Archive for May, 2013

Air Tattoo To Salute Dambusters

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

The 70th anniversary of one of the Second World War’s most audacious bombing missions will be commemorated by a special flypast at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.

The announcement comes on the same day (May 16) in 1943that the RAF’s elite 617 Sqn took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshireand headed for Germany’s Ruhr dams for what was to become known as the legendary Dambusters Raid.

The attack was made memorable for using specially developed ‘bouncing bombs’, invented by aircraft designer Barnes Wallis. These were dropped from Lancaster bombers at low altitude and skipped along the surface of the water into the dams.

Whilst the mission to flood the heavily industrialised area of the Ruhr and destroy the dams’ hydro-electric power capability is now considered to have been only a partial success, the bravery and audacity of those involved assured its place in military aviation history.

Today (Thursday, May 16), to mark the anniversary, the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Lancaster and two Tornado GR4s from 617 Sqnwill fly over Derwent Reservoirin Derbyshire and Eyebrook Reservoir in the East Midlands, both of which were used for low level flying practice by the original Dambusters crews.

At this summer’s Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 20-21, the BBMF Lancaster, one of only two in the world that are still airworthy, will once again fly alongside a specially painted,modern day Tornado GR4 from the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “The Dambusters Raid was an incredible feat not only in terms of what it was aiming to achieve but also in the way in which it was looking to achieve it.

“The courage and skill of all those involved served as an inspiration to a nation ravaged by war and this courage and skill lives on in the men and women of today’s 617 Squadron who help provide vital protection to allied ground forces in Afghanistan.”

A second specially painted Tornado GR4 will be on display in the Air Tattoo’s static aircraft park offering visitors the opportunity to see it close up.

The Royal International Air Tattoo takes place at RAF Fairford on July 20-21. For a full list of all the visitor opportunities and to purchase tickets, visit or call 0800 107 1940.All under-16s go free. Free parking.

Lancaster Bomber Crew’s final flight is brought to the screen in ambitious new drama

Monday, May 13th, 2013

First-hand recollections of former Second World War veterans and civilians have inspired the new drama being produced by East Lindsey District Council and Red Dog Film.

The 20 minute film charts the emotional journey of a seven man Lancaster Bomber crew as they undertake a perilous night time mission across occupied Europe.

Funding from Centrica Energy, as part of its 2012 SO Festival sponsorship, has enabled the District Council to work with Lincoln-based film production company, Red Dog Film, to produce the heritage drama simply entitled ‘Lancaster’.

There is also a strong educational element surrounding the film, which will be taken into schools to show pupils what life was like at that point in history .

Executive producer and also SO Festival Co-ordinate at the Council, Lorrie Stock said: “We wanted to make a drama rather than a documentary, as there are many similar documentaries charting that area of conflict at the time, but there hasn’t been a drama about Bomber Command since The Dambusters in 1955. The film aims to transport the viewers in to the life of the crews of bomber command , I’m sure they will be moved by what they will see.

“We hope to educate youngsters on what life was like during the Second World War for teenagers the same age as them, faced with the prospect of going to war and not knowing whether they will survive. It is a very sobering and thought-provoking realisation.

“We wanted to produce a drama in celebration and commemoration of Lincolnshire’s aviation history – for Bomber County, but also to tie in with the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid this year and as a memorial to those young men who lost their lives in the war.”

‘Lancaster’ is being produced by award-winning director Philip Stevens and producer Tom Walsh for Red Dog Film. The film is being shot using top industry crew and equipment.

Among those whose stories influenced and informed the film is 92-year-old Lancaster Bomb Aimer Les Rutherford and Bob Carter who was a boy at the time living in on a farm next to RAF Scampton and vividly remembers living underneath the busy Lincolnshire skies during the Second World War.

‘Lancaster’ was filmed using the beautiful Just Jane as its main location, the Avro Lancaster Bomber is housed at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby, near Spilsby.

Director Philip Stevens said: ‘It is such an honour to film in this iconic plane and to have the opportunity to tell the personal story of these incredibly brave young men, hopefully the film will give an insight to younger generations of the sacrifice made by so many during the Second World War.”

The film will be premièred as part of the SO Festival at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre on June 28. It will be free to attend. But tickets must be booked.

It is hoped that as well as going into schools, the film will also be made available for free to community groups and also online. For more information please contact Lorrie Stock at East Lindsey District Council on 01507 601111.

Tickets for the premiere can be booked via the Aviation Heritage Centre’s website at or by calling 01790 763207.


Sample clip:

RAF Cosford Air Show Keep Feet Firmly On The Ground

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

The RAF Cosford Air Show has always prided itself on not just being the Midlands’ premier aviation event, but also a fun-filled family day out that provides a wide range of interactive and engaging activities on the ground this Sunday 9th June.

