Archive for April, 2018

American Heavies Add Weight to Air Day

Friday, April 27th, 2018

USAF Globemaster at Yeovilton Air Day

Royal Air Force aircraft past and present will be out in force at RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 7 July but here’s a taste of its future: the state-of-the-art Boeing P-8A Poseidon courtesy of the US Navy Maritime Patrol Squadron VP-10, currently on its maiden European deployment, will be on static display.

Making its RNAS Yeovilton debut, the US Navy Poseidon is a cutting-edge, long-range multi-mission maritime platform. Carrying torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and depth charges, its roles include anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, plus search and rescue and, whilst in RAF service, the protection of the UK’s submarines and aircraft carriers.

Also attending from the US Air Force is the huge Boeing C-17A Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston’s 315th Air Lift Wing. With its impressive combined 170,000-pound cargo capacity and short, makeshift runway use capability it can be tasked with tactical airlift, airdrops, troop transportation and medical evacuation. Its cargo hold will be opened-up to walk-through at Air Day – a fantastic opportunity to see this very impressive strategic transport aircraft up-close.

These two US military aircraft will be joining other heavyweights in the static park, most notably the massive KDC-10 Extender from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. To give an idea of the sheer size of this incredible aircraft, it can also carry 65 tons of cargo or a mixed 30 ton/165 passenger load! The KDC-10 can offload an astonishing 1,750 pounds of fuel a minute, ‘topping-up’ NATO combat aircraft to extend their operational reach.

Visitors will also be able to see the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-130J Hercules. An unusual UK airshow participant, it’s supporting the CF-18 Hornet Demo Team already confirmed for Air Day’s impressive flying display.

To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft visit

60th Anniversary of Yorkshire Built Blackburn Buccaneer to be Celebrated at Yorkshire Air Museum

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Buccaneer at Yorkshire Air Museum

Sunday 29th April

The Spring “Thunder Day” taking place at the Yorkshire Air Museum on Sunday 29th April will mark a very significant milestone of Yorkshire aviation history as it will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the first flight of the development prototype of the aircraft that was to become the Blackburn Buccaneer.

Spring “Thunder Day”
The Museum’s live example of the Buccaneer S.2 XN974 will be one of the highlights at the first “Thunder Day” of the 2018 season at the Yorkshire Air Museum on Sunday 29th April, perfectly timed to celebrate this 60th anniversary of the Blackburn Buccaneer. It will make a full engine power up during the course of the day, performing its control surface movements, wing folding, bomb bay door rotation and rear air brake activation, all under power. The mighty Spey engines were capable of producing 11000 lbs of thrust each, so this is an exciting, noisy display! We are also delighted to announce that Wing Commander David Herriott, Secretary of the Buccaneer Aircrew Association will be with us to give a presentation about the aircraft and its history, from the perspective of a navigator on the aircraft.

The other 6 live aircraft in the Museum’s collection will also be started up, including the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a and diminutive Eastchurch Kitten WWI bi-planes, the 1945 WWII Douglas C-47 Dakota, the 1947 de Havilland Devon VIP transport, with both of these twin-props firing into life amongst plumes of smoke as they cough and splutter into life. Then, there will be the mighty Nimrod MR2 with its four Spey engines and finally the thunderous Handley Page Victor XL231 firing up her four Rolls Royce Conway power-plants that can produce 80 000 lbs thrust!!
All this will be carried out under the watchful eye of the Yorkshire Air Museum’s unique Volunteer Fire Team, who will also be conducting children’s activities and displaying their impressive fire appliances.

Blackburn Buccaneer – Historical Background
The military requirement was for a carrier based, low level strike and reconnaissance aircraft, capable of delivering conventional or nuclear weapons at very low level to counter the threat of the expanded Soviet Union naval capability with the huge Sverdlov–class cruisers. The aircraft was to be capable of approaching these warships below radar level at high speed, deploying weapons and quickly flying out of range.

