Archive for May, 2017

Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers at Air Day

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Bristol Scout

Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 8 July plans to inspire the next generation of engineers with an extensive display of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related interactive exhibits. Leading the way will be a full-scale replica of Bloodhound, the vehicle attempting to travel at 1,000 mph for the World Land Speed Record later this year.

The Bloodhound Team is sharing this engineering adventure with a global audience and aims to inspire the next generation by bringing STEM to life in the most exciting way possible. The vehicle can cover a mile in 3.6 seconds, four and half football pitches in one second or 150 metres in the blink of an eye! Bloodhound will be powered by the same Rolls-Royce jet engine that can be found in an RAF Typhoon, an example of which will be taking part in the flying display.

Whilst Bloodhound will be part of the outdoor ground attractions there will also be a dedicated STEM hangar with activities provided by The Imagineering Foundation, The Royal Aeronautical Society and My Future My Choice. They will be presenting fun and exciting engineering and technology activities for youngsters, specially developed by regional and national organisations. There will be something for all ages and opportunities to learn about the fascinating modern cutting-edge technology that is around us every day – with plenty of opportunities to have fun!

On static display within the STEM hangar, in stark contrast to today’s technology and engineering achievements, will be the world’s only airworthy Bristol Scout. This wonderful WW1-era, rotary-engined, single-seat biplane became the first British aircraft to roll its wheels off a Royal Navy carrier’s deck in 1915. The Bristol Scout will help showcase Britain’s pioneering aviation heritage and the evolution to today’s fast jets that will take part in the flying display.

Discounted advance tickets are now also available over the counter at participating Tourist Information Centres. Further information and online booking available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Italians to Whip up a Storm at RAF Cosford Air Show

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Italian Air Force Tornado

The flying display line-up for the RAF Cosford Air Show received yet another exciting boost this week, with the news that the Italian Air Force will be sending an A-200 Tornado to perform on Sunday 11th June!

The Panavia Tornado is a swing-wing, combat aircraft, jointly developed by Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom in the 1970s. The Tornado will be familiar to many Air Show visitors, as the type is also flown by the Royal Air Force, but this will be the first time an Italian example, operated by 311º Flight Group, part of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo, will be appearing at the event. It is hoped that the jet used for the flying display will be adorned in a special paint scheme, unveiled earlier this year in Italy, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 311° Gruppo.

The Italian Air Force will also be sending a C-27J Spartan, a tactical transport aircraft, for static display at the Air Show. Air Show Deputy Director, Marilyn Summers, said, “The Tornado is another display item which will thrill and excite our audience, complimenting the amazing line-up of RAF aircraft which are already committed to perform during the six-hour flying display. We are anticipating yet another sell out so we recommend purchasing Air Show tickets as soon as possible to avoid missing out!”

With the Air Show rapidly approaching, organisers are reminding visitors that they are not able to purchase admission tickets 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 and local Tourist Information Centres. Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event a superb family day out. The RAF Cosford Air Show is an advanced ticket only event, for more details see www.cosfordairshow.co.uk.

Shark, Saffron and Rod

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Shark Mustang by Eirik Oestensjoe

The Award Winning Old Buckenham Airshow; now featuring another fearsome iconic Warbird and some equally fearsome new beers.

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce another extraordinarily rare new addition to its Airshow on the 29th and 30th July. For the first time, P51 Mustang “The Shark” will appear on both days. Operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation and based with the storied Boultlbee Flying Academy at Goodwood, ‘The Shark’ gets its name from an extremely distinctive paint scheme on the nose of the aircraft; it bears the face of a Shark over the equally unusual RAF markings. An RAF marked North American fighter aircraft was a very unusual sight in WWII and only one aircraft carried the ‘Shark’ scheme replicated today.

The P51 Mustang is often described as the American Spitfire. The two aircraft shared the legendary Merlin engine, which produces 1200hp in the Spitfire. Thanks to a two stage intercooler supercharger power far more power is available in the Mustang; a truly fearsome 1,720hp.

‘The Shark’, in earlier guises, is no stranger to Airshows. As ‘Old Crow’ this P-51 was the darling of the Scandinavian Airshow circuit for a decade before coming to England.

