Archive for September, 2016

Hampden bomber gets new lease of life

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Hampden bomber

A rare example of a Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is making huge steps towards completion of the fuselage section.   As one of the Museum’s longest running conservation projects, the aircraft is starting to take shape now thanks to one of the museum’s skilled Aircraft Technicians who is building a large section of the aircraft from scratch!

The museums Hampden, serial number P1344 is one of only three examples of the type remaining and was recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991 and acquired by the RAF Museum the following year.  Restoration on the badly damaged airframe has been a slow labour of love for the team at Cosford, but since it was taken under the wings of full time Aircraft Technician Dave Carr 18 months ago, the project has been propelled and the unmistakable Hampden silhouette can now easily be recognised.  

With the project now stepped up a gear, visitors who viewed it during last year’s open week just ten months ago will remember seeing the tailplane assembly, a predominantly new build manufactured on site at Cosford.  The Hampden’s salvaged fin and rudder parts were fully restored and with little else of the original tailplane remaining following the aircrafts crash landing, Dave used pre-production drawings and built formers to create the components he needed including a new elevator.  Following the build, the rudders received a new covering of Irish linen and the tailplane assembly was given a new coat of paint in its initial Bomber Command camouflage colour scheme; the assembly was well received by aviation fans who visited during the open week last November. 

Eagle eyed visitors will have also noticed that work had just started on the forward fuselage and the beginning of the frame work was starting to take shape.  Since then Dave has focussed his efforts on the forward fuselage and cockpit section and in just twelve months the section is now almost 75% complete and is estimated to be fully manufactured by Spring 2017.  Work on this section began with creating formers and building the entire framework from scratch.  Some components including instrument panels, seat mounting and windscreen frames have also been produced and fitted. Castings and a few components from P1344 have been restored and fitted to the newly built forward fuselage and work is now underway skinning the section.

The entire new section has been assembled using original Handley Page pre-production drawings from the late 1930s and where possible, measurements taken from the partial wreckage remaining from the original aircraft.   As the build procedure for the Hampden is not documented on any of the original drawings, the build has required a lot of forward thinking to ensure components were fitted in the correct order, as not to cause complications further down the line. 

RAF Museum Aircraft Technician, Dave Carr said:

“I have worked at the RAF Museum for over 18 years and this has by far been the biggest project I have worked on from a scratch build point of view; usually we are conserving and repairing aircraft. Because I don’t have a build procedure, I always have to work about five steps forward to ensure the correct components are fitted before the aircraft is skinned i.e. anchor nuts, brackets etc. It is being constructed as accurately as possible, although there will be some subtle differences as I’ve had to manufacture with hand tools and limited machinery, rather than the original factory machinery which doesn’t exist anymore. It’s very rewarding and motivating to see the aircraft coming together.”

The lower forward frame work is still to be complete as well as frame work for the nose section followed by the instillation of electrical and hydraulic components.  An original Hampden seat salvaged from a crashed Hampden in Patricia Bay, Vancouver will also be incorporated into the new cockpit.  Once complete, the next phase will see the new section programmed into the museums paint shop where it will undergo a full re spray to match the tailplane.

All effort on the aircraft is going into manufacturing the fuselage section which is hoped will be completed sometime in 2018.

Visitors to the museum will be able to view the continuing progress on the Hampden during the Conservation Centre Open Week from14-19 November.  By November it is hoped that the lower longerons will have been manufactured and fitted to the forward fuselage so visitors will see an almost fully complete frame.  Work is also continuing on the rear fuselage repairing damage caused during its crash landing.  The Conservation Centre will open between 10.15am and 1.00pm each day and admission is £5.00 per person (children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult).

The Museum’s other hangars will be open from 10am until 5pm and entry to the museums is free of charge.  For further information, please visit the museum’s website or call 01902 376200.

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Newark Air Museum Aeroboot

Saturday 15th October 2016

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 15th October 2016. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again looks set to be a sell-out event.

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the Project Panini (Mod) fund raising campaign to build new Café & Toilet facilities at the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

Around 45 tables, featuring a host of different sellers, who come from around the UK will be arranged amongst the aircraft in Display Hangar 2 at the museum.

