Archive for July, 2011


Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A capacity crowd proved to be one of the stars of the show at a hugely-successful air display held at Scotland’s National Museum of Flight on Saturday (July 23).

This was the first year that the annual summer airshow, at East Fortune, south east of Edinburgh, had been organised by Air Tattoo Event Services (ATES), the air display arm of the Royal International Air Tattoo based at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, home of the world’s largest military airshow.
And the ATES show, which took place in glorious sunshine went down a storm with the 12-000-strong crowd that flocked to the airfield.

ATES Display Director Norman Webster said: “I’ve never seen a more appreciative or enthusiastic audience at any flying display in the UK. The shouts and cheers as the Skyraider and Bronco flew past, and the whole crowd standing up and waving as the Sea King departed are things I will carry with me for a long time – it was truly a joy to present a display to such a stunning crowd.”

Stars of the show including the UHIH “Huey” helicopter, the DH-2, de Havilland’s first world war biplane, the de Havilland Dragon biplane airliner from the 1930s, and the North American OV-10 Bronco, making is debut display in Scotland.

Alongside the air display, the Museum of Flight was open to visitors while sideshows and arena acts also did their bit in keeping audiences amused.

Norm concluded: “It was excellent, really good. The weather was brilliant, and there were so many people there that the airshow nearly ran out of parking spaces. And the audience reaction certainly bodes well for the future, with our second ATES display taking place on July 29, 2012, when we hope it will be even bigger and better.”

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Calendar Competition Prizes from RAF Museum

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Cosford RAF Museum have confirmed their prize offering which will be allocated to the 3 runners up place in this years competition.

Each runner up will win the following:

RAF Museum T Shirt –

RAF Museum Teddy Bear –

The RAF Museum’s aim is to preserve an important part of Britain’s national aviation heritage and to display it for future generations. At Cosford we have collections of artefacts unique in the world.

Donate to RAF Museums in London & Cosford and help us preserve our unique collection. We are a registered charity (no.244708).

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Millennium Squadron Print exhibition goes on display

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

On display from 29th July 2011

A unique collection of aviation prints will be on display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford from Friday 29th July 2011. The ‘Millennium Squadron Print’ exhibition is a collection of aviation prints of UK Armed Forces Flying Units that were in existence at 12.01am on the 1st January 2000.

In 2000, the RAF Museum Cosford displayed the “Millennium Squadron Print” exhibition. Now, 11 years on, the Museum is revisiting this unique collection to examine how many of the units in existence in 2000 are still active, and what fate has befallen the exhibition’s featured aircraft.

The collection consists of 116 prints from units as diverse as the Red Arrows, 1435 Flight (RAF), patrolling the skies of the Falkland Islands, many of the Royal Naval Air Service squadrons, Army Air Corps units, and RAF flying training units. As an added feature, the aircrew on each unit signed their print. Famous signatures on the prints to look out for include Tony Blair and Geoff Hoon, UK Prime Minister and Defence Secretary respectively on 1st January 2000.

This popular collection was compiled by Group Captain W.A.W. James MBE, now Station Commander of RAF Shawbury. In 1999 when the collection was produced, he was the commanding officer of the RAF Central Flying School (Helicopter) at RAF Shawbury.

RAF Museum Cosford Assistant Curator, Clare Carr says:

“The Millennium Squadron Print collection is a fascinating insight into the range of UK military flying units. We thought it would be an interesting exercise, in the light of various defence reorganisations, to review the units featured (not every flying unit participated) and see how many are still operational today and whether their home bases and aircraft have changed. We hope visitors will enjoy viewing the prints and seeing for themselves how the Royal Air Force, Royal Naval Air Service and Army Air Corps have changed over the past decade.”

The Exhibition will be on display to visitors from Friday 29th July 2011 until Easter 2012 in the Museum’s Exhibition Gallery in Hangar 1. For further information on the Museum please call 01902 376200, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The Museum is open daily from 10am – 6pm. Entry to the Museum and the exhibition is FREE.

