Archive for April, 2017

Online and in the air – Air Festival relaunches website

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Bournemouth Air Festival

In celebration of this summer’s 10th Air Festival, organisers have partnered with local digital agency Createful to redesign and build a new look website,, intended to embrace the event’s unique festival atmosphere.

For use on mobile, tablet and desktop, the website utilises stunning visuals from past festivals and a striking colour scheme incorporating red, white and blue. The new interface is easy to navigate and user-friendly with tips on how to plan your visit, option to pre-order this year’s bumper souvenir programme, purchase hospitality tickets and, once available, access to the live flying display schedule.

With more than 1.2 million webpage visits during 2016 it is imperative that the site is not only mobile friendly but also built to handle high volumes of visitor traffic. Createful have ensured the website is extremely lightweight to avoid slow loading times by using a number of digital techniques including auto-scaling and caching content.

Kriss Bennett, Createful’s Managing Director, said; “We are delighted to have worked on such a fantastic, high profile event. Our team is proud to have delivered a site which reflects the prestigious nature of the Air Festival, as well as providing visitors with a seamless experience in accessing all of the information relating to the exciting events and activities being delivered throughout the week.”

Jon Weaver Air Festival Director added; “We hope everyone likes the new website, we listened to feedback about the previous site and absorbing Createful’s expertise have created a website which we hope reflects what visitors want. We are really excited about this year’s festival – we are planning to have more aircraft and flying hours than any other year which will include a first for our flying programme!”

The Clock’s Ticking For Earlybirds

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

As the Royal International Air Tattoo’s ‘Earlybird’ ticket offer draws to a close, airshow organisers are predicting that Saturday tickets for the summer event will sell out by next week.

Thousands of general admission tickets have already been snapped up for one of the UK’s most eagerly anticipated annual outdoor events which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 14-16.

This year’s event will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force (USAF) with aircraft including the state-of-the-art F-22 Raptor and USAF Thunderbirds Demonstration team already confirmed to take part in the flying display.

All enclosure tickets for Saturday, July 15, have already sold out and general admission tickets for Saturday are set to follow suit as the Air Tattoo Earlybird discount ends at midnight on Tuesday, May 2. Those still looking to purchase tickets for the airshow can take advantage of last minute Earlybird offers, with a £5 discount on Friday tickets and an £8 discount on Saturday and Sunday tickets. Entry is free for all children under 16 who are accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

Head of Marketing Helen Webb said: “The airshow provides is a great day out for the whole family and with the added excitement of the USAF 70th anniversary celebrations this year, tickets are selling at record speed as people don’t want to miss out.”

Also taking part in the airshow’s extensive flying display will be a wide range of international military aircraft from nations including ltaly, the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Finland, Sweden and Slovenia who will be joining the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the legendary Red Arrows in demonstrating their capabilities.

In addition to the action in the air there will be a wide variety of entertainment and activities on offer throughout the showground, including the adrenalin-fuelled ‘Wall of Death’ in the Autodrome (as seen on Channel 4 with Guy Martin), the latest engineering technology in the Techno Zone as well as a nostalgic recreation of the 1940s in the Vintage Village.

Helen added: “Tickets for the Air Tattoo sell out year-on-year and I’m confident we’ll see the same result this year. By getting in quick and purchasing your tickets before the end of the Earlybird offer you can not only guarantee yourself a place at the world’s greatest airshow but also secure a great price.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is held annually at RAF Fairford in aid of the RAF Charitable Trust. The Trust funds a wide range of projects and initiatives that Promote the Royal Air Force, Support its people and Encourage in youngsters an interest in aviation.

The Earlybird discount means that up until midnight on May 2, people can purchase Friday tickets at the reduced price of £34, and £47 for Saturday and Sunday. To find out more about the Air Tattoo, and to book tickets please visit or call 01285 713456.

Hastings & Shackleton 40th Anniversary Weekend

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017


20 & 21 May 2017

Preparations for the Hastings & Shackleton 40th Anniversary Weekend are now well underway at Newark Air Museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire; close to the border with Lincolnshire. Newark Air Museum is a registered charity that is located on part of the former site of RAF Winthorpe.

This is an open cockpit style event that will be used to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of these two aircraft arriving at the museum. It will take place on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May 2017 from10am until 5pm each day (last admission at 4pm).

