Archive for November, 2013

Experimental Aircraft Programme now on display at Cosford

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

EAP at RAF Cosford

Christmas has come early at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford with the arrival of the Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) technology demonstrator. This experimental jet helped pave the way for the renowned Eurofighter Typhoon and thanks to support of BAE Systems is now on display to visitors within the Museum’s Test Flight collection.

The EAP, built by BAE Systems predecessor company British Aerospace (BAe), was the most advanced fighter design ever built solely by a UK manufacturer; its purpose being to bring together technologies applicable to future advanced agile aircraft. This twin engine, single seat aircraft of canard delta configuration was designed for close air combat/air superiority and battlefield close air support. EAP incorporated a fly-by-wire control system and featured good supersonic manoeuvrability and a short take-off performance, making it an aircraft way ahead of its time.

During the 1970’s BAe and its predecessors had started studies into a combat aircraft that could replace a number of existing RAF aircraft including the Harrier and the Jaguar. The new aircraft was to be used in a ground attack role but with self defence capability. Originally planned as a partnership between Britain and neighbouring European countries including Germany and Italy, a lack of funding caused them to withdraw from the project and it became entirely funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and the British aviation industry.

EAP was rolled-out at BAe Warton in April 1986 and made its maiden flight in August the same year flown by Test Pilot David (Dave) Eagles, BAe’s Executive Director of Flight Operations. During this initial sortie EAP reached Mach 1.1, faster than the speed of sound. After months of testing the aircraft had attained a maximum speed of Mach 2.0 and investigated or proved some 36 technological developments before going on to perform for crowds at airshows. Four more years of trialling the latest technologies followed before the aircraft conducted its last flight in May 1991, having flown 259 sorties totalling 195.21 flying hours. EAP was capable of attaining speeds in excess of Mach 2 and could fly at angles of attack of over 35 degrees in controlled flight, exceptional even by today’s standards.

The aircraft then spent almost 16 years on display at Loughborough University in the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, being used for undergraduate student design appreciation exercises.

After being transported by road to the RAF Museum Cosford in March 2012, EAP remained in storage until late Summer 2013 when it was moved in the Museum’s award winning Michael Beetham Conservation Centre. Following a small amount of conservation work the aircraft has now been placed on display for Museum visitors to enjoy.

Nick Sturgess, Alex Henshaw Curator at RAF Museum Cosford said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have the EAP joining our Research and Development Aircraft Collection. Only one EAP was ever built and its importance in aviation cannot be understated. During its flying career as a proof of concept demonstrator (circa 1986-1991) it contributed much to computer controls, advanced aerodynamics and new methods of construction. Many of the concepts that were pioneered and proved by EAP are now in frontline use in the form of the Eurofighter Typhoon, an aircraft that bares more than a passing resemblance to EAP.”

Chris Boardman, Managing Director at BAE Systems said:

“I am delighted that BAE Systems has been able to donate the Experimental Aircraft Programme aircraft to the RAF Museum at Cosford. The EAP was fundamental in developing many of the ground breaking design characteristics and capabilities that we now see in today’s Eurofighter Typhoon. It is only fitting that it should now reside alongside other historic aircraft including Tornado P.02, the Jaguar ACT Demonstrator and TSR2 that have all helped keep Britain at the forefront of military aviation.”

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


Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Red Arrows 50 Display Seasons logo

People planning to attend next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo on July 12-13 are being invited to make an extra pit stop as part of the RAF’s official celebrations marking the Red Arrows’ 50th display season.

Up to 10,000 special Pit Day tickets, priced £24, are being made available for Friday, July 11 offering exclusive access to the world famous aerobatic display team and their aircraft. The Red Arrows’ Pit Day will also enable visitors to watch aircraft arrivals and rehearsals in the morning and enjoy a four-hour flying display in the afternoon including the premier of a special Red Arrows’ formation flypast.

Other Pit Day benefits include access to Showground East Red Zone (10am to 6pm), the Red Arrows Village and Vintage Village, the BAE Systems’ Hawk and F-16 Anniversary Park plus close access to other international aerobatic teams and their aircraft – with more exciting themed activities to be announced.

The Red Arrows began life at RAF Fairford in 1964, performing their first display at Little Rissington in the Cotswolds a year later. Since then, they have performed more than 4,500 displays in 54 different countries.

Air Tattoo organisers are working closely with the Royal Air Force and other air armsto stage the UK’spremiereinternationally-flavoured aerial tribute to the world’s most famous aerobatic display team.

Spokesman Richard Arquati said: “If you love the Red Arrows then the Royal International Air Tattoo is the place to be next summer as we host the biggest birthday celebration for the team in the UK.”

As well as celebrating the Reds’ 50th display season, the Air Tattoo will be marking the 40th anniversary of two other aviation landmarks: the 40th anniversary of both the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and the BAE Systems Hawk, the aircraft currently flown by the Red Arrows.

Tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo go on sale from Wednesday (November 20) includingspecially-priced Super Earlybird admission tickets, Friday Red Arrows Pit Day ticketsplus a range of enclosure packages. Discounts of up to £10 per ticket are available until January 31, 2014. Visit for details.

The Air Tattoo is the world’s largest military airshow and is held annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust.


Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

RAF Falcons

The RAF Cosford Air Show has won one of the top Shropshire tourist awards for 2013. The winners of the 2013 Shropshire Star Awards were announced at a packed ceremony held at the Ironbridge Museum on Monday 18 November.

The final announcement of the day was the winner of the Tourism Event of the Year, sponsored by the Shrewsbury Club, and with a short list including two other major events it was a tense moment for all those concerned. However, the Air Show which brings over 60,000 people to the county was a popular choice. The Award was received by Air Show Chairman, Wing Commander Paul Lilly, and Air Show Director, Amanda Butcher.

Amanda Butcher said “RAF Cosford Air Show is proud to be part of the Shropshire Star Awards and we are delighted that our contribution to the County has been recognised. The air show brings a lot of people into the area and many of them will also have taken the chance to enjoy some of the pubs, hotels and other attractions that have won awards this afternoon. Today has really shown the outstanding quality of the visitor experience in Shropshire”.

The RAF Cosford Air Show has also been shortlisted for best UK Air Show by the specialist website Airscene and voting is still open at for the Airscene Awards which means the 2013 event could be a double winner.

The RAF Cosford Air Show is now one of only two officially-sponsored RAF Shows and has been running for 20 years. The Air Show profits are distributed each year to local and service charities. More information, including 2014 ticket prices which have been held for the second year running, can be found on the air show website –

Nuclear Bomber Clocks up 20th Anniversary as Live Exhibit

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Yorkshire Air Museum Victor


The excitement is mounting as the date of Monday 25th November approaches and the Yorkshire Air Museum prepares to mark the 20th Anniversary of the arrival of Handley Page Victor V-bomber XL231 “Lusty Lindy” with a high speed (120 knot) dash of the aircraft down Elvington airfields long runway! This will be timed to coincide with the exact moment XL231 touched down at 14:20pm on 25th November, 1993. To add to the spectacle, the braking parachute will be deployed at this moment, to slow the aircraft down from its near take-off speed dash, as occurred when the aircraft landed 20 years ago.

“Lusty Lindy” will first be started up on a dispersal point, conduct some high power throttle ups of the four mighty Rolls Royce Rco 11 turbo fans, each capable of developing 17250 lbs of thrust, and then circle the dispersal before making a slow initial taxi down the runway, for the benefit of viewers and photographers, then turning to make the fast run. After the run, there will be opportunities to get a closer look at “Lusty Lindy” when she is safely parked up and shut down.

To add to the party on this special day, the Museum’s similarly ‘live’, ground operational Nimrod MR2 XV250, the ‘Mighty Hunter’, will also make a fast taxi down the runway prior to the Victor’s run, symbolising the service relationship between the aircraft types.

A special voucher will be available on the day to allow visitors to see this awesome spectacle of power at close quarters on the airfield itself, with proceeds contributing to the fuel for these aircraft runs.

The saving of HP Victor XL231 as an icon of British engineering design and technology, is the result of a unique collaboration between the Yorkshire Air Museum, the Handley Page Association and the Tempest family. The ball was started rolling in 1992 by Harry Fraser Mitchell of the Handley Page Association, who lobbied the MoD on behalf of the Yorkshire Air Museum, to secure one of the 55 Squadron Victors, then based at RAF Marham, for Elvington on their imminent retirement from 35 years service.

It was disclosed that some aircraft would be disposed of to suitable aviation museum’s and organisations, through a ‘sealed envelope’ bidding process, and so the Museum duly mounted a fundraising campaign from amongst our members and supporters to raise the funds envisaged. By October 1993, with the retirement of the aircraft looming and the window of opportunity closing, it had become clear that insufficient sums had been raised. At this point, local businessman Gerry Tempest came in, after being persuaded by his son and YAM member Andre, that it would be a ‘good idea’ to buy an aeroplane, namely the Victor. Gerry reached an agreement with the Museum that he would put up the funds to purchase the aircraft, to be owned by his family, but classed as a Museum exhibit and purchased under the Yorkshire Air Museum name (to meet MoD requirements) in return for free standing for the aircraft at Elvington.

The bid was successful, and Gerry and Andre Tempest went to RAF Marham at the end of October 1993, to select the aircraft, with XL231 being ‘the one’. The Museum made the final arrangements with the MoD, RAF and local residents to facilitate the flying in of “Lusty (perhaps Lucky) Lindy” on 25th November 1993. Andre Tempest and a team of volunteers have maintained XL231 in ground operational condition ever since.

