Archive for July, 2015

Cosford Museum Apprentice jets off for stateside scholarship

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Cosford Scholar

An Apprentice at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford has been awarded a scholarship with the Flying Scholarship for Disabled People (FSDP).

The 2015 scholars were officially announced at a special ceremony held at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) earlier this month. The successful applicants were presented with their scholarship certificates by FSDP patron HRH Prince Faisal of Jordon and Honorary Air Commodore Sir Stephen Dalton. Each scholar also received a Pooleys Private Pilot Licence starter kit containing all the essentials needed for their new venture, presented to them by Sebastian Pooley, Managing Director at Pooleys Flight Equipment Ltd.

Museum Apprentice Bethany Colburn, aged 21 from Albrighton, was selected from a panel of judges as their top scholar and will have the life changing opportunity of spending five weeks at the American Aviation Academy in San Diego, California. Bethany will be jetting off in September and will enjoy thirty five flying hours and associated ground schools whilst in America and will be partnered with a fellow FSDP scholar.

Bethany, who was born with mild cerebral palsy which affects her mobility, went through a tough recruitment process to win her spot in this year’s selection. Following an initial application, each applicant was assessed by a team of experienced adjudicators consisting of FSDP Trustees and supporters at a pre selection board meeting. The top twenty four candidates then went forward to the selection stage at RAF Cranwell in a four day process, which included; meeting with Trustees and former FSDP scholars, now acting as mentors, before being interviewed and undergoing a medical assessment to ensure they are fit enough to fly.

Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP), is a charity that provides a ‘once in a lifetime’ challenge for disabled people to help them realise their abilities through the medium of learning to fly. By the end of the training programme, some scholars are flying solo and many go on to achieve their Private Pilot’s Licence. Students who impress their Chief Flying Instructor during a general handling flying test and who reach an acceptable standard of competence, compatible with the nature of their disability, are awarded the FSDP Wings.

The FSDP is in memory of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader KBE DSO and Bar DFC and Bar DL who, after losing both his legs in a flying accident, went on to achieve fame in World War Two as a fighter pilot. Following his death in 1982, organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo introduced Flying Scholarships for Disabled People to continue Bader’s indomitable spirit. Since then, nearly 400 disabled people have been awarded scholarships.

RAF Museum Apprentice, Bethany Colburn said:

“Despite having cerebral palsy, while in California my aim is to fly solo using the rudder pedals! I want to make my sponsors proud and show everyone, able bodied and disabled alike; that despite having limitations anyone can adapt and overcome given the right opportunities and belief. Thanks to FSDP having that belief in me, I am now on the most incredible life changing journey; that I hope will lead to more opportunities to progress my career in engineering and aviation. The scholarship has given me the boost, to continue the battle against perceptions and not give up the fight. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the team at the RAF Museum. The Apprentice Scheme has been a wonderful learning experience which has provided me with an excellent foundation for the future.”

RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton said:

“The RAF Museum’s apprentice scheme was introduced over ten years ago with a vision of preserving heritage aviation skills. Since then, the scheme and its participants have gone from strength to strength; winning awards and accolades and our conservation centre is now listed as one of the country’s Top 100 Apprentice Employers in the UK. We are extremely proud of Bethany for gaining her flying scholarship and happy to have contributed to her success story.”

Now at the end of her four year Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture and having achieved her Level 3 NVQ Extended Diploma in Fabrication – Sheet Metalworking; Bethany hopes that the skills and experience she has gained at the RAF Museum, combined with the flying scholarship are the perfect platforms into a long and successful career in aviation engineering.

For more information about the RAF Museum Cosford, visit or call 01902 376200.

Exciting 2015 Wheels Zone Line-up

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Dunsfold - Wheels Zone

The revamped Wheels Zone & Parade is set to be the most interactive motoring attraction the show has seen this August Bank holiday weekend, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August.

Motoring exhibitors are travelling from all over the South East to show off their beautiful machines including the Surrey Hills Mini Group, Skyline Owners Club, Porsche GB, RAF Typhoon Rally, Dragsters and many more. Spectators can also expect to see an eclectic mix of vehicles from vintage classics to modern favourites from our solo entries.

