Archive for May, 2016

New lecture will examine Britain’s tactical air power during the Second World War

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Curtis Tomahawk

Date: 9 June 2016

Time: 6.30pm

Cost: FREE

The development of tactical air power in Britain during the early years of the Second World War will be the focus of a lecture taking place at the University of Wolverhampton next month. The lecture entitled ‘Tactical Air Power Development in Britain, 1940-1943′ will be presented by Dr Matthew Powell, an independent scholar and military history author. The lecture is a continuation of the joint partnership between the University’s Department of War Studies and the Royal Air Force Museum and takes place on Thursday 9 June 2016.

The history of Britain’s tactical air power development during the Second World War has largely neglected the work done by Army Co-operation Command. The Command was influential in developing the theoretical air support system used in the Western Desert, North Africa, and Europe and was responsible for trials conducted in the wake of the Battle of France, 1940. Working closely with the army’s School of Artillery, they also developed the Air Observation Post Squadron, used to great effect in several different theatres.

In this lecture, Dr Matthew Powell will discuss how the RAF had neglected the development of tactical air power during the inter-war period and how this decision impacted on their ability to provide this support when war broke out. The army’s experiences in the Battle of France and the subsequent investigations, which placed the blame firmly on the shoulders of the RAF, forced the hand of the RAF into taking tactical air power development more seriously. As a result, the RAF created the Army Co-operation Command, designed to be as toothless as possible while appearing to be what the Army wanted.

The lecture will explore the fast pace of tactical air power development during 1942, which led to discussions on a new formation: the Army Air Support Group (AASG) and the rise of Fighter Command in this field. Disputes between the Air and General Staffs over which command the AASG should be placed into ran for the entire summer and were eventually resolved by Winston Churchill, before the Army Co-operation Command was disbanded in 1943. Its replacement was however, an upgraded Army Co-operation Command with the responsibilities it had been denied during its existence.

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said:

“The RAF Museum is once again delighted to be working in conjunction with our colleagues at the University of Wolverhampton to bring the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies to a wide audience. This lecture highlights the challenges the RAF faced in the realm of the development tactical air power with particular reference to the history of Army Co-Operation Command, a subject much understudied by historians.”

The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2016. ‘Tactical Air Power Development in Britain, 1940-1943′ is the second of three joint lectures taking place at the University of Wolverhampton this year, also in partnership with the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Dr Peter Preston-Hough, from the University’s Department of War Studies, said:

“We’re delighted to be hosting this prestigious series of lectures, which promise to provide an interesting insight into this fascinating area of history. The University has a strong relationship with the RAF Museum and we look forward to continue to work closely with them on this prestigious lecture series.”

This FREE lecture will be held in the main lecture theatre (MC001) at the University of Wolverhampton at 6.30pm on Thursday 9 June. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

For further information about the museums research programme or to book your FREE ticket to the lecture, please visit the museum website

Classic Jet Showcase at RAF Cosford Air Show

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

RAF Cosford MiG15

Organisers of the RAF CosfordAir Show today outlined plans for their theme showcasing the evolution of the jet engine, which will dominate the flying displays on Sunday 19th June.

The latest aircraft to be added to the flying display is a Folland Gnat, which was used by the RAF during the 1960s and 1970s for flying training and also for air displays by the world famous Red Arrows. The Gnat Display Team will be joined at the show by the Sea Vixen, a unique carrier-borne fighter of which only one example remains flying worldwide. Another jet appearing at the show is the Mikoyan-GurevichMiG-15UTi, a type never seen before at RAF Cosford. The MiG-15 is a cold war soviet fighter which is now operated by the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron to showcase the cold war ‘enemy’ of NATO. The MiG-15 is believed to have been one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made; in excess of 12,000 were manufactured.Of course, the Royal Air Force’s main combat jet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, will also be displaying as part of the jet engine theme to showcase the power and agility of the modern combat jets of today.

