Archive for May, 2018

Living History in the air and on the ground

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Texan by Piotr Szydlo

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce another airborne legend from WWII will display both days over the weekend of the 28 and 29th July; A Hawker Hurricane. Completing the ultimate trinity of WWII allied fighters, the Hurricane adds to a line-up which includes the Spitfire and Mustang.

Responsible for 60% of the victories in the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane is often overshadowed by the glamorous Spitfire. As a result flying Spitfires now outnumber the Hurricane; a rare sight in the skies. The particular aircraft in question was built in Canada, written off in England during the War and then crossed the Atlantic again having been restored to form part of the Planes of Fame Museum in Houston, Texas. Today she is part of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

Saturday will see some airborne antics, guaranteed to be a winner with every member of the family, courtesy of the Turbulent Team. This four aircraft display team fly the remarkable and tiny Turbulent, a single seat low powered machine; the only aircraft type during the weekend to fly under a limbo.

The Turbulents seem to be happiest flying a few feet off the ground. In fact, they never go above 700 ft during a display. This is mainly because the optimum height for their favourite pastimes, such as balloon popping and flour bombing is rather close to the ground. They’ll also need to be close to the ground in order to get under the limbo. The approach that the incredibly skilled pilots of the four aircraft take mainly centres around fun. To neatly illustrate this point they describe themselves as flying “in the colours of the Early Learning Centre”

The future of Airshows relies on new talent; display pilots are the best of the best and each year not only do they need to pass rigorous assessments to gain their Display Authorisation from the CAA; they also need airshows to book them. Thanks to a brilliant new initiative from the CAA, we’re delighted to be able to bring the Airshow Crowd displays from a new era of display pilot.

The first such pilot is Andy Goodall who’ll be displaying his fearsome T-6 Texan “Wacky Wabbit” (named for a rather famous cartoon character); a WWII fighter trainer with a 600hp Pratt and Whitney radial engine. The T6, best known in England as the Harvard, is still in service with the Canadian Air Force and recognised as one of the
all-time great Display aircraft. Andy will be flying the same T-6 which (when the air displays are not in progress) members of the public can take to the skies aboard as part of a truly special trial lesson with a highly qualified flying instructor. This then will truly offer some very lucky members of the public the opportunity to fly aboard a display aircraft; a first for the Airshow.

On the ground, military exhibits and history are brought to life. This will be the first Airshow where the airfield is able to boast two museums; in addition the usual several acres of military displays including tank rides will be back by popular demand. They’ll be added to by a remarkable display by the Airborne Assault Living History Group. Featuring a recreation of a bombed Normandy barn, this evocative display will headine a host of living history exhibits, covering conflict throughout the 20th Century.

“After last year’s record breaking success, the challenge was always going to be finding a way of following it. Somehow we’ve managed to assemble a truly amazing line-up of airborne displays this year with even more to be announced next month. Thanks to groups like Airborne Assault and the hundreds of other living history enthusiasts who form part of the Airshow, the exhibits on the ground will be unmissable.”

www.oldbuck.com

RNAS Yeovilton’s Resident Forces Join Air Day Line-Up

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

RNAS Yeovilton Wildcat

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day has a sensational line-up ready for Saturday 7 July but we can now confirm details of two spectacular Role Demonstrations provided by the resident Commando Helicopter Force and the Wildcat Maritime Force.

There will be an explosive, pyrotechnic-filled role demo from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) Merlin and Wildcat helicopters. Headquartered at RNAS Yeovilton, CHF comprises of three squadrons – 845 NAS and 846 NAS, currently flying Merlin HC3/3As but transitioning to upgraded HC4s, and 847 NAS, equipped with the Wildcat AH1. These two helicopter types are at the forefront of amphibious and land-based Royal Marines operations worldwide and they’ll both be in action with troops on board at Air Day. Joining them are Hawk T1s from 736 NAS, based at RNAS Culdrose: a welcome return to Air Day’s flying programme for the Royal Navy’s ‘Maritime Aggressors’.

From the Wildcat Maritime Force (WMF), and unique to Air Day, will be a solo Wildcat HMA2 display packed full of spectacular flares. The Fleet Air Arm’s new multi-mission maritime helicopter, operated by the WMF’s two squadrons – 815 and 825 NAS, will be put through its paces in this exciting role demonstration. A pair of Wildcats will also take part in a flypast with the Royal Navy’s Sea King ASaC7 as it bows out of service and three Wildcats will be available to view up close on static display.