New to the Wheels Zone for 2015 we have special interactive displays from Transformer Car Hire. They’ll be bringing their incredible Transformers motion picture replicas, along with some extra surprises for our audience to get involved with. Children and adults alike can have their photographs taken as they get up close and personal with the movie doppelgangers. Eagle eyed visitors will also be able to spot The UKG Stig wandering around the arena, catch him if you can for a selfie!

We look forward to welcoming back our 2014 display winners Jaguar Enthusiasts, Muddy Diffs Overland and DS3 Club, who will be sporting even more interesting and inviting display arrangements. DS3 Club will be showcasing their traditional English mad hatter style tea party, whilst Muddy Diffs Overland have an even bigger and more impressive camping display with trenches and camping equipment. Jaguar Enthusiasts have been avid supporters of Wings & Wheels over the years and are always catching our visitor’s attention with their outstanding array of vehicles.

Surrey Youth Motorcycle Trials Sports Club will be demonstrating their off road sports bikes, a must for all motorcycle fans to go along and watch as the clubs members, aged from 4 to 70 years old, show off their skills

Visitors can also look forward to seeing our popular crowd line parade as a mixture of old and new automobiles grab everyone’s attention as they slowly show off their metal.

Emily Hooton, Wheels Zone Co-ordinator comments: “We can’t wait to see our visitor’s reaction to all the new and visually stunning exhibitions we have in the Wheels Zone this year. From our static groups and interactive displays to having two Stunt Zones – there is something happening all day for everyone in the family to enjoy.”

Visitors to Wings & Wheels can also enjoy the world famous Red Arrows, RAF Eurofighter Typhoon, RAF Eurofighter Typhoon & Spitfire (Synchro Pair), Vulcan, Chinook, The Blades and a host of other modern and historic aircraft during the five 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 two hour auto spectacular from Brooklands Museum, and over in our Wheels Zone you can expect an array of interactive and static displays to wander around.

The show also includes over 25 fixed-price catering outlets, 2 bars, hospitality facilities, free on-site parking, public camping, lost children point, disabled access, informative show commentary, opportunities to meet the pilots, official show merchandise and grandstand seating.

Tickets start from £22 for adults, £50 for a family (2 adults and 3 children aged 5 – 15yrs), £7 for children aged between 5 and 15yrs and under 5s are free. Hospitality packages start from £150 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 and in 2015 will be assisting the fundraising efforts of Help for Heroes and Brooklands Museum Trust.

The Big Push

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

RAF Museum

The First World War in the Air exhibition at the RAF Museum has been shortlisted for the National Lottery Awards 2015, which is fantastic news for the Museumand fans of aviation.

There is a five-week public vote period which ends midnight 29th July.

The Museum will compete against six other projects and voting is conducted by phone and online.

Please support the Museum by voting online for free at or by calling 0844 836 9670 (calls cost 5p max, plus network charges may apply)

*Each person can vote only once.

RIAT 2015 Hangar Party Awards

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

RIAT Awards

THE Battle of Britain featured at Sunday night’s awards ceremony at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, with two of the coveted prizes going to air displays commemorating our Second World War heritage.With the Air Tattoo staging a commemorative flypast and salute to ‘The Few’, it was fitting that the 75th anniversary of the conflict should be remembered at the Sunday Night Hangar Party, the traditional finale to the event.

The ceremony was introduced by Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and President of RIAT, who said: “This has been one of our greatest shows ever. There’s been a tremendous response from the public, and fantastic displays which have wowed the crowds: thank you to all who contributed.”

The presentations kicked off with an impromptu award by Andy Armstrong, Chief Executive of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises and Director of RIAT, who presented his own RIAT CEO Award – six bottles of champagne – to the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment Tornados from the RAF, and the German and Italian Air Forces.

The Paul Bowen Trophy – presented in memory of the Royal International Air Tattoo co-founder Paul Bowen for the Best Solo Jet Demonstration – went to the Finnish F-18 flown by Capt Ville Uggeldahl. The trophy was presented by Andy Armstrong.

