Archive for February, 2015

Zeus Set For Air Tattoo Debut

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Hellenic Air Force

The first ever UK appearance of one of Europe’s most exciting solo jet demonstrations has been confirmed for this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The display by the Hellenic Air Force’s F-16 demo team, named Zeus, is set to provide one of the highlights of the flying display at the airshow on July 17-19.

Zeus has only previously performed outside its homeland at displays in Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The team, which is named after the father of the Olympian gods in ancient Greek mythology, aims to demonstrate the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force – an air arm that has been modernised substantially in recent years – as well as fostering links between the Greek public and its air force, and encourage recruiting.

The Zeus demonstration will be flown at RIAT 2015 by Captain SotiriosStralis and is the latest addition to the roster of excellent F-16 solo displays around the world, many of which have featured at previous Air Tattoos. The Zeus display is unique in featuring the Block 52+ version, complete with Conformal Fuels Tanks fitted to the upper surfaces of the aircraft, presenting a different view of Lockheed Martin’s outstanding F-16C Fighting Falcon.

The first Zeus demo team was formed by the HAF under the guidance of the US Air Force, giving its debut performance at Tanagra Air Base in November 2010. The display is being provided by 115 Combat Wing based at Souda, which has under its command two squadrons of Block 52+ F-16s – some of the most advanced multi-role fighters within NATO.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “We are honoured to be able to present Zeus to a British audience for the first time. The F-16 has always been an outstanding display aircraft, and I am sure Capt Sotirios will demonstrate its attributes to the full at RIAT 2015. Our thanks go to the Hellenic Air Force for agreeing to participate.”

Flying for the RFC? Its a Piece of Cake

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

The RAF Museum introduces ‘Albert’s ‘Ripping’ Cake’ on its menu in tribute to one of England’s most legendary First World War pilots. 

The legendary English pilot Albert Ball was one of the most iconic heroes of the sky during the First World War. His bravery won him the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished service Order and the Military Cross. At the time of his death in May 1917, he was the country’s leading flying ace, with 44 victories to his name.

One little known fact was that he always flew with his mother’s home-made plum cake on board his aircraft and he requested it many times in his letters home:

“You make me a cake, and I would like it all the more. I so love to have a huge piece of cake to go flying with in the morning. It is fine, and if made by you would be better still.” (Letter to his Mother)

“I was so pleased to get your ripping cake, but I have nearly finished it. I love to take a huge piece with me when I fly.” (Letter to his sister)

The Royal Air Force Museum in association with students from Barnet and Southgate College and with assistance from Centerplate Restaurant have re-developed this age old family recipe for Plum Cake as preferred by Albert Ball.

The recipe was discovered by the Albert Ball’s great niece whilst clearing out her grandmother’s house in Nottingham.

The cake will go on sale at the Museum restaurant from April 20th and will be packaged as if being sent as a parcel to Albert Ball.

In between slices of this legendary cake, visitors can also find out more about aviation during the First World war in the ‘First World War in the Air’ – a new permanent exhibition supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), that enables visitors to discover and explore the unique and often overlooked role of air power during the First World War through the incredible stories of the men and women who served and protected our nation.

Thousands of miniature models to be displayed at Cosford

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Shropshire MOdel Show

Date: 12 April 2015

Time: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Cost: FREE entry

After a busy February Half Term week at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, which has seen over 1,000 children take part in a model making activity, families with a new found interest in the hobby can explore it further at the Shropshire Scale Model Show, taking place on Sunday 12 April.

This annual event which attracts over 4,000 visitors each year will take place nestled amongst the world-class collection of aircraft and military vehicles on display at the Museum. Thousands of intricately detailed models of aircraft, cars, bikes, trucks and science fiction items will be spread across the whole site, filling the Museum hangars with a world of model making. With over 100 modelling clubs signed up to exhibit their creations, many of which have taken years to perfect, this year’s event is set to be bigger than ever.