Prepare for a frontline battlefield experience like no other – cameras at the ready!

To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft, visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

RAF Search and Rescue Boats on the Move

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

RAF Search and Rescue Boats

The move of our RAF search and rescue boats to their new position.

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and the award-winning RAF Museum is set to welcome visitors into a newly transformed London site when it formally reopens on Saturday 30 June

The Museum’s ambitious redevelopment features new immersive galleries, freshly landscaped green spaces, a children’s playground and new restaurant, making it the only place in London where visitors can test their flying skills, explore RAF stories, sit inside an iconic cockpit and enjoy a picnic in a single day.

Our newly transformed site will open to the public on Saturday 30 June.

www.rafmuseum.org

Brooklands Museum Wins Coveted Museums + Heritage Award

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Brooklands Museum wins coveted award

Brooklands Museum in Surrey has won the prestigious Museums and Heritage Award for Permanent Exhibition, seeing off stiff competition from some major national institutions such as the Science Museum Group and Natural History Museum. The award was announced at a gala awards ceremony in London and presented by the Reverend Richard Coles.

The award was for the ambitious Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed, a major £8.4M project that involved dismantling, restoring and relocating a Grade 2 Listed WWII Bellman Hangar and reinterpreting it inside as an aircraft factory. As well as restoring and re-profiling the section of original 1907 Race Track where the Hangar once stood, the project also included constructing a new purpose-built Flight Shed to display live aircraft with a new archive store and workshop beneath. The Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed opened to the public in November 2017.

On why the Judges chose Brooklands as the winner, they said: “This new exhibition has it all – it’s immersive, creative, people-focused. It is astonishing in its risk-taking, has great volunteers at its heart and challenging in the way it has so brilliantly brought its collection alive.” Also, “Bold inspiring and interactive – made even more special by great people!”

The competition saw a broad range of entries from remarkable achievements of national institutions to projects crafted with limited resources and those championing their staff and volunteers who work hard to deliver inspiring visitor experiences. The Permanent Exhibition category included National Army Museum, Ashmolean Museum, London’s Natural History Museum and part of the Science Museum Group, ‘Wonderlab’ on the shortlist. Other categories included Volunteer of the Year, Educational Initiative, Marketing Campaign and Project on a Limited Budget.

Entry to the new exhibition spaces is included in the general admission price to the Museum which is open daily. The whole experience is enhanced and brought to life by volunteer stewards and demonstrators, some of them former employees of the Brooklands factories (which employed 14,000 people from surrounding towns and villages at their peak). The volunteers share their own reminiscences making every visit unique and which is a highlight for most visitors.

Brooklands Museum Director and CEO, Tamalie Newbery said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award from Museums and Heritage for our Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed project. After years of planning, fundraising and the dedication and hard work of our Volunteers, Staff and supporters, we have produced a visitor experience that really is unique and fully deserving of the incredible heritage that Brooklands is famous for.” The Museum has seen record visitor figures for the same period since the new facilities opened.

Brooklands is also currently one of five finalists for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award which is the world’s biggest museum award and will be announced on 5th July.

www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Belgian Displays Add International Flair to Air Show Line-Up

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Belgian Air Force F16 by Bart Rosselle

Two aircraft from the Belgian Air Force will be performing at this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show, adding more international flavour to the event on Sunday 10th June, which celebrates the Royal Air Force’s centenary.

Adding noise and power to the flying display will be the legendary F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-16 single-engine multirole fighter was first delivered to the Belgian Air Force in 1979. The aircraft is used for both combat operations and in recent years, Belgian F-16s have carried out Baltic Air Policing, joint Belgian-Dutch Air Policing and deployed to Jordan in support of the fight against ISIS. The jet will be painted in an eye-catching colour scheme for its display, designed by the display pilot himself, callsign ‘VADOR’. Also displaying will be their Agusta A109 display. The A109 is a medium sized helicopter which is used in a number of roles such as medical evacuation and troop transportation.

Over 70% of the online tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show have now been sold, with a sell-out expected in the comings weeks and organisers are urging those who wish to attend to buy theirs soon. Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott, said, “There really is so much going on both in the air and on the ground this year and people are obviously getting that message. We’ve never seen tickets sell quite this fast.”

Tickets are currently available from the Air Show website, and a range of retail outlets including the RAF Museum & Local Tourist Information Centres. A joint ticket combining rail travel and Air Show admission at a reduced price is also available from any manned railway station.

www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Over 1,000 RAF Veterans and Current Serving Personnel gather for an exclusive London site preview

Friday, May 11th, 2018

RAF Day at Hendon
2018 marks the Centenary of the Royal Air Force and the award-winning RAF Museum is set to welcome visitors into a newly transformed site when it formally reopens on Saturday 30 June.