Capt Uggeldahl said: “We have not performed at the Air Tattoo since 2009, so to take this award home is absolutely a great honour. We were up against some impressive performers this year, so this is a great surprise.”

The Sir Douglas Bader Trophy – presented for the Best Individual Flying Display – went to the German Bolkow Bo105 helicopter. Alan Smith, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, presented the trophy to Capt Torsten Mobius who said: “I’m very surprised. It’s the first time I’ve been to Fairford and to win this trophy is just great.”

Wg Cdr Jonathan Nixon, chairman of the Flying Control Committee, presented The Cannestra Trophy for the Best Flying Demonstration by an overseas participant. The trophy went to the Slovenian Pilatus PC9 trainer, flown by display pilot 1st Lt Andrej Fiorell. He said: “I am very proud to have won this award. When you consider all the fighter jets displayed by other countries it’s wonderful to take this award home to Slovenia.”

The Steedman Display Sword – presented by The Royal International Air Tattoo in memory of the late Air Chief Marshal Sir Alasdair Steedman, Chairman of the International Air Tattoo (1981-1988), for the Best Flying Demonstration by a UK participant – was awarded to the Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon and Spitfire Synchro Pair.

Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson presented the sword to Typhoon pilot Flt Lt Ben Westoby-Brooks, who said: “I’m honoured to receive such an award. We wanted to do something special this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and I’m so glad that we’ve had such a great reaction from all who’ve seen the display, and that we’ve been able to tell the story of ‘The Few’ who gave their all in the summer of 1940. We’re doing it for them and for their memory.”

Spitfire pilot Flt Lt Antony Parkinson MBE was unable to attend the ceremony, and was represented by Flt Lt Nige Parker of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The As the Crow Flies Trophy, awarded for the best overall flying demonstration as voted for by the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo, was presented by Jim Glover, Non-Executive Director of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises. The award went to the Vulcan To The Skies Trust, a fitting tribute to Vulcan XH558 in its final display season.

Vulcan pilot Martin Withers said: “I’m proud to receive this on behalf of the whole team. What’s happened with the Vulcan over the years has been a tremendous experience, and we really appreciate this recognition of the effort that’s gone into it. We’re delighted to receive this for XH558’s last display at RIAT, and we will treasure it.”

The Best Livery award, for the aircraft with the best special paint scheme, went to the Hellenic Air Force Zeus Demo Team. Andy Armstrong presented the award to demo pilot Maj Sotiris Stralis who said: “It has been a pleasure for the Hellenic Air Force display team ‘Zeus’ to participate for the first time at RIAT 2015, and a true honour to be awarded the best painted aircraft trophy. See you next year!”

Finally, the top award, the King Hussein Memorial Sword – presented in memory of the late HM King Hussein of Jordan, Patron of the International Air Tattoo (1983-1989) for the Best Overall Flying Demonstration – went to the Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Flypast, led by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The sword was presented by Commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, Major General Mansour Al Jobour.

The flypast involved private owners as well as pilots from the military, and they were all recognized. Brian Smith of the Old Flying Machine Company was flying one of the oldest Spitfires in the flypast – MH434. He said: “It is the first time, that civilian and military warbirds were meshed together to perform, and everybody pulled together to produce a magnificent spectacle.”

Museum to be official charity for 2016 Farnborough International Airshow

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Farnborough International Ltd, organisers of the Farnborough International Airshow, today confirmed that the RAF Museum Centenary Campaign has been selected as the lead charity partner for the 2016 show taking place from 11-17 July. In the lead up to the RAF Centenary in 2018, the Museum, located at Hendon, will be implementing a major capital project and exhibition development that will improve access and focus on telling the stories of the RAF and its people to engage a wider audience, locally, nationally and globally.

Speaking about the decision, FIL Chief Executive, Shaun Ormrod, said, “We are delighted to support the RAF Museum in its fundraising efforts for its centenary campaign. The 100 year anniversary marks a milestones event in the formation of the first truly independent air force and has become one of the most respected air forces in the world. We anticipate that FIA18 will see a strong RAF presence.”

