Archive for June, 2012

Stealth set to steal show at Air Tattoo

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Organisers of next week’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford have announced that one of the most popular and distinctive aircraft ever to appear at the airshow will be among almost 300 others taking part from around the world.

The US Air Force B-2 ‘Spirit’ stealth bomber, which last touched down at RAF Fairford for the airshow in 1999, will make a 10,000-mile round trip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to take pride of place within the Air Tattoo’s static aircraft park.

The B-2 ‘Spirit’ has the ability to deliver massive firepower in a short time anywhere in the world and through previously impenetrable defences. It has both a conventional weapons and nuclear capability. First flown in 1989, the stealth bomber has since taken part in a number of military operations including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said that securing the B-2’s participation in the Air Tattoo was a great coup for the event.

He said: “The B-2 is high on the list of people’s must-see aircraft because of its distinctive and mysterious, sleek shape and the fact it rarely appears at airshows outside of the USA. Anyone who has seen it will tell you what an incredible looking aircraft it is. It’s simply unique.

“With seven aerobatic display teams, special flypasts and aircraft such as the B-2, Vulcan, Osprey and Rafale, I can confidently say that no other airshow in the world this year will be as exciting as the one we have planned at Fairford next week.”

The last time a B-2 ‘Spirit’ appeared at the Air Tattoo was in 2004 when it performed a flypast without landing. Since then, the B-2 has never been seen at any other European airshow.

More than 250 aircraft are due to land at the Gloucestershire air base for the event, starting with the arrival from Colombia of a C-130 Hercules. It will be the first time Colombia has ever taken part in an airshow in the United Kingdom.

Tickets for the Air Tattoo, priced from £39, are available from Under-16s go free. No tickets will be available on the gates.

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The Dambusters Raid

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

On May 17th 1943 the Royal Air Force carried out one of the most remarkable raids ever undertaken by any aircrew. On that night a squadron of Lancaster heavy bombers flew at low level across a blacked out Europe, towards the four great dams that delivered water and power to the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr.

That raid is immortalised on the front of the Dambusters T Shirt, and is being given away as runners up prizes in this years Calendar Competition, courtesy of RAF Museum Cosford.

For full prize table so far, and to enter this years competition please visit

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Open Cockpits tickets on sale from 2nd July

Monday, June 25th, 2012

22nd September 2012

6.00pm – 8.30pm

£10.00 per person

Tickets for the ever popular ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will go on sale from Monday 2nd July at the Museum. This exclusive evening will commence at 6pm on Saturday 22nd September with a wide range of aircraft available for close viewing on the night: including transport aircraft, jet fighters and unique research airframes.

This relatively new event is fast becoming one of the Museum’s most talked about and popular events. The previous event held in May this year was a sell out and organisers are confident that the September evening will be just as popular based on the number of enquiries received so far.

Since launching in 2011, visitors have travelled from across the UK from as far as Scotland, the Lake District, Devon and Kent for the opportunity to sit inside some of the world’s most historic and iconic aircraft. One visitor travelling from Australia even planned his visit to the UK to coincide with the event so he could attend.

Visitors will be able to get a feel for what it was like to fly these much loved machines and in addition have exclusive after hours access to the Museum which displays a collection of over 70 aircraft, military vehicles, engines and aviation artefacts.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Executive, Nina Mitchell says:
“We are delighted to be offering this event again for the aviation enthusiasts, young and old. The event has gone from strength to strength over the past twelve months with tickets selling out for the evening in May within a matter of weeks. We try to introduce new aircraft to each Open Cockpit Evening, thus expanding our visitors’ experience.”

The evening will commence at 6.00pm and finish at 8.30pm, with numbers onto the Museum site strictly limited to 300 people, enabling enthusiasts to spend as much time as possible examining these wondrous aircraft. Admission is by advance ticket only and organisers are advising, given the popularity of previous ‘Open Cockpits Evening’, to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Tickets cost £10.00 per person and will go on sale from Monday 2nd July at the Museum. Minimum height restrictions of 1.07 metres will apply. Parking charges are included in the ticket price.