Everything any dedicated modeller could ever want or need, will be on sale during the one day show. Over 40 traders, will be selling a range of modelling materials and kits to suit modellers of all ability’s, from young children who are just discovering their passion for modelling, right through to the avid modellers who have been building kits for many years. There will be everything from plastic kits in various sizes along with glues, paints and other detailed sets available to purchase on the day.

Event organiser, Gary Stevens Secretary of the Shropshire Scale Modellers and The Telford Branch of The International Plastic Modellers Society says:

“This year for the first time we will have live entertainment during the show from singer Tiffany Lunn who is a musician and composer of unique and uplifting electronic and instrumental music. I am also pleased to announce the return of a club from Germany named Interessengemeinschaft Plastikmodellbauklub 84 (or IP84 for short) giving the show an international feel. With 108 club displays and 40 traders, this year’s show will be larger than ever.”

To make reaching the Museum even easier, organisers have introduced a free park and ride for the day to cope with the additional visitors. The show will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm and entry to the event is free of charge. For further information, please call the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit the Museum website at Entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Planning Permission Granted for Museum Project

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Newark Air Museum

The trustees of Newark Air Museum are pleased to advise that official notification has been received from Newark & Sherwood District Council, granting Full Planning Permission for the new Education Room, Café & Toilet facility.

Full Planning Permission represents a huge boost to the museum’s plan to construct this important new visitor facility on its Southfield Site. Over the coming weeks the museum will be working with its project architect, Studio G Architecture LLP (SGA LLP) of Collingham, Notts to discharge the five planning conditions that were applied to the Full Planning Approval.

The aim of this work with SGA LLP will be to have a strategy in place to tie in with the outcome of one of the grant applications connected to the project, which should be known towards the end of March 2015.

It is now even more important than ever that the museum steps-up its fund raising activities to support this project. Online contributions can be made via a Just Giving page for the project

The wider fund raising appeal still allows project supporters to make a donation towards a Photographic Panini, which will carry their name and brief message. These Photographic Paninis are being displayed in the current museum café; they will then being incorporated into a presentation folder that will be displayed in the new education / café building when it is completed.

Perhaps the simplest way people can support the project is just by visiting the museum and we encourage people to do this by using the Gift Aid admission scheme. This enables the museum to reclaim fund from HMRC, which can give a huge boost to the project.

Regular updates about the project will be posted on the museum website at

Open Cockpit Events

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The RAF Museum London offers a unique opportunity to access cockpits of some of its most iconic aircraft.

Date: 3rd March 2015

Time: 18:15 to 21:00

Tickets: £15.50/£20.50 (Vulcan ticket)

Join us in March for an exclusive evening at the Royal Air Force Museum. For one night only the Museum will open its doors and allow access to some historic aircraft. Get a closer look at legendary aircraft like the Spitfire, Lancaster and Vulcan. With staff on hand to explain the controls visitors will experience the collection in a new light.

Cockpit viewing:
Avro Lancaster
Spitfire 5B
B24 Liberator

Cockpit access:
Jet Provost 5
Vulcan (you must buy a separate ticket to access this aircraft)

Cabin access/viewing:
Merlin Helicopter (A)
Whirlwind (V)
Wessex (A)
HE162 (V)
Vampire (V)
ME109G (V)
Sycamore (V)

V = viewing, A = access

Please note:

*A Vulcan access ticket is for the Vulcan only. It does not allow you access into the event – you will need to purchase an event ticket (Adult or member) to access the Museum

**Access to the Vulcan Aircraft is challenging and only for the physically able. The Museum reserves the right to refuse access to the Vulcan if you are not physically fit enough. If you have any questions please call the event organiser on 0208 358 4997 for more information.

Doors open at 6.15pm until 9.15pm Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL (please use NW9 5QW if travelling using a SAT NAV)

For more information please email or telephone the event organiser on 0208 358 4997.

