Archive for January, 2016

Air Tattoo Prepares For F-35 Debut

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

F35 by Jamie Hunter

AVIATION history is set to be made in the UK this summer when, in a major airshow ‘first’, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, makes its much-anticipated international display debut.

Visitors to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford will be the first outside the US to see the stealthy, supersonic aircraft’s state-of-the-art capabilities when it displays on all three days of the airshow(July 8-10).

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:”The F-35s are the most advanced fast jets in the world. Whether operating from land or from one of our two new aircraft carriers – the UK’s largest ever – they will ensure we have a cutting edge and formidable fighting force.

“The plan for F-35 aircraft to take part in air shows here in the UK this summer is a significant milestone – for our RAF and Royal Navy personnel training hard to fly the F-35; for British industry who are contributing an impressive 15 per cent of every aircraft; and for the British public who will have their first opportunity to see this remarkable aircraft in action.”

Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced that he planned to speed up the purchase of 24 of the multi-role combat aircraft, a decisionthat will see two front-line squadrons operating from the UK’stwo new aircraft carriers by 2023.

Air Tattoo organisers anticipate that examples of the F-35B, the short take-off/vertical landing version, will demonstrate the Harrier-like ‘hover’ capability required for operation from austere land bases andaircraft carriers.

Its appearance at RAF Fairford in July will be the latest in a long list of legendary military aircraft that have made their UK debut at the Air Tattoo. These have included the F-14 Tomcat in 1976, the MiG-23 in 1991, the Typhoon in 1995, the V-22 Osprey in 2006 and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Kawasaki P1 in 2015.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “No doubt, the sight of F-35s in the sky will be quite common for future generations but thissummer, all those who attend our airshow will enjoy a first glimpse of that future. Over the years, the Air Tattoohas featured the UK and European debuts of some of the world’s most iconic aircraft but few will have been as important to the UK’s future defence capability as the F-35. I am sure many people will want to join us to witness this piece of aviation history being made.”

US Marine Corps (USMC) Deputy Commander for Aviation, Lt. Gen. Davis said: “The US Marine Corps is looking forward to demonstrating the capabilities of the F-35B Lightning II in the skies over the United Kingdom this July.”

The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event are only available in advance. Specially-priced Super Earlybird tickets for this summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 8-10, are available until January 31 from All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

Sea Harrier at Newark Air Museum

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Newark Air Museum Sea Harrier

Since the start of 2016 Sea Harrier FA.2, ZA176 at Newark Air Museum has been receiving an ‘armament upgrade’, which has given the airframe more of an operational appearance.

For several years the museum has been acquiring a selection of Sea Harrier compatible weapons fit, which, until now this has been displayed underneath the airframe. A new volunteer has recently joined the museum and he has been using his former skills as an Armourer to assist with fitting the weaponry to the aircraft.

Amongst the first items fitted were a set of CBLS (Carrier Bomb Light Stores) units. In service the CBLS units allows military aircraft to carry up to 4 light stores (or practice bombs) on each weapon station. The use of practice bombs during training helps reduce costs and minimises risks during aircrew weapons training. These units help illustrate the important training aspect of Sea Harrier operations and fits in with the museum’s own themes of flight training.

Two rare, ADEN 30 gun pods have also been fitted to ZA176 to replicate the units carried operationally by the Sea Harriers until they came out of service in 2006. These pods have been refurbished and repainted using a grey paint that has been carefully matched to the airframe colour.

Sea Harrier ZA176 joined the Newark Air Museum collection from RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, on Wednesday 21st July, 2004. ZA176 helped complete the V-STOL airframe lineage displayed at the museum. This started with the Meteor FR.9 flying test-bed and associated RB.108 vertical lift engine and now moves along to the Sea Harrier, which is complemented by a recently acquired Pegasus engine. ZA176 was also the seventh Fleet Air Arm aircraft to be displayed in the museum collection.

Rare Experimental Aircraft To Be Showcased At Air Show

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Bristol 188 by Peter Reoch

The RAF Cosford Air Show today announced exciting plans to display threeof the RAF Museum’s rarest experimental aircraft at this year’s show being held on Sunday 19th June 2016.

As part of the air show’s key theme – ‘SPEED: Evolution of the Jet Engine’ – the Bristol 188, Fairey Delta II and Avro 707 will all be rolled out from their usual spots inside the RAF Museum’s hangars and be exhibited outside across the air show site.All three aircraft which are due to be displayed at the air show played a vital role in the advancement of British aviation technologies in the 1950s and 1960s, and their airing is one of many unique attractions planned for the award winning event.

Known as ‘the flaming pencil’ for its sleek looks and intended role as a supersonic research aircraft, the Bristol 188 will be one of the stars of the air show’s ground displays. Master Aircrew Mark Reid, part of the Air Show Operations Team, said “These three aircraft will form part of a unique line-up of vintage British jet aircraft as part of our award winning static aircraft displays, and we are extremely grateful to the RAF Museum for their continued support of the event.”

Tickets for this year’s show are selling fast and are ahead of sales at the same time last year so the Air Show Office is encouraging people to buy their tickets early. Clive Elliott, Air Show Director, said “It is wonderful to be in this position, having sold out of tickets for last year’s event we are expecting the same this year and would recommend buying soon to avoid disappointment. 2015 was our first year as an advance ticket only event, it proved highly successful and we will be repeating this in 2016.”

Discounted Early Bird tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 are on sale until 23rd March 2016, priced at £22 and with free entry for accompanied under-16s. Tickets are available online from

New Year, new additions to the Wings & Wheels team!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Wings & Wheels team

Wings & Wheels are excited to announce two new recruits to the team this year, Ed Lowman and Laura Johnson. Both have been regulars at the show over the past few years and are keen car and plane enthusiasts.

