Archive for October, 2011

Remembrance Sunday at IWM Duxford

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Sunday 13 November

Free admission to all

On Remembrance Sunday, IWMDuxford will be hosting a special service of remembrance .

Admission to the museum is free for all on Remembrance Sunday and we very much hope that people will take this opportunity to visit IWM Duxford on the day whenmembers of the Armed Forces, who lost their lives in active service, are remembered.

At 11.00am, a two-minute silence will be observed across the museum, commencing and concluding with a traditional gun salute presented by The Garrison.

We’ll be hosting activities throughout the museum, looking at the poppy, the striking symbol of remembrance that resonates back to the First World War.

In AirSpace, between 10.00amand 3.00pm,make a poppy and wear it with pride or attach it to the large Flanders Field frieze. In Land Warfare between 10.00amand 3.00pm, your assembled poppy can be attached to a mural depicting modern warfare and between 11.30am and 3.30pm you can also meet veterans of the Royal Anglian Regiment who will chat about their personal experiences of war.

In Hangar 4: Battle of Britain, between 10.00amand 3.00pm we’ll be making a giant poppy comprised of 2000 individual poppies. The Remembrance Poppy was originally designed so that it could be assembled with just one hand. Visitors will have the opportunity to deconstruct a poppy and then try to reconstruct it using only one hand.

Visitors can then sign their poppy, dedicate it to a loved one or write their own personal message and then add it to the giant poppy that will come to life throughout the day in Hangar 4: Battle of Britain.

The Remembrance Service will commence at 12.30pmin the Conservation Hall in AirSpace. There will be standard bearers from the Royal British Legion and local air cadets. The Sawston Youth Group Band will perform the Last Post.

Why not post your own personal message of remembrance onto our Wall of Remembrance which will be in the Conservation Hall throughout the day.

Join us at historic Duxford to remember those who gave their lives in conflicts past and present and to actively commemorate those who are no longer with us.

Bookmark and Share

Museum unveils new Spitfire

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

A Supermarine Spitfire Photo Reconnaissance PR. XIX PM651 is the latest addition to the aircraft collection at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. This rare reconnaissance Spitfire can now be seen on display in the Museum’s Warplanes Hangar standing next to a Hurricane and a Mk 1 Spitfire.

Ordered in 1943 as a Mk VII, the aircraft was eventually built by Vickers at Eastleigh as a PR. XIX and was not collected from them until November 1945. It never saw RAF Squadron service, instead operating Meteorological Research Temperature and Humidity flights from RAF Woodvale. These involved the pilots reporting on clouds, ice formation, turbulence, haze, visibility and prevailing weather conditions. During its short time with this unit, PM651 was forced to make two emergency landings including one at Halfpenny Green airfield in Staffordshire, after it was damaged in a flying accident.

After a period on display at RAF Andover and RAF Benson, the aircraft was loaned to Spitfire Productions for use in the iconic film “Battle of Britain”. It appears in ground shots in the hangars at RAF Duxford.

The aircraft then spent 16 years on display at the main gate at RAF Benson. By 1989 the aircraft had found its way into the Royal Air Force Museum but had been heavily stripped of essential parts for other Spitfire restorations. After some time in the Museum’s storage hangar at RAF Stafford, the aircraft was brought to the Conservation Centre at Cosford where restoration work commenced in October 2010. Work included building a new Elevator assembly and other conservation work. Finally the aircraft was repainted to its original paint scheme for display purposes.

The Spitfire PR. XIX was the last of the specialised photo reconnaissance Spitfires. It was unarmed and could carry two vertical cameras and one oblique camera mounted in the rear fuselage. With a top speed of 445mph the aircraft could reach 42,500ft in height.

There are significant differences between the Mk1 and PR. XIX Spitfires both on display at the Museum. The much more modern PR. XIX was fitted with the Griffon engine as opposed to the Merlin engine used in earlier models and was notably faster than its predecessor. The PR. XIX had extra fuel tanks in place of the machine guns that were fitted to the Mk 1 and a retractable tail wheel making its profile more streamlined for its flights at high altitude. Probably the most significant difference between the two Spitfires on display is the pressurised cabin in the PR. XIX, critical for the high altitude reconnaissance flights.

Clare Carr, RAF Museum Cosford Assistant Curator says:

“We are delighted to be able to display two models of such an iconic aircraft. They help to show the diverse roles in which the Spitfire served ranging from fighter interceptor to high altitude photographic reconnaissance.”

The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free of charge. For more information on the Museum, visit or call 01902 376200.

Bookmark and Share

Wellington Restoration Progress is highlight of Open Week

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

14th to 19th November 2011

10.15am to 1.00pm

FREE Admission

The award winning Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening its doors to visitors for one special week to enable greater public access and understanding of the Centre’s work. From Monday 14th to Saturday 19th November, a range of aircraft and other artefacts in various stages of restoration will be on display daily from 10.15 to 1.00pm. This includes the Centre’s largest project, the Wellington Bomber.