For further information on the ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ visit or to purchase tickets over the phone, please contact the Museum on 01902 376200. (A detailed list of aircraft open on the night will be issued nearer the time.)

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Air Tattoo to serve up Triple Treat

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Organisers of Europe’s largest airshow are preparing to serve up a triple helping of historic aircraft as three new nations prepare to touch down at RAF Fairford for the Air Tattoo next month.

Colombia has confirmed it will be sending a C-130H Hercules plus a rare training aircraft whilst the Republic of Korea will be represented by its aerobatic display team, the Black Eagles.

In May, the Koreans began shuttling 10 of its T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft to Manchester airport on board a 747 jumbo jet. The aircraft arrived in pieces and have since been reassembled at RAF Leeming.

Details of the third new participating nation are due to be announced by the Air Tattoo next week.

As well as almost 300 aircraft taking part in the airshow on July 7-8, the Air Tattoo will host one of the largest gatherings of international air chiefs ever assembled in the UK.

More than 44 military chiefs, representing air forces from countries including Brunei, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uruguay, New Zealand, the US and Singapore, will be joining more than 130,000 people over the weekend.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said the Air Tattoo’s international reputation as one of the world’s biggest and best airshows helped secure the 250-plus aircraft from more than 22 countries.

He said: “I’m delighted that 41 years after the first Air Tattoo, the world’s air arms still see the Air Tattoo as the place to demonstrate the capabilities of their aircraft and aircrew. Everyone involved in next month’s Air Tattoo is very excited because we believe we shall be staging one of the greatest aviation events anywhere in the world this year. It’s really not to be missed.”

Among the highlights of the Air Tattoo’s eight-hour flying programme will be displays by seven international aerobatic teams, the only flying Vulcan bomber and a special flypast by the RAF’s heavyweight airlift fleet featuring the VC-10, TriStar, C-17, C130, A330 and A400M. There will also be a recreation of the mass flypast by 27 Hawk jets in ‘EIIR’ formation that took place over Windsor Castle in May as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tickets for the Air Tattoo are only available in advance and are priced from £39. Visit or call 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

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Celebrating the iconic Spitfire with a day of nostalgia

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

We’re thrilled to be presenting a brand new event, Spitfires, Merlins & Motors, on Sunday 5 August.

We’ll be celebrating the legendary Supermarine Spitfire, the unmistakable Merlin engine and the close relationship between this classic flying machine and the four-wheeled speed demons of the golden age of motoring and beyond.

Between 10am and 1.30pm, see a number of historic Spitfires up close on static display, including the rare Spitfire Mark 1a from Aircraft Restoration Company, the Mark V from Historic Aircraft Collection, Mark IX from the Old Flying Machine Company, Mark XIX from the Rolls Royce Heritage Trust and Mark IXT from Air Leasing.

At various points throughout the afternoon, these Spitfires will be taking to the skies to perform short displays. Also flying will be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire.

Aircraft Restoration Company is offering a rare opportunity to sit in a Spitfire. This costs £15 per person and includes a souvenir T-shirt and photo opportunity. All proceeds go to the Blenheim Restoration Fund.

There will also be the chance to see a Merlin engine erupt into life as it will be on dynamic display throughout the day.

Living history groups will be bringing RAF Duxford’s wartime relationship with the Spitfire to life with evocative displays.

The Military Equipment Collectors will be recreating the role of the RAF ground crew who kept Spitfires constantly at scramble readiness throughout the Battle of Britain and beyond. They will be displaying an RAF Mobile Mechanic Unit with early Second World War field equipment.

Past to Present Historical will be representing the 1940s Home Front with a dashing RAF pilot costumed character, a jolly tent where you can try your hand at wartime games and a very worthy Women’s Voluntary Service representative who is collecting saucepans for Spitfires.

There will be a display of glorious vintage Rolls-Royce cars alongside hundreds of stunning vehicles, from pre-war vintage to contemporary classics. The Veteran Cycle Club will be displaying a range of traditional bicycles and chatting about the history of cycling.