Another aviation icon will be making a very welcome return to the Airshow, in the form of one of the most respected and experienced pilots there has ever been; Rod Dean. 21 years in the RAF saw Rod become an expert on an array of the most potent fighter and bomber jets. Since 1984 Rod has displayed just about every type of aircraft, including the Spitfire, Mustang and Hurricane. He’s so good that he wrote an acclaimed book about his “Fifty years of Flying Fun” and along the way became a highly respected aviation journalist. Rod will be appearing on both days.

In 2016 we introduced the all new “Attack and Destroy Bar”. Created solely for the Airshow this mobile pub, named for the motto of the 453rd Bomb Group, offers a complete range of drinks including a number of specially brewed, exclusive ales. For 2017 the Airshow is delighted to confirm that the Attack and Destroy Bar is teaming up with Saffron Ales, an award winning artisan brewery based in Henham. Saffron’s range of heritage ales, brewed with a contemporary twist, have been created to satisfy all palates and they’re producing four, truly one off, new ales for the bar. For the first time, the Airshow will be able to offer bottled versions, in strictly limited numbers. The ales commemorate highlights of the show. One is named for ‘The Shark’ Mustang, another for the Hawker Hurricane and a third for Otto the Helicopter, announced as an act last month.

One final beer will commemorate the last aircraft to be confirmed for the Airshow. Both the beer and the details of our mystery act will be confirmed in early May and cap off what is likely to be regarded as the finest and most diverse mix of aircraft ever assembled at Old Buckenham since the War.

The Airshow’s appeal to families will also be enhanced with the addition of Sim- Fly Combat. Sim-Fly have been offering extremely popular virtual flight experiences at Old Buckenham for over a year, using a state-of-the-art simulator (the only one of it’s kind in the UK) since 2015. They will shortly launch a remarkable new experience, where up to four players can take control of WWII fighters and dogfight each other in the virtual sky, sat in replica cockpits of the Spitfire and Messerschmitt 109.

Airshow Organiser, Matt Wilkins said “ This year is shaping up to be the best yet for Old Buckenham. ‘The Shark’ is an extraordinary aircraft and the preserve of the largest airshows; Rod Dean can truly be described as the grand master of modern aviation and our enhancements on the ground, with the new beers from Saffron and SimFly’s new Combat simulator ensures that we’re living up to last year’s tourism award as “Family Event of the Year”.

www.oldbuck.com

French Navy’s Show of Force at Air Day

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Atlantique II

Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton will once again receive tremendous support from the French Navy at this year’s International Air Day on Saturday 8 July. Making its only UK flying display appearance of this year, the French naval power’s thunderous fast jet role demonstration will return to Air Day.

The pair of Rafale M carrier fighters, which won the Best Fixed Wing Display award last year, will join Air Day’s fast jet line up alongside the RAF Typhoon, Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and Czech Air Force Gripen and ALCA L-159 pair.

Equipping three squadrons based at Landivisiau on the other side of the English Channel – the fast, agile and heavily-armed Rafale M can switch roles in real-time. Launching from the mighty Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the Rafales are regularly on global frontline deployments.

The French Navy’s static contribution comprises an Atlantique Mk2 maritime patrol aircraft and a Westland Lynx HAS4 small ships’ helicopter; both are relatively rare visitors to these shores. Able to perform missions lasting up to 18 hours, the long-serving Atlantique Mk2 has a wealth of capabilities, being tasked with submarine escort, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare.

While all Royal Navy Lynx models are now retired, the French Navy still has in service 21 HAS2 and HAS4 variants. Fitted with radar, sonar, acoustic data transmission and FLIR (forward-looking infrared) systems – plus Mk46 or MU90 Impact torpedoes – France’s Lynx fleet is mainly tasked with anti-submarine warfare.

The flying display is truly shaping up to be an impressive one which is reflected by ticket sales to date. There are only a few places left available in some of the enclosure packages which organisers anticipate will be sold out in the coming weeks. Discounted advance tickets are now also available over the counter at participating Tourist Information Centres. Further information and online booking available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Hunter T7 moves to Newark Air Museum

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Hunter XX467 at Newark Air Museum

The aircraft inventory at Newark Air Museum was expanded by one on Wednesday 3rd May, 2017 when Hawker Hunter T7, XX467 joined the collection, which is located close to the Nottinghamshire county border with Lincolnshire.

Funding for the Hunter T7 acquisition has been provided thanks to the generosity of a museum member / trustee. The move from Bruntingthorpe Airfield in Leicestershire was completed by Dave Thomas and associates. XX467 has been placed on long-term loan at the museum.