Yesterday, the Museum welcomed over 1,000 RAF veterans and current serving personnel for a special ‘RAF Day’ get together and treated them to a special preview of London’s new Hangar 1, which houses two new, innovative galleries exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, its role today and invites visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology.

The Museum’s RAF Day also enabled us to establish closer relationships with RAF bases around the country and helped to ensure we are sharing their stories. As part of our RAF Centenary Programme, the Museum will also be launching a new digital project called RAF Stories; an online digital project which aims to inspire participants to share accounts of the Royal Air Force. RAF Stories seeks to find stories, not just from former and serving personnel, but also from their friends and family as well as extended partners who work closely with the RAF.

The day’s events also included a welcome speech by Air Marshal Stuart Atha CB DSO MA BSC RAF, live music from the UK’s premier jive and swing band – The Jive Aces, as well as tours, talks, refreshments and the chance to catch up with colleagues old and new. With service men and women joining in from across the country, it was a truly memorable and sentimental gathering.

Event organiser Anji Patel, stated: “RAF Day was a huge success and it was wonderful and emotional to have such a large gathering of both current serving personnel and veterans. We want to make this an annual event and look forward to inviting them again next year.”

The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information about the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme visit www.rafmuseum.org

Tribute to the V-Force 2018

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Newark Air Museum - Tribute to the V Force

Saturday 19th May 2018

The preparatory work for the 2018 Tribute to the V-Force event on Saturday 19th May, 2016 is now almost complete. This will be the sixth time that the museum has hosted a V-Force Reunion event for former personnel who operated Valiant, Victor and Vulcan aircraft. On the day an area will be set up for former V-Force personnel to sign-in, collect their badges and this will be staffed by museum volunteers and some former members of the V-Force.

The event is also open to the general public and museum trustees, volunteers and staff have put together a range of visiting special displays and activities. On both days a number of museum aircraft will be open for people to visit – this will include the Vulcan, Hastings and Varsity. A small additional charge will be made for each aircraft visited (proceeds towards the museum’s various aircraft restoration projects).

There will also be a Vulcan XM594 systems demonstration, which utilises the Rover APU to operate various systems on the aircraft, including opening and closing the huge bomb bay doors.

Visiting Displays

V-Force Display – Gary O’Keefe
Mainly Military Model display
Walk-Round print signing – Garaeth Cooke
Airfield Research Group display
Royal Institute of Navigation – Astrovan c/w Smiths Mk2 periscopic sextants as per the V-Force; Hughes Mk.IX sextants Astro Compass Mk.II
Static display of radio controlled model aircraft
Tony Redding Research/contacts – PhD project
Lesley Hayward-Mudge V-Force log books & photos
Newark Air Museum model display
Grubb Street – Book sales by V Force authors Tony Blackman/Tony Wright
Vulcan to the Sky – table top display
John Cox & museum – Falklands book of remembrance & scrapbook

Programme of 4 V-Force related talks in the Dambusters Hut, these are free but please book a ticket when you arrive at the event.

BBMF Flypast

Saturday 19th May – Dakota

(These will be subject to serviceability & suitable weather conditions)

Normal museum admission rates apply: Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00.

Opening times; 10am to 5pm; last admission 4pm

Full event details and exhibit lists can be found on the News & Information page of the museum website: www.newarkairmuseum.org

Wings & Wheels at Air Day!

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

SAS Land Rover at Yeovilton Air Day by Chris Bowman

As wings and wheels always complement each other so well, we’ve made sure that there’s more to Air Day than just aircraft! Our extensive vehicle exhibition includes an array of ex-military vehicles, classic cars and high-performance supercars to view and even sit in.

Significantly, we are delighted to have the Sporting Bears join this year’s Air Day for the sixth year running. They will be displaying a selection of their members’ cars for all to see, including classics, sports and supercars like 2017’s unforgettable £2 million Pagani Huayra! The official HASBRO Optimus Prime truck and his good friend Bumblebee will join them once again.

The Sporting Bears are a club made up of volunteers from across the UK whose sole purpose is to raise funds and smiles for children’s charities. To date, they have raised over £2 million and support over 110 different charities. They are very proud that 100% of all funds raised or donated go directly to the charities.