First Flight
The tender for the Ministry of Supply specification M.148T was won by the design (Project B.103) by Blackburn’s Barry P Laight and became the last true Blackburn designed and built aircraft from the historic Brough factory near Hull, East Yorkshire. The development project (NA.39) was fully codenamed Blackburn Advanced Naval Aircraft, which resulted in the nickname of the “Banana Jet”, something unwittingly reinforced by the unusual contours of the design, implementing for the first time the principle of Boundary Layer Control, to disperse slow moving air over the wing surfaces to enhance stability and reduce stall speed for effective low altitude operation.

The first flight of Project B.103 took place at the Royal Aeronautical Establishment test centre, Bedford, at 12:57pm on 30th April 1958. According to test pilot Derek Whitehead, the flight went “exactly as planned”, with the aircraft in its duck-egg blue/grey and white “anti-flash” underbelly markings weaving gently as the pilot tested the controls whilst holding the aircraft at very low level, then rising easily away. The success of this first flight was a matter of great pride for Blackburn, especially the Chairman at the time, Eric Turner, who described it as “a wonderful achievement in getting the N.A.39 prototype in the air by the target date.” It was actually the first time that a very tight target date for a large and complicated military aircraft had been met, a result of superb teamwork at every level. Early Blackburn Buccaneer S.1 production models went into service with the Fleet Air Arm on 17th July 1962. However, they suffered from a lack of power from the original de Havilland Gyron Junior engines, resulting in some tragic accidents under more severe testing and operation. This was solved when the superior new Rolls Royce Spey engines were fitted, producing 40% more thrust for the following S.2 and other variants. By this time, Blackburn Aircraft Company had merged with Hawker Siddeley, so S.2 and later variants were known as Hawker Siddeley (Blackburn) Buccaneers.

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2
The first production Buccaneer S.2 was XN974, now to be seen at the Yorkshire Air Museum. XN974 is certainly no ordinary Buccaneer. It first flew on 5th June 1964, from Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire, and then went to the Royal Aircraft Experimental test facility in Bedford and then to HMS Eagle for sea trials, including work on HMS Hermes and HMS Ark Royal. In 1965 in went to the USA for hot weather testing and, on its return flight, on 10th October, became a record breaker by becoming the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly the transatlantic route non-stop and un-refuelled from the Canadian Air Force base at Goose Bay, Newfoundland to RNAS Lossiemouth, achieving the distance of 1950 miles in 4hours 16 minutes. It became a prime avionics and system development test bed between 1967 and 1982, and, during the ”Gulf War” (Desert Storm), it took part in the RAF activities designated “Operation Granby”, flying high altitude re-fuelling trial sorties with Tornado GR1 aircraft, lasting up to 3 hours in flight. It was flown into retirement here at Elvington on 19th August 1991, wearing RAF camouflage markings, and has remarkably been kept in live, ground operational condition since then. It has now been restored into its original Fleet Air Arm colours, and makes a very striking looking aircraft.

Fulfilling its design brief, the Buccaneer has been described as the most stable low-level strike aircraft ever built. It served with the Fleet Air Arm until 1978, when the Sea Harrier was introduced. The RAF acquired the type in 1969, after the cancellation of the proposed British Aircraft Company TSR2 project, then taking the Fleet Air Arm Buccaneers. The RAF fleet was gradually reduced to 60 aircraft, with the scaling down of the Cold War, coming out of service on 31st March 1994 to be replaced by the new PANAVIA Tornado as production of this type escalated.

However, the Buccaneers saw service alongside the Tornado GR1’s during the first Gulf War during 1991, crucially providing laser target designation for the Tornado’s which they lacked at that time.

Thunder Day Admission:
Admission: £12 Adults; £10 Concession; £5 Child (5-15) or £30 Family (2A+3Ch).
Gates Open at 10:00am until 17:00pm.
Propeller aircraft will be run during the morning and then again in the afternoon from 13:15pm. Buccaneer XN974 will conduct its run at 14:30pm

The Fabulous Forties Come to Life at Brooklands Museum

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Fabulous Forties at Brooklands Museum

The 1940s Relived – Saturday 12th May 2018
10am – 9pm

Live period music in the dance marquee, aircraft and vehicle displays and a well-stocked trade village will mean an unmissable day of nostalgia at Brooklands Museum’s annual homage to the 1940s on Saturday 12th May. The 1940s Relived celebrates the fashion, music, style, vehicles and social scene that epitomised this decade, giving equal weight to the Second World War and to its immediate aftermath – both important periods in the history of Brooklands. And it’s not just a show to watch – the public are urged to dress in ‘40s style and join the action on a fun-filled day that lasts well into the evening.

