Archive for November, 2020

Airshow ‘50th’ Book Set To Fly Off Shelves

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Air Tattoo at 50

Over the past 50 years, millions of people from across the globe have marvelled at the incredible aviation spectacles that have seen the Royal International Air Tattoo grow to become the world’s greatest airshow.

For the first time ever, the complete history of the Air Tattoo, from its birth in 1971 to the present day, has been captured in a beautifully illustrated book written by renowned aviation journalist Ben Dunnell and features hundreds of dramatic photos, many taken by some of the world’s leading aircraft photographers.

Charting the growth of the Air Tattoo from its modest beginnings at North Weald airfield, the book describes how a small band of volunteers with a shared passion for aviation – and encouraged by legendary aviators including Battle of Britain ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader and Concorde test pilot Brian Trubshaw – went on to create one of the most loved and respected airshows in the world.

Split into decades, the book describes how special links forged in the 1970s with the Royal Air Force, NATO and the US Air Force (USAF) paid dividends and helped attract a mouth-watering array of international military aircraft to the airshow’s second home, RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire. The fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s further cemented the Air Tattoo’s reputation as it enabled a number of special ‘debuts’ by Eastern Bloc aircraft rarely, if ever, seen in the West.

By then, hundreds of volunteers were helping stage the event, a number which grew to around 1,500 following the switch to a new home at RAF Fairford in 1985. This move, combined with the enduring support of the RAF and USAF, helped open the door to a wealth of exciting aircraft including the stealthy B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, F-14 Tomcat carrier-borne fighters, B-52 and B-1 bombers, V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors and the latest Typhoon, F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II combat fast jets – among many others.

Author Ben Dunnell said: “The Air Tattoo has always been the place to be — and that goes right back to its earliest days. As a meeting-place for the world’s air arms, united in friendship, this show is unrivalled. What’s more, it has actively helped foster new alliances . . . as well as being a very exciting event, of course. In writing this book, that side of the Air Tattoo’s history has been as important as all the great personal memories.”

Insightful, fascinating and at times humorous, Air Tattoo 50 – The Story of the World’s Greatest Airshow (RRP £30+p&p), is being published to mark the airshow’s 50th anniversary in 2021 and is available from www.airtattoo50book.com. As well as extensive coverage of the dazzling array of international aircraft that have taken part in the airshow, the book charts some of the challenges it has had to overcome, such as losing its home at RAF Greenham Common in 1983, the death of co-founder and creative driving force Paul Bowen in 2004, establishing a new parent charity, the RAF Charitable Trust in 2005, and the airshow cancellations in 2008 and 2020.

Air Tattoo founder member and former airshow director Tim Prince said: “So many people from across the globe have been involved in the building of this remarkable gathering of international aviators and their aircraft into a highly respected and valued annual event. This wonderful book gives an insight into this impressive Royal International Air Tattoo ‘family’ which, over some 50 years, has worked tirelessly to uphold its reputation as the best, whilst at times, with its motto of ‘it can be done’, overcoming some pretty daunting challenges.”

The Christmas gift that gives twice

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

RAF Museum Christmas Gift Box

Instead of participating in predictable gift swapping this festive season, give your loved one a gift with meaning, something that will continue to give beyond Christmas Day, by also supporting the work of the Royal Air Force Museum.

The Museum’s Adopt an Artefact programme provides the ideal opportunity to find an unusual gift for the person who has everything, as well as making your money go a little further by giving to charity. The artefact adoption process is quick and simple, order online at www.rafmuseum.org and cut out stressful shopping trips.

A Christmas Gift Box from the Defence Catering Group is the latest artefact to be made available for adoption, alongside more than 60 other objects ranging from tiny badges with major honours, to clothing that is more than just a fashion statement. The Christmas Gift Box package sent to RAF personnel serving overseas at Christmas is a timely reminder of the Christmases that many families have spent apart, and the importance in bringing a touch of home and Christmas joy to the ones you love, wherever they may be.

This RAF tradition began in 1914 when Princess Mary supported the creation of a fund to pay for a Christmas gift box to be sent to every serving member of the UK Armed Forces. Originally made of brass, its contents included smoking materials, chocolate and a photograph of the Princess. The Museum’s Christmas Gift Box available for adoption was distributed to RAF personnel serving in Iraq, and contained food, toiletry and novelty items including a stress ball, flashing red nose and a Christmas card, echoing the sentiments behind the 1914 one, while helping to maintain morale for those deployed away from home at Christmas.