Peter Reoch, part of the Air Show Operations Team, said “Classic jets are always a crowd favourite, and we’re excited to have such a diverse array of them taking part in the flying display this year. With these exciting additions we’re reminding people that tickets for the air show will not be available to buy on the gate so they need to buy them soon to avoiding missing out!”

The Speed theme continues on the ground with rare experimental aircraft being rolled out from the RAF Museum to join the static aircraft exhibitions including the Bristol 188, Avro 707 and Fairey Delta II, which held the world airspeed record for a short time in 1956. There will also be an aircraft hangar dedicated to speed displays, including an exhibition of jet engines and displays detailing the life of Sir Frank Whittle, the British inventor of the jet engine.

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are available to purchase from selected Mid Counties Coops, the RAF Museum at RAF Cosford and Hendon, Midlands Air Museum in Coventry and on our website Tickets are £25.00 per adult with accompanied children under 16 entering free.

Important safety information in advance of The American Air Show this weekend

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Ahead of The American Air Show, IWM Duxford has released some important safety information:

· IWM Duxford takes great care to ensure its air shows are as safe as possible for everyone involved.

· It is not safe to occupy the fields immediately south of the runway during the air show. If you do so you are putting yourself and the display pilots in harm’s way.

· In the event of an incident it is imperative that the emergency services have clear, unhindered access to the tracks across this land.

· There is no public access to these fields at any time.

Jointly issued by IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the owners of this land

Its chocks away for the Spitfire 10K

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

RAF Museum 10k run

Date: 4 September 2016

Time: Race starts at 10am

Cost: Standard entry £22.50 per person (15 years & over)

Calling all runners….the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford needs you! Launching for the first time this September, the Spitfire 10K will give participants the unique opportunity to race across the airfield and down the runway at RAF Cosford, in an exclusive charity fun run!

Taking place on Sunday 4 September 2016, registration is now open for up to 700 runners to sign up and set themselves a new sporting challenge.

Taking-off from the museum’s Hangar 1, visitors will head outside and onto the airfield at RAF Cosford. Participants will run alongside the wartime hangars and past the air traffic control tower and of course, the race wouldn’t be complete without a sprint down the runway! The scenic route around the military airfield will take runners past several historic landmarks along the way, before passing the rifle range and then back onto the museum for a loop of the site on the final stretch towards the finish line. Upon completion, runners will be rewarded with a bespoke 2016 Spitfire 10K medal, a perfect and well-earned memento of their day.

With a flat, tarmac and grass terrain, the Spitfire 10K is suitable for keen runners and novices alike, so if you’re aged 15 and over why not give it a go? So whether you’ve been running for years, or you’re just getting into the sport for the first time, the race at Cosford is guaranteed to be a fun and memorable one.

Organisers are also encouraging participants to get into the spirit and don their best wartime attire. Or, why not sport a bespoke 2016 Spitfire 10K t-shirt, available to purchase when you register online. The Spitfire 10K will be a fun family day out and spectators are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Plus, following the race, visitors have the added bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free museum, where they will find over 75 historical aircraft on display.

Runners can arrive from 9.00am onwards and it will be ready, steady….scramble at 10.00am sharp!

To register for the event visit the museum’s website Entry costs £22.50 per person with proceeds going towards the RAF Museum (registered charity number 244708), to support work conserving and sharing the story of the RAF for current and future generations. Armed Forces Personnel and running clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person. For further details about the event, visit the museum’s website or call 01902 376200.

French Navy Fast Jet Duo Set To Thrill Air Day Visitors

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Yeovilton Air Day Rafale

French Navy fast jets will once again perform a spectacular role demonstration in Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton Air Day 2016’s flying display. Expected to be one of the star attractions, a pair ofRafaleM multirole fighters will demonstrate operational tactics during a fast-paced and thunderous routine that is sure to thrill Air Day’s anticipated 40,000-strong crowd on Saturday 2 July.

Once again, the French Navy’s appearance at a UK airshow flying display is exclusive to RNAS Yeovilton Air Day, demonstrating the close relationship between both navies.