At the heart of the event will be the dance marquee with a rolling programme of music and FREE dance classes. Vintage specialist DJ Swing Shift will be providing the sounds, and singing live will be chanteuse Noelle Vaughn, one of the most authentic singers on the circuit. This year, the organisers are thrilled to confirm the appearance of the Kalamazoo Dance Band who will relive that golden era of big bands with familiar numbers made famous by the likes of Glen Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.

Brooklands was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing venue which still retains its 1930s appearance and buildings so is a perfect venue for such a nostalgic event as this. Under the Race Car Bays there will be a trade village where visitors will find sellers of original and quality reproduction clothing, homewares and ephemera from the era. This year there are more sellers of vintage clothing than ever before which shows how the popularity of a love for the past is growing. Displays of vehicles will include saloons, tourers, vans, trucks and military will fill the Paddock, Motoring Village and surrounding areas along with re-enactor groups portraying everything from the Home Guard, RAF and Land Army Girls to civilian and family life adding to the ‘time travelling’ effect.

Any ladies not able to finesse their ‘40s look themselves need not worry, as a vintage-style hair and make-up parlour will be set up in the original Press Hut, manned by Hair That Turns Heads – a troupe of stylists who specialise in recreating the looks and styles from the period. Due to the high demand on the day, they are already taking appointments in advance. To discuss a booking, speak with the team directly on: 07733 383 735 or e-mail: At lunchtime, anyone is welcome to have their portrait shot done in the Art Deco Ladies Reading Room inside the Clubhouse. Photographs will go up on-line and can be ordered directly from the photographer on the day.

There will be much interest, as usual, in who will win the Brooklands Best-Dressed Competition this year. Visitors are urged to don their finest period attire to attract the attention of the Brooklands Style Scouts who will be on site looking for the finest ‘40s outfits, with none other than ‘Winstan’ Churchill himself judging the finalists.

A special highlight at this year’s show will be the Museum’s Hawker Hurricane that has undergone a major restoration programme over the last few years. If the weather permits, the aircraft, built in 1940, will be displayed outdoors alongside the Air Raid Shelter by the Race Track that was used by the factory workers during wartime. Aircraft production at the site which took place over an 80 year period can be fully explored by visitors as their entry ticket includes access to the incredible Brooklands Aircraft Factory which opened in November last year. Inside, full size sections of aircraft are displayed on ‘assembly lines’ and visitors can try some of the tooling and manufacturing skills used by workers at Brooklands through specially-designed interactive work stations. The centre piece in the factory is ‘R for Robert’, the Brooklands WW2 Wellington Bomber surrounded by artefacts that tell the incredible stories during this period and ‘meet’ some of the pilots, engineers and 14,000 workforce that made Brooklands once of the most productive aviation sites in Europe.

There will be a Family Activity Zone where the Brooklands Learning Team will be leading a workshop where children can make a 3D scene featuring the Hurricane which they can colour in themselves and take home; just as in period, the help of a civilian workforce will be vital!

All the exhibition areas, aircraft, racing cars and motorcycles at the Museum will be open as usual from 10am until 5pm, and the on-site London Bus Museum will be running rides around the local area aboard period appropriate buses*. However, the music and dancing will continue in the marquee until 9pm with a bar and food to keep visitors sustained. Last entry to the site is 6pm. Additional visitor parking is in The Heights off Wellington Way – as directed by special event signage on the day.

Admission: Adults £15, Seniors £13, Children (5-16 yrs) £8, Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £40 with advance discounted tickets available from Dance Classes are included in the entry price. The Concorde Experience is £5 for adults, £3 for children. Rides in the 4D Theatre are £4 for adults, £2 for children.