The Shackleton was dismantled and moved to the museum by road in spring 1977, in what remains the largest aircraft dismantling project ever undertaken by the museum and its volunteers. While later in the summer the Hastings was flown from RAF Scampton to join the museum collection.

Both aircraft remain firm favourites on the museum’s cockpit opening rota and admission normally costs a small additional fee. On this weekend access to both aircraft will be FREE, but as ever donations would always be welcome to aid the museum’s fund raising efforts.

The Ashton fuselage that is also part of the famous Avro lineage will also have free access on both days and it will house a model display of Avro airframes.

A number of visiting participants and displays will supplement the museum’s own diverse collection of aircraft. Plus subject to operational commitments and the weather aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform flypasts each day. Members of the Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Association will be eligible to receive free admission on each day of the event

The event is open to everyone and normal museum admission rates will apply:
Adults £9.00, Over 60s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00. Please telephone 01636 707170 if you require any further information.

{A small additional fee / donation will be applicable when going inside any other museum aircraft that might be open – this will go into the Project Panini Fund; to build a new Café & Toilet facility. Height restrictions apply to some aircraft that might be open to the public.}

Combat Helicopter Showcase at RAF Cosford Air Show

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Army Air Corps Apache

The flying displays planned for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2017 were today boosted by the exciting news that the popular Chinook & Apache helicopters would be performing in the skies over Shropshire on Sunday 11th June.

The Royal Air Force has one of the largest fleet of CH-47 Chinook helicopters in the world, primarily used for trooping, resupply, and battlefield Casualty Evacuation, the aircraft can carry up to 55 troops. However, despite its size, the Chinook is an extremely agile aircraft and the flying display will showcase its surprising manoeuvrability to Air Show visitors.

The Army Air Corps will also be bringing their impressive WAH-64 Apache to the Air Show, with the Attack Helicopter Display Team set to wow the crowds, with their flying display complimented by stunning ground based pyrotechnics. The Apache attack helicopter carries a mix of weapons including rockets, Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun, making it one of the Army’s most capable pieces of equipment. As well as performing in the flying display, there will also be an Apache parked in the static displays to allow visitors to get a closer look at the impressive helicopter.

Both helicopter types are attending the Air Show as part of the ‘Battlefield Support’ theme, showcasing aircraft which have proved vital in recent conflicts. The Royal Air Force’s newest support helicopter, the Puma HC2, will also be at the Air Show on static display, as part of the Battlefield Support ground displays.

Air Show Chairman, Wing Commander Chris Jones said, “We’re really excited to have so many combat helicopters from the UK armed forces on show this year, both in the air and on the ground. With Merlin, Wildcat, Griffin & Squirrel helicopters already confirmed to attend, visitors will be able to see a great selection of helicopters from across the UK Armed Forces on Sunday 11th June. As well as the array of military helicopters we are pleased to welcome a selection of civilian helicopters including the last airworthy Westland Whirlwind alongside its current counterpart, the AW189 used by HM Coastguard for Search and Rescue Operations.”

With the Air Show rapidly approaching, those wishing to attend are encouraged to purchase their tickets soon, as they will not be available to purchase at the gate. Air Show Tickets, priced £25.00, are currently available from the Air Show website and selected retail outlets including the RAF Museum. Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event a superb family day out.

Robots take centre stage at Brooklands Museum!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Brooklands dance video

Brooklands Museum Staff have once again stepped up to the challenge, wound up the gramophone and discovered their inner dancing robot around the Museum site to Daft Punk’s hit Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

The video, featuring Staff, Volunteers and the Museum’s own mascot, Bertie Bear, has been entered into the annual international Museum Dance Off Competition. The competition is now in its fourth year and sees 41 Museums from around the world compete in three rounds to be crowned winner of Museum Dance Off 4: A New Hope.

After reaching the quarter final of the competition last year, there are high hopes that this year’s entry will make it all the way through to the International Thunderdome Final. Despite a Harder task this year of taking on fellow local competitor, Egham Museum, the Museum’s dancing crew are looking Better than ever before, and believe that this year’s entry will shoot to the top Faster, but to achieve this the Museum will need to get even Stronger support from all its supporters.

Themed around the Re-engineering Brooklands work taking place at the Museum, the video follows the dancers on an exploration of the exhibits currently being worked on, with a grand finale in the newly reconstructed Bellman Hangar.