This year the event will focus on celebrating the 75th Anniversary of RAF Cosford itself and this will be reflected in a number of displays by the various schools and training establishments currently based at the Shropshire station. Together they will provide an insight into the rich heritage of first class technical and engineering operations that RAF Cosford has become known for. These will include a demonstration of radar and computer equipment from No 1 Radio School and a display of armed aircraft & escape equipment from the Weapons & Survival Equipment Training Squadron. An array of activities will also be on offer from the School of Physical Training, a demonstration of hydraulic principles provided by the Avionic & Mechanical Training Squadron and an interactive opportunity for visitors to attempt various hand skills with the Trade Foundation Training Squadron. 238 Squadron will be opening the cockpits of their fast jets to allow people the rare opportunity to sit in the aircraft and experience what it’s like for the pilots of the RAF.

In addition to the anniversary celebrations, a wide variety of other exhibitors, stands, arena displays, bands and charities will also attend the show. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy everything from the Cosford Military Wives Choir and a fair ground, to aviation artwork specialists and a host of conservation and wildlife groups.

Free Radio this year will sponsor a demonstration arena to be known as ‘The Free Radio Arena’ and will play host to some exciting spectacles such as a Field Gun competition and performances from the Royal Air Force College Band. You may even get the opportunity to meet Free Radio’s own HumFree the Hamster too!

The RAF Air Cadets will have a large exhibition manned by various Air Cadet Squadrons there to discuss the opportunities available to you and your little ones. For those old enough to think about joining, the RAF Careers recruitment team will be on hand to inform those that also want to ‘Rise Above The Rest’ in the Royal Air Force.

Air Show spokesman Marilyn Summers says “Not only will the Air Show provide a thrilling flying display, but we also aim to keep the whole family entertained with a wide and varied selection of activities on the ground. From the fun fair, the RAF Museum, static aircraft displays, military exhibitions and a craft fair. A number of stands by Nikon, who sponsor our exclusive ‘The Cosford Club’, will be available to display some of the very latest photography equipment, so we are sure that visitors will find something here to suit everyone’s interests.”

The ground exhibits help make the Air Show a unique day out, coupled with an incredible 5½ hour flying display on offer. Aircraft confirmations include Vulcan XH558 from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, B-17 Flying Fortress ‘Sally B’ and a number of RAF aircraft including the Typhoon & Tucano display teams, a medical evacuation demonstration including Chinook & Apache helicopters and the world famous Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows.

All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to service and local charities.

Air show tickets can be purchased online at, by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083 (10p/min plus network charges), or at various other outlets details of which can be found on the website. Advance adult tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20% discount on tickets bought on the day and FREE admission for children under-16 accompanied by an adult as well as FREE car parking.

Folkestone Airshow Cancelled

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

In a statement to Airscene, Yvonne Holder (Event Organiser) said:

It is with great sadness, that I have to advise you that Folkestone Airshow on Saturday 8th June 2013, will not take place.

After a very difficult few weeks, the hard decision has been taken to cancel Folkestone Airshow for a number of factors.  The first being is the financial risk of putting on this major event is too great for Folkestone Town Centre Management Ltd, a not for profit organisation, to take, in these very difficult financial times. 

The second, as we were unable to confirm additional flying displays, due to financial constraints, the Shepway Safety Advisory Group were unable to assess the risks involved. We all agreed that there wasn’t enough time left for to provide the Shepway Safety Advisory Group with the complete Event Management Plan in order to satisfy them that the event could take place safely.   

I will continue to look into the financial viability of continuing the work already completed, to see if it is at all possible of postponing until 2014 and to carry forward the commitment of our sponsors and organisations who have supported Folkestone Airshow into 2014.

RAF Cosford Make Air Show Even More Accessible

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

A partnership between the RAF Charitable Trust and the Event Mobility Charitable Trust will help increase the accessibility for disabled visitors to the RAF Cosford Air Show on Sunday 9th June.

The Event Mobility Charitable Trust was founded in 1998 with the sole aim of providing electric scooters and manual wheelchairs for disabled, mobility impaired and elderly people to enjoy a day out at an event or show.

Air Show spokesman Flying Officer Sam Jewell says: “The RAF Cosford Air Show team is extremely pleased to be able to offer our visitors this new service for those that might require it. It important to the organisers that everybody, regardless of ability, is able to enjoy a wonderful day out and we hope that this will help go that little bit further to help.”

The Air Show also offers a special parking area on hard-standing and with accessible toilets nearby, for those displaying the nationally recognised blue wheelchair symbol. However, with all parking being on the showground many disabled visitors prefer to use the standard public car park which is central to all attractions.

The RAF Charitable Trust and the Royal International Air Tattoo have a long-standing record of working with disabled people through the Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, and the historic links with Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader. The Director of the RAF Charitable Trust Air Commodore (retired) Tim Winstanley said: “The Trust’s objectives include the aspiration to ‘Encourage air education and aviation-mindedness’ so that it is hugely important that those who require additional help to gain access to all parts of the RAF Cosford Air Show should be able to do so safely and efficiently.