French Air Force to present three display teams at the Duxford Air Festival for the first time

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Rafale at Duxford Air Festival

For the second annual Duxford Air Festival, the French Air Force will bring three display teams to IWM Duxford for the very first time. They are the Patrouille de France aerobatic team (Sunday only), the French Air Force Dassault Rafale, a powerful and agile multi-role fighter aircraft used in combat over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; and the French Air Force Equipe de Voltige, a duo of Extra aircraft performing close formation, high precision aerobatic displays. In addition to the exhilarating flying displays, there will be activities for all the family at the Duxford Air Festival, including the Family Flight Challenge, featuring Richard Meredith-Hardy, the first person to fly over Mount Everest in a microlight.

Additional flying highlights in this year’s Duxford Air Festival include: The Royal Air Force Chinook display team (Saturday only); the Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers, the world’s only aerobatic formation wing-walking team; the Great War Display Team with flak, bombing and strafing effects; the Global Stars team of British aerobatic champions; the Tiger Nine formation team of nine 1930s Tiger Moth biplanes; the extraordinary post-Second World War Swiss Air Force C-3605 ‘Schlepp’; B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, the only flying B-17 in Europe; IWM’s rare Mark I Spitfire and a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, in authentic D-Day markings, which appeared in the seminal TV series Band of Brothers (see Notes to Editors for full flying display list).

Taking place across the museum, the Family Flight Challenge will feature a host of captivating activities. In the Trailblazers Zone, in the Battle of Britain exhibition, Channel 4’s Arthur Williams will be in conversation with some of the finest adventurers and trailblazers from the world of aviation. Arthur has presented and written a number of leading documentaries on military history, travel and aviation, as well as Paralympic Sport. Arthur will be in conversation with Brian Jones who, along with Bertrand Piccard, co-piloted the first successful uninterrupted circumnavigation of the world onboard the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3; Ademilola Odujinrin, the first British African pilot in history to fly solo around the world and Richard Meredith-Hardy, a British extreme microlight pilot, who was twice World Microlight Champion and is also the first person to fly over Mount Everest in a microlight.

In the American Air Museum, visitors can try their hand at building a large-scale model of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Visitors can also get up close to a Chipmunk aircraft and a Pitts aircraft, experience an interactive 1950s RAF mobile control tower and meet members of the Dawn Patrol living history group, who will be portraying aviators of the Great War period.

Entry to IWM Duxford is included in the ticket price for all air shows. Visitors can get up close to the aircraft that have revolutionised flight, including the futuristic Blackbird spyplane, which performed top secret operations for almost 30 years and the B-52 Stratofortress, which stretches the length of the American Air Museum. Iconic aircraft, including the Spitfire, Concorde and the contemporary Tornado, are on display across the museum.

Tickets for all air shows must be booked in advance; no on the day tickets are available. A fantastic Early Bird offer is available until Sunday 13 May.

Climb on board the F-111 and VC10!

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

RAF Museum Cosford VC10

Date: 19 May 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Cost: £13.50 per person

The second of four ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this year, will be held on Saturday 19 May. Up to 600 aviation fans will have the opportunity to get a closer look inside more aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s collection, during an afternoon and evening session.

The RAF Museum Cosford and London is home to over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles and event organisers have selected 100 from the collection that they believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events will celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary by giving visitors access to aircraft and vehicles, spanning the services entire career.

The May event at Cosford will be themed around aircraft and vehicles from the National Cold War Exhibition, the transport and training collection in Hangar 1 and a selection of aircraft in the Museum grounds.

From the Cold War collection, aircraft and vehicles on the night include the General Dynamics F-111 F-CF. Built as a two-seat fighter-bomber, the F-111A variant became the first variable-geometry combat aircraft to enter service, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War. As well as serving with US forces, the F-111C variant were produced for the Royal Australian Air Force. The final production variant, the F-111F (as seen at Cosford) featured improved avionics, including navigational and digital computer systems, improved wing structure and landing gear, and more powerful engines. Their main offensive load was Paveway laser-guided bombs, with Sidewinder missiles carried for self-defence. A total of 106 were built from 1972 and they saw much service during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Other Cold War aircraft and vehicles open for the special event include the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis, Leopard tank, Bv 202 Over snow, and the Green Goddess (close view only).

