Archive for July, 2019

Tim Peake takes off with Red Arrows at Royal International Air Tattoo

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Tim Peake at RIAT

Today, British astronaut Major Tim Peake fulfilled a boyhood dream, flying with the legendary Red Arrows at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Tim joined Red One, Squadron Leader Martin Pert, for the team’s rehearsal flight before they take part in the world’s greatest airshow over the next three days (19-21) in the skies above RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

Talking about his flight with the Red Arrows, Major Tim Peake said: “It was truly incredible, I felt like I was living the dream. I have watched them since I was a young lad and I feel like this has been a boyhood dream fulfilment. It was a privilege to fly with these guys today. I love airshows and it is brilliant to be here.”

www.airtattoo.com

‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy’ at The Fleet Air Arm Museum

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

WRNS

Today women with the necessary skills can join any branch of the Royal Navy. A little over 100 years ago, the Women’s Royal Naval Service motto was ‘Never at Sea’ yet in fact women were actively working on board serving ships and supporting naval operations long before 1917.

A new exhibition, opening today at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, reveals the remarkable stories of naval women. ‘Pioneers to Professionals’ traces the role of women in the Royal Navy from the mid-17th century through to the present day, highlighting the dramatic changes that have taken place over more than 250 years.

Leading by example, these pioneering women comprehensively demonstrated their capabilities and so laid the foundations for the eventual integration of the WRNS into the Royal Navy in 1993. Today females in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines make up 9.3% of the force in the UK Regular Forces and Future Reserves. Furthermore, the percentage of officers who are female in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, in the UK Regular Forces, stands at 10.6%. In July 2016, the government announced the lifting of restrictions on women serving in ground close combat roles, removing the last remaining barriers to full integration.

Women’s contribution to the Royal Navy has been overlooked in the past. It is a common misconception that until the introduction of the uniformed women’s service, the navy was an exclusively male domain. However, from the 17th century early pioneers disguised themselves as men or accompanied their husbands to sea on warships and this continued into the early 19th century.

The formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1917 was an important milestone for the history of women and the Royal Navy. It allowed women to work in an official capacity in shore-based roles thus releasing men for shipboard service. Artefacts and photographs from the early years of the WRNS on display in this exhibition include a WRNS Director’s Log Book, images of those pioneer Wrens and drawings from the time.

During World War 2, the reformed WRNS took on an even wider variety of vital roles than their World War 1 forerunners. They were Aircraft and Radio Mechanics with the Fleet Air Arm, code-breakers at Bletchley Park and Despatch Riders ferrying important messages. Some received gallantry awards for their courage and fortitude. The exhibition profiles just a few of their contributions including an evocative tableau of a Despatch Rider in the midst of an air raid and a display showing Wrens assisting with the training of Fighter Direction Control Officers using an adapted ice cream seller’s tricycle.

Post-World War 2, women continued to expand the part they played in the Royal Navy and today are able to play an active role across all naval operations. Many have risen through the ranks to senior positions and in some cases have received gallantry awards for their actions.

‘Pioneers to Professionals’ underlines the key place of women in the Royal Navy story and what they have achieved over the past 250 years. The exhibition’s final collage of images depicts the huge variety of roles undertaken by women in the modern navy, roles that their early predecessors would never have imagined possible.

Curator Susan Dearing said “Women have been contributing to the work of the Royal Navy for over 250 years but their story has tended to remain in the background and their accomplishments largely unrecognised. But those who so successfully took up the challenge of working in the Royal Navy made possible the fact that women today enjoy the same service opportunities as their male colleagues. This exhibition provides a great opportunity to bring their inspiring story to the forefront.”

Entry to the Fleet Air Arm Museum costs from £13.50 per adult and £10 per child, with family tickets available from £39.50 for 2 adults and up to 3 children. Book online at www.fleetairarm.com

New Look for Brooklands Museum

Friday, July 12th, 2019

Brooklands Museum new logo

This week, Brooklands Museum in Surrey unveils its new logo to the public as it begins launching its refreshed brand identity across the business.

Brooklands Museum is the largest museum in Surrey, occupying 32 acres on the site of the world’s first motor racing circuit. It showcases the achievements of the pioneering men and women in motorsport and aviation since its creation in 1907. The famous Race Track and the huge aviation manufacturing factories made it a household name for much of the twentieth century. Since opening as a public Museum in 1991 it has continued to grow its collection of aircraft, racing bikes and cars as well as opening the award-winning* Brooklands Aircraft Factory. Visitors can also walk through the world’s largest privately-owned ex-London Bus collection, climb aboard the number 237 and take a seat to reminisce about the golden age of bus travel.

The new Brooklands visual style centres around a striking gold colour with and uses a series of nostalgic illustrations. Throughout July and August the museum will appear on trains and platforms across the South Western network and on double decker buses covering surrounding routes. The poster campaign focuses on a single piece of history unique to Brooklands and relates it to the present day. In one shot a Hawker Hurricane is face-to-face with a toddler in a model pedal plane who dreams of becoming a flying legend one day. In another, an archive shot of one of the leading female racing drivers from the 1930s is shown next to the statement: Breaking records and making history.

The museum’s refreshed look has been spearheaded by the Marketing Director Samantha Hart who joined the team in January 2019.