Buyers / visitors who attend this fund raising event will have the opportunity to search through a varied selection of aviation and avionic items: including books, paintings, prints, DVDs, plastic kits, die-cast models, clothing, radio equipment and aircraft parts. Regular updates / sellers information are being posted on the news page of the museum website

Buyers / visitors at this event will be able to access the museum site on Saturday 15th October, 2016 at a special discounted admission price of just £5.00 per person.

The museum opening times will be 09.00 to 17.00 hours; with the sale taking place between 09.00 and 14.00 hours; to get the best bargains we suggest that you get there early.

Further details are available on the Events Page of the museum website or by telephoning 01636 707170.

Air Tattoo DVD Ready For Take Off

Thursday, September 15th, 2016


Relive the thrills, buzz and excitement of the 2016 Royal International Air Tattoo with the airshow’s officialsouvenir DVD and special Collector’s Editiondue to hit the shelves soon.

Expertly shot in high definition and ultra-high 4K resolution by aviation film specialistsPlanesTV, the Air Tattoo DVD includes in-cockpit footage, behind-the-scenes features and pilot interviews alongside coverage of the extensive flying display, arrivals and departures.

All the highlights from the world’s biggest military airshow have been captured including the show-stopping international display debut of the F-35B, whose manoeuvrability and hovering capabilities were demonstrated for the first time to a UK audience by RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols. The aircraft also appears in an iconic joint flypast with the Red Arrows and two RAF Typhoons, which provided a dramatic demonstration of UK airpower to the Air Tattoo’s sell-out crowd.

The final ever display by French Air Force display team Ramex Delta also features as does the Croatian Air Force’s aerobatic display team KrilaOluje (Wings of Storm), who became the first participants from the country to appear at the airshow.

Viewers will be able to experience a pilot’s eye view thanks to extensivecockpit footage captured during thrilling aerial displays by aircraft such as the RAF Typhoon, Strikemaster, Solo Turk, the Polish MiG-29 as well asF-16s from Belgium, Greece and Poland.

In addition to the main programme, there’s a further two hours of special features including an extended look at the F-35, the Air Cadets’ 75th Anniversary celebrations and in-cockpit features with running pilot commentary.

Also featured on the DVD is the first official engagement for two-year-old Prince George, who attended the airshow with his parents, Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The visit saw the Royal trio meet the Red Arrows and sit in a Squirrel helicopter, the same aircraft the Duke trained on whilst based at RAF Shawbury.

Sold in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the official Royal International Air Tattoo 2016Official Souvenir DVD is priced £20 (Blu-ray, £25). The two-disc Collector’s Edition DVD, featuring anadditional two hours of special features including extended in-cockpit action, and full coverage of arrivals and departures, is priced £30 (Blu-ray, £35).

A must-buy for aviation fans of all ages, the official Air Tattoo 2016 official souvenir discscan be pre-ordered from

Air Tattoo to Salute US Air Force

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

F-35A and P51

THERE will be a distinct American flavour at next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford as it pays a special tribute to one of the world’s largest air forces on its 70th anniversary.

The airshow, which takes place on July 14-16, will showcase the wide range of operational roles performed by the US Air Force (USAF) as well as the strong relationship it enjoys with the Royal Air Force and its other NATO allies.

Over the years the Air Tattoo has staged memorable celebrations marking significant USAF anniversaries, most notably in 1997 when the stealthy B-2 bomber made its first ever landing in the UK and in 2007, with the hugely popular appearance of the USAF Thunderbirds aerobatic display team.

Super Earlybird admission tickets for next summer’s airshow go on sale this week for a limited period.

The £29 cost of a Friday ticket has been frozen at this year’s price whilst the Saturday and Sunday Super Earlybird ticket, priced at £42,represents a saving of almost 25 per cent on the cost of a standard admission ticket. They will be available until January 31, 2017.

The Air Tattoo’s close relationship with the US Air Force stretches back to 1973 when the Americans provided the airshow with a home, first at RAF Greenham Common, and then, in 1985, at RAF Fairford.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “Where better to stage an international celebration of the US Air Force on its 70th anniversary than at a USAF base that happens to be the home of the world’s biggest and most exciting military airshow. I’m confident that once again the airshow will be a sell-out success so I urge people to buy before February and avoid paying top dollar!”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. To purchase Super Earlybird admission tickets and to view enclosure options, visit All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.