Since its arrival at the Museum there has been significant progress made on the Wellington. The project to date has included detailed photographs being taken of the fuselage section, including the fabric joints to record how the material was fitted to the airframe. This will also provide an ongoing reference for the Museum about original technical information. After this process the fabric that was previously covering the Wellington was carefully removed, wrapped in special acid-free tissue for storage and boxed in a special container. The process of removing the fabric revealed the distinctive Barnes Wallace designed geodetic structure. Smaller items such as the Fin, Flaps and Wing False-work structures have also been carefully removed and removal of corrosion on many of the smaller structural components has commenced.

The Vickers Wellington is one of the largest aircraft that the Conservation Centre has ever undertaken restoration of during its nine year history. This history has seen many new arrivals or established exhibition aircraft pass through its doors for conservation, restoration or maintenance. The extensive conservation work on the Wellington structure will take place at the Museum’s Conservation Centre over the next four to five years.

Manager of the Conservation Centre, Tim Wallis says:

“At almost every stage of our work thus far, the Wellington has presented us with new challenges and we are constantly impressed by the innovation and workmanship that the original build represented. The aircraft remains one of our main projects but much more than that, she is much-loved by the staff, volunteers and visitors alike and a sort of kinship exists that borders on pride. We hope that the public will choose to share that experience with us and visit during the week”

During the Open Week, visitors will gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access to aircraft conservation work and have a rare opportunity to speak with the skilled Technicians and Apprentices and view current projects including on-going refurbishments such as the Handley Page Hampden TB1, Spitfire Mk XIX and Range Safety Launch. This may also be the last opportunity to view the conservation efforts on the Mk1 Sopwith Dolphin which is nearing completion.

Admission to the Conservation Centre Open Week is FREE and from 10.15am to 1.00pm each day. Cosford’s main Museum will open daily from 10am. The next Open Week is planned for November 2012. For further information, please contact the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit

Bookmark and Share

One More Competition

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

This years calendar competition is now closed and has been handed over to the judges. Results are published over several days beginning on 16th October and final set on 23rd October.In Airscene’s “One More Competition” I am inviting you to see how close you can get to the overall overall results.

Its not a big prize but I am offering a years free advertising on Airscene to the winner and have arranged the same on the Uradnet banner network of your choosing. (advertising can be for a website or for a specific product placement – websites or products which are deemed to be offensive or indecent will not be promoted).

To enter…

Select your favourite 12 entries from the 83 shortlisted at, then award points from 12 (for the best) down to one point.

Put your selection in a text file (include your name and town at the top) and email to

Entries must be received BEFORE 16th October.

Winner will be the person who has the highest number from the judges selection in their own selection. In the event of a tie, a points system is used for positioning.

Good Luck

Celebrating the Tiger Moths 80th Birthday at the Autumn Air Show

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

The IWM Duxford Autumn Air Show (Sunday 16 October) celebrates the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the iconic Tiger Moth with a superb display by the Tiger Nine Team, which will see nine Tiger Moths in close formation in the skies above Duxford.The Tiger Nine formation team was created in the summer of 2005 in response to a request for a flypast of nine Tiger Moths at the 25th de Havilland Moth Club  Rally at Woburn Abbey.

Having risen to the challenge, the newly-formed team went on to perform its full display routine for the next season.

A challenging aircraft to fly in a formation display, the Tiger Moth requires a mature discipline and expert flying skill, particularly when operating a large group of Tiger Moths simultaneously.

There is something quintessentially British about a group of men from a diverse range of backgrounds, including airline pilots, ex-RAF pilots, a farmer, a sales executive, a company director, an anaesthetist and an RAF Wing Commander, coming together for the camaraderie and fun of flying such a special aircraft.

The Tiger Nine team is the only team in the world to have nine Tiger Moths in close formation. Its crowd pleasing, spectacularly entertaining display will be a significant highlight of the Autumn Air Show 2011.

The Tiger Moth

The de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, was first flown on 26 October 1931 by de Havilland Chief Test Pilot Hubert Broad.

The RAF ordered 35 dual-control Tiger Moth Is which had the company designation DH-82. A subsequent order was placed for 50 aircraft powered by the de Havilland Gipsy Major I engine which was the DH-82A or, to the RAF, Tiger Moth II.

The Tiger Moth entered service at the RAF Central Flying School in February 1932. From the outset, it proved to be an ideal trainer, simple and cheap to own and maintain. The Tiger Moth required a sure and steady hand to fly it well, enabling instructors to easily weed out inept student pilots. Whilst generally docile and forgiving in the normal flight phases encountered during initial training, when used for aerobatic and formation training, the Tiger Moth required definite skill and concentration to perform well. A botched manoeuvre could easily cause the aircraft to stall or spin.

Percival Leggett trained on Tiger Moths during the Second World War in Cambridgeshire:

“The Tiger Moth is easy to fly. No vicious tendencies at all. It’s very responsive to the controls.

Most people, I think, found landing rather tricky, because…it is quite a small aeroplane, with a very small  undercarriage. It is very close to the ground. And coming in to land one finds it difficult to decide just at  what point you should draw back the stick to land the aircraft. Most people tend to start easing off too high, with the result that either the aircraft stalls or they miss the airfield altogether.