Discover Vintage presents a fabulous vintage fair in the Conservation Hall in Air Space. Exhibitors will be selling vintage fashion, homeware and curios from the 1930s to the 1950s. Enhancing the nostalgic atmosphere will be a gramophone DJ and singing group.

Between 10am and 2pm, in the Visitor Centre, author Andy Saunders will be signing copies of the extraordinary new book Spitfire Mark I P9374 – The remarkable story of how a unique aircraft returned to flight. Also present will be Martin Overall, Historic Flying Limited’s Chief Engineer, who oversaw the restoration of this incredible aircraft, and who contributed significantly to the book.

There will also be traders selling a range of wares. Vector Fine Art will be hosting a signing session with a number of Battle of Britain veterans.

There are lots of fun things for all the family to do together. At the Airfix Make and Paint Zone between 11am and 3pm, visitors can make their own model aircraft, paint it in a range of colours and take it home as a souvenir of a fabulous day at themuseum. There are also fun craft activities to try your hand at.

In the American Air Museum between noon and 4pm, we’ll be seeing if you have what it takes to become a Second World War special agent and putting you through your paces to undertake secret operations in enemy territory. See the imaginative gadgets used by the Special Operations Executive, send covert messages in Morse code and undertake a cloak-and-dagger mission which will prove your expertise in espionage.

Join us for a fun and nostalgic day as we celebrate a golden age of style, elegance and derring do!

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Tickets now on sale for Modellers Air Show

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

28th – 29th July 2012

On site camping

Gates open 8.30am

Advance tickets for the annual Large Model Aircraft Rally taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford are now on sale at the Museum. This famous air show in miniature is an absolute must see for any aviation enthusiast and this year’s show will mark the twentieth Anniversary of the event at Cosford.

Taking place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July 2012, hundreds of scale models of iconic aircraft will be taking to the skies during the two-day event. Other activities keeping the whole family entertained throughout the day include: a children’s entertainment area; trade and food stalls selling everything from modelling equipment to burgers and candy floss; plus, access to the award winning RAF Museum where you can see many of the aircraft flown during the show in full size.

Last year’s event attracted in excess of 12,000 visitors and organisers are hoping this year’s show will prove just as popular. Exclusively for the Large Model Aircraft Rally, visitors are able to camp on site, meaning you can make the most of the weekend’s flying and activities by being at the centre of all the action.

RAF Museum Cosford General Manager, Alex Medhurst says:

“This is one of the most popular and busiest events in the Museum’s calendar and we are delighted to be celebrating twenty years this summer.”

Anyone wishing to attend the event can save money by purchasing tickets in advance at a discounted rate. Advance tickets 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 and flying starts a 9.00am.

On site camping available from Friday 27th to Monday 30th July, including entrance to the show both days is only £40.00 when booked in advance. Any visitors interested in camping should contact Dave Bailey for more details on 07827 675665 or email

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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Flying participation announced for Flying Legends 2012

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

With only three weeks to go to this year’s Flying Legends Air Show on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July, The Fighter Collection and IWM Duxford are delighted to announce some of the stunning aircraft that will be flying in this year’s extravaganza event.

Flying Legends sees the air show debut of The Fighter Collection’s Republic P-47G Thunderbolt 42-25068 ‘Snafu’, one of only two Curtiss-built examples left in the world.

The Sikorsky S-38makes its UK debut at Flying Legends. An American twin-engine eight-seat amphibious aircraft, it was sometimes called ‘The Explorer’s Air Yacht’ and was Sikorsky’s first widely produced amphibious flying boat. In addition to serving with Pan American Airways and the United States Army, the Sikorsky S-38 was owned by numerous private individuals, including aviators Howard Hughes and Charles Lindbergh.

Making a welcome return following their debut UK air show appearance at Flying Legends last year is the Flying Bulls’ Lockheed P-38 Lighting and the Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair. The Flying Bulls’ stunning aerial performances will no doubt wow the crowds at Flying Legends.