Ormrod further added “Like Farnborough, Hendon has strong historical aviation connections and as the former home to the airshow, it seems appropriate that we support the Museum. The Farnborough International Airshow, has a huge audience on a corporate level as well as during the public weekend and as such the perfect location to raise awareness of this important museum and historic occasion.”

Maggie Appleton, Chief Executive of the RAF Museum also added; “It’s an honour for the Museum to be appointed as lead charity partner at FIA16. As the airshow engages both industry and the general public, it allows us a unique opportunity to share our ambitions for the museum.”

As well as a presence at the show itself, FIA will support the centenary campaign in the 12 month lead-up to the show including promoting the charity in FIA sales and marketing initiatives and the opportunity to engage aerospace businesses at key industry functions.

Spitfires take to the skies for The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show at IWM Duxford

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Duxford Spitfires

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September

Twenty Spitfires will take to the skies this September as part of IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of this crucial aerial battle.

This mass display of Spitfires, above Britain’s best-preserved Second World War Airfield, will include Supermarine Spitfire Mark I N3200 – recently restored and returned to Duxford by American philanthropist Thomas Kaplan and received by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge. This Spitfire was originally flown from RAF Duxford in 1940 by Squadron Leader Geoffrey D. Stephenson.

The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show will tell the story of Duxford’s pivotal role in this famous conflict. In September 1940, some 60 Spitfires and Hurricanes were dispersed every day around Duxford and Fowlmere and on 15 September 1940, known as ‘Battle of Britain Day’, Bader’s ‘Big Wing’, operating from Duxford, twice took to the air to repulse Luftwaffe attacks aimed at London.

Visitors can experience what it was like to work at RAF Duxford in 1940 with the re-creation of a Spitfire scramble during the air show. Upon the instantly recognisable sound of a Second World War air raid siren, Hispano HA-112 MIL (Buchon) aircraft will fly in and strafe the airfield. As a scramble bell sounds, living history interpreters representing Second World War RAF fighter pilots will race to protect this vital Battle of Britain airfield and Supermarine Spitfires chase off the enemy aircraft.

These extraordinary experiences and sights will give visitors to The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show an insight into the life and work of the Battle of Britain fighter pilots who flew from RAF Duxford.

Tickets are only available in advance.

Airbourne Fireworks Move to New Super Saturday Slot

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

airbourne pyrotechnics by Graham Huntley

Airbourne will bring its Super Saturday to a close with an explosive firework show this August sponsored by Eastbourne’s Ansvar Insurance.

The traditional end of show fireworks take up a new Saturday night slot on 15 August, bringing a spectacular climax to a 12-hour extravaganza of flying, twilight pyro-aerobatics and music on the beach, headlined by chart topping band Scouting for Girls.

The four day flying programme at the free show will see a packed day of action over Eastbourne’s skies on the Saturday, as fans bid a final farewell to the only flying Vulcan bomber, before it retires at the end of this season.

As well as waving goodbye to a much loved favourite, fans can enjoy Eastbourne’s first ever glimpse of the world’s only working Blenheim bomber, along with Airbourne’s first MiG-15 and displays by the Typhoon, Chinook and RAF Red Arrows.

In the evening, brand new aerobatic team Aerosparks will be lighting up the skies after sunset, in a stunning display of synchronised wingtip pyrotechnics from the dazzling flying duo.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “The new Saturday night slot will be great for families looking to stay into the evening, and with one of our most spectacular flying and musical line-ups in the shows 23 year history, we’re expecting a thrilling four days.”

Local company, Ansvar Insurance have stepped in for a second year running to bring fireworks to the show in partnership with pyrotechnic experts Frontier Fireworks. Especially chosen by the Red Arrows for their own 50th anniversary celebrations at RAF Scampton last year, Frontier Fireworks and sponsor ansvar are promising an explosive choreographed show.

Jane Williams, Marketing Manager at Ansvar Insurance said “‘The firework display last year was spectacular and such a great way to celebrate Airbourne. We’re delighted to be sponsoring the event once again and look forward to a fantastic evening on the 15th August.”

