Archive for January, 2020

RAF Museum Spitfire receives Engineering Heritage Award

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

Heritage Award

The Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 K9942 displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford has been presented with a prestigious ‘Engineering Heritage Award’ by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The awards, established in 1984, celebrate the contribution of mechanical engineering past and present, recognising artefacts, sites and landmarks of significant engineering importance.

The Spitfire was recognised for the contribution and vital role it played both in terms of protecting our nation and its pioneering engineering. The award was presented to RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton by current Chair of IMechE’s Engineering Heritage Committee John Wood, with fellow IMechE members in attendance.

Built in Woolston, Southampton in 1939 this early Mark 1 is the world’s oldest surviving Spitfire. Designed by R J Mitchell, the Spitfire combined strength, lightness and streamlining with the powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. From the beginning pilots recognised it as a thoroughbred combining a perfection of design with superb handling characteristics.

RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Tom Hopkins said:
“The Spitfire is the most famous British fighter aircraft in history. It won immortal fame during the summer months of 1940 by helping to defeat the German air attacks during the Battle of Britain. Although Hurricanes outnumbered Spitfires throughout the Battle of Britain, it was the Spitfire which captured the imagination of the British public and enemy alike. The Spitfire was developed into many subsequent variants and continued to serve with the RAF until well after the end of the Second World War.”

Chair of IMechE’s Engineering Heritage Committee, John Wood said:
“The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is delighted to present this award to the Spitfire to recognise the huge contribution, its designers and pilots made during the Battle of Britain. The UK’s large aerospace industry is built on the rich heritage of engineering innovation which is a legacy of aircraft such as the Spitfire.”

Spitfires first went into service in August 1938 with No.19 Squadron and by the outbreak of war, a year later, nine squadrons were equipped. Production rapidly built up and by July 1940 there were nineteen Spitfire Mk 1 squadrons available. 1,566 Spitfire Mk 1’s were built and the example on display at RAF Museum Cosford is the oldest surviving example of its type. The aircraft can be viewed daily from 10am in the Museum’s War in the Air hangar. Entry to the Museum is free and further details can be found at

This is the 129th Engineering Heritage Award to be presented by IMechE, which has over 120,000 members across the UK and overseas, with over 400 members based in Shropshire. By holding events and working on engineering initiatives, they aim to raise the profile of engineering across a broad spectrum of industries and offer practical guidance and support to engineers. Further details can be found at

RAF Museum Cosford 2020 Events Diary

Monday, January 13th, 2020

RAF Museum Cosford conservation centre

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during 2020:

RAF Museum events 2020

Visitors can expect to see all the big favourites making a return, including the Cosford Food Festival, Outdoor Cinema, Spitfire 10K and Large Model Air Show as well as new events including a VE Weekend Street Party taking place over the first May bank holiday weekend.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“2020 promises to be another big year for the RAF Museum Cosford with the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain being a big theme running through this year’s events line-up. Not only will we commemorate this important milestone in Royal Air Force history with a brand new display arriving in the Spring, I’m excited to announce we will be holding a Proms in September with musical acts suitable for all the family, marking 80 years since the Battle of Britain.”
The busy schedule of events caters to the Museum’s wide and diverse audience and begins the year with a Photography Night Shoot where the British Aircraft Corporation TSR2 and British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) will be wheeled out of the hangars. Displayed outside and lit with LED lighting, this evening event will give photographers and aviation enthusiasts alike the exclusive opportunity to capture images of the aircraft like never before (limited places remaining).

The summer months will see many of the biggest events in the Museum’s calendar take place. Held on the airfield in July will be the Large Model Air Show packed with flying displays and family entertainment, followed by the popular Cosford Food Festival which this year will feature 2019 Master Chef: The Professionals winner Stu Deeley from Birmingham. The Vintage and Handmade Festival will be back for a third year in August and September will see two more Outdoor Cinema screenings where hundreds of films fans can enjoy watching classic movies under the stars and surrounded by aircraft.

Nathan Davis continues:
“We look forward to welcoming back repeat visitors, along with those just discovering us for the first time. Tickets are already on sale for many of our events and they’re filling up fast. The first Pillows and Pilots Sleepover date is already fully booked and we have just half the places remaining for the second date in March. One of our most sought-after events is the Spitfire 10K and over half the 1,500 places available have already been snapped up by keen runner’s eager to get their hands on the bespoke medal and the chance to race across the airfield.”

Later in the year visitors can expect to see much more of the aircraft on display during the Open Cockpits Weekend in October and the annual Conservation Centre Open Week in November where aviation fans can go behind the scenes and speak with the team who carries out the work.

Organisers are confident the RAF Museum’s great offer, combined with an exciting events programme will make a visit to remember!

For further information on the events taking place throughout 2020, visit the Museum’s website Admission charges apply for some events and activities. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge.

Keep a look out in 2020 for the RAF Museum’s Spitfire tour of the West Midlands, details coming soon…!