Archive for May, 2015

Dornier Do 17 Two Years On Lecture

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


Date: 10 June

Time: 7.00pm – 8.30pm (Doors open 6.15pm)

Cost: £7.50 per person

Wednesday 10 June 2015 will mark two years since the world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 was successfully lifted from the bottom of the Dover Straits. The breath taking moment the aircraft surfaced from the water was captured live on TV and sparked interest from around the globe.

The project has captured the imagination of not only aviation fans and historians, but also scientists and engineers alike, fascinated in the process of conserving the airframe. The Museum has been inundated with questions from visitors wanting to know more about the project and this June there will be a chance for visitors to find out more about the project at the ‘Dornier Do 17 Two Years on Lecture’ taking place on 10th June.

The process so far has seen the aircraft systematically sprayed with a low concentration citric acid based solution inside purpose built hydration tunnels at the RAF Museum Cosford. This process helped to remove marine accretions and subsequently neutralised corrosion impurities in the aluminium aircraft structure. Confident that the citric acid solution has done its job, the fuselage was removed from the tunnels in September 2014, followed by the wings and engines in January 2015 and is now undergoing treatment inside the Museum’s Conservation Centre.

This evening lecture will be led by those involved in the recovery of the aircraft and will examine the challenges faced in raising the aircraft from the seabed, the science behind the hydration tunnels and the latest phase of conservation. Attendees will also be able to get up close to some of the smaller components found on the Dornier Do 17. The lecture will take place in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition starting at 7.00pm (doors open 6.15pm). Attendees will also have exclusive access after the lecture to view the Dornier fuselage and wings first hand inside the Conservation Centre.

Guest speakers include:

Darren Priday – RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager

Darren was the leader of the team of RAF Museum engineers who stripped and prepared the Dornier for road transportation once raised from the seabed. He has managed the team of Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers working on the Dornier since its arrival at Cosford in June 2013. Darren has travelled across the UK and Europe giving talks on the Dornier project.

Professor Mary Ryan – Imperial College London

Mary continues to offer guidance at each stage of the conservation process and has worked closely with the Museum from the project’s inception. Mary’s current research is in the area of applied electrochemistry and corrosion, with a focus on deposition of nanostructures and the study of self-forming nanocrystalline oxides; as well as fundamental work on degradation and stability of metal systems.

Martin Barker – Seatech – Director of Diving Operations (formerly)

Martin managed the team of divers from Seatech who salvaged the Dornier from the water. He was also the designer of the lifting frame that was used for protecting the delicate aircraft. Seatech Civil and Marine are an established under-water and multi-disciplined company offering commercial diving services.

Ian Thirsk – RAF Museum Head of Collections

Ian has played a major role in overseeing the Dornier project from the aircrafts discovery around 5 years ago. As Head of Collections, Ian is responsible for all aspects relating to the RAF Museum’s collection of ‘large 3D objects’, essentially the aircraft, vehicle and boat collections. This includes all aspects relating to their acquisition, disposal, restoration and display.

Places at the lecture cost £7.50 per person and parking on the night is free of charge. Tickets for the lecture are now on sale via the Museum’s website Or for more information, please call the Museum on 01902 376252.

The lifting of the Dornier was made possible thanks to support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Additional support has come from EADS, 328 Support Services, the RAF Historical Society, the RAF Museum American Foundation and the generosity of the public. The exhibition and conservation of the Dornier is supported by

Plans For VE-Day 70 Celebrations Confirmed For Air Show

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Cosford Victory Village

Organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show today confirmed details of displays marking the 70th Anniversary of VE-Day planned for Sunday 14th June, along with the exciting news that the University of Wolverhampton will be sponsoring the VE70 theme at the show.

Visitors to the Shropshire airfield will be taken back in time to 1945 in the ‘Victory Village’ with an exciting array of displays lined up. As well as vintage vehicles and WWII re-enactment groups, there will be period entertainment courtesy of The Glamophones, Bexi Owen&George Formby tribute artist, Colin Bourdiec.For those who fancy some retail therapy, Blondies Vintage Events will be running a Vintage Fair inside the village too. A 1940s tea-room will give visitors the chance to sit back and relax surrounded by classic aircraft such as an Avro Anson, Percival Proctor and Supermarine Spitfire. WWII Veterans will be on hand to tell their stories to visitors and there will also be speeches from historic characters such as Winston Churchill, Field Marshall Montgomery and King George VI.

Air Show Commercial Manager Marilyn Summers said, “We’re all extremely excited about the Victory Village, it will definitely be the centrepiece of a fantastic family day out at this year’s Air Show. We would urge all our visitors to go and enjoy the period entertainment we have lined up, which will continue after the flying displays have finished.”

Of course the ‘VE70′ theme will also feature in the spectacular six hour flying display, with an increased number of historic aircraft appearing at the show this year. Alongside favourites such as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfires & Hurricanes there will be displays from a P-51 Mustang, P-40 Kittyhawk, PBY-5 Catalina and Gloster Meteor.