Kicking off the fun-packed celebrations on the Airbourne Live beach stage sponsored by TJ’s Nightclub, Tom, Nicola and Jack from Heart Breakfast will host an evening of live music launching the firework countdown at 10pm. Although entry is free, numbers are limited, so music fans are advised to arrive early.

The popular beach stage will be offering a wide range of music and entertainment throughout the four days with performances from the likes of Hot Detroit, Decadence Sleaze, Dorey the Wise, Unihorn, The Do Theys, Beth Ellwood, Matt Ginno and the Street Styles 4 All Demo Squad.

Brighton band Half Crown also take to the stage, having just performed alongside the likes of Basement Jaxx at Brownstock. De’Vide from BBC1’s The Voice, make a popular return to Airbourne, and Scouting for Girls take up the headline slot on Saturday at 9.15pm.

Airbourne returns from 13 – 16 August with four days of flying, ground displays, children’s entertainment, helicopter pleasure flights and live music every day.

Entry is free, with flying displays part funded by public donations each year, including generous support from Sussex residents David Dickens and Brian Bunce. This year collections will be organised by the Rotary Clubs of Sovereign Harbour and Hailsham, with 30% of the proceeds passed onto local charities Kent, Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance, Riding for the Disabled and Friends of Eastbourne Hospital.

Lottery tickets costing just £1 are also available at the Tourist Information Centre and Seafront Office for the chance to win hospitality and a flight with The Blades, with all proceeds supporting future flying displays at the show.

To donate online or for exclusive seating, airshow hospitality or more information visit

RAF Museum Launches Battle of Britain Blog for #BoB75

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

John Bidsee

For the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force Museum is now publishing a daily blog about the Battle of Britain on its website 

Entries for this blog will be taken from the diary of a young pilot John Bisdee of No.609 (West Riding) Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force; and will describe not only his combat sorties but also his hopes and fears as well as his life off duty. On days when there are no diary entries the blog will reproduce information from the Air Staff Operational Summaries.

The dates of 10th July to 31st October were selected as the blog’s publication dates as this period in 1940 was later laid down by the Royal Air Force for the allocation of Battle of Britain honours to units, and for aircrew to qualify for the Battle of Britain clasp.

Peter Elliott, the Head of Archives for the Royal Air Force Museum:

“First-hand accounts, written at the time of the Battle, are rare. Bisdee’s diary shows that life on the front line could be a mixture of intense action and off-duty relaxation.

We tend to think of the Battle as taking place over the South-East but Bisdee’s squadron, based in Hampshire, saw action over an area stretching from the outskirts of London to Bristol. There are some gaps, but we have filled these with extracts from the daily Air Staff Operational Summaries, to give a picture of the overall campaign and we have also added relevant material from the Museum’s collections, such as portraits of Bisdee and some of his colleagues and a number of the squadron’s combat reports.

The blog gives an opportunity to see the Battle of Britain unfold through the eyes of a young man who went on to become one of the RAF’s more successful fighter pilots; and it provides us with an added insight into what it was really like to be one of ‘The Few’. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank John Bisdee’s family for granting us permission to share his account, as a young man, with the Museum’s online audience.”

John Bisdee was born in Weston-Super-Mare in 1915 and joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1937. He saw action over Dunkirk in June 1940 and remained with 609 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain being awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and an OBE by the end of the war. He left the service in 1945 to resume his career with Unilever, before dying in October 2000.

To view his blog please visit

Miniature aircraft, big show – this weekend at Cosford

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Cosford model show

Date: 18-19 July 2015

Time: Gates open 8.30am

Cost: £10.00 on the gate

The skies over Shropshire will be filled with hundreds of intricately detailed model aircraft this weekend, as the annual Large Model Aircraft Rally takes place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

This air show in miniature is set to entertain thousands of aviation enthusiasts with two full days of flying and family fun. Gates open at 8.30am on 18-19 July and pyrotechnic displays, mid-air dog fights and static line ups will wow the crowds from 9am until 5.30pm on the evening.

This year’s flying theme will be commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, considered the most important event in Royal Air Force history. Visitors to the show will see a spectacular anniversary display of World War Two aircraft, plus, aircraft from the early days of aviation; through to the modern jets of today will be flying during the model show weekend.