Ed (24) will be taking up the position as Events Coordinator, whilst Laura (19) will be joining as PR, Marketing and Events Assistant.

Joining us from Help for Heroes where he worked as a Regional Coordinator, Ed will be project managing the Wheels Zone and Camping, as well as assisting with the recently launched Surrey Hills Challenge. Ed has a strong passion for motorsport, spending one weekend a month leading a service crew for a rally team and has recently gained his MSA Co-Driver license. He is currently in training for the Bournemouth Marathon, and has previously cycled from Edinburgh to London!

Ed Lowman, comments: “I can’t wait to get started at Wings & Wheels, I have been lucky enough to attend the show for the last four years, through working for Help for Heroes. I’m looking forward to putting my petrol head side to good use and helping the show to get bigger and better.”

Laura has recently moved to Dunsfold to take on her first office role. She has a keen interest in aviation and has been a volunteer with The Vulcan to the Sky Trust for the past eight years which means that she, too, has been a regular visitor to W&W. Laura is a keen gymnast and football supporter. She comes from a Musical Theatre background and loves dancing! She has been to many air shows with the Vulcan, but her favourite is our very own Wings and Wheels, as it was her first air show as a Volunteer.

Laura Johnson comments: ‘I’ve been coming to Wings & Wheels with the Vulcan to the Sky team for over seven years now, and love the show. Aviation has always been a keen interest of mine and so working with the Wings & Wheels team is a dream come true!”

Wings & Wheels returns to Dunsfold Aerodrome on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August 2016. Visitors have previously enjoyed the world famous Red Arrows, RAF Eurofighter Typhoon, Chinook, The Blades and a host of other modern and historic aircraft during the five hour flying displays. The aviation line-up will be announced in March.

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.

The show also includes over 25 fixed-price catering outlets, two 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.

The 12th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th August 2016, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 21:00.

Advanced rate tickets from £22 for adults or £50 for a family are available. A family ticket consists of two adults and three child’s tickets. Single child tickets (for children aged 5 – 15) will be £7, whilst children under the age of 5 go free. Hospitality packages start from £155 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 2016 will be assisting the fundraising efforts of Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.

Newark Air Museum Events for 2016

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Newark Air Museum Vulcan

Here at Newark Air Museum, a registered charity, we’re have some exciting special events planned for our 2016 season:

5 March 2016 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Table Top Sale 48 sellers tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. {Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}

6 March, 2016 – Ransome & Marles Commemorative Day throughout the day re-enactors will be participating in a variety of commemorative activities at the museum to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Newark bearing factory being bombed.

21 & 22 May, 2016 – Tribute to the V-Force event dedicated to the aircraft and personnel that flew Valiants, Victors and Vulcans. This slimmed down event includes a reunion of former V-Force personnel. Based around the museum’s Vulcan aircraft it will also feature many visiting displays and is open to the public. {Normal admission rates apply}

18 & 19 June 2016 – Cockpit-Fest 2015 & Aeroboot / Aerojumble; this regular two day event provides the perfect opportunity for the public to view a diverse range of visiting aircraft cockpits. {Normal admission rates apply}

15 October 2016 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Table Top Sale 48 sellers tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. {Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}

Full details about these and other museum activities can be found on the news & event pages of the website, which are regularly updated

RAF Museum Cosford Events 2016 Diary Dates

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during 2016:

 RAF Museum Cosford 2016 events

Admission charges apply for some events and activities. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year, please visit the Museum website for details.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager Abi Betteridge said:

“This year’s event calendar is packed with popular favourites including the Large Model Aircraft Rally, Cosford Food Festival and Open Cockpits Evenings. Plus, we have added a new lunchtime lecture series themed around the Cold War and fascinating talks with special guests from Airfix and the Author of ‘How the Girl Guides Won the War’. In addition to the special events, we also have each of the school holidays covered with plenty of fun packed activities to keep the youngsters entertained.”

Paul Beaver Lecture Series

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Paul Beaver Lancaster Lecture

The Museum of Army Flying’s 2016 event calendar kicks off with a special new lecture series from Paul Beaver. As an aviation author, historian, commentator and pilot Paul is an expert in his field and will be giving three lectures on three much loved World War Two aircraft: The Lancaster, Mosquito & Spitfire. In each lecture, Paul will be joined by a special guest veteran to provide us with personal accounts and insights.

This exciting Museum of Army Flying lecture series will be brought to you with the help of Iconic Aircraft Partnership, Spitfire People and the International Bomber Command Centre.

14 January (7pm) 2016 – Lancaster at 75

The greatest bomber of the Second World War was born 75 years ago. Paul Beaver explores some of the lesser than known achievements of this greatest of aeroplane designs. Veteran Guest: Paul will be joined by Wing Commander Jim Wright DFC, a Pathfinder navigator on Lancasters from 1943.

*glass of wine / soft drink included in price
**Apache Cafe will be serving a curry supper at 6pm – this must be booked in advance (not included in ticket price)

18 February (7pm) 2016 – Mosquito: The Secret of the Wooden Wonder

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary, Paul Beaver explores some of the less known exploits of a unique flying machine which first flew 0n 25 November 1940 – the de Havilland Mosquito. The illustrated talk will also have unique posters, memorabilia on sale and Paul will be joined by a special veteran guest.

10 March (7pm) 2016 – 80th Anniversary: The Spitfires Maiden Flight

Best-selling Spitfire author, Paul Beaver reveals some newly discovered information about the design, first flight and development of the world’s most iconic aeroplane. The illustrated talk will also have unique posters, memorabilia on sale and Paul will be joined by a special veteran guest.