Alongside the wings and wheels, this show has everything to keep the whole family entertained. There will be a vast range of showground attractions from the latest defence technology exhibitions, engineering fairs and service displays to trade stalls, arena displays, military bands and the chance to meet pilots and even sit in the cockpit! For the thrill seekers, there will be simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights to enjoy.

To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft, visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

RNZAF Jet To Make 11,000 Mile Journey To Join RAF Cosford Air Show

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Royal New Zealand Air Force B757

Travelling from the other side of the globe, the Royal New Zealand Air Force will be celebrating RAF100 alongside the Royal Air Force on Sunday 10th June at the RAF Cosford Air Show, with their B757-2K2 airliner set to perform in the flying display.

The Boeing 757, which first flew in 1982, is more commonly used by commercial airlines and many visitors to the Air Show may have travelled on the aircraft type during their summer holidays! The Royal New Zealand Air Force, however, use their aircraft for strategic airlift operations, carrying cargo and personnel, including VIP transport and humanitarian aid delivery. This includes operations to deliver supplies to research facilities where the aircraft operates from an ice-runway.

On its trip to the UK, the aircraft will carry exhibits from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand which will be on display at the Air Show, spread across the ‘Vintage Village’ ground displays. Air Show Deputy Director, Marilyn Summers, said, “Showcasing the relationships that the Royal Air Force has with countries around the globe is an important part of our RAF100 celebration. It’s fantastic that the RNZAF will be sending their B757 to display at the Air Show and to have input from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand as part of our unique ground displays.”

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are selling at an unprecedented rate due to the unique nature of this year’s centenary celebrations. Organisers are advising the public that they should buy their Air Show tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as they look set to sell out in the coming weeks. They are available from the Air Show website and a selection of local outlets including Tourist Information Centres and the RAF Museum. Further details can be found at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk.

The RAF100 Baton Relay is en route to Cosford!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

RAF100 Baton

Date: 5 May 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm

On 1 April, one hundred years since the formation of the Royal Air Force, a specially designed baton set off on a journey around the UK and abroad. On Saturday 5 May the baton will be heading to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford and will be an opportunity for members of the public to see and be part of this historic journey.

The baton is being carried by RAF personnel, cadets, veterans and members of the many sporting associations that make up the RAF. Over 100 days the RAF100 Baton will visit sites associated with the RAF, throughout the UK and across the globe.

Amongst many means of travel, the baton will be transported by boat along the River Thames by the RAF Rowing Club, carried by the RAF Falcons as they parachute from an aircraft, be ridden on horseback and power kited along Benbecula.

The relay team will be heading to RAF Cosford on Friday 4 May to meet with Station Commander, Group Captain Tone Baker for a tour of the station and an overnight stay in the Officers’ Mess, before spending a day at the Museum on Saturday 5 May from 10am to 4pm meeting with members of the public.

In addition to meeting the team and plenty of time for a selfie with the baton, the relay team will be offering a free ‘Name Your Plane’ activity for families, a nationwide call to action, inviting schools, community groups and members of the public to commemorate one of the 4,805 British Air Service personnel who lost their lives in the First World War. Visitors can cut out and decorate their plane template, and emblazon the name of a RAF, RFC, RNAS or WRAF service person across the wings. The completed planes from events across the country will then be collected up and included in a display at an iconic location later on in the year. All materials for this free activity will be provided.

The relay began its journey at the Royal Courts of Justice on 1 April 2018, followed by a trip to the RAF Museum’s London site where they were met by CEO Maggie Appleton who ran the last leg of the relay with them. The journey will end 100 days later on 10 July on Horseguards Parade.

RAF Museum Cosford General Manager, Alan Edwards said:
“It’s an honour to be part of the RAF100 celebrations and commemorations and to share in the RAF Baton Relay Team’s journey. We hope that visitors and local residents will show their support by joining us on Saturday 5 May and take the opportunity to speak with the team, participate in the free activity before they set off on the next leg of their journey which will take them on to Tywyn and Snowdonia.”

RAF Cosford Media Officer, Squadron Leader Chris Wilson said:
“The Baton has already been travelling throughout the UK and Cyprus during April so it’s great to see it arrive in Shropshire. Working in conjunction with the RAF Museum we have a unique opportunity to not only highlight some of the great activities that RAF personnel get involved with but to share the Baton with lots of members of the public.”

Keep up to date with the relay team on social media by searching #RAFBatonRelay or for more information about the relay route visit: https://www.raf.mod.uk/raf100/news/raf100-baton-relay/