This year the RAF Cosford Air Show has become an Advanced Ticket Only event in an effort to speed up access to the showground and improve access for visitors. With ticket sales up on last year’s numbers, organisers recommend the purchase of tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. With adult tickets only £22.00 and accompanied under-16s entering for free, it is a great value for money event with entertainment for all the family.

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, hospitality packages and to purchase tickets, visit

Bournemouth Air Festival soars in the Visit England Awards for Excellence

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Bournemout Air Festival Award of Excellence

Bournemouth Air Festival, sponsored by Mouchel, has won the coveted Gold in the Tourism Event of the Year at the most prestigious awards in English tourism, the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2015.

Other finalists in this hard fought category were The Cotswold Show and Food Festival, Mallard 75 at the National Railway Museum, Northumbrian Water/Kielder Winter Wonderland, Leapish Waterside Park and Vintage by the Sea at The Midland.

Mark Smith, Director of Tourism Bournemouth, said; “We’re absolutely delighted to win gold in the Tourism Event of the Year. Being part of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence cements Bournemouth Air Festival’s reputation as one of the premier events in the national and international calendar.

“The Bournemouth Air Festival encapsulates the spirit of modern Bournemouth as a world-class experience. This free festival brings together the thrill of gravity-defying displays in the air and an abundance of family entertainment on the ground against the spectacular backdrop of the UK’s best seaside resort.”

Bournemouth Air Festival 2014 attracted over 1.2 million festival-goers, generating in excess of £25m for the town and creating over 350 full-time jobs.

This year’s Bournemouth Air Festival is from 20-23 August 2015. This summer the skies of Bournemouth are set again to host some of the world’s best military and civilian aviation display teams and a huge off shore naval presence. When the sun goes down, Night Air entertainment will light up the skies of the UK’s leading coastal resort with night flying illuminated by pyrotechnics and the moon. For more details, visit

VC10 XR808 prepares for final move to Cosford

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

VC10 Engines Removed

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is pleased to announce that its latest acquisition, VC10 serial number XR808 is now over half way through a successful dismantling process and is being prepared for its final move to Cosford in the Summer.

The dismantling is being carried out by GJD Services, a specialist maintenance and aircraft salvage company based at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire. The process has taken a team of 8 over 7 months so far and the next few weeks will see the final work carried out, which includes removing the rear fuselage, inner wings and main undercarriage.

The aircraft is scheduled to leave Bruntingthorpe in June, following the RAF Cosford Air Show and will travel by road. The route will see the giant fuselage on a low loader lorry travel along the M69, M6 and the M54 and is sure to attract a huge amount of interest from the media and aviation enthusiasts alike, as they capture this rare spectacle.

As the aircraft arrives in Shropshire, the VC10 will be positioned on the airfield at RAF Cosford whilst the wings, fuselage and landing gears are reassembled. The aircraft will then make the final few steps onto the Museum site to allow the fitment of the rear fuselage fin, tail plane and engines. Later in the summer it will go on permanent display to visitors outside next to the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3.

Gary Spoors, Accountable/Engineering Manager at GJD Services said:

“We, at GJD, have been given a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our engineering skills and abilities during the dismantling and the eventual re building process of XR808. This is all made possible by the skill and dedication of the GJD staff and their overriding wish to make this happen. Personally I have a fond attachment to the VC10; she was the first aircraft I flew on, then subsequently ended up working on during my RAF Career and now again as the head of GJD.

Having this example of a VC10 in the RAF Museum provides the best opportunity for the long term preservation of the type ensuring an icon of British Aviation is secured for future generations to enjoy. Preserving our aviation heritage is important to me and I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to be part of this project.”

The VC10 was a British aircraft originally built by Vickers-Armstrong and then later by the British Aircraft Corporation and entered service with Royal Air Force in 1966. Now at the end of its service career, this dual-role aircraft enabled the rapid deployment of troops and their weaponry and fast jet aircraft to many theatres of operations around the world. With the ability to carry up to 124 troops at a time with nine crew members or a freight load of up to 20,400kgs the VC10 has been one of the RAF’s most significant assets for nearly 50 years.

The Museum’s new aircraft, serial number XR808 was part of an initial order of five VC10s for the RAF and was to be used for VIP and Far East Routes. After an initial period at RAF Fairford, XR808 spent the next 46 years based at RAF Brize Norton. In 1968 all 14 of the RAF’s VC10s were named after RFC/RAF holders of the Victoria Cross and XR808 was named Kenneth Campbell, after the Flying Officer who made a precision torpedo attack on the German battle ship Gneisenau. The RAF VC10’s allowed true global mobility offering a combination of speed and range never previously attained by an RAF Transport Command aircraft type.