The Hunter T7 fills a gap in the museum’s themed display of RAF training airframes and will help tell the story of RAF fast jet training. It also fulfils one aim of the museum’s stated Collecting Policy of acquiring:

“Aircraft used in a Training role.”

This particular airframe has a diverse service history both in the UK and overseas and it is not yet known, which colour scheme the aircraft will be repainted in. The aircraft was off-loaded on the museum’s Southfield Site and reassembled. It will be restored, repainted and displayed in the same location.

The airframe entered RAF service as XL605 serving with 92 Squadron and was part of the Blue Diamonds Display Team; before then serving with 66 Squadron and 229 OCU. A brief spell then followed as G-9-214, before serving with Saudi AF 70-617 and Jordan AF as 836. On returning to the UK the airframe was renumbered XX467 and served with 229 OCU and 1 TWU, but was struck off charge in October 1983. During its time on the civil register it operated as G-TVII out of Kemble and Exeter. Currently it is marked as XX467.

www.newarkairmusem.org

Air Tattoo welcomes US Air Force heavyweights

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

B52 RIAT

The US Air Force has confirmed that two of its largest and most formidable aircraft will be flying into RAF Fairford, its only European airfield for heavy bombers, to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer.

The aircraft, a B-52H Stratofortress and a B-1B Lancer will join other US Air Force aircraft including the F-22 Raptor and Thunderbirds display team as part of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force. Also taking part in the airshow will be an historic P-40 Kittyhawk and P-51D Mustang, both of which flew with the US Army Air Force prior to the establishment of the US Air Force in 1947.

A long range strategic bomber, the B-52 entered service with the US military in the 1950s and became a frequent sight in the Cotswolds’ skies during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, Operation Allied Force in 1999 and Operation Desert Storm in 1991 when they operated out of RAF Fairford. The first operational B-1B flew with the US Air Force in 1986 and provided the air arm with a long range bomber that was both fast and manoeuvrable. It was last seen at the Air Tattoo in 2009. The B-52H will come from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and the B-1B from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.

The Air Tattoo’s links with the US Air Force stretch back to 1972 when the Americans permitted the airshow to be staged at RAF Greenham Common, near Newbury. When the Air Tattoo had to find a new home in the 1980s, the US Air Force offered RAF Fairford and the first Air Tattoo was staged in the Cotswolds in 1985.

Reflecting this strong relationship, the Air Tattoo has staged a number of memorable celebrations marking key USAF anniversaries over the years and 2017 promises to be no different.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “The US Air Force has played an important role in our history and has helped us become the greatest military airshow in the world. We’re both committed to ensuring that July’s anniversary celebrations continue to be both memorable and exciting for what will undoubtedly be another sellout airshow.”

The Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. The deadline for purchasing Earlybird admission tickets has been extended by 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday May 3. To view prices and enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com. All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.

Marathon men raise £100k to commemorate 100 years of the RAF

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Marathon Men at RAF Museum

Two trustees of the RAF Museum are pulling on their walking boots to tackle the equivalent of five marathons in five days (8-12 May 2017) to raise £100,000 to commemorate the RAF’s centenary in 2018.

Alan Coppin and Robin Southwell OBE will walk nearly 130 miles between the Museum’s two public sites: from Cosford in the West Midlands to Colindale, NW London. The marathon men’s 130 mile itinerary comprises:

• Monday 8 May: 0900 hours send-off at RAF Museum Cosford by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton. Walk 30 miles to Solihull, stopover approx 2100 hours

• Tuesday 9 May: walk 26 miles to Radbourn, Warwickshire, stopover

• Wednesday 10 May: walk 31 miles to Winslow, Buckinghamshire joined by Air Chief Marshal, Sir Glenn Torpy chair of trustees. Stopover RAF Halton

• Thursday 11 May: walk 26 miles to Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Stopover RAF High Wycombe stopover (HQ of Air Command)

• Friday 12 May: walk 16 miles to finishing-line, RAF Museum, London (Colindale) welcomed by staff. Approx 1600 hours. Photocall and media interviews

Money raised will go towards the £26 million transformation of the visitor experience at RAF Museum’s London site. The Museum is a registered charity and new landscaping will reflect the former historic RAF Hendon airfield and new galleries will tell the story of the RAF’s first 100 years, its role today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution to society and technology. A digital project will share the RAF story with global audiences.

Fundraising plans also include new exhibitions at Cosford, exploring the first 100 years of the RAF and new aircraft displays which are already underway, to enable the RAF’s story to be more represented to Museum audiences in the Midlands.