But that apart it’s a good aeroplane – very reliable. We did have one engine failure from one of the pupils but he managed to force land it in a field. It’s a good aeroplane, and still flying today!”

By the start of the Second World War, the RAF had 500 Tiger Moths in service. During a British production run of over 7000 Tiger Moths, a total of 4005 Tiger Moth IIs were built during the war specifically for the RAF.

The Tiger Moth became the foremost primary trainer throughout the Commonwealth and elsewhere and remained in service with the RAF until it was replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk in 1952.

Post-war, large numbers of surplus Tiger Moths were made available for sale to flying clubs and private individuals. Inexpensive to operate, the aircraft took on new civilian roles including aerial advertising, air ambulance, aerobatic performer, crop duster and glider tug.

Bookmark and Share

High Flyers Set To Display At Show

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

A year after its launch, Air Tattoo Event Services (ATES) will be showcasing its successes at The Showman’s Show in Newbury later this month. The air events arm of the Royal  Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises will take the  opportunity to highlight the range of events it has organised around the country during the past 12 months.

These include being awarded three-year contract to organise an annual airshow for the National Museum of Scotland, at East Fortune; a Spitfire flypast for a corporate training day at Ashorne Hill in Warwickshire; it provided a static Spitfire for Armed Forces Day in Littlehampton and also a Jet Provost display near Wolverhampton.

ATES Flying Display Director Norman Webster said: “This has been a great year for ATES. Since its launch it has provided a wide range of aircraft to a variety of events. The great success of the East Fortune Airshow this summer has probably been the highlight. Despite the current economic climate ATES is attracting interest around the UK from private clients to local councils looking to feature aircraft either on the ground or in the air as part of events they are organising. We have received excellent feedback from all of our clients and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Feedback received from organisers at Ashorne Hill said that booking a Spitfire flypast as a surprise ending to their annual conference was a “masterstroke” and “a truly amazing end to the day”. The organisers said: “The Spitfire pilot performed the most amazing aerobatic display to gasps and screams of delight as he twisted and turned. I can say that this was one of the most exciting events I’ve been involved with.”

A spokesman for Littlehampton Town Council, commenting on its Armed Forces Day event, said: “The Spitfire team provided by ATES was very professional and enthusiastic which helped make our event extra special. The response from visitors has been extremely positive. They really enjoyed getting up close to such a brilliant and immaculate aircraft.”

ATES offers a service providing aircraft and logistical support for a flying display, airshow, flypast or static exhibit. For further information please contact Air Ops Deputy Director Robert Windsor on 01285 713300 ext 5497 or Norman Webster on ext 5329. Email enquiries should be sent to For further detail, visit

Bookmark and Share

Airport launches 2012 Flying Scholarships for young people

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Record numbers of young people, with dreams of becoming a pilot, aviation engineer or air traffic controller, are expected to apply for a place on Cotswold Airport’s 2012 Aviation Scholarships programme.

The scheme, which was first introduced four years ago, gives teenagers aged between 14 and 18, the chance to embark on a career in aviation and gain experience and training close to home.

The programme, which is funded by Cotswold Airport owner and chief executive Ronan Harvey and run in conjunction with the airport-based fly2help charity and flying organisations on the site, has already helped change the lives of dozens of young people for the better.

And it is now inviting applications from young people in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire with a view to filling the 10 available places on the 2012 scheme.

Last year saw a record number of applications and, based on greater exposure and annual increases since the scheme’s inception, it is anticipated that the 2012 programme will attract even more.

Mr Harvey’s daughter Suzannah, who is a director at the airport, said: “We were thrilled that so many people applied for a place on the 2011 programme and to see the enthusiasm and dedication shown by all who took part was a clear indication of just how much of a difference the scheme makes.

“We’re anticipating another good year in terms of the number of young people applying and I’d encourage anyone with an interest in a career in aviation to do so.

“Not only is it a fantastic experience but it really helps the students take their first footsteps towards what can be a very rewarding career in aviation, whilst allowing them to build contacts and make new friends at the same time.”

During the scholarships, students experience flight, receive tuition at the airport’s aviation ground school, see at first-hand the work of air traffic controllers, flying instructors and engineers and receive expert guidance from aviation professionals.

The programme has already helped change the lives of many young people, and former scholars, such as 17-year-old Joshua Dutson, have already hit the headlines.

Joshua, who lives in the Cotswolds, said the scholarships helped him turn his life around after he became seriously depressed as a result of bullying at school. He now hopes to embark on a career as an air traffic controller.

Meanwhile, fellow former scholar Barney Rowland managed to fly solo several months before passing his driving test, after spending time on the programme, and has since achieved his Private Pilots’ Licence (PPL).

Charity Manager for fly2help Sue Bennett said: “We are extremely pleased to be playing our part in yet another aviation scholarship programme.

“It’s fantastic to see the difference the scheme makes to those who take part and we look forward to welcoming another new intake.”

Application forms are available on the fly2help website or by calling 01285 771177.

The closing date for applications is January 31, 2012, and interviews for the short-listed candidates will be held the following month.

The scholarships will run from April 2 to 5 and April 10 to 13.

Bookmark and Share