The Rafale M is an outstandingly agile, Mach 1.8 (1,900 km/h) capable combat aircraft that equips two French Navy squadrons. In service since 2001, it has seen much frontline service including operations in Afghanistan and Libya. Air Day’s expected Rafale M duo will be supported by aan additional Rafale M as a spare and a Falcon 10MER transport and communications aircraft, appearingin the static display.

Air Day’s static display will also feature contributions from other NATO partner nations. They include a Belgian F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter and Falcon 20E VIP transport aircraft, a first-footing Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare helicopter and, from Germany, a Tornado strike aircraft and C-160 Transall tactical transporter.

Further display team, fast jet and historic aircraft participation news will be announced in due course. Discounted advance tickets can be purchased at

Légion d’Honneur to be Presented to 21 Normandy Veterans at Yorkshire Air Museum

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Sunday 22nd May 12 Noon.

The Allied Air Forces Memorial & Yorkshire Air Museum is proud to announce that once again we have been requested by the French Embassy to host another regional ceremony to present the Légion d’ Honneur, the highest Military Honour the French Government can bestow, to 21 veterans of the Normandy “D-Day” Invasion campaign of June 1944. The Presentation will take place on Sunday 22nd May, commencing at 12 noon, in the impressive setting of the Yorkshire Air Museum’s Main Display Hangar, with the stunning visual backdrop of the WWII Halifax bomber, and other historic aircraft.

The Légion d’Honneur will be presented to the veterans on behalf of the French Government by the French Consul to Yorkshire, Mr Jeremy Burton and Colonel Bruno Cunat, who is the French Liaison Officer to the Ministry of Defence, based at RAF High Wycombe. The City of York Civic Party will be in attendance, along with representatives from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

The Museum & Memorial has hosted three such ceremonies since April 2015, but this is by far the largest, with veterans attending from as far afield as Lincolnshire and Morpeth in Northumberland, and including Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester, Leeds, York, Doncaster, Wetherby and Brighouse.

The veterans served with the Royal Navy, Army (various Battalions), Royal Artillery, Royal Marines, Royal Army Medical Corps and of course the Royal Air Force, making for a fascinating cross section of personnel gathering in one place, for a very special occasion.

Museum Director, Ian Reed, comments: “This is a historic and increasingly rare event with these very special people who represent a fast decreasing number of veterans from a period of our past history which still affects us to this day. From our experience, we know that this will be a very emotional time for all the veterans, as they remember many lost colleagues and friends, but a day also of pride, particularly for the many family members supporting them on this special day.”

B-17 and Great War Team Leads an All-Star Century of Flying at Eastbourne Airshow

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

B-17 by Dan O'Hagan

Eastbourne Airshow is set to celebrate over a century of flying with the long anticipated return of the Flying Fortress and a large scale WW1 air display, both at this year’s free show from 11 – 14 August.

After a 15 year wait, Europe’s only flying B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B, will make a welcome return for historic fans, while the Great War Display Team brings its first ever 10-ship display of WW1 aircraft to Eastbourne seafront.

The historic line-up joins the already popular RAF Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, King Air and the sky scraping Typhoon.

Fans can look forward to even more teams plotting their flight path direct to Eastbourne, including the Blenheim Bomber and firm family favourite, the heavy duty Chinook.

The addition of the Great War Display team will see Eastbourne’s first ever WW1 display on this scale, demonstrating 10 iconic aircraft in one sequenced display, from the early prototype Sopwith Triplane to a Fokker Dr1.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “Many new types of aircraft joined military service during the Great War in 1916 so this is the perfect time 100 years on, to commemorate the part they played in WW1, along with their pioneering influence on the aircraft and pilots of today.”

The Blades, Breitling Wingwalkers, Jet Provost duo, Mustang, Spitfire and The Tigers Parachute Display Team all make a welcome return, while Team Raven bring a new display to Eastbourne featuring a mix of RV-4 and RV-8 aircraft.