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Out of this World opportunity to secure a piece of art history

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

As space shuttle Atlantis plans to return to Earth, a charity is offering people an “out of this world” opportunity to secure a piece of art history and help support its cause.

The fly2help organisation, based at Cotswold Airport, which provides support for families and individuals facing a wide range of trauma and tragedy, commissioned renowned aviation artist Ronald Wong to produce a painting of Atlantis’ sister shuttle Endeavour in orbit.

The striking piece, which shows Endeavour breaking away from the International Space Station, raised £2,600 for fly2help when it was auctioned at a Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) dinner in London, earlier this year.

However, 500 limited edition prints of the painting – each signed by Mr Wong – have also been produced and are available to order for £70 each direct from fly2help, or £85 via eBay.

Charity Manager Sue Bennett said: “We’re very grateful to Ronald for producing such a fantastic piece that has already raised some great funds for the charity.

“It certainly generated a lot of interest at the Royal Aeronautical Society dinner and we’re sure that collectors will want to snap up one of the limited edition prints too.”

Former space shuttle commander Colonel Rick Seafoss and fly2help Chief Executive Chris Hadlow (who was at the Atlantis launch) accepted the original painting at the RAeS dinner.

The artwork was bought by a collector, who tabled their bid for it the same night.

A framed print of the painting also fetched £2,000 when it was auctioned off at the Cotswold Airshow in June.

Now, with Atlantis scheduled to return to earth on July 21, aviation fans are being invited to secure their own piece of history for a fraction of the price.

Funds will go towards the charity which uses the medium of flight to provide ‘Air Smiles’ experiences. The events aim to use the liberation and freedom of flight to develop imagination and stretch personal boundaries, as well as leaving those taking part with amazing memories.

The charity also provides educational support for young people looking to embark on a career in the aviation industry.

You can find out more about the charity at, or call 01285 770821.

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Crews Share Honours at Air Tattoo

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Honours were evenly distributed at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, with just one crew – the C-27J Spartan from the Italian Air Force – scooping two prizes.

The winners were announced at the traditional end to the event, the Sunday Night Hangar Party, when Air Chief Marshal Sir John Cheshire, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, opened proceedings by thanking everyone for their contributions to RIAT 2011.

Sir John thanked all the air crews for creating “two days of stunning flying displaying, not withstanding the very difficult weather conditions” and paid special tribute to the Patrulla Aguila from Spain who were unable to fly on either day: “We hope they’ll be back next year and that the weather will allow them to show off their talents,” he concluded.

Air Cde Nigel Wharmby of the Air Tattoo’s Flying Control Committee commented on the professionalism shown by everyone, especially the Spanish display team, and made special mention of the Air Training Corps. “The display with training aircraft and gliders was truly remarkable given that the wind and weather made conditions phenomenally difficult,” he said, adding: “I salute you.”

This year the top award, the King Hussein Memorial Sword – presented in memory of the late HM King Hussein of Jordan, Patron of the International Air Tattoo (1983-1989) for the Best Overall Flying Demonstration – went to Maj Murat Keles, flying the F-16C “Solo Turk” from 141st Sqn, Turkish Air Force.

Maj Keles said: “I am very happy. It is wonderful to receive this award in the first year of our display and in the same year as we celebrate 100 years of the Turkish Air Force.”

The sword was presented by Major General Malek Habashnah, Commander Royal Jordanian Air Force, on behalf of HRH Lt Gen Prince Faisal.

The Paul Bowen Trophy – presented in memory of The Royal International Air Tattoo co-founder Paul Bowen for the Best Solo Jet Demonstration – went to Capt Michael “Mikael” Brocard flying the Rafale C from EC01.007, French Air Force. The trophy was presented by Tim Prince, Director of the Air Tattoo and Chief Executive of the RAFCTE.

Capt Brocard said: “This is my first time at the Air Tattoo and my first display outside France this year, so to receive this award is fantastic. I hope I can return next year.”

The Sir Douglas Bader Trophy – for the Best Individual Flying Display – went to Maj Severino De Luca, Maj Francesco Ferreri and Chf Master Sgt Ugo Sabeni from Reparto Sperimentale Volof of the Italian Air Force, flying the C-27J Spartan.