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s transport and training vehicles, used for moving troops and equipment and retained to teach aircrews the wide variety of skills they must master before becoming operational. The Museum’s collection consists of some of the largest and smallest machines flown by the Royal Air Force and one of the event highlights will include the Vickers VC10 (weather permitting). Designed as a long-range airliner able to operate from short runways at airfields in hot and high conditions, the VC10 had a high cruising mach number with very good short field performance. In the later part of its service the aircraft was modified for the tanking role but kept its passenger and freight carrying ability. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event in May will be the first-time aviation fans have been given the opportunity to step on board the aircraft since its arrival at the Museum in 2015.

Another transporting giant of the RAF, the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 (weather permitting) will also be open to visitors, along with the advanced navigation trainer Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1.

Aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s Hangar 1 collection will include the de Havilland Chipmunk, one of the RAF’s longest serving aircraft types Vickers Varsity T Mk I brought into RAF service in 1951 for crew training as a replacement for the Wellington T10. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Morris Minor Traveller, Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Junkers Ju52/3M during the May event.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle and available to answer any questions. A special Log Book can be purchased for an additional £1, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!

A total of 600 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 19 May and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive access. The afternoon session will run from 1pm-4pm, followed by an evening session 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 5pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). Details on the RAF Museum London events are also available online.

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.

Red Arrows to Headline Centenary Celebrations at RAF Cosford

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Red Arrows at Cosford

On Sunday 10th June, RAF Cosford will host the most spectacular and interactive Air Show tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary, and today organisers released more details on aircraft scheduled to attend, including the spectacular RAF Red Arrows.

The event, with an expected attendance of 60,000 visitors, is proving more popular than ever due to the unique RAF100 commemorations planned. Organisers are urging those who wish to attend to purchase their tickets soon as they are already selling at an unprecedented rate. Almost all private enclosure and hospitality options are already sold out with only a few seats left.

Today it was confirmed that all of the Royal Air Force’s display assets would be performing in the action packed six-hour flying display, including the world famous Red Arrows display team with their nine Hawk jets. The RAF Falcons Parachute Display will be dropping in, carrying the RAF100 Baton, and modern aircraft such as the Typhoon, Chinook & Tutor would also be performing thrilling solo displays.

In the Royal Air Force’s centenary year the mission of the Air Show is to Commemorate the past achievements of the Royal Air Force, Celebrate the RAF of today and Inspire generations about opportunities in the future. As part of the commemorative element of the RAF Cosford Air Show, the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be flying their Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster & Dakota to honour those who served in WWII. An assortment of other historic aircraft from throughout the Royal Air Force’s history will also be on display at the event, with more to be added over the coming weeks.

On the ground, entertainment will include a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the 100 years of the RAF story told through a static line up of 100 aircraft. Four themed villages and two Science Technology Engineering and Maths hangars will take that story even further with interactive displays and fascinating fun for all ages.

Station Commander RAF Cosford, Group Captain Tone Baker, said “We are delighted to be hosting our biggest and best ever Air Show this summer. 2018 is a special year as we mark RAF100 but also RAF Cosford itself celebrates its 80th birthday, and there is no better way for the public to get involved than coming along to the Air Show and see behind the scenes of an active Royal Air Force station.”

Air Show Tickets, priced at £29.00 per adult, are now sale in a number of outlets across the region including a variety of Tourist Information Centres and Theatres. They are also available directly from the Air Show website Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event an excellent family day out and great value for money.

Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Morning at Brooklands Museum

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Volunteers at Brooklands

Thursday 3rd May 2018

Some fantastic volunteering opportunities will be on offer at a special event on Thursday May 3rd from 10am – 12noon at Brooklands Museum. Everyone is welcome to come along to the Museum’s Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Morning to meet some of the current volunteers and staff and discover the wide range of options to suit all ages, interests and levels of commitment.