Brooklands Museum is such an incredibly special place and we felt that we needed to give it a modern image that is instantly recognisable and attractive to new visitors. We’ve spent a lot of time consulting with our volunteers, members and audiences to harness what Brooklands means to them and what we have to offer, and this will shine through in our summer visitor campaigns. Brooklands Museum is not just a transport museum; every day we walk in the footsteps of the legends and pioneers who changed the world of motorsport and aviation; so many firsts and record-breaking achievements actually happened here. We’re extremely excited about re-engaging past visitors and welcoming new guests to Brooklands Museum this year.”

The Museum is home to the legendary Concorde where you can re-live the age of supersonic flight and experience the exciting era of modern travel. This stunning aircraft stands proudly alongside the Sultan of Oman’s luxurious, private airliner and other fine examples of Brooklands Aircraft and engineering.

One of the most unique elements of this historic destination is that many of the day-to-day and specialised areas of keeping the museum alive is accomplished by a team of over 800 dedicated, skilled volunteers; one of the largest volunteer teams in the country. This could be anything from aircraft restoration, building maintenance, stewarding, archiving and welcoming and guiding visitors and groups. Spend the day exploring the interactive collections and discover what it was like to be a racing driver or pilot over 100 years ago.

Brooklands Museum guarantees a great day out for people of all ages and interests. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you pass through the motoring village where the original sheds, filled with historic racing cars and motorcycles, set an authentic tone enhanced by the smell of engine oil and music from the heyday of motor racing at the Brooklands Race Track. You can also hear the stories of aviation legends who pushed boundaries and overcame the impossible to change the way we travel today. During the winter season, don’t miss the chance to go behind the scenes on a Torchlight Tour, exploring Brooklands after dark in search of some of those ghostly legends.

Brooklands Museum is open daily from 10am and admission charges, directions, news and events can all be found by visiting www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Sywell Aviation Museum Scoops Heritage Award

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Sywell Heritage Award

On 4th July 2019 the Sywell Aviation Museum was awarded The Peoples’ Choice Award for Best Museum at the Northants Heritage Awards held at Holdenby House, Northants. The award was voted for by members of the public and the Museum fought off stiff competition from much larger municipal museums and stately homes secure the most public votes. Many thanks to all those who voted!

Photo – Mike Goodman and David Knight receiving the award

www.sywellaviationmuseum.org.uk

NFL Star Mario Addison at RAF Museum

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Maria Addison at RAF Museum

On Monday July 1 2019, Mario Addison – NFL star of the Carolina Panthers – visited the RAF London Museum to find out more about the brave American men and women who fought alongside the Royal Air Force in the Second World War.

Mario’s guided tour was a chance to commemorate and celebrate the inspiring stories of the RAF and the enduring relationship between the US and UK, ahead of his own visit to RAF Lakenheath on July 4th, US Independence Day, where he will be meeting today’s British-based American servicemen and their families.

Mario is visiting London as the NFL celebrates its own centenary in 2019, and further engraining the sport’s own close US-UK ties with London’s newly-launched NFL Academy. Mario will also be returning to London with the Carolina Panthers in October as part of four NFL fixtures taking place in London.

www.rafmuseum.org

RNIAD 2019 – The Final Countdown

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Yeovilton Air Day Crowds

(image by Kevin Wills)

The show will include over five hours of dazzling flying displays featuring fast jets, historic warbirds, helicopters, formation aerobatic display teams and role demonstrations enhanced by spectacular pyrotechnics and flares. Some of the world’s most capable pilots and their aircraft, both in the air and on the ground will be on display, providing an opportunity to see some magnificent equipment and meet personnel from the UK Armed Forces and Foreign Military allies in a family-friendly environment.

There are some rare and exciting aircraft confirmed for the Air Day. The iconic Harrier ‘jump jet’ will once again grace the sky over RNAS Yeovilton giving young aviation fans the chance to see the legendary aircraft’s capabilities of hovering, turning on the spot, flying backwards and sideways for the very first time. The state-of-the-art multirole F-35B Lightning stealth fighter will bring a glimpse of future UK airpower to Air Day with two flypasts. The Red Arrows will perform one of their last UK displays of the year before they depart on their tour of North America and you can also witness a human flight demonstration by the gravity-defying ‘Jet Man’. Unique to Air Day is the dramatic pyrotechnic-filled Commando Assault demonstration by Royal Marine troops and the Commando Helicopter Force – an unmissable finale to the thrilling line-up.

Visit the land of the ‘heavies’ where a number of very impressive, large military transport aircraft will be on static display from different nations, including the USA, Qatar, Germany and Italy. Most of them will be open for tours so you will get to see how big they really are! Performing a flypast in their UK airshow debut will also be a very rare heavyweight addition – the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-130J-30 Hercules!

In the STEM Zone, children can take part in many free interactive activities providing opportunities to learn about the fascinating modern cutting-edge technology that is around us every day. Expect some ultimate family entertainment with a visit from the world-famous Titan the Robot and his comedic antics; take part in the Rocket Challenge, test your control skills on a Royal Navy mock-up flight deck plus so much more!

 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 and service displays to trade stalls, arena displays, military bands and the chance to meet the pilots and even sit in the cockpit! For the thrill seekers, there will be simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights to enjoy.

Further information and discounted advance tickets (Adult £28, Child U16 £5 and Child U5 Free) available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/airday or over the phone on 0330 100 3656 until 12:00pm (midday) on Tuesday 9 July. Advance tickets with no £3 booking fee can be purchased over the counter at more than 50 Tourist Information Centres (TICs) across the region until 1700 on Friday 12 July (subject to availability). See our list of participating TICs at http://bit.ly/TicketAgents19.