Flying the international flag, the B-25 Mitchell Bomber makes its first ever appearance from the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight, along with an Airbourne debut from the Belgian Bronco and the return of the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron Vampire and MiG 15.

Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow returns from 11 – 14 August with ground displays, military exhibition and pleasure flights, entry is free.

Sunday evening sees the fireworks return back to the traditional end of show finale, with a pyrotechnic twilight display from the Fireflies Aerobatic Display Team and music acts for the Airbourne Live stage announced soon.

For prime views or as a special treat, upgrade to first class hospitality in the Aviator Club or Cirrus Rooms from £70 per person, with exclusive dining and drinks on the lawns. Or reserve a spot in the exclusive seating area all day from just £10 per adult (£6 per child).

Opportunities are also available for businesses to support the show and receive exposure to hundreds of thousands attending, with sponsorship and partnership packages available.

To book hospitality, seating, exhibition space or sponsorship, visit

Nimrod tours are ready for half term take-off

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Nimrod Tour RAF Museum

Date: 28 May – 5 June 2016

Time: Tours run between 10am and 4pm, each tour lasts 15 minutes

Cost: Adult and children £5 per person

As May half term fast approaches, organisers at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford are gearing up for a busy week of family tours on-board one of the RAF’s most sophisticated aircraft. From Saturday 28 May until Sunday 5 June, families can step inside the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249 and learn about its intelligence gathering role in the Royal Air Force.

Tours will run throughout the day for groups of up to six people, lasting approximately 15 minutes. During the tour visitors will learn about the history of the aircraft, hear about the crews on board and view the sophisticated surveillance equipment up close. Perfect for any budding aviators, there will be plenty of opportunities for photos and tour guides will be on hand to answer any questions the inquisitive youngsters may have.

Families will discover why this aircraft and its missions were so secret that even the existence of 51 Squadron who operated it wasn’t mentioned in official documents until 1992, after the end of the Cold War. They will learn why the aircraft’s capabilities were such that even flying through friendly and allied nation airspace required diplomatic clearance. Mixed with a few light hearted stories of the crew stationed on board the Nimrod, including tales of the giant tea pot that could brew almost a gallon of tea, these fascinating tours led by museum staff will have visitors wondering what really goes on in the skies above us. Eagle eyed youngsters are challenged to see if they can find the Argos controls? This equipment was so secret that there was never any mention as to what it was or what it did even in the restricted crew manuals.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Manager Abi Betteridge said:

“Nimrod tours have proved popular with aviation fans in the past, but there is also a real demand from families and our younger visitors who are eager to get on-board and find out more – for some children, this is the first time they have stepped inside an aircraft and what a fascinating one it is! We are able to tailor the tours depending on our audience so the youngsters visiting us during half term will learn lots about the aircraft’s capabilities as well as quirky stories about what it was like to work on board the Nimrod, keeping it fun and not too overwhelming.”

The Nimrod flew in both the maritime patrol and electronic intelligence gathering role. Maritime surveillance, anti-submarine operations and intelligence gathering have been key tasks for the Royal Air Force for much of its long history. When the Nimrod was finally retired from service in 2011, the type had operated with distinction for over forty years in all these roles, and more.

Nimrod tours are available daily throughout May half term week from 10am – 4pm and tickets cost £5.00 per person. Organisers are advising any interested visitors to pre-book their time-slot now via the museum’s website to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased on the day subject to availability. All children must be accompanied by an adult, tours are not recommended for children under the age of 5. For further information please call the museum on 01902 376200. The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm and entry to the museum is FREE of charge.

Air Day Tickets on sale

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Air Day at Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose. The event, which will be held on Thursday 28th July 2016, has become a firm favourite in the Cornish calendar, and enables the general public to experience life on board of one of Europe’s largest helicopter bases. It is one of only three military air shows in the country.