Flying Legends is famous for presenting a unique combination of remarkable aircraft in superb aerial displays and this year is no different.

Over fifty aircraft will be participating, including two Hispano Buchon; eight Spitfires covering various marques, including two Mark One variants; three Hawker Sea Furies; three Hawk variants including the Hawk 75, the P40B and the P40F; threemarques of YAK fighters; a Fiesler Storch and a Lysander. Three First World War aircraft – the Nieuport 17, Fokker DR1 and Sopwith Triplane – will fly together for the first time. The ever-popular Breitling Wingwalkers will performas a two-ship display. And of course, there will be displays by the famous IWM Duxford-based B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B and the PBY Catalina Miss Pick Up.

The legendary Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Supermarine Spitfire, Avro Lancaster and Hawker Hurricane will display on Saturday 30 June only, while on Sunday 1 July only the Aerostars perform stunning aerobatics.

The Vintage Village

Don’t forget to visit our nostalgic Vintage Village at the Flying Legends Air Show. You can enjoy a glass of fizz or two fromthe Prosseco Bar and relax as you listen to the romantic sounds of Harry and Edna’s Revolution 78, as the dapper DJs play 1930s and 1940smusic in all its original atmospheric splendor on period gramophones.

Look out for the Manhattan Dolls, whomake a welcome return after their debut at last year’s Flying Legends. This glamorous New York-based Andrews Sisters-style group will be performing those instantly-recognisable hits of the thirties and forties in their own inimitable style.

Enjoy a unique living history experience aboard the Home Front Bus. This classic double-decker bus contains detailed reconstructions of a 1940s living room, a wartime shop, a bombed-out street and an air raid shelter. Containing period features and artefacts, the Home Front Bus replicates the sights, sounds and smells of the Home Front – an authentic trip back in time.

Past to Present Historical bring the Second World War Home Front to life with an Anderson air raid shelter, an evacuees’ display and costumed interpreters. Look out for our iconic wartime leader Winston Churchill – if you are very lucky, he may even accompany you for a photograph.

Complete your vintage experience by ordering an IWM Duxford Picnic Hamper. Soak up the atmosphere in the Vintage Village as you enjoy a perfect ration-free picnic lunch for two, including the Duxford sausage roll, homemade sandwiches, hand-cut crisps, seasonal salad, a refreshing Pimms summer berry jelly and traditional elderflower presse, all served in a disposable hamper including cutlery, plates and glasses.

The IWM Duxford Picnic Hamper for two costs £21. To order, please email or call 01223 497 501. Please give aminimumof three days notice for your picnic order. Picnic orders are collected fromWing Co Joe’s Café on the day.

Flying Legends Hospitality Packages

If you’d like tomake your experience of Flying Legends evenmore special, do hurry to take advantage of our air show hospitality packages. Our Gold Pass package is almost sold out for Saturday 30 June. To find out more about our hospitality packages go to

Tickets for the Flying Legends Air Show can be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office on 01223 499 353. The Box Office is open from Monday to Friday from 9.30amto 4.30pm.

There is no booking fee but a postage and packing fee applies per transaction.

Advance tickets will be available until:

For overseas postal delivery – 5pm on Friday 15 June
For UK postal delivery – 5pm on Wednesday 20 June

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Flying Icon Joins Jet Set at Air Tattoo

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

An aircraft considered by many to be one of the finest symbols of man’s conquest of the skies will receive a modern ‘guard of honour’ when it makes a rare appearance in the UK this summer.

The only flying Super Constellation in Europe, and one of only three flying ‘Connies’ in the world, will make its first appearance in the UK for eight years when it performs a special flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 7-8.

The iconic Breitling Super Constellation Star of Switzerland, seen by many as the embodiment of the golden age of propeller planes, will be flanked by seven Czech-built L-39C Albatross jets, from the Breitling Jet Team, for a Diamond Jubilee tribute to the Queen.

