Archive for December, 2015

Airscene Awards 2015 – Results

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Vulcan bomber at Beachy Head

If you are an aircraft enthusiast you are unlikely not to have seen the youtube video featuring the Vulcan Bomber at Beachy Head (as seen in the image above).

The video gives Airscene it’s headline news for the Airscene 2015 awards, as the passion for the Vulcan bomber (in her final display season) resulted in over 50% of overall votes casts going in her favour. Vulcan XH558 received twice as many votes as the RAF Chinook (last years winner and 2015 Runner Up) and places her as Airscene readers favourite Solo Display.

That brings us quickly on to Beach Head at Eastbourne, which is home to the winner of the Best FREE Airshow “Airbourne”… summed up quite neatly by Mrs Paula Borthwick from Peacehaven “Eastbourne Airbourne …an amazing day out … goodebumps!” – for clarification, Airscene hasn’t checked if this is a typo.

Airbourne missed out last year to Dawlish Airshow, and to South Coast Rivals Bournemouth Air Festival in 2013, but there is no doubt that the public loves Eastbourne Airshow, and they deserve to be back at the top this year.

RAF Cosford slip down to 1st Runner Up place as Airscene readers give Duxford Flying Legends the nod of approval this year in the Best Airshow category.

Best Display Team goes (for the 5th year running) the the Red Arrows, although it does appear that the gap between the Reds and the other display team is narrowing – perhaps The Blades will win it next year?

Finally in the Best Aviation Museum Category, Cosford RAF Museum cling on to the top spot, narrowly beating IWM Duxford by just 15 votes. North East Aircraft Museum squeeze out Fleet Air Arm Museum this year and are placed 3rd with 10% of the votes.

Thank You to everyone who voted – these are not industry awards, they are YOUR awards and do provide a valuable window on the public perception of how the airshows and museums are doing. That is not to say that we shouldn’t all as aviation enthusiasts be extremely proud of them ALL… now start planning your visits for 2016.

*For full results please visit

Air to Air

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Hawker Hunter Air to Air

2015 has seen the launch of Air to Air photography sorties through Timeline Events to accompany the superb evening shoots they already offer, giving special access to aircraft around the UK, in both static and live action events. Earlier last month I was lucky enough to take a space on the latest air to air shoot, with a Hawker Hunter Mk 58 owned and operated by the HHA.

Neil from Timeline Events always puts a lot of time and effort into events he organises, and this one was to be no exception. At the mercy of the ever changing weather we eventually took to the sky in a Beech 99 to make our Rendezvous with the classic Cold War Jet.

As we arrived at altitude and opened the roller shutter to prepare ourselves for the arrival of a British aeronautical design icon the anticipation grew. Within a few minutes everyone on board the camera ship got their first sighting of the Hunter as Jet skipped through the clouds and climbed to altitude to meet the waiting photographers.

The group were treated to a 40 minute flight in the presence of the Hunter, expertly piloted and guided giving all the photographers on board a chance to get shots in different angles and positions getting the most from the superb event.

Once the photo sortie was complete the Hunter pilot came in close and gave a wave before departing off to the horizon, signalling the camera ship to make its decent back to Terra Firma. Back on the ground it was apparent that it would take everyone a little bit of time to come down from the high they received from such a special opportunity.

Timeline Events are hoping to organise many more air to air sorties in 2016, so make a visit to the website a and register for updates.

by Jonathan Wintle

Festive opening dates at Cosford

Monday, December 14th, 2015

snow covered Britannia at RAF Cosford

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle this Christmas, why not visit the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during the festive period? The Museum will be open each day throughout December from 10am apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Not only will you be able to reminisce in the Warplanes Hangar where you can view a wide range of historic aircraft including the world’s oldest Spitfire, visitors can get up close to a unique collection of experimental jets including the TSR2 and the Bristol 188.

Step in from the cold into the award winning National Cold War Exhibition, where you will find much more than aircraft on display. The exhibition includes a genuine section of the Berlin Wall, audio visual displays telling the story of the Cold War in a fun and innovative way, plus a collection of military tanks and civilian vehicles – all housed under the wings of Britain’s three V Bombers; Vulcan, Victor and Valiant and other aircraft suspended in flying attitudes.

This Christmas the Museum will also be putting on some festive fun for the youngsters as they go in search of one of our missing mascots. Percy the Penguin, an RAF airman’s flying mascot, has disappeared from his display case in search of a “cooler” home. Percy has left some clues around the Museum for youngsters to solve and find out where’s he’s hiding.

The Missing Mascot Trail will run from Saturday 19 December to Sunday 3 January 2016 (apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 1 January). So, if you have any young detectives in your family and want to take part in the hunt for Percy, all you need to do is collect an entry form from the Visitor Centre on arrival. The entire experience is completely FREE and as a reward, there will be a small prize for every successful detective to take home as a memento of the day. All correct entries will also be entered into a draw to win a £25 voucher to spend in the Royal Air Force Museum Shop.

So if you’re looking to entertain the children in the run up to Christmas, or your nearest and dearest in the lull before New Year, the RAF Museum has something to occupy visitors of all ages. The fun filled area of Fun ‘n’ Flight will keep the youngsters fascinated, packed with hands on excitement; it’s the easy way to answer all those questions about how aircraft stay up in the air. Or, if you’re in need of a break from all the cooking, why not treat yourself to a warming meal and freshly brewed cup of coffee in our Refuel Restaurant overlooking the Museum grounds. Best of all, if your credit cards are maxed out after Christmas, a visit to the Museum won’t cost you a penny as admission is FREE!

The Museum will close again on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Saturday 2 January 2016 from 10am  until 5pm (last admission 4pm). For further information visit the Museum website or call 01902 376200.