Everyday life for Royal Navy Pilots could include hunting for enemy submarines in state-of-the art helicopters, simulating threats to ships in fast jets, transporting troops of Royal Marines Commandos or rescuing casualties from stricken vessels. Air Day enables budding fighter pilots and those who once dreamt of flying, to learn about this exciting ‘world of Culdrose’ and see what happens behind the security gates.

The organisers of this year’s event are working hard to make it a day to remember. As jets, helicopters and military aircraft zoom across the skies, visitors will be able to meet aircrew who have served on frontline squadrons all over the world, pilots who have just earned their ‘wings’ and those who use cutting edge technology to train future Naval Aviators.

The team at Culdrose has already lined up a variety of aerobatic teams and aircraft to woo the crowds with their dazzling displays and highly skilled manoeuvres. But as well as an exciting, action-packed flying display, there will also be lots of things to see, touch and try on the ground. Amongst other activities, visitors will be able to climb onboard aircraft, find out what it’s like to sit at the controls of a 15 tonne helicopter surrounded by the latest technology, take a pleasure flight, be winched high into the air or jump into the driving seat of a military fire engine. All of Culdrose’s Naval Air Squadrons and units will also be out on display, ready to talk about what they do and helping the public to try out specially devised activities and challenges.
Advance tickets at a reduced price (£15 for adults, £5 for children and £40 for families (2 adults and 3 children) are now on sale online ( and by phone (08444 99 99 55). Visitors can also purchase tickets at various Tourist Information Centres in Cornwall and the Gweek Seal Sanctuary.

Culdrose Air Day is great value for money and will be a thoroughly enjoyable day out for the whole family. Under 5’s are free and once inside, most attractions are free. For the first time, visitors can buy tickets to special enclosures one the crowd line this year. Visit from more information.

Lecture highlights the RAF’s forgotten role during the Korean War

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Korean War

Date: 20 May 2016

Time: 12.30pm

Cost: FREE

The forgotten role of the Royal Air Force during the Korean War will be the focus of the next Cold War Lunchtime Lecture held at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford later this month. The lecture entitled ‘The RAF in the Korean War, 1950-1953′, will be presented by Ewan Burnet, Curator of Film and Sound at the RAF Museum and examines an often overlooked aspect of the RAF’s history. The lecture will take place on Friday 20 May 2016 at 12.30pm.

This forthcoming lecture is the second in the new series of lectures launched earlier this year, which each cover a different topic related to the Cold War. During this discussion, Ewan will look back to 1950 when the Korean War broke out and how at that time, British resources, severely depleted by the Second World War, were already stretched by existing commitments in parts of the world such as Malaya. As a result, the RAF’s involvement and British involvement more generally, was limited by this and by more pressing Cold War concerns over Soviet intentions.

Despite limited resources and the global unrest in the midst of the Cold War, the RAF was there to offer support with Sunderland flying boats. Based at Iwakuni in Japan, they patrolled the sea around the Korean peninsula and RAF pilots often served on exchange tours with the United States Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. Offering additional support, Auster’s, still under RAF authority although often manned by Army personnel, provided reconnaissance and artillery spotting capability and aircraft such as the Hastings evacuated casualties back to the UK.

RAF Museum Curator of Film and Sound, Ewan Burnet said:

“Korea highlighted the importance of effective aircrew training and the inadequacy of the Gloster Meteor against modern Soviet designs such as the MiG-15. It underscored the flexibility of air power; a Shorts Sunderland could be patrolling the sea around Korea on one day, and very soon after be on search and rescue duty from Hong Kong or bombing targets in Malaya while based in Singapore. During this lecture I will explore the RAF’s involvement in Korea, and attempt to place it in a broader Cold War context.”

The Cold War lunchtime lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2016. ‘The RAF in the Korean War, 1950-1953′, is the second of four lectures taking place at Cosford this year. The programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures, which are held at the University of Wolverhampton, the Royal Aeronautical Society in London and the RAF Museum in London respectively.

This FREE lecture will be held in the RAF Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 20 May. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

For further information about the museums research programme or to book your FREE ticket to the lecture, please visit the museum website The museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the museum is FREE of charge.