Tickets on sale now. Click here to book:

To register your interest and to receive an email notifying you when tickets are available please email

Mighty Vulcan Returns to RAF Cosford

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Vulcan Bomber by Peter Van Loey

One of Britain’s most iconic aircraft will be roaring over Shropshire on Sunday 14th June, in an appearance dedicated to Sir Jack Hayward, which is sure to be a highlight of the thrilling flying displays planned for the event.

Visitors to the RAF Cosford Air Show will be treated to a full flying display of the mighty Avro Vulcan, a British cold-war nuclear bomber. Affectionately referred to by its registration,XH558 is the only flying example of the Vulcan, which was returned to the skies in 2007 after a lengthy public fundraising campaign.

Air Show Spokesperson Peter Reoch said, “We are extremely pleased to be welcoming the XH558 back to RAF Cosford,as it is undoubtedly one of the most popular aircraft on the UK air show circuit. The Vulcan’s display will be one of many highlights which make the RAF Cosford Air Show a great day out for all the family.”

The Vulcan is just one of the many exciting aerial displays planned for the show, which for the first time will not be selling tickets on the gate. The move to become Advance Ticket Only is part of the efforts by show organisers to continually improve traffic flows to the event. Visitors are advised to buy their tickets early, to ensure they don’t miss out on seeing the Vulcan’s unique blend of graceful design and raw power.

The Vulcan’s display at RAF Cosford will be dedicated to Sir Jack Hayward, who passed away in January. Sir Jack was a huge supporter of XH558’s restoration, withhis dramatic £500,000 donation saving the project in 2006. Dr Robert Pleming, Chief Executive of Vulcan to the Sky said;”It is extremely gratifying for us to be invited to appear once again at the RAF Cosford Air Show, where many of XH558’s supporters will be able to enjoy her wonderful display and where we have received such an incredible welcome in the past. It is also particularly pleasing to be appearing because of the relevance of this historic location to the Vulcan in respect of our close affinity with the National Cold War Exhibition, part of the RAF Museum Cosford.”

For the first time, tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2015 are advance sale only. Adult tickets are priced £22.00 with accompanied under-16s coming free! For more details on the event and to purchase tickets, visit

City Bridge Trust aids Museum engage older visitors

Monday, February 16th, 2015

City Bridge Trust

The RAF Museum London is pleased to announce that the City Bridge Trust has donated £87,600 towards its program to engage older visitors.

City Bridge Trust is the grant-making arm of Bridge House Estates, whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation. It supports London’s charities and provides grants totaling around £15 million annually.

In December of last year HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh conducted the official opening of a new permanent exhibition at the Royal Air Force Museum London entitled ‘First World War in the Air.’ The exhibition was funded by the HLF with support from BAE Systems and encompasses a four year long program of supporting events.

The funds from City Bridge Trust will be used to ensure a run of events and activities to support the First World War exhibition which are specifically targeted at an older audience. It will also fund three posts Education Officer, Community Development Officer and Volunteer Co-ordinator, all of which encourage a wider engagement with the Museum’s audiences

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of the City Bridge Trust, said: “The Royal Air Force has played a vital role in British military history – and the Royal Air Force Museum offers people, of all ages, a great opportunity to learn about that role; this is an excellent national resource which can be used to connect and engage with an older audience, who are also in a position to share their knowledge of history with younger generations. We are delighted that our grant will enable more older people to get involved in a number of aspects of the Museum’s activities – including its work with schools, both as visitors and volunteers.”

Karen Whitting, Director Public Programmes RAF Museum: “We are delighted to receive this grant from City Bridge Trust which will enable us to widen and develop our relationship with more mature audiences. As we near the Centenary of the RAF itself, it is of utmost importance to engage the different generations whose lives have been touched by the work of the Service and the bravery and sacrifice of its men and women.”