By joining the Volunteer programme you can make a real difference to the Museum, make new friends and share your skills and experience to help preserve and interpret the heritage of Brooklands to hundreds of weekly visitors. Brooklands is the birthplace of British motor sport and aviation, home of Concorde and has just completed a multi-million pound development. The new Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed exhibitions have transformed the site and generated a lot of interest with a marked increase in visitor numbers.

There are also collections of Vickers and Hawker aircraft, vintage racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles and historic buildings where many of them were built and tested. The unique history of the site is brought to life every day with the valuable support of volunteers. In 2016 the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was awarded to the Brooklands Volunteers – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Volunteers cover a wide variety of roles vital to the Museum, from stewarding and guiding both adults and school children to restoration of aircraft and vehicles, research, administration, marshalling at events, painting and gardening. Over 800 volunteers are registered at the Museum, coming from every sector of the community and professional background, and priding themselves on their professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm. Visitors often comment about how much their visits are enhanced by interaction with them.

Entrance to the Museum to prospective volunteers is free and tours of the Museum will be available. So why not come and meet the team and Sue Lewin, Volunteer Resources Manager at Brooklands Museum. Entry is via Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL. If you are interested in discussing some opportunities but are unable to make the date, please contact Sue Lewin, Volunteer Manager on 01932 857 381 Ext 242 or email

RAF Centenary Spitfire Challenge

Monday, April 16th, 2018

RAF100 Spitfire Challenge

Spitfire 100K Challenge
100K in 100 days
Date: Entries open until 1 April
Location: Anywhere you like!
Cost: £20 per person

Spitfire 10K and Family Run
Date: 2 September 2018
Time: Family Run 9.15am / Spitfire 10K 10am
Location: RAF Museum, London NW9
Cost: Standard entry £22.50 per person (15+ years); £5 each for fun run

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and as part of the celebrations and commemorations, the award-winning RAF Museum is inviting runners to take part in some exciting events to mark the once in a lifetime occasion and help raise funds for the RAF 100 Appeal.

SPITFIRE 100k Challenge:
To celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force, the RAF Museum has set a new centenary year challenge to run 100K in 100 days. The Spitfire 100K Challenge is a virtual race which launches on 1 April 2018 and runners have exactly 100 days to walk, jog or run 100K in a location of their choice. Runners will be given a log sheet to record their 100K before being rewarded with a spinning propeller Spitfire 100K Challenge medal.

Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds from the Spitfire 100K Challenge will go towards the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities – Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, Royal Air Forces Association, Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum.

As a virtual race, the 100K challenge can be completed anywhere in the world and runners from as far as America, Germany and Denmark have already signed up. Online registration is now open and closes on 1 April when the challenge begins. Limited edition Spitfire 100K Challenge t-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online.

SPITFIRE 10k and Family Fun Run:
This year we are offering 800 runners the opportunity to run a 10K on our historic airfield site in North West London. 2018 is a big year for the Royal Air Force and for the Museum. We have three new exhibitions and a beautiful landscaped site, evoking the London Aerodrome from 100 year ago. You will start under the Sunderland and run through the site and then continue around the streets of Colindale, before coming back on site to finish on our ‘taxiway’.

At the end of the race you will be awarded with an exclusive Spitfire 10K medal, which will be extra special for 2018 as this year will be the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

T-shirts can be ordered when you purchase your Spitfire 10K entry and will be available for collection on the day. The deadline to pre-order your t-shirt is Sunday 12 August 2018.

Entry to the Museum is free of charge and runners, spectators and supporters are encouraged to explore the site on race day.

Spitfire Family Run:
For 2018 we will also be holding a NEW Spitfire Family Run. This gentle run will take place around our transformed site. Each registered runner will receive a special medal upon completion. The race is suitable for all ages, but children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Standard entry (all ages): £5 (this includes a medal). Please note that only paying participants will be awarded a medal.

The Spitfire 10K is a UK Athletics licenced race over an accurately measured course and is suitable for keen runners and novices alike, so if you’re aged 15 and over why not give it a go? Whether you’ve been entering races for years, or you’re just getting into running, the Spitfire 10K is guaranteed to be fun and memorable.