As such the Trust is delighted to be able to be involved with the provision of mobility scooters at the RAF Cosford Air Show 2013.”

In order for visitors to reserve an electric scooter or manual wheelchair, they must either print out an advance booking form from the website or contact the EMCT office on 01386 725391 to request a form to be posted. Please be aware that advance bookings cannot be made by phone. Alternatively, please browse the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

For further information as to how the RAF Cosford Air Show ensures that guests with disabilities can enjoy the spectacular flying and ground displays in the same conditions as all our visitors, please visit the accessibility area of our website at

All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to service and local charities.

Air show tickets can be purchased online at, by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083 (10p/min plus network charges), or at various other outlets details of which can be found on the website. Advance adult tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20% discount on tickets bought on the day and FREE admission for children under-16 accompanied by an adult as well as FREE car parking.

Westland Lynx Mark 7 helicopter takes up residence in the Battle of Britain exhibition

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve recently taken delivery of an exciting new addition to our collection at IWM Duxford.

Westland Lynx Mark 7 helicopter XZ194, gifted to Imperial War Museums by the Ministry of Defence, now sits within the Battle of Britain exhibition.

It had been in service since 3 January 1979, when it began life as a Mark I Lynx helicopter. It was converted to a Mark 7 in September 1992 after 3,104 flying hours. This Lynx flew with 7 Regiment Army Air Corps, the main helicopter pilot training unit for the Army, at Middle Wallop until May 2012, when it was declared Non-Effective after 6,667 flying hours. The remainder of its serving life was spent with 9 Regiment Army Air Corps at Dishforth and with the School of Aviation at Middle Wallop.

The Westland Lynx was, until recently, the British armed forces’ main multi-role helicopter. The Lynx Mark I entered operational service with the Army and the Royal Navy in 1977 and was later adopted by the armed forces of over a dozen nations. It primarily served in the roles of battlefield utility, anti-armour, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare.

Lynx helicopters have served in every British Army combat theatre since 1979, bar the Falklands. They have been present in Afghanistan in a variety of roles, including liaison, troop transport, medevac, resupply and light gunmanship, since 2006. They also served with 16 Air Assault Brigade in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003 and the subsequent occupation of Iraq. Lynx helicopters recently started to leave service, being replaced by the upgraded ‘Super Lynx’ (Wildcat) helicopter.

The addition of the Westland Lynx Mark 7 to the IWM Duxford collection enables us to demonstrate the close ground-to-air co-operation needed on the contemporary battlefield.

IWM Duxford is the first UK museum to display a Westland Lynx Mark 7. This is also the first Army helicopter to be displayed at IWM.

We are delighted that it will now tell the story of helicopter capability in modern warfare at IWM Duxford.

John Delaney, Collections Manager, IWM Duxford said “The Lynx helicopter would have been seen by every soldier serving on operations over the past 35 years. The majority would have benefited by receiving supplies from them, being carried by them or receiving gunfire support from them. This is the first Army helicopter to be displayed at IWM and it helps us to demonstrate the unique role played by helicopters on the modern battlefield.”

New Look Tucano Joins Wings & Wheels Line-up

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Wings & Wheels is delighted to confirm the RAF Tucano will be showing off its new desert camouflage design in an impressive aerobatic display on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

Unveiling the new paint scheme at the end of March at their base at RAF Linton on Ouse, its design mirrors the Second World War Spitfire aircraft operated by 72 Squadron in 1943. The scheme was chosen to commemorate the 70th anniversary of 72 Squadron’s involvement in North Africa in support of the Tunisian campaign during World War II. During this period they flew a selection of Supermarine Spitfires including Mk VIII and Mk IX variants.

Jamie McAllister, Event Director comments: “Our five hour air display is starting to take great shape and we are excited to have the Tucano at Wings & Wheels. The display of skill and power demonstrated by the pilots never fails to impress and the camouflage design will be a welcome new sight in the skies over the aerodrome.”

Visitors to Wings & Wheels can also enjoy the world famous Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Typhoon, Team Breitling Wingwalkers and a host of other modern and historic aircraft during the 5 hour flying displays. For four and two wheeled fans, supercars and classic and vintage icons put on an awe inspiring display of power and speed on the Top Gear track in a 2 hour auto spectacular from Brooklands Museum.

The 9th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th August 2013, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 18:00.

Tickets start from £20 for adults, £45 for a family (2 adults and 3 children aged 5 – 15yrs), £6 for children aged between 5 and 15yrs and under 5s are free. Hospitality packages start from £65 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.

Wings & Wheels is promoted by Dunsfold Park Limited with proceeds going to nominated charities: Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.