HP Victor B.2 V-bomber / K.2 Tanker XL231

Built in 1961, with maiden flight 28th December, and joined 139 Squadron, RAF Wittering, 1st Feb. 1962. To carry ‘Blue Danube’ Nuclear bomb or 35 x 1000lb iron bombs. Converted to Mk 2 status in Nov. 1963 and re-joined RAF Wittering Wing in July 1964. To carry the Avro ‘Blue Steel’ nuclear warhead missile.

Converted to K.2 Tanker (air to air refuelling), the FIRST prototype, on 23rd Jan 1972.The aircraft was fully converted to K.2 specification, zero fatigued to as new.

In 1977, XL231 was taken on charge with 57 Squadron, RAF Marham. In the build up to the South Atlantic campaign, XL231 was chosen for trials to convert Nimrod and Hercules aircraft for in flight refuelling.

In this role, the aircraft saw service in support of the Falklands War and also saw action in the Gulf War, in 1990, after being transferred to 55 Squadron (Marham). It was during Operation Granby (Desert Storm) that XL231 was given the “Lusty Lindy” decal, in honour of the Crewchief’s wife! XL231 returned to the UK in September 1993, but 55 Squadron was disbanded in October 1993, with XL231 making her last service flight on 15th October, as part of the disbandment flypast.

The Victor was the longest serving of the V bomber generation, which included the Avro Vulcan and Vickers Valiant.

Christmas Party Packages at the Royal Air Force Museum

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

RAF Museum London Christmas Functions

The Royal Air Force Museum is offering competitive Christmas Party packages that start at as little as £71.00 per person plus VAT. Rates are available November and December 2013 – book by the 5th of September 2013 and win a free bottle of champagne!

Take your guests on a Christmas journey back in time to the 1940’s, a time of heroes and villains; to dine and dance underneath the Avro Lancaster or enjoy a drinks reception beneath the famous Spitfire.

Various packages are available from ‘the Dam Busters Bouncing Bomb’ to the ‘Battle of Britain’s Finest Hour’ with unique features that will make your Christmas party a memorable evening.

Packages start at as little as £71.00 per person plus VAT and this includes: venue hire; catering; furniture and staff; event lighting; Christmas novelties for the tables; disco and dance floor. Drinks packages start at £16.00 per person plus VAT.

The evening was a great success and was commended by all guests, the venue was spectacular. I would like to thank you for your professionalism and hard work in the months leading up to the event, the evening ran very smoothly and I could not have wished for more assistance throughout.” – Rolls Royce

The Royal Air Force Museum also offers daytime function space for conferences and meetings. The museum day delegate rates start at £45.00 per person plus VAT.

For further information about hiring any of our spaces please contact the Corporate Events Team on 0208 358 4848 or email

The Royal Air Force Museum is located just 20 minutes from Euston on the Northern Line and is outside the congestion charge zone, close to the M25, M1, A41 and A406.

IWM Duxford air shows announced for 2014

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

IWM Duxford Spitfire

We are delighted to announce our air show season for 2014.

We start, in May, by commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in magnificent style. July sees the nostalgia spectacular that is the Flying Legends Air Show while The Duxford Air Show, in September, offers a celebration of all things flying.

Tickets for all three air shows are now on sale. If you need your tickets delivered in time for Christmas, we recommend that you buy them before Friday 13 December, for UK delivery.

The D-Day Anniversary Air

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May

The D-Day Anniversary Air Show commemorates the 70th anniversary of this decisive military campaign, demonstrating the vital role that aerial warfare played in the invasion of Normandy.

The air show will feature fighter, bomber and transport aircraft types that would have been seen over the beaches of France, together with thrilling ground content, including a march past by Normandy veterans and serving personnel from the Parachute Regiment. This special D-Day anniversary air show is not to be missed.

Flying Legends Air Show

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 July

The Flying Legends Air Show is famous the world over for its unique presentation of historic piston-engined aircraft in rare combinations and remarkable flying displays. Complimenting the ‘wow!’ factor in the air is the authentic 1940s atmosphere that can be experienced across the museum. It’s the closest you can get to being back at RAF Duxford in its flying heyday.

The flying display promises an unmissable fusion of power, sound, excitement and nostalgia as iconic piston-engined aircraft from across the globe perform their breathtaking flights over IWM Duxford’s historic airfield.

The Duxford Air Show

Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September

The Duxford Air Show is a celebration of aviation in its many diverse and varied forms. Combinations of historic aircraft, contemporary jets, mind-boggling aerobatics and those quirky, did-I-really-just-see-that displays make The Duxford Air Show an entertaining aerial spectacle with a fabulous family atmosphere.

Air show tickets and hospitality passes are now on sale and can be purchased online at