Archive for November, 2009

Chief of Air Staff opens new exhibition

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

12th November saw the launch of the Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low exhibition at the National Cold War Exhibition at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.The combat Search & Rescue Helicopter is the first aircraft of its type to go on display in the UK and was kindly donated by the United States Air Force. The supporting exhibition which greatly enhances the display was made possible by sponsorship from Sikorsky.

The opening was conducted by Air Chief Marshal Sir Steven Dalton RAF Chief of Air Staff. Sir Stephen also took a tour of the Cosford site including a visit to the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC).

David Powell, Sikorsky Vice President, Sales, The Americas & Global Oil:

“The National Cold War Exhibition in the RAF Museum at Cosford will provide a marvellous historical perspective of this time period, and the inclusion of the venerable Sikorsky MH-53 PAVE LOW helicopter will add to the historical perspective. We are excited about the opportunity to provide sponsorship for this exhibition and to continue to rekindle the strong legacy of Sikorsky Aircraft in the United Kingdom”

Museum Launches Online Book of Remembrance

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

As part of its latest online exhibition, Lest We Forget, the Royal Air Force Museum has opened an electronic Book of Remembrance to commemorate the memory of those who have served in the Royal Air Force and its sister services, the Royal Flying Corps, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and the Women’s Royal Air Force.

Click here for online exhibition

Speaking about the online exhibition, Air Vice Marshal (retired) Peter Dye, the Head of the Museum’s Collections Division, stated:

” Lest We Forget is a poignant and unflinching exhibition that highlights the sacrifices made by those that have served in the Royal Air Force since its formation more than 90 years ago. It invites us to reflect on the impact on families and loved ones; whilst exploring the invaluable work of the agencies and support networks that bring practical aid and comfort to those who have suffered bereavement.

The central theme of the exhibition is the importance of Remembrance to individuals, to the Royal Air Force and to the nation. As a personal act of Remembrance, online visitors are invited to record a personal tribute to those that lost their lives serving their country. Each memorial will be incorporated in a virtual ‘Book of Remembrance’ that can be viewed by visitors to the Museum’s website as a tribute to those brave men and women, who fought, and who continue to fight, to preserve the ideals of liberty and democracy. ”

In addition to the launch of the above exhibition both of the Royal Air Force Museum’s sites at Cosford and London will be holding a Service of Remembrance to which members of the public are invited to attend. Cosford’s Remembrance Service will take place on Sunday 8th of November at 10:45 am in the Museum’s Hangar 1; whilst the London service will take place at 11am on Wednesday 11th by the Museum’s Lancaster Bomber, in Bomber Hall. The Museum’s London site will also hold a weekend of Remembrance activities on 7th and 8th of November where children are invited to decorate a poppy petal as part of a collage and to create a plaque which will be posted in a temporary Wall of Remembrance located in the Museum’s Aeronauts Interactive Gallery.

Both of the Museum’s sites will also show ‘Lest We Forget’ as a physical exhibition for those who may not have web access. For further details please visit and select “What’s On This Month” for the Museum site that you wish to visit.

The Royal Air Force Museum London and the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford are open daily from 10am to 6pm. Last admission to both sites is 5.30pm. Entry to both sites is free.


Flying Sikhs – A History of Sikh Fighter Pilots

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The Royal Air Force Museum London presents an exclusive opportunity to view a brand new documentary on Sikh fighter pilots, directed by Navdeep KandolaDate: Sunday 22rd November

Time: 1400hrs

Location: Film Theatre, RAF Museum London


“Flying Sikhs – A History of Sikh Fighter Pilots” provides an intimate portrait of the Sikh pilots who contributed so valiantly to British success in World War I and World War II. The history of the Sikhs who flew in the Royal Flying Core, the Royal Air Force and the Indian Air Force has been forgotten, yet their bravery was recognized widely by both the military and the public during the dark days of the Blitz and the brutal Japanese invasion from the East.

Drawing on interviews with the last remaining pilots, rare and personal archive materials, and unseen footage, Flying Sikhs pays testimony to the brave and selfless contributions these unsung heroes made to the war efforts across the world.

The dramatic and often emotional documentary reveals the pioneering role that Sikhs have played in both introducing and sustaining aviation in India. It was a Sikh – the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh – who procured the first Bleriot monoplane and Farman biplanes in 1910.

The first ever Indian pilot to try to enlist as a pilot in WWI was Hardit Singh Malik, the only Indian pilot to miraculously survive the war and later went on to become PM of Patiala and High Commissioner to both Canada and France. The documentary includes first hand accounts taken from the only TV Interview of Sardar Malik and a rare interview with his daughter Harji Malik.

Also included are interviews with the last remaining Sikh pilots from WWII, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh DFC and Mohinder Singh Pujji DFC, who are both now in their nineties.

Air Marshal Arjan Singh led pilots in the Burmese front in the Second World War and later led the Indo-Pak and Indo-China air assaults. Pujji had an impeccable record for bravery and saved a 300 strong battalion of lost American soldiers that were given up for dead in the dense Burmese forests.

Although the countless other Sikh pilots from the great wars are now deceased, their histories are represented by the recollections of outstanding pilots such as Manmohan Singh, Mehr Singh DSO, Prithpal Singh and Air Marshal Shidev Singh.

The documentary will be preceded by a short talk from the director Nav Kandola.

To register to watch this film for free, call: 020 8358 4849 or email