Having travelled the world with No.10 Squadron including Colombo, Calgary, Hong Kong, Gutersloh and Bahrain, the aircraft was transferred to No.101 Squadron in 2006. During the early stages of the Afghanistan War the aircraft operated support flight for joint Czech Republic and UK exercises during ‘Operation Rhino’, a raid by the United States Army Rangers on several Taliban targets. As the number of VC10’s began to dwindle, the Museum’s latest acquisition led a special formation flight over seven UK RAF stations to mark 50 years of the VC10 and 95 years of 101 Squadron

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said:

“The BAC VC-10 formed the mainstay of the RAF’s long range strategic transport force for almost fifty years. For one aircraft type to have been in service for such a long period is remarkable in itself. However, when this is added to the variety of roles and worldwide scope of operations, it is clear this is a unique aircraft and it would not be possible to accurately portray the history of the RAF without an example of the type – therefore it is essential that such a pivotal and long serving aircraft is preserved by the RAF Museum.”

For further information about the Museum, please visit the Museum website or call 01902 376200. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Last few tickets available for Pilots view at Cosford

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Cosford Open Cockpits Evening

Date: 15-16 May

Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Cost: £12.50 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be participating in the annual Museums at Night event next week, as they open up the doors to some of the historic aircraft in their collection. Visitors attending the ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ will have exclusive after-hours access on board the aircraft for a Pilots view of the cockpit.

Organisers have doubled the number of evenings for this popular event giving twice as many aviation fans the chance to sit inside some of the world’s most iconic aircraft. The event, which is held twice a year in May and September, now runs on both a Friday and Saturday evening. Just 300 tickets per evening are available for this exclusive event and tickets for the event on 15-16 May are almost sold out, with just a few tickets remaining for each evening.

A total of 14 aircraft will be available for close viewing on the night: including transport aircraft, jet fighters and unique research airframes. Highlights on the night will include the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP). This experimental jet helped pave the way for the renowned Eurofighter Typhoon which has many of the same characteristics and capabilities and is in operation with the RAF and five other Air Forces, today. Visitors will also have access on board the de Havilland Chipmunk, one of the RAF’s longest serving aircraft types. It entered RAF service in the 1950s as an initial pilot trainer, offering relatively modern features such as flaps, brakes, radio and an enclosed cockpit. The Duke of Edinburgh learned to fly in Chipmunks and made his first solo flight on 20 December 1952 in the aircraft displayed at Cosford.

Museums at Night is the annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. It takes place from Wednesday May 13 – Saturday May 16. More details can be found at

Rosie Clarke, Campaigns Officer, Culture24 Said:

“The Museums at Night festival is all about encouraging new visitors to discover the amazing culture and heritage on their doorstep, and what could be more exciting for fans of aviation history than to get up close and personal with the amazing aeroplane collection at RAF Museum Cosford? Their popular Open Cockpit nights always sell out quickly and get excellent feedback from everyone who comes along: we’re delighted that they’re part of Museums at Night again this year.”

The exclusive after hour’s event will commence at 6.00pm and finish at 9.00pm, with numbers onto the Museum site strictly limited to 300 people. Admission is by advance ticket only and the last few remaining tickets are available to purchase through the Museum’s website for just £12.50 per person. Lightning Members price £10.00 per ticket (please note membership cards will need to be shown on entry to the event). Parking charges are included in the ticket price. Minimum height restrictions of 1.07 metres will apply.

The Museum will close at 5.00pm on each ‘Open Cockpit Evening’ in order to set up for the event. A detailed list of aircraft open on the September evenings (18-19 September) will be issued nearer the time.

Award for Pilots of the Caribbean Exhibition

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

The RAF Museum is proud to announce that its exhibition ‘Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the RAF’ was given a Highly Commended Award in the ‘Best Temporary Exhibition’ category at the Museums and Heritage Awards 2015 held in London on 29th April.

Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the RAF tells the story of Black servicemen and women from the Caribbean, Africa and Britain who volunteered to serve in the Royal Air Force in two World Wars and the subsequent peace. These volunteers fought and died for their mother country and for freedom, and the exhibition commemorates and celebrates their vital contribution to the defence of Britain, her Empire and Commonwealth.

The exhibition also highlights the RAF’s success in embracing diversity, demonstrating how the rich, cosmopolitan nature of modern Britain owes much to the Black men and women who wore air force blue.


‘Pilots’, was curated in partnership with Black Cultural Archives with an initial call out to the Black British community which encouraged a dialogue, engagement and sharing of stories. The exhibition display incorporates these stories along with archive materials, video footage and photographs.

The temporary exhibition was opened in November 2013 at the Museum’s North London site by Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE. In 2014 it was on display at the Mitchel Library in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and it is currently on display at the Museum site at Cosford in the West Midlands. It has been an incredibly popular exhibition with visits from Black History Groups across the country, local dignitaries and celebrities such as JLS and Reggae icon Eddy Grant.

An online version of the exhibition is in development and plans are now afoot to tour the exhibition across RAF Stations around the UK.