Archive for January, 2018

Rare opportunity to get behind the scenes at Fleet Air Arm Museum’s Cobham Hall

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Cobham Hall, Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum’s behind the scenes reserve collection is now larger than many other entire aircraft museums and is housed in a purpose built and climate-controlled building called Cobham Hall.

There are just four opportunities this year to get behind the scenes to see the reserve aircraft collection in Cobham Hall under the guidance of Curator of Aircraft, David Morris. The behind the scenes programme kicks off on Thursday 8 March at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

The aircraft housed in Cobham Hall are part of the 103 aircraft in the museum’s collection awaiting their turn for display or being assessed as part of an ongoing conservation and preservation programme. There are many aircraft not seen anywhere else, such as the Supermarine 510 and Hawker P1052 and also, the oldest surviving aircraft carrier, the Seaplane Lighter H21, which is on the National Register of Historic Vessels. This 58-foot long streamlined craft was towed into wind at high speed behind fast Royal Navy destroyers, allowing aircraft to take off at sea during the First World War.

Fleet Air Arm Museum Senior Curator David Morris said: “Cobham Hall is packed with a precious assortment of naval aviation heritage objects and even a glimpse behind the scenes is a real treat and fascinating, whether you love aircraft or not.”

There are three sessions per day – 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Tours commence from Cobham Hall, a short distance from the museum (please park immediately on left inside Cobham Hall entrance). All tours will be £12.00 per person, places are limited and must be booked in advance either online or via the museum ticket box. Tickets do not include entry to the museum. For further information please visit www.fleetairarm.com.

Doors opening to ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ for RAF Centenary Year

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

TSR2 cockpit at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 9 February 2018

Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Cost: £13.50 per person / £100 per person for all 8 event dates

To celebrate the Royal Air Force’s Centenary in 2018, the Royal Air Force Museum is offering visitors the chance to get a closer look inside 100 cockpits and vehicles from the collection across both the Cosford and London sites. This brand new, duel site event will give aviation fans access to more of the Museum’s historic aircraft and vehicle collection than ever before, in a series of eight events throughout 2018.

The first of four dates at Cosford will be held on Friday 9 February, themed around the unique Test Flight collection and a collection of Second World War, British, German and Japanese aircraft.

The Test Flight group of aircraft were built to test a new theory or line of research and many were produced in secrecy, often utilising components borrowed from other types. These were the machines that helped Britain open new frontiers of flight. Aircraft on the night include the British Aircraft Corporation TSR 2 (close view only). Although never developed beyond the prototype stage, the TSR2 (Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance Mach 2) was one of the most exciting and controversial British combat aircraft designs of the 1960s. Initial reports indicated that the TSR2 was an outstanding technical success, however political opposition to the project led to it being cancelled, a subject of great debate to this day.

Other unique airframes open on the night include the SEPECAT Jaguar ACT Demonstrator, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, and the Hawker-Siddeley Kestrel FGA.

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s unique collection of fighters and bombers, including those of Allies and our enemies. Soon after the invention of the aeroplane as a controlled and powered machine its application by the Military became evident. From 1911, when it was first used in conflict, through the Great War and to the present day, the Royal Air Force and its predecessors have operated flying machines in defence of our country and freedom. The War in the Air collection at Cosford is home to the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire 1 K9942, one of several aircraft open on the night for enthusiasts to enjoy a closer view.

In addition, the Messerschmitt BF109G, the backbone of the German Air Force’s day fighter force will be open for a close view, along with the Lister Works Truck, used throughout Royal Air Force maintenance depots. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Avro Lincoln B2, Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka, Kawasaki Ki-1001b and the Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet during the February event.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:

“This is the first of a programme of events this year to celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary. How better to celebrate 100 years of the RAF than giving visitors access to 100 aircraft and vehicles spanning the services entire career? Across our two public sites we have over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles on display and we’ve selected 100 that we believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft and available to answer any questions. We have also produced a special Log Book which can be purchased in advance, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!”

The aircraft available at all eight events will vary, totaling 100 over the course of the year across the two RAF Museum sites. Just 300 tickets are available for each event and are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). Details on the RAF Museum London events are also available online.