Capable of crossing the Atlantic without any stop-overs, the Lockheed Super Constellation dominated civil aviation in the 1950s and set new standards in comfort and luxury.

Air Tattoo flying display commentator and Classic Aircraft magazine editor Ben Dunnell said: “There’s no doubt that the Breitling Super Constellation will be an absolute highlight of this summer’s Air Tattoo. The Connie is simply one of the most beautiful aircraft ever conceived and makes a majestic sight in the sky.

“There are few spectacles in aviation more evocative than that of a ‘Connie’ in the air, thanks in no small part to its wonderful shape and distinctive sound. Many will be delighted that it’s coming back to these shores after an eight year absence. Simply put, it’s everyone’s favourite big-pistoned airliner.”

Other Diamond Jubilee attractions taking place at the Air Tattoo include a repeat of the spectacular mass flypast of 27 Hawk jets in an ‘EIIR’ formation that flew over Windsor Castle in May. A number of colourful Diamond Jubilee-painted aircraft will also be displaying along with a static line-up of current and historic aircraft with ‘Royal’ connections.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. This summer will see aircraft from more than 22 countries, including two that will be taking part in a UK airshow for the first time – South Korea and Colombia.

Tickets, priced from £39, are available from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

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Cosford to Reprise Royal Flypasts

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The Diamond Jubilee weekend has given everyone a tantalising glimpse of some of the treats in store at the Cosford Air Show. The Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypasts stole the show along the Mall, but on Sunday 17th June at Cosford both will be giving their full display which is sure to wow the crowds.

Sadly the flypast for the River Pageant on Saturday had to be cancelled because of the bad weather. However, the planned stars of that flying display – the Swordfish of the Royal Naval Historic Flight and Royal Navy helicopters – are both in the programme for Cosford as well as nearly six hours packed with performances from aircraft old and new.

Among many other current highlights are the famous Blades, the RAF Typhoon, role demonstrations from a pair of Tornados, the RAF Sea King and the Army Air Corps Apache, while Vampire, Meteor, P-51 Mustang and the Great War team aircraft lead the classic line-up.

Like many big events the activity is not only in the air but includes a full programme of ground entertainment and displays. With less than two weeks to go advance ticket sales are on sale on-line and from local outlets at just £20 per person with children under 16 admitted free.

Full information on the show including details of all participating aircraft can be found on the air show web site –

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RAF Heavyweights Prepare to Flex Muscles

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

GIANT aircraft from the RAF’s air transport and air-to-air refuelling fleets will fill the sky over RAF Fairford next month when they take part in a unique flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

A VC-10, TriStar, A330 Voyager, C-17 and C-130 Hercules from RAF Brize Norton will be joined by Airbus Military’s A400M for a flypast representing the past, present and future of the RAF’s airlift capability.

The flypast will be particularly poignant as it will provide a final opportunity for Air Tattoo visitors to bid farewell to the VC-10 before the fleet is finally retired in March 2013. It was from RAF Fairford that the first RAF Transport Command VC-10 sortie was flown by 10 Sqn in the late 1960s.

The flypast is part of the Air Tattoo’s operational theme Skylift 2012 which will bring together some of the aircraft that help project air mobility around the globe by providing air-to-air refuelling and delivering troops and equipment quickly and safely to support combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian campaigns.

Among the other international military aircraft supporting the Skylift 2012 theme will be a German Airbus A310, a Hungarian An-26, an Italian KC-767, a Polish An-28, an Omani Airbus A320 and a USAF KC-135. Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “This is an incredible opportunity to witness an entire generation of mighty RAF aircraft flying together, as the old and the new combine to perform a unique flypast as well as giving the VC-10 a spectacular send-off.”

This summer’s Air Tattoo will feature aircraft from around the world, including South Korea, Russia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. The eight-hour flying programme includes the European debut of the United Arab Emirates’ Al Fursan display team, the Red Arrows and the unique MV-22 Osprey.

The Air Tattoo is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. Tickets, priced from £39, are available from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

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