The competition will take place in three rounds, across the next few weeks. The first two rounds are done by region, and Brooklands Museums will be going up against Norwegian entry MiA, museene i Akershus and fellow UK entries The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, Aberdeen Maritime Museum and Egham Museum.

The winner of each round is decided by public vote, but voting is limited to a 24-hour time slot of between 1pm on Wednesday 26th April until the same time on Thursday 27th April. Votes can be cast at, where all the entries can be seen, or just search for ‘Brooklands Museum Dance’ on YouTube to see what a fantastic routine has been created.

Head over to YouTube now to watch the Brooklands Museum’s Museum Dance Off Entry. Or get a preview of the competition at

Upcoming Lectures at the RAF Museum

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

In May and June, the Museum will be hosting several exciting FREE lectures as part of our 2017 Research Programme.

On the evening of 18 May, Taylor Downing will be talking at the Royal Aeronautical Society on the subject of ‘Spies in the Sky: The Secret Battle for Aerial Intelligence during World War II.’ More details can be found here:-

On 19 May, Dr Emma Hanna of the University of Kent will deliver one of the Museum’s First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture on ‘Musical Entertainments in the RFC/RAF on the Western Front, 1914-18.’ More details here:-

On the evening of 8 June, at the University of Wolverhampton, Aashique Iqbal will be examining ‘The Expansion of the Royal Indian Air Force in World War II, 1939-46.’ More details can be found here:-

RAF Aircraft Showcased at Air Show Media Launch

Friday, April 21st, 2017


Visitors to this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show can once again be transported back in time as the popular Vintage Village returns on the showground, bigger and better than ever before!

This year’s Village will showcase the 1960s; one of the most defining eras of the 20th century. Marilyn Summers, Air Show Deputy Director, said, “We are very pleased to welcome the University of Wolverhampton back as sponsor of the Vintage Village. Staff and students will be bringing along some exciting displays including a 1960s hospital ward and a fashion show. The Vintage Village always gives our visitors the chance to learn about the history of the time in a fun atmosphere and we have some really exciting things planned!”

This year’s live stage pays tribute to the stars of the 1960s with a great mix of performers. Themed food and drink outlets including Lily’s Secret Vintage Tea Room will help set the atmosphere. There will be a chance to reminisce in the Kids Fun Zone, try a spot of retail therapy with a host of Vintage trade stalls and test your skills at the 1966 World Cup penalty shoot-out!

Traders interested in booking a pitch for the Vintage Fair should email for further details.

A host of motor enthusiasts will be in attendance with some fantastic vehicles including the RAF Mini Club bringing along some wonderful examples of the iconic 1960s brand.

Aircraft enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the static line-up planned for the Vintage Village including a number of iconic aircraft from the period including an O-2 Skymaster and Jet Provost. New for this year will be a cockpit sections display, with exhibits to include a cockpit from an English Electric Lightning.

RAF Cosford Air Show is a fantastic family day out with something for everyone to enjoy. Tickets are on sale now and organisers are encouraging attendees to purchase their tickets soon as the Air Show is, once again, an Advance Ticket Only event. Adult tickets cost £25.00 and accompanied under-16s enter for free.

de Havilland Aircraft Museum CrowdFunding Campaign

Friday, April 14th, 2017

de Havilland Museum Crowdfunding Campaign

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum’s project is to request donations to “match fund” a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable the Museum to build a new Hangar. The New hangar will incorporate a Learning Centre and Event space which will enhance our visitor experience.

The New Hangar will allow the Museum to reposition most of its collection under cover enabling critical restoration work to be completed. As the New Hangar will be connected to existing buildings it will allow the Museum to extend its open season.

The New Hangar will have a large mezzanine floor where several “Learning Centre” rooms are located providing facilities for Schools, Clubs and Associations to enjoy

Aircraft participation is Plane Sailing at new Airshow

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

PBY Catalina

It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a flying boat!

Get your cameras at the ready as ‘Miss Pick Up’, a 74-year-old Catalina, G-PBYA, will be gracing the skies over RAF Scampton this September as part of the Scampton Airshow’s exciting five-hour flying display.

Spectators at the inaugural airshow will be treated to an extraordinary appearance from arguably the most famous and successful fixed-winged seaplane ever built. Displayed by Plane Sailing, the Catalina G-PBYA is one of only a handful of flying boats still in operation today and, like the Scampton airfield itself, Miss Pick Up is steeped in aviation history.

