Archive for October, 2017

Phantom Arrival at RAF Cosford

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

RAF Cosford Black Phantom

Following last week’s launch of the RAF Cosford Air Show 2018, a cold-war era F-4 Phantom aircraft, known as ‘Black Mike’, was delivered by road to the airfield, in preparation for the Air Show on Sunday 10th June 2018.

The F-4 Phantom II was operated by the Royal Air Force between 1969 and 1992, principally as an air defence fighter. Although the jet was an American design, produced by McDonnell Douglas, the UK’s Phantoms were a special batch built separately and containing a significant amount of British technology including the addition of Rolls-Royce Spey engines. Of all the UK’s Phantoms, the airframe which arrived today at RAF Cosford is perhaps one of the most iconic, known as ‘Black Mike’ due to its unique paint scheme applied by 111(F) Squadron in the late 1980s.

The airframe, now owned by GJD Services Ltd, has been the centre of a campaign by aviation enthusiasts, who plan to restore her to exhibition standard. David Butterfield, from the British Phantom Aviation Group, said, “The British Phantom Aviation Group (BPAG) are extremely proud and honoured to participate with Phantom XV582 ‘Black Mike’ at the RAF Cosford Air Show 2018. Our hardworking, dedicated team of volunteers have shown outstanding knowledge, skills and aptitude to make the move from RAF Leuchars happen. We look forward to working with RAF Cosford over the coming months and we are certain that the aircraft will be a great attraction as part of the RAF100 static displays.”

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “The Royal Air Force’s Phantoms played a critical role in defending the UK’s airspace during the height of the Cold War. Therefore, having an example of the type was essential as part of our RAF100 static exhibition at the Air Show on Sunday 10th June 2018. It will be the first of many aircraft which will be transported by road to RAF Cosford over the coming months specifically for display at the Air Show.”

Tickets for the Air Show, which is promising to be a spectacular and interactive tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary, are already on sale via the event’s website. Tickets will again only be available in advance, and are priced £25.00 per adult, with accompanied under-16s attending the Air Show for free, presenting excellent value for money.

Rare aircraft on show during Open Week

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Hampden Fuselage

Date: 13-18 November 2017
Time: 10:15am-1:00pm
Cost: £5.00 per person

A rare example of a Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be one of the highlights at the Conservation Centre Open Week taking place on 13-18 November 2018.

The Handley Page Hampden’s forward and rear fuselage sections will be placed in line for aviation fans to view during the behind the scenes week. Since it was last viewed by the public almost 12 months ago, the forward fuselage and cockpit section has been completed, manufactured entirely from scratch by one of the Museum Technicians, using pre-production drawings. The new section also includes some original components from the P1344 Hampden and aviation fans will be able to get up close to view the progress during the forthcoming Open Week. Work is continuing on the aircraft fuselage section and it is hoped that work will be completed sometime in 2018. Once complete, the aircraft at Cosford will be one of only two examples and one nose section in existence from a total of 1,430 built.

Other aviation treasures on show to visitors will include the Vickers Wellington, one of only two complete examples anywhere in the world, out of 11,461 built. This popular aircraft is a favourite with aviation fans and has undergone work to treat small amounts of corrosion to its famous geodetic framework, both wings and fuselage, since its arrival at Cosford in June 2010. Now free of corrosion, both wings have been painted in a protective layer and one has already been re-covered in Irish linen, doped and painted in its Bomber Command Night colour scheme. Work is now underway to repeat the process on the aircrafts second wing and eventually the fuselage.

The Westland Lysander III, the only surviving Special Duties variant of this aircraft (which were used to ferry allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe). The aircraft which has undergone an in depth inspection and condition assessment over the last six months will also be on display to visitors. This project is being run by the Museums team of Volunteers and work over the next few years will include replacing its fragile linen outer skin.

Another aircraft spending a short period of time in the Conservation Centre is the Hawker Siddeley Gnat T1 – the first aircraft used by the RAF Red Arrows, superseded by the current aircraft, the Hawk in 1979. The aircraft was previously on public display at Cosford and is destined to move to the Museum’s London site before the end of the year. The Open Week in November is a last chance for Red Arrow fans to see the aircraft in the West Midlands. As the aircraft is being prepared for transportation by road, it is also a chance to see it in a partial stripped condition.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s that time of the year again when the Conservation Centre opens its doors to the public. The Open Week has become a firm favourite with the aviation enthusiasts and local people who have been regular attendees over the years. This year we are highlighting the Westland Lysander, a WW2 aircraft that was used on SOE ops amongst other things. The aircraft will be in a stripped condition allowing visitors to view the usually closed up areas in detail. If you want a day out with a difference, why not come along and see what we are doing.”

Visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Range Safety Launch, a project being run by a team of Volunteers, plus see a glimpse of the Dornier Do 17 smaller objects including propellers and engines. The First World War German LVG aircraft will also be on display to visitors along with some more unusual objects including the Skynet satellite and a missile collection, which are both being prepped ready for a move down to the Museum’s London site in preparation for the new centenary plans in 2018. Museum Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers will be available throughout the week to speak with visitors about their work and answer any questions they may have.

The Conservation Centre will open from 13-18 November 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 Museum is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website or call 01902 376200.

PLUS…in addition to the open week, visitors will also have the exciting opportunity to climb on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249 during daily tours running from 13-18 November. Tickets are available to purchase online via the Museums website on the day, subject to availability.

RAF Cosford Air Show Tickets now on Sale

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Cosford Aerial Photo

The organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show have announced plans for next year’s Air Show, on Sunday 10th June 2018, which they promised would be “the most spectacular and interactive Air Show tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary.”

The Royal Air Force was formed in 1918, and is proud of its rich history and achievements. From battle-winning performances high above the skies of Britain in the nation’s hour of need to more recent activities that include tackling terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, securing and protecting the skies above the UK and disaster relief around the World, there is much to celebrate at next year’s Air Show on Sunday 10th June.

One of the most exciting attractions planned for the Air Show is a showcase of 100 aircraft in a chronological exhibition showcasing the development of aeronautical design and capability over the past century. The first participant of which was announced today, the Boulton Paul Defiant I was a two-seat turret fighter, operated as a night fighter in the 1940-42 by the Royal Air Force during WWII. The airframe, which will be on display at the Air Show, is part of the RAF Museum collection, and is the single surviving complete example of the type worldwide. This airframe also has a local connection; it was built at Boulton Paul’s factory in Pendeford, Wolverhampton, in 1938. This is the first of many RAF Museum aircraft coming out from their hangars to join the special RAF100 exhibition on the airfield.

Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott, said, “Planning for the 2018 Air Show has been going on for a long time, the Royal Air Force’s centenary is such an important event to celebrate. We have grand plans to make the RAF Cosford Air Show a once in a lifetime event to Commemorate the RAF’s achievements, Celebrate the RAF of today and Inspire the public about the RAF’s future. “

Tickets for the Air Show have gone on sale, with organisers holding the price at £25.00 despite increasing costs, with the emphasis being put on providing great value for money for visitors, something reinforced for families as accompanied under-16s can attend the Air Show for free.