Alan Smith, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, presented the trophy to the winning crew. Maj De Luca said: “This is so unexpected and an immense pleasure. I’m so pleased for myself and the entire team – it’s the greatest honour we can have.”

Seconds after receiving the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy, the same team were back on stage to be presented with the As the Crow Flies Trophy, voted for by the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo, and presented by Fred Crawley, Trustee of the RAF Charitable Trust.

Maj De Luca added: “We weren’t expecting to succeed so to get two exceptional gifts from the organisation is a great honour. It’s very not expected!”

Gp Capt Geoff Brindle, whose Air Tattoo roles have included Lightning Display Pilot and Flying Display Director, presented The Lockheed Martin Cannestra Trophy – awarded by Lockheed Martin for the Best Flying Demonstration by an overseas participant – to Maj Roland “Wally” Blankenspoor and Capt Paul “Wokkel” Webbink, flying the Royal Netherlands Air Force AH-64D Apache.

Maj Blankenspoor commented: “This is a real honour for the whole team, and I’m very proud of them all. This is not our regular job, performing as a display team, so I’m proud of the whole crew: it’s a nice reward for the team.”

The Steedman Display Sword – presented by The Royal International Air Tattoo in memory of the late Air Chief Marshal Sir Alasdair Steedman, Chairman of the International Air Tattoo (1981-1988), for the Best Flying Demonstration by a UK participant – was awarded to Mark Bowman flying the BAE Systems Typhoon FGR4.

Air Chief Marshal Sir John Cheshire presented the sword to BAE Systems Test Pilot Mark Bowman who said: “This award is testament to the efforts of the company and all the groundcrew that made the display possible.”

And finally, the Best Livery award went to Maj Ingo Heinle and Capt Rene Lorgen of JBG 32, German Air Force with their Tornado ECR. They received the award from Gardiner Porter, Senior Manager, Military Global Sales for Jeppesen. Maj Heinle said: “The award belongs to the designer of our scheme, Joey. Thank you very much on his behalf.”

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Ukrainians Reflect on Show Return

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The Ukrainian Air Force say they have been delighted to be back at this weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.The air arm was last present at the Air Tattoo in 2000 when the event took place at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland: prior to that they’d appeared at Fairford in 1999, having made their Air Tattoo debut in 1996.

Now, in the 40th-anniversary year of the show, the Ukrainians have returned bringing two stars of the static display with them: the Sukhoi Su-27 and a giant Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane.

Lt Gen Sergii Onyschenko of the Ukrainian Air Force said he was delighted his Air Force could be represented at the show. He said: “I am very proud that our Air Force could take part in this world famous airshow.

Gen Onyschenko first visited the UK when he was a student at the General Staff College in Ukraine, and said he took home many memories. “Britain and Ukraine have a very good close relationship and it will continue with visits like this,” he said.

While at the Air Tattoo, Gen Onyschenko met Prince Michael of Kent and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton: the special guests were shown around the aircraft and invited to sit in the Su-27.

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Stars Shine at Air Tattoo

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Displays by the only Cold War Vulcan bomber still flying, a BAE Systems’ Typhoon and a US Air Force A-10 were among the stars of this weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

Around 138,000 people attended during the show period and enjoyed some spectacular flying displays as well as a wealth of entertainment on the showground – including a concert by X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke on the Sunday.

The event got off to a spectacular start with the christening of the A330 ‘Voyager’, the RAF’s new air-to-air refuelling aircraft, when the Air Tattoo was delighted to welcome Government officials. Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox was the guest of honour at the official ceremony, accompanied by Gerald Howarth, Minister of International Security Strategy, and Peter Luff, Minister of Defence Equipment, Support and Technology.

Both days saw participants pulling out all the stops to entertain with some superb flying, one of the highlights being the Hawker Hunter 60th Anniversary flypast with the veteran aircraft turning out to mark the 40th anniversary of the Air Tattoo itself. And making their UK debut, the Saudi Hawks display team lived up to expectations with an impressive performance, cementing the Air Tattoo’s reputation for bringing new aerobatic display teams to the event.

The Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” was the aircraft every enthusiast wanted to see, and it didn’t disappoint, flying in from the Ukraine accompanied by a giant Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane before going on static display. In total, 219 aircraft took part in the Air Tattoo, from 27 air arms representing 17 nations.

Both days started with rain but the weather failed to dampen spirits, with the crowds enjoying a huge range of showground activities and events, in addition to the spectacular flying sequences. The weather improved in the afternoon on both days, with the airshow closing in sunshine with a thrilling finale by the Breitling Jet Team, performing a unique flypast with their fellow Breitling Wingwalking Team – a fitting birthday present for the Air Tattoo.

Special guests included: HRH Prince Michael of Kent; HRH Lieutenant General Prince Feisal bin Hussein of Jordan, Patron of the Air Tattoo’s Flying Scholarships for the Disabled; Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton; and the Chinese PLA Air Force’s Deputy Commander, Lt Gen Chen Xiaogong, with Defence Attache Maj Gen Zhang Jianguo. Also attending in his role as Patron of the RAF Charitable Trust was HRH the Duke of Kent.

Organisers said the event was a great success. Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “I’m so pleased that the great British public, and our overseas visitors, came to support us. They came determined to have a good time and, in response, the Air Tattoo team – whether volunteers, sponsors, supporting military units, aircrew or our paid staff – battled through the challenges the weather gave us to do what Britain does best, put on a superb airshow. Our grateful thanks go to everyone for supporting us in our 40th anniversary year.

“We’ve been especially pleased to welcome the delegation from China, and we hope their visit bodes well for the future aircraft participation from that nation.”

“This year’s airshow has seen other organisations celebrating anniversaries, and we’ve been delighted to help the Air Cadets celebrate 70 years as they are invaluable in helping keep the airshow running smoothly). We were also pleased to mark the 50th anniversary of the NATO Tiger Association, maintaining the strong bonds we enjoy with this group of enthusiastic and colourful aviators; and to help the MoD Police celebrate 40 years. It’s also been good to welcome the latest addition to the ISTAR family, the CASA 295AEW, and to get a taste of the future with the Rivet Joint – soon to be operated by the RAF – the Mantis and the SPYDR aircraft.”

Despite the large crowds there were relatively few incidents over the weekend. Chief Medical Officer Sara Hall reported that 192 visitors had been treated for minor injuries, largely climate-related with people suffering the effects of heat, cold and rain. First Aid Posts and the Medical Centre were kept busy, with five per cent of patients being conveyed to hospital for further treatment.

And Fire Control Officer Barry Hudson reported a safe Air Tattoo, assisted by the indifferent weather. Small incidents included a bird strike on a Hawk aircraft, firefighters being called to assist a visitor who’d collapsed, and a car fire adjacent to Jubilee Garden enclosure which was managed by the Domestic Fire Crew.

First-time Air Tattoo visitor Liz Clark from Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire, said: “It’s a long time since I’ve been to an airshow and this has reminded me what I’ve been missing. It’s been amazing, and I got quite sentimental seeing the Spitfire and Vulcan. I’ll come again!”

And John Thompson from Cottingham, East Yorkshire, said: “I was very impressed with the flying displays and the Chinook which I’d never seen perform before. I liked the Rafale best – it got closest to the crowd and was the noisiest – and it was great to see the Vulcan which did much more than I expected. There was such variety – I enjoyed it all.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust which, in turn, awards grants in support of the RAF family, including serving personnel and Air Cadets. Since it was established in January 2005, the Trustees have awarded over £1.56 million to a wide range of projects and initiatives.

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Vulcan Roars into Air Tattoo

Friday, July 15th, 2011

THE Vulcan “roar” has once again been heard in the skies above RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire as the iconic aircraft flew in to take part in this weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

The distinctive shape of the mighty Avro Vulcan, the biggest aircraft in RAF history, touched down this afternoon, with the ‘Vulcan Effect’ being sufficient to fill the FRIAT grandstand and empty the corporate chalets, as a crowd of several thousand onlookers witnessed the arrival of this graceful machine.