Organisers are also encouraging participants to get into the spirit of the Spitfire 10K by dressing in wartime attire – don your victory curls or flying jacket and run this event in style! Or, why not sport a bespoke 2018 Spitfire 10K t-shirt, available to purchase when you register online. The Spitfire 10K will be a fun family day out and spectators are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Plus, following the race, visitors have the added bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free Museum, where they will find over 75 historical aircraft on display.

To register for the event visit the Museum’s website Entry to the Spitfire 100K Challenge is £20 per person, the Spitfire 10K costs £22.50 per person (Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person), and participation in the Spitfire Family Run is £5 per person. All proceeds will go towards the RAF100 Appeal (registered charity number 1167398). For further details about the event can be found online.

Tornado GR4 now on display at IWM Duxford

Monday, April 16th, 2018

IWM Tornado GR4

On Wednesday 11 April Tornado GR4 ZA469 took pride of place on display in the Battle of Britain exhibition at IWM Duxford.

Tornado GR4 ZA469 was transported from the Conservation Hall in AirSpace to the Battle of Britain exhibition in order to be displayed to visitors.

The Tornado GR4 is the most significant combat jet used by the Royal Air Force during the last 27 years and continues in service until 2019. This aircraft – ZA 469 – deployed to Afghanistan between 2011 and 2014, frequently operated in support of ground forces. In 2011 it flew on Operation Ellamy, to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Most recently it took part in counter-ISIS operations in the Middle East.

Imperial War Museums is delighted to be working with RAF Marham to add Tornado GR4 ZA469 to our displays at IWM Duxford. Wing Commander Phil Marr, Acting Station Commander, RAF Marham, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to loan a Tornado GR4 to Imperial War Museums, especially as the Tornado Force enters its last year of service with the Royal Air Force. The Tornado has been supporting operations across the globe for just over 27 years and continues to fly sorties in the Middle East today so it is great for visitors to IWM Duxford to be able to see an aircraft up close that is currently being used on operations.”

Diane Lees, Director-General, Imperial War Museums said: “Imperial War Museums is actively building its contemporary conflict collections. This Tornado represents some of the most significant post-2001 conflicts in which UK armed forces have been involved. Over the next few years, we hope to work with former Tornado aircrew – especially those who have flown in this aircraft – to also tell the personal stories of those who have taken part in these conflicts.”

Red Arrows Headline RAF100 Tribute at Air Day

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Red Arrows by Paul Johnson

Smoke on! The world-class Red Arrows will lead the Royal Air Force’s centenary involvement at this year’s RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 7 July. The RAF has had the Red Arrows as its official aerobatic team for over half its lifespan. Flying their nine red-painted BAe Hawk T1 jet trainers, 2018’s Red Arrows are led by a new ‘Red 1’, Squadron Leader Martin Pert. The team’s all-action routine is sure to be an Air Day highlight once more, peaking with the Synchro Pair’s breath-taking crossing manoeuvres.

Joining the RAF convoy are a pair of Supermarine Spitfires, from the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby. A landmark RAF type, the immortal Spitfire is among the most famous of WW2 fighters. Also inbound is Dakota III ZA947: the flight’s example of US manufacturer Douglas’ ubiquitous twin-engine transport aircraft. In its No. 233 Squadron D-Day markings, the BBMF Dakota adds further RAF100 flavour to the show.

Bring the noise! The Typhoon FGR4 will be showcasing the sharp end of the RAF. A true multirole combat aircraft, the Typhoon’s taskings include UK QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties, air-to-air combat, air policing and peace support. Demonstrating the type’s outstanding performance capability will be Flight Lieutenant Jim Peterson, this year’s RAF Typhoon Display Team pilot.

The uniquely airworthy Bristol Sycamore will also be delivering some RAF100 zest to the show. Entering RAF service ahead of all other British-designed helicopters, the Sycamore was a real rotary pioneer. It was first flown in July 1947, barely two years after the end of WW2. Less than a dozen Sycamores now remain and this one, as the world’s only flyer, brings distinction and rarity to Air Day.

Further RAF100 related aircraft participation will be announced in due course. To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft visit