Rod Brooking, one of the pilot/share-holders of the Plane Sailing team, said: “It is a real privilege to be part of the operation to keep one of the few remaining airworthy examples of this iconic flying boat in airworthy condition and we are proud to be invited to display it at RAF Scampton.”

Although G-PBYA was originally built for the Royal Canadian Air Force, the type was used in WWII by all the allied air forces, the US Navy and the US Army Air Forces as a submarine hunter, as well as in long range reconnaissance and Air-Sea Rescue roles. After the war, it was used briefly as a freighter before conversion to a water-bombing fire fighter.

Based on some original WWII photos, the racy Miss Pick Up nose art and its light-hearted play on words for a pin up girl and a rescue aircraft are a salute to the Catalina’s rich history.

Scampton Airshow Director Paul Sall said he is thrilled to be able to welcome such a popular aircraft to the Lincolnshire event. He said “As the airshow draws closer we are starting to see a fantastic variety of aircraft confirming their place in the flying display, each with their own exciting piece of history.

“This Catalina was built in what many people still consider to be the golden era of aviation and, 74 years on, it still inspires younger generations with the wonders of aviation. It will be a truly spectacular occasion to see it take flight right here in Lincolnshire and one I’m sure that many people will be eager to come along and witness.”

The Scampton Airshow, staged in aid of the RAF Charitable Trust, will be held at RAF Scampton – the Lincolnshire home of the Red Arrows – from September 9-10. The diverse, family-friendly event will encompass an impressive five-hour flying display, complemented by an array of entertainment on the ground, from a nostalgic Vintage Village through to interactive and engaging STEM exhibits in the Techno Zone.

Tickets for the Scampton Airshow are priced at £39 and must be bought online in advance. Inspiring the next generation of aviation enthusiasts, tickets for under 16s are free with a ticket holding adult. To find out more about the Scampton Airshow, or to buy your tickets, please visit or call 01522 396600.

All Aboard the Wings & Wheels shuttle bus with Compass Travel

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Compass Travel

Compass Travel (Sussex) Ltd have confirmed their support of Wings & Wheels again by providing their invaluable public bus service from Guildford Train Station to Dunsfold Aerodrome.

The success of last years’ service saw the Compass Team handover a cheque to Help for Heroes for £620 this week and confirm that visitors will have the option of public transport to and from the Show again four times a day.

Presenting the cheque to James Burns, Help for Heroes Regional Manager (London & South East), was Chris Chatfield, Compass Travel Managing Director, and Joe Beckley, Compass Travel Operations Manager.

Chris said, “We are very pleased the shuttle bus service to Wings & Wheels continues to be so popular with the public. Its success has enabled us to donate £620 to Help for Heroes and we look forward to working with the team again to build on this in 2017.”

James Burns, Help for Heroes Regional Manager said, “Help for Heroes is hugely grateful to Compass Travel and Wings & Wheels for the amazing support that they have given us. We rely heavily on the generous public and those attending this event will be directly helping to rebuild lives. We’d love for as many people as possible to support them, have a fantastic day out and help make this year another huge success.”

The bus will run on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August and the timetable is as follows:

• Dep Guildford Train Station: 0830   0930   1030   1130
• Dep Dunsfold Aerodrome: 1600   1700   1800   1900

Tickets can be purchased in advance online through the Wings & Wheels shop ( A single fare for an adult is £2.50 and £1.50 for a child aged 5 – 15 years. Each bus carries 44 seated passengers and 27 standing. Seats will be available on a first come first serve basis over the event weekend. All profits from the 2017 service will be donated to Help for Heroes.

Jamie McAllister, Event Director, Wings & Wheels comments: “The bus service is an extremely popular addition to Wings & Wheels and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Compass Travel again. The bus service offers visitors an affordable option to join us and enjoy all the fantastic air, motoring and arena displays on offer.”

Visitors to Wings & Wheels can also enjoy the full complement from the RAF as they display with the Red Arrows, Eurofighter Typhoon and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (two Spitfires and Lancaster) air displays. More aviation displays will be announced in May.

For motorsport 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. Over in the Wheels Zone you can expect an array of interactive and static displays as wells four wheeled shows in the Stunt Zone and a Monster Truck arena offering demonstrations and passenger rides.

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 13th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th August 2017, 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 2017 will be assisting the fundraising efforts of Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.