For the third year in a row, the Vulcan “roar” will once again be heard as XH558 powers up her four Olympus engines and begins her take-off, before wowing the crowds with performances on both days at the weekend.

Richard Clarke, Press officer and patron of the Vulcan To The Sky (VTTS) organisation said: “The Vulcan is a very popular aircraft on the airshow circuit and it attracts large numbers of people. We’ve been coming to RIAT since 2009 and the pilots love flying here. It’s a great experience”.

This weekend’s co-pilot is Martin Withers, the veteran Vulcan pilot who flew the aircraft in action during the Falklands War.

E-tickets are still available for both days of the airshow (up to 9pm tonight for Saturday’s show, and to 9pm tomorrow for Sunday’s show) from the Air Tattoo website, Tickets will not be available at the gate but can still be bought, subject to availability, at branches of Barclays Bank, Little Chefs and at Tourist Information Centres.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust which, in turn, awards grants in support of the RAF family, including serving personnel and Air Cadets. Since it was established in January 2005, the Trustees have awarded over £1.56 million to a wide range of projects and initiatives.

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The Ukrainians have Landed

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

A PAIR of aircraft dating from the Cold War era have arrived from the Ukraine to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire this weekend.The Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’, sporting the spectacular blue camouflage of the Ukrainian Air Force, touched down at RAF Fairford today (Thursday) ready to take its place as one of the stars of the spectacular static display.

Arriving alongside the Flanker was another Russian design, a giant Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane, which will also appear on static display alongside its Western-built counterparts this weekend.

The Flanker is considered to be one of the most potent Russian-built fighters, first developed in the 1970s to counter the US Air Force’s new F-15 Eagle. It is often considered to be the best and most successful Russian-built fighter of the Cold War era.

The Ukrainian Air Force made its debut at the event in 1996 and has enjoyed a close relationship with the Air Tattoo ever since.

Alan Smith, Chairman of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises and the Air Tattoo, said: “We are delighted once more to be welcoming our friends from the Ukrainian Air Force, and we know they will have a great time at the Air Tattoo.”

E-tickets are available for both days of the airshow from the Air Tattoo website, Tickets will not be available at the gate but can still be bought, subject to availability, at branches of Barclays Bank, Little Chefs and at Tourist Information Centres.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust which, in turn, awards grants in support of the RAF family, including serving personnel and Air Cadets. Since it was established in January 2005, the Trustees have awarded over £1.56 million to a wide range of projects and initiatives.

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Models take to the skies this weekend

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

16-17 July 2011

Lancaster flying display 2.35pm on Saturday 16th July

(Subject to weather and operational requirements)

Hundreds of scale models of iconic aircraft will be taking to the skies this weekend at the annual Large Model Aircraft Rally taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. This famous air show in miniature is an absolute must see for any aviation enthusiast.

The main theme of this year’s show will be the 75th Anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire with a mass Spitfire scramble consisting of 15 models taking place twice each day. Plus, all three of Britain’s V-Bombers; Vulcan, Victor and Valiant will be flying together in model form, in an exclusive for Cosford. A major highlight for visitors on Saturday will be a flying display from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster – scheduled for 2.35pm (subject to weather and operational requirements).

There is plenty taking place over the weekend to keep the whole family entertained including trade stands selling modelling and non-modelling related items, food stalls, and access to the RAF Museum, plus a fun fair to keep the youngsters entertained throughout the day.

Why not beat the rush and buy tickets in advance at a discounted rate. Advance tickets for the event are priced at just £9 for adults, £5 for children and £7 for senior citizens with a family ticket of 2 adults and up to 2 children retailing at £20, saving £5 on the gate price. Gates open at 8.30am. Unfortunately, free admission to the Museum is not possible this weekend. On site camping including entrance to the show is only £45.00 for the weekend when booked in advance. Contact Dave Bailey for more details on camping at or call 07827 675665.

For further information on how to purchase advance tickets and for on the gate prices, please call the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit the Museum website at

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