Vulcan Set To Roar Again At Air Day

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Vulcan at Yeovilton Air Day

XH558, the world’s only flying Avro Vulcan ‘V-bomber’, is RNAS Yeovilton Air Day’s first confirmed flying display participant. Now 55 years old, this thunderous Cold War icon will be among the largest, heaviest and noisiest types involved in this year’s show on Saturday 11 July.

XH558 is a globally unique survivor and has brought Air Day to a standstill on each of its previous appearances at RNAS Yeovilton. As before, the sensational Vulcan will perform a spectacular, roaring air display and will also be present on the ground. This will allow visitors to enjoy a close-up guided ‘under-wing’ tour – an attraction offered by few other airshows. With 2015 marking XH558’s last planned display season, this really could be one of the last chance opportunities to see this famed and hugely popular type in South West England.

The Vulcan’s RAF career peaked during the 1982 Falkland’s Conflict when the type’s famous Black Buck missions became the longest bombing raids in history. Many squadrons from RNAS Yeovilton also played a hugely significant role as part of the Royal Navy task force sent to regain the Falkland Islands.

RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2015’s main theme marks 75 years since the Air Station was commissioned as HMS Heron on 18 June 1940. A large gathering of aircraft types with past RNAS Yeovilton connections is planned to mark this anniversary.

Advance tickets priced at £20 (adults) and £6 (children 5-15 yrs) are now available to order from

Monospar Update 2015

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Newark Air Museum Monospar

In recent weeks good progress has been made on applying the polyester fabric to the complex latticework structure of the starboard wing of General Aircraft Monospar VH-UTH at Newark Air Museum.

The work is being undertaken in the museum’s on-site workshop by museum members who developed their fabric application techniques on the project during 2014.

The innovative yet complex structure of the Monospar wing can be seen through the recently applied fabric and by looking inside the covered wing. As the warmer weather approaches the work will be progressed and a top coat of paint applied.

As previously reported some work is still to be completed on the ‘top hat’ longerons on the Monospar fuselage, but once this has been undertaken the fuselage fabric will also be applied.

All of the rebuild work on the General Aircraft Monospar VH-UTH at Newark Air Museum is being without any working drawings or airframe plans.

Yorkshire Air Museum 2015 Events

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Thunder Day

2015 Event Programme

Fri. 13th March Night Shoot – “Friday the 13” Special, also featuring the Douglas Dakota; De Havilland Devon and Mosquito Nightfighter. Pre-booked Ticket only. SOLD OUT!!!

Sat. 11th April “Rolling Thunder Day” – Fast jet taxy runs celebrating 5th Anniversary of Nimrod XV250 arriving at YAM. Propeller driven aircraft start-ups.

Air Transport Auxiliary Association Memorial Plaque Unveiling.

Sat 9th / Sun 10th May Battlegroup North. Annual gathering of Historic Military Vehicles, Wargaming Show and Living History Displays celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe and 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

4th – 7th June RAF Museum Hendon’s Collections Handling Tour.

Sun. 7th June “Thunder Day”. On site aircraft engine starts of the jet and propeller driven aircraft.

Thur. 25th June Inspirations STEM Education Challenge.

Sat. 11th July Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club (Yorkshire Branch) Driving Day. 30 + Rolls Royce cars.

Sun. 26th July “Golden Era” Vintage Motorcycle Run. Gathering of pre-1931 motorcycles.

Sun. 2nd August “Thunder Day”. On site jet and propeller driven aircraft engine runs.

Mon. 31st August “Rolling Thunder Day”. Fast jet taxy runs & propeller driven aircraft starts.

Sun. 6th September Allied Air Forces Memorial Day. Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary.

Sun. 4th October Classic Bus Rally – Thornes Independent Coaches classic bus gathering.

Sun. 8th November Remembrance Sunday. Services at the French Memorial, Elvington Village and YAM Station Chapel.

Note – wherever possible, events will feature flypasts by historic aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Some events may be charged at different rates – Battlegroup North and Thunder Days £10 Adults, £8 Concession and £5 Child. For the Rolling Thunder events, an Airfield Viewing pass will be available.