionally charged multimedia experience ‘Our Finest Hour’.

Seafront Packed for Airbourne 2009

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The south coast is recovering after its busiest weekend of the year as the sun shone for Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow 2009, with huge crowds every day plus record programme sales.The resort’s 17th annual airshow attracted flocks of visitors to the seafront setting last weekend to marvel at more than 60 flying displays at the free event, including the Red Arrows flying every day plus a rare double appearance greeting visitors on the ground on Friday AND Saturday.

With glorious sunshine on all four days, the airshow brought thousands of visitors to the resort with the official souvenir programme flying out with more sales than ever before.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Susan Morris said “What a weekend! Airbourne 2009 was truly fantastic and after months of planning to improve the event and put on a great show, we are extremely pleased. It was wonderful to see the seafront looking so busy and for visitors to really be enjoying themselves and judging from the feedback we have already received, 2009 appears to be one of the best years ever for Airbourne. For the first time this year we introduced a retiring collection, with proceeds going to both Airbourne and the Sussex Air Ambulance and anyone who did not get an opportunity to contribute can still do so at either the Tourist Information Centre or the Seafront Office”

A brand new Come Fly With Me evening extravaganza took place on Friday this year and delighted visitors with an extended flying schedule into the evening with a Swing Street Band entertaining visitors on the ground. As the Blades, Typhoon, and Hawker Hurricane Bomber flew overhead, visitors got on their feet to dance along in the arena.

The addition of the Globeriders performing daredevil motorcycle racing in a giant steel ball to the arena line up for 2009 meant the Western Lawns were swamped with crowds during the day too, all desperate to witness the exciting new display. Plus the return of the Essex Dog Display team impressed visitors with their canine performance leaping through hoops of fire.

With a great line up of flying displays taking place in 2009, including the Blades Aerobatic Formation Team, agile Eurofighter Typhoon, F16, and the Tigers Parachute Display Team, visitors were desperate to take in top views. Exclusive seating at Eastbourne Bandstand sold out over the weekend, as visitors booked in to enjoy uninterrupted views from the seafront venue.

With the number of trade stands up by 27% in 2009, the ground was packed at Airbourne with visitors treated to a top standard of stalls to browse including the Wii and Pokemon stands entertaining families.

The show came to a fitting close on Sunday night with a moving Sunset Ceremony at Eastbourne Bandstand with music performed by Eastbourne Silver Band, followed by a spectacular firework display from the Pier lighting up the seafront skies and uniting the community for the airshow finale.

With 25 sponsors behind Airbourne 2009, including Barratt Southern Counties and, fans of the airshow can keep up to date with the latest news as well as share their views on this year’s event online at

Once the final income and expenditure figures are available, Cabinet will be able to confirm the 2010 airshow, early indications are positive.


Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is delighted to announce the following appointments:New Positions:

MBCC Deputy Manager – Mr Darren Priday

MBCC Training Manager – Mr Michael Shepherd

Darren Priday has been promoted from within the MBCC to fulfil this role in the face of increased efforts to address growing conservation tasks and the need for year-round engineering management cover. He commences his responsibilities on the 1st September.

WO Michael Shepherd retires from the Royal Air Force to join the Museum on the 17th August to assist with the further development of the MBCC Apprentice Scheme. He will be tasked with heading up the mentoring programme targeted at young people and attracting aviation enthusiasts from across the globe to participate in planned MBCC Conservation Skills Workshops.

The following appointments are part of the MBCC Apprentice scheme which is now in its 4th successful year:

Apprentice Intake 2009

Mr Martin Purcell-Shaw

Mr Nathan Pugh

Martin and Nathan are both from Telford and they hope to become a significant part of the area’s engineering heritage through the medium of the MBCC Apprentice program. The scheme has already produced an ‘Apprentice of the Year’ (Rebecca Pitts – who met the Queen as part of that award) and this year, it was the turn of Daniel Perks, who recently received the ‘2009 TCAT Student Achiever Award’.

The MBCC is committed to preserving Aviation Heritage through its conservation of aircraft and associated exhibits, whilst recognising the need to ensure that unique skills are retained, nurtured and developed amongst the younger generation in respect of fostering ongoing aircraft conservation efforts for the foreseeable future.

Countdown to Airbourne 2009

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

There’s less than a week to go until the World’s biggest FREE seafront airshow lands in Eastbourne and with forecasts of 21ºC, visitors are expected to buy a staggering 35,000 ice-creams during the four day event! This year the free airshow promises to be bigger and better than ever before as it enters its 17th year with the popular Red Arrows zooming through the seafront skies on all four days. Plus the Reds will touch down for TWO ground appearances in 2009 on Friday and Saturday, meeting and greeting fans around the arena, a feat that is unprecedented in the history of the team.