Want to tick off all 100 cockpits? Why not purchase our special centenary £100 ticket, giving you access to eight evening and 4 daytime events across the two sites, plus, additional time to enjoy all the events and a free copy of the Log Book with a saving of £62.50!

Attending the exclusive ‘Open Cockpits and Cabs’ events is an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, which is a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The Museum will close at 4.00pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders and will be serving a special event menu, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6.00pm.

Allied Air Forces Memorial Day 2018 Announced

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Allied Air Forces Memorial Day at Yorkshire Air Museum

The date has been set for the Yorkshire Air Museum’s prestigious “Allied Air Forces Memorial Day” and 2018’s ceremony will take place on Sunday 2nd September. This international event sees attendance of Air Force and Defence Attachés and diplomats from many allied nations, in addition to senior RAF personnel and Civic dignitaries, and is indeed an important, well-established military occasion for the region. This year is particularly significant, as it forms part of the national Royal Air Force Centenary celebrations, marking the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the RAF and WRAF, and of course the Armistice and the end of World War One.

As always, the participation of veterans and members of numerous Service organisations, such as the Royal Air Force Association, Royal British Legion and Royal Observer Corps is welcome and many of those who have taken part in previous years have already been contacted to attend and take part in the occasion, with responses already being received.

Ian Reed ONM FRAeS, Museum Director, comments: “The participation of veterans, serving personnel and Air Training Corps Cadets, marching proudly with their Association / Branch and Squadron Standards, including National Standards, creates a colourful and truly spectacular occasion for all to appreciate. The Parade, impressively led by the Yorkshire Military Marching Band & Corps of Drums, progresses through the Museum to the Memorial hangar, where, against the stunning background provided by the unique WWII Halifax bomber, “Friday the 13th”, a poignant Drumhead commemoration Service is held, after the Standards have been Marched in and assembled. It is an opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifice of so many in defence of the nation and freedom from oppression.”

Following the Service, the Parade re-forms for the traditional ‘Sunset’ Ceremony, with the lowering of the RAF Ensign and dipping of Standards, culminating with the March Off and Salute, taken by Senior personnel attending.

It is an occasion not to be missed, and we anticipate that the 2018 Allied Air Forces Memorial Day will be bigger than ever and supported by an historic aircraft flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, adding to the spectacle.

Any Service organisations wishing to take part are welcome to contact the museum to register their interest, and should contact Ian Richardson, Communications Manager on 01904 608595 or e-mail: pr@yorkshireairmuseum.org

www.yorkshireairmuseum.org

French Navy Confirmed for Yeovilton Air Day

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

French Navy Caiman

We are delighted to announce that the French Navy have confirmed their support for the Royal Naval Air Station International Air Day on Saturday 7 July. Headlining their contribution is the return of the fantastic Rafale pair role demonstration. So far, flown at no other UK airshow, it’s an award-winning, all-action routine that highlights the French Navy’s cutting-edge multirole carrier fighter aircraft to scintillating effect. Starting with a thunderous formation take-off, the display showcases both present day frontline naval tactics and the exceptional performance capabilities of the fast, powerful and agile Rafale M.

The French Navy is also contributing an exceptionally rare Atlantique 2 to the flying display. This charismatic maritime patrol aircraft has not performed in British skies for over 15 years, so will be a major highlight of Air Day’s five-plus hour display. The Atlantique 2’s capabilities include submarine escort, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare on missions lasting up to 18 hours. We look forward to welcoming the Atlantique and its crew from 23 Flottille!

In addition to the flying display aircraft the French Navy will have three aircraft on static display. The NH90 NFH Caiman is a state-of-the-art frigate-launched anti-submarine helicopter and the French Navy example will make its Air Day debut.

The French Navy Lynx represents an older generation of anti-submarine capability and the fleet remains operational for now although, after 40 years’ service, retirement looms. Finally, seldom seen on British shores, one of the naval air arm’s Falcon 50Ms will be making a rare appearance at Air Day. This widely-tasked maritime surveillance aircraft is equipped with specialised mission systems and its capabilities include search and rescue, fishing patrol operations and counter-narcotics missions.