Robin Southwell, trustee of the RAF Museum said: “We’re training hard to walk five marathons in five days and have raised nearly £27,000 so far. But we still need people’s support to help meet our target of £100,000 which will go towards modernising this world-class museum. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mark the RAF’s 100th anniversary and it’s a privilege to raise funds.

“We’re grateful to the RAF for their huge support and accommodating us in officers’ messes and RAF Cosford’s physical training instructors for sending us off on our mission in style. We’d love people to come out and support us on the way.”

To sponsor the trustees please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/5marathonsin5days/423881 or for information about the fundraising walk and the RAF Museum’s Centenary plans, visit www.rafmuseum.org.

Cold War jet on Course for RAF Cosford Air Show

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Sea Vixen by Rich Cooper

Today the Air Show Office released exciting news that the world’s only flying de Havilland Sea Vixen will be making an appearance in the flying display at the RAF Cosford Air Show on Sunday 11th June.

The Sea Vixen is an iconic British fast jet fighter, with an eye-catching twin-boom design, that flew from aircraft carriers at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s, helping to transform the nation’s carrier aviation capability. She was one of the UK’s most notable aircraft designs of the time, with cutting edge technology. With power-folding swept wings and hinged nose-cone, she epitomised the radical and innovative thinking of British engineers and designers of the time, whose designs overcame the challenges of the times.

Today the Sea Vixen operated by Navy Wings, registration ‘G-CVIX’ is the sole remaining Sea Vixen in flying condition in the world. The aircraft is based at RNAS Yeovilton, and flies in her authentic 899 Squadron colours.

Air Show Operations Manager, Peter Reoch, said, “The Sea Vixen is one of the most popular aircraft on the UK air display and will be a highlight of the six-hour flying display on Sunday 11th June. For those of you that love the noise and rumble of fast jets, this will really hit the spot. The line-up for the flying display is now nearing completion, but there may still be one or two surprise additions to announce!”

With the Air Show only five weeks away, and tickets selling fast, organisers are encouraging those wishing to attend to purchase their tickets soon! 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. The RAF Cosford Air Show is an advanced tickets only event, tickets will not be available on the gate.

www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Historic US warbirds to grace Lincolnshire sky

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Kittyhawk

A striking pair of historic American warbirds will take to the Lincolnshire skies later this year as part of the inaugural Scampton Airshow.

The beautifully painted historic World War Two fighter aircraft, operated by Peter Teichman’s Hangar 11 Collection in Essex, will display on both days of the airshow, which takes place at RAF Scampton on September 9-10.

The North American P-51 Mustang and the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, flew with the US Army Air Corps during WW2 and their combat capabilities earned them a reputation that today ranks alongside that shared by the legendary Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane.

The Mustang, which is called ‘Tall In The Saddle’, joined the US Army Air Corps in December 1944 and although it was originally earmarked for service with the Eighth Air Force in England, this was quickly changed to the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations.

Assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron, it was part of the 332nd fighter group, which became very famous as the first all Afro American manned Group known as “The Tuskegee Airmen” although references to them at the time refer to them as ‘The Red Tails’. She entered combat with the 15th Air Force in early 1945 based at Ramatelli Airfield in Italy, serving on escort and ground attack sweeps over Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. She still carries the battle scars to this day, with bullet repairs in several places on the fuselage.

Produced in large numbers, the Kittyhawk was a ruggedly effective and potent fighter. Supplied to air forces in America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Russia, the P-40 fought with distinction in every theatre of operation. Only a handful of Kittyhawks are still in airworthy condition and she has become a real crowd favourite at airshows.

Scampton Airshow Director Paul Sall said the two aircraft would play an important part in reflecting Lincolnshire’s rich aviation heritage and in particular the county’s association with the US Army Air Corps during World War Two. He said: “Mustangs were stationed in the county as part of the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force and Tall In The Saddle could well have been among them had she not been reassigned to Italy. This exciting addition continues to build on what is set to be a sensational flying display and further compliment the huge array of ground activities planned for Scampton Airshow. Both aircraft have stunning paint schemes and they will offer a colourful and evocative sight for our airshow visitors over the weekend.”

Scampton Airshow tickets can only be purchased in advance at www.scamptonairshow.com. Tickets are priced at £39 with all under 16s able to enjoy the airshow free when accompanied by an adult ticket-holder.