The Large Model Aircraft Rally promises to be a great day out for modellers and families alike with more than 65 exhibitors signed up to showcase some of the latest model kits and aviation accessories. Families are guaranteed to enjoy the family fun lined up which includes a children’s entertainment area, packed with mini motorbikes, bouncy castles and inflatable slides, all on offer to youngsters. Plus, keeping visitors fuelled for the day, there will be a fantastic range of food and drink on offer and visitors will have access to the RAF Museum where they can see many of the aircraft flown during the show in full size. A free bus service will take visitors from the event to the Museum throughout the day, making getting around the event even easier.

Advance postal tickets have now closed, but visitors to the Museum can still purchase tickets in advance at the discounted rate of £8 per adult. Tickets purchased on the gate cost £10 per adult and children under the age of 16 are FREE.

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. On site camping, including entrance to the show both days is only £45.00 and any visitors interested in camping should email or call 07827 675665.

For further information on the event visit: or call 01902 376200.

Battle of Britain 75th at The Royal Air Force Museum

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

From August, the RAF Museum will be marking the 75th Anniversary of ‘Our Finest Hour’ with a number of activities at both London and Cosford…

The Battle of Britain Hangar London:

Step into the Battle of Britain Hangar at the Museum’s London site and step back into the year 1940. Visitors can literally walk through history, as every step takes you through the events that led to ‘Our Finest Hour’. From the rise of the Nazi party, to a war torn London street, to a face to face meeting with Winston Churchill.

The hangar focuses on the epic struggle of 1940 with a range of exhibits including a replica Ops Room; Radar machines; an Enigma code-breaker machine; the statue of Sir Keith Park (which was on display on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square; weaponry and paintings.

And of course it holds the best and most comprehensive Battle of Britain aircraft collection in the world including examples from Britain, Germany and Italy such as the Spitfire, Hurricane, Heinkel HE111, Junkers JU87 Stuka, Junkers JU88 and ME 109.

Be sure to check out the following special Battle of Britain events and activities at London and Cosford at

Airfix August: Model A SpitDate: 25th – 31st August

Time: 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm

Entrance: £3 per Airfix kit

Location: Bomber Hall, London

To mark the arrival of the Spitfire Mk16 (a Spitfire you can sit in!) the museum will be holding a full week of Spitfire kit making. Come along, grab a kit for £3 and let your creative flair help you to make and paint your very own model Spitfire. Then, take it home!

Airfix August: Scaling Down Reality, by Simon Owen, lead researcher at Hornby Hobbies Ltd

Date: 28th August

Time: 1pm

Entrance: FREE via online reservation

Location: Lecture theatre, London

Museum lecture theatre

Simon Owen, lead Researcher at Hornby Hobbies Ltd will be at the museum on 28 August to give an insight into the fascinating world of Airfix and how they scale down an iconic aircraft of the Battle of Britain to produce perfect replicas for today’s modellers.

Covering a range of topics including the history of the company and the production process, Simon will also be on hand to answer your questions at the end so don’t miss out on this perfect opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at Airfix HQ.

The Spitfire Experience

Date: Opens 29th August

Entrance: £4 per person

Location: Historic Hangars Gallery, London

Dreams come true at the RAF Museum this August as we unveil our Spitfire Mk16 ‘experience’. The Spitfire will feature in our Historic Hangars gallery as we offer the thrilling opportunity to climb inside and take the pilot’s seat!

Spitfire 10K Run

Date: Sunday 6th September 2015

Time: 9.00 am

Entrance: £20 entry, £18 museum members, running clubs and armed forces

Location: RAF Museum London

Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain in style with this brand new event starting and finishing in the magnificent surroundings of the RAF Museum in Hendon. The race begins in the shadow of one of the RAF Spitfires and takes you on a special journey, including a section through the bomber hangar and around the iconic Lancaster, before leaving the museum for two loops of a flat road course. Your finish will be commemorated with an exclusive Spitfire medal.