The French Navy’s contribution is once again outstanding and will play a significant role in what is shaping up to be a great line up. Early Bird tickets, with no booking fees, are available until Wednesday 31 January from www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

RAF Museum Cosford 2018 Events Diary

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

RAF Museum Cosford Cockpits and Cabs event

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during 2018:

Date Event
9 February 100 Cockpits and Cabs
17 – 23 February Airfix Make and Take
21 February Talk: Airfix and 100 years of the RAF
24 March Pillows and Pilots Sleepover
1 April – 10 July Spitfire 100K Challenge
1 – 2 April 100 Years Festival
3 – 15 April Feathers and Flight Family Trail
5 April Eagles at Easter Display
12 April Eagles at Easter Display
28 April Pillows and Pilots Sleepover
12 May Pillows and Pilots Sleepover
19 May 100 Cockpits and Cabs
26 May – 3 June First World War Half Term
10 June RAF Cosford Air Show
30 June Armed Forces Day
7 – 8 July Large Model Aircraft Rally
21 – 22 July Cosford Food Festival
1 – 31 August Summer of Spies Trail
1 August Summer of Spies Workshops
8 August Summer of Spies Workshops
11 -12 August Vintage and Handmade Festival
15 August Summer of Spies Workshops
22 August Summer of Spies Workshops
29 August Summer of Spies Workshops
2 September Spitfire 10K and Spitfire Family Run
15 September 100 Cockpits and Cabs
21 – 22 September Outdoor Cinema
27 October – 2 November Airfix Make and Take
11 November Remembrance Service
12 – 18 November MBCC Open Week
7 December 100 Cockpits and Cabs

Further details on each event will be issued nearer the time. Admission charges apply for some events and activities. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year, please visit the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford for more details.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:

“We will be celebrating the centenary of the Royal Air Force throughout 2018 with a number of events tailored towards commemorating this milestone. Across both our London and Cosford sites we will be opening up the doors to 100 Cockpits and Cabs so visitors can get up close and inside more of our collection than ever before, with the first of four dates at Cosford in February.

Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend on 1-2 April, we will be marking the official formation of the Royal Air Force with a 100 Years Festival, packed with re-enactors, displays and activities for families. There will also be a new permanent display celebrating the RAF through the decades with artefacts from within our collection interpreting the RAF story.

One of our most popular events, the Spitfire 10K will be returning in September, where up to 1,200 runners this year can race across the airfield. In addition, we’ve set a new centenary challenge to run 100K in 100 days in a virtual race and we’re busy working on a suitably spectacular medal for those who rise to the task. All proceeds from these races will go towards the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities.

These new events are in addition to activities running throughout each of the school holidays as well as our major summer event, the Cosford Food Festival. Plus the Outdoor Cinema Screening will be returning for two nights in September and of course, the chance to see behind the scenes in our Conservation Centre during the Open Week in November.”

For further information on the 2018 events, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call 01902 376200. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge.

Special access to iconic aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Sea King at Fleet Air Arm Museum

An evening of unprecedented access, exploring in and around some of the Fleet Air Arm Museum’s most significant aircraft, takes place on Thursday 18 January at 6.00pm. This is an exclusive opportunity that is not usually available to the general public.

Visitors can see where history was made when they look inside the cockpit of Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown’s famous Vampire LZ551/G. This was the first jet aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier in 1945.

Sit inside the cockpits of Concorde 002, Westland Wessex 5 and HAS3 Lynx Helicopter. Go inside the cabin area of ‘King of the Junglies’ Sea King ZA 298 and view into the cockpits of Harrier GR9 and Hawker P1127, to enable a comparison of prototype and last type seen in service.

Also enjoy access to the main museum galleries (excluding flight deck) and absorb the unique atmosphere of the museum at night. The experienced team of curators and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and tell more of the secrets of the museum and our collection of aircraft.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum’s General Manager Marc Farrance said: “These evenings are incredibly popular and very special indeed. The chance to sit in the very cockpits where history has often been made is thrilling and our visitors love it.”

Tickets for this privileged access evening are available from www.fleetairarm.com, £40.00 per person. Spaces are limited spaces and advance booking is essential.

Sensible clothing and footwear must be worn. Access to aircraft is dependent upon your fitness levels and overall mobility. All visits are subject to a briefing by a member of the museum team. Aircraft line-up subject to change.