The Reds will be joined by a bumper line up of flying displays including a top flight of international aircraft such as the F16, Eurofighter Typhoon, US Air Force KC135 and Belgian Sea King, Airbourne promises a packed weekend for the thousands of visitors expected to descend on the town over the next few days.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Susan Morris said “The excitement at this year’s spectacular line-up has really kicked in now and I can’t wait for Airbourne this Thursday! We’ve got some fabulous flying, action-packed arena displays, and plenty of evening entertainment to really please visitors so I’m sure we’re in for a brilliant weekend. And as the country’s sunniest place, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the good weather continues for Airbourne!”

As the biggest international airshow, Airbourne promises some surprising statistics. During the four day event that gets underway this Thursday 13 August, Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre expects to receive over 2,000 enquiries a day directly relating to Airbourne!

Members of the RAF will hand out a whopping 5,000 stickers to budding pilots from the RAF Village on the Western Lawns. Providing an educational and hands-on area to get an idea of life in the force with replica aircraft, mobile catering demonstrations and displays from the Bomb Disposal Squadron, air enthusiasts can speak to pilots on the ground.

And for those who want their own personal soundtrack to the airshow, visitors can buy Airbourne radio headsets from the Information Stand at the event and listen to 165 hours of live commentary, pilot interviews, music, weather and travel updates on 87.7FM Radio Airbourne.

Plus this year there is more to Airbourne than ever before too, as a brand new Friday evening flying extravaganza takes place. Come Fly With Me kicks off at 6pm on 14 August with Swing Street Band performing on the ground against a backdrop of flying displays including The Blades, Eurofighter Typhoon, and a special appearance from the Hawker Hurricane Bomber performing at its first seafront airshow since recommission.

The airshow opens from 10am – 6pm each day from Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 August, with extended flying until 8pm on Friday.

Buy a copy of the Official Souvenir Programme for just £3 from selected newsagents across the town, the Tourist Information Centre, Seafront Office or programme sellers at the event, and read up on the displays, enter exclusive competitions and find vouchers to exchange for up to date flying times on the day.

For more information on Airbourne 2009 sponsored by Barratt Southern Counties and visit or telephone 0871 663 0031.

Come Fly With Me at Airbourne 2009

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Get set for more dynamic flying action than ever before at Eastbourne International Airshow in 2009 as Airbourne hosts displays into the evening with a new Come Fly With Me programme on Friday 14 August.The World’s biggest FREE seafront airshow returns to Eastbourne seafront from 13-16 August with a jam-packed display schedule for 2009, including all new flying ‘til dusk on Friday evening.

Come Fly With Me will get underway at 6pm with Swing Street Band performing on the ground against a backdrop of flying displays including The Blades, Eurofighter Typhoon, and various historic displays. Plus visitors can also look forward to a special appearance from the Hawker Hurricane Bomber performing at its first seafront airshow since recommission.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Susan Morris said “This year’s airshow promises to be bigger and better than ever and I’m really excited by the new evening display on Friday. Extending the event into the evening will mean that visitors can come along after work and enjoy some spectacular displays to a big band soundtrack, with the entertainment carrying on long after that with a tribute concert at Eastbourne Bandstand offering visitors non-stop activity all day long.”

Airbourne visitors can enjoy evening entertainment on all four days of the airshow with Eastbourne Bandstand hosting a packed programme of concerts.

The Les Paul Band fill the stage on Thursday evening for Big Band Sound, while those enjoying the evening display on Friday can head straight for a Dirty Dancing Tribute Concert when the flying stops. Relive the popular songs from the Patrick Swayze movie.

Saturday sees a Buddy Holly tribute act take to the stage for a Rock ‘n’ Roll evening with Sunday welcoming the return of the popular Sunset Ceremony and Proms Concert culminating in a spectacular firework display from Eastbourne Pier for all Airbourne visitors.

The 2009 Official Airbourne Souvenir Programme is on sale now at selected stockists throughout the town and online from

Order a copy and find out about the packed 2009 flying programme, which includes a fast and furious display from the Red Arrows on all four days, plus appearances from the Guinot Wingwalkers, futuristic Eurofighter Typhoon, Hawk, Tutor, F16, US Air Force KC135 Stratotanker, Tigers Parachute Display Team and more.

Plus there will be nostalgic displays from the Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight providing a moving tribute to the heroic World War II battle, plus historic flights from the Spitfire, Mustang, Hawker and Gnat.

For more information on Airbourne 2009, sponsored by Barratt Southern Counties and, visit or telephone 0871 663 0031.