Entry form:

Battle of Britain: the Men and the Machines, by James Holland

Date: 11 September

Time: 1pm

Entrance: £10

Location: Lecture theatre, London

Author and broadcaster James Holland looks at the men who flew in the Battle of Britain – British and German – and examines the culture, conditions and character of the two sides and the aircraft they flew. He explores how these planes came to dominate the skies, their strengths and weaknesses and what lessons were drawn from this most significant of aerial battles.

Battle of Britain Weekend LondonDate: 12-13 September 2015

Time: Evening TBC

Entrance: FREE

Location: RAF Museum London

A family weekend packed full of free events and activities across the Museum. There will be a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast, re-enactors, 1940’s cabaret show, living history areas, archive viewings, story-telling, guided tours, handling collection to try on vintage RAF uniforms, lectures, themed crochet, special exhibitions; a chance to visit a replica Ops Room; a working Merlin engine,

Battle of Britain Weekend Cosford

Date: 12-13 September 2015

Time: 10.00am to 6.00pm

Location: RAF Museum Cosford

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be commemorating the Battle of Britain with a nostalgic weekend of events and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Events include a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, plus Leonides, Bristol and Griffon engine demonstrations; live music by Marjorie Cartwright-Jones in a 1940s Home Front Cabaret; a chance to have a lesson in a 1940’s classroom; storytelling and a chance to dress up in vintage RAF uniforms.

Battle of Britain Afternoon Concert

Date: 13 September 2015

Time: 2.00pm

Location: RAF Museum Cosford

A musical treat for visitors on Sunday 13th September will be a performance from the Glebe Symphonic Winds Orchestra, one of the UK’s leading wind orchestras. This intimate musical performance will include many well-known favourites such as the Dambusters March, Barnes Wallis March and RAF March Past. This intimate musical performance will begin at 2.00pm and last approximately one hour. Spaces are limited so musical fans are advised to purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment, see website for more details and to purchase tickets

Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality

Date: 13 September 2015

Time: 11.00am

Location: RAF Museum Cosford

In this talk, James Holland takes a fresh look at one of the most iconic episodes in British history, examining the story that has been passed down into folklore and assessing the performance of both sides. In doing so, he will be asking whether Britain’s victory in the summer of 1940 was even more comprehensive and significant than perhaps is widely thought.

Our Finest Hour: Cockpit Access Evenings

Date: 14th and 15th September

Time: 6.15pm

Location: RAF Museum London

A one off and once in a lifetime experience to get closer to the original Battle of Britain aircraft – including the iconic Spitfire and Hurricane. This immersive experience will allow visitors closer access to the cockpits and include explainers who will bring aspects of the legendary aircraft to life. There will also be a bar in the mezzanine area overlooking the aircraft with a 1940’s cabaret act and a special display of rare and unseen items from the Battle of Britain from our archives.

BBC Singers: In ConcertDate: 18 September

Time: 7.30pm

Entrance: FREE by booked ticket – available one month in advance

Location: RAF Museum London

BBC Singers make a ground-breaking visit to the Royal Air Force Museum for a concert which marks not just that famous aerial combat, but also celebrates man’s long fascination with powered flight – from Icarus to the Space Age.

The programme includes the world premiere of ‘Three Spitfire Motets’ by Edward Cowie, Eric Whitacre’s musical portrayal of the flying-machine invented by Leonardo da Vinci, and Airplane Cantata – Gabriel Jackson’s extraordinary musical of the aeronautical age, in which the BBC Singers are accompanied by virtuoso pianola-player Rex Lawson. The concert will be held in the Museum’s Historic Hangars, a completely unique musical occasion – one not to be missed!

Battle of Britain Conference: A Necessary Victory?

Date: 26th September

Time: TBC

Entrance: TBC

A thought provoking conference which aims to reassess the Battle of Britain’s contribution to victory in the Second World War in both its global and regional perspectives. Areas to be considered include: what new approaches might scholars bring to the history of the Battle of Britain? How have historians’ understandings of the Battle of Britain changed? What was the role of the other services in preparing for invasion? How did Germany view the Battle of Britain and the importance of Operation Seelowe? How was the Battle of Britain viewed in the international arena? What is the cultural legacy of the Battle of Britain?