Those adopting an artefact in the run up to Christmas will receive a Christmas card and the option to add a bespoke RAF Museum gift for just £7.50. Choose from a Christmas bauble, snowflake mug, festive fudge, or advent calendar. All adoptions with the additional gift placed by the 18 December are guaranteed to arrive in time for you to present your loved one with their card and gift on Christmas Day.

Make your gift stand out this year. Whether you adopt the Christmas Gift Box for someone you can’t be with on Christmas Day, the Burma Star for someone you look up to, or perhaps a lucky mascot to give courage and hope to inspire a dear friend, these alternative gifts with fascinating stories are not something you see in your average Christmas stocking! If your Christmas tradition includes hours of playing games with family, our Playing Cards with Hidden Maps would make the ideal adoption for the one who always finds a sneaky way to win! For the chocoholic in the family who cannot resist reaching into the sweet tin, the Chocolate and Sugar Confectionary Coupon Card adoption means there is no need to feel guilty about the calories consumed. Adopt an Artefact in the name of someone you love, and know that your gift will keep on giving, as support from adoptees will help the Museum to continue sharing the RAF Story, past, present and future, while engaging and encouraging learning.

Starting at £25.00, adoptions last for 12 months starting from 25 December. All adoptees will receive a digital adoption certificate and photo of their adopted artefact, along with exclusive updates and information on your chosen object throughout the year. Recognition of your adoption will feature alongside the object on Collections Online, the Museum’s new digital collections system, where you can add a dedicated message along with the name of adoptee. For more details on how to Adopt an Artefact and to browse the items available, visit www.rafmuseum.org.uk/support-us/adopt-an-artefact.

You can also show support for the Museum by purchasing a gift from the Museum’s onsite and online shops, packed with a wide selection of items, including many unique designs.

This season’s must have accessory you can’t be seen without, and a great stocking filler, is the Museum’s bespoke reusable face mask, available in Spitfire and Second World War Pilot designs, just £6.00 each. For the little ones, the Sunderland flying boat bath toy for just £6.00 is an ideal alternative to a rubber duck, while our Spitfire plush toy for £20.00, Red Arrows Die Cast model for £16.00 and flying suits available in green and Red Arrows designs for £35.00, are all great gifts for budding pilots of all ages.

If you’re looking to kit out your loved one with some new clothing this year, browse a varied selection of t-shirts, jumpers and jackets online, including a Spitfire motif V-neck jumper for just £35.00. Wrapping up warm this winter won’t be a problem with the RAF stripe scarf for £34.50, and the new black leather roundel gloves for £49.00. Finish off the look with a Spitfire Ace pilot watch for £35.00, or RAF wings sweetheart silver brooch for just £30.00. To view the full RAF Museum Shop range visit www.rafmuseumshop.com.

The Museum is planning to re-open its doors to visitors on Saturday 5 December (Government guidelines permitting) with a range of measures in place to ensure a safe and great day out for the whole family. While still offering FREE entry to all, visitors are kindly asked to pre-book their arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org.

Newark Air Museum Reintroduces Order & Collect System For Shop Sales

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Newark Air Museum Shop

The Newark Air Museum (NAM) is a registered charity and throughout and Since the second Covid-19 lockdown was introduced its been looking at ways of selling aviation kits and books, with the aim of raising vital funds for its charitable activities.

We have therefore decided to reintroduce the Order & Collect system like we did in the summer and this will start to operate on Saturday 14th November, 2020.

Like before we have taken some photographs of the key sections of the Museum Shop to try and provide an idea of what is in stock. Copies of these can be requested via a page on the museum website http://www.newarkairmuseum.org/latest-news

The main product areas are listed as:
Italeri Aircraft Kits
Revell Aircraft Kits
Airfix Aircraft Kits
Airfix Quick-Builds
Tamiya Aircraft Kits
Assorted Aviation Books
Modelling Paints & Accessories

Anyone deciding to make a purchase can ask for the items to be reserved for collection at a convenient time on the days that the Shop is open – purchases will need to be made by card payment over the telephone, or by cash when you come to collect the item(s).

We have completed a set of Covid-Secure Risk Assessments for the Collection Area in front part of the site and full details about this process are listed on the website. Social distancing measures will be in place and Covid-Secure procedures will be used and normal access routes to the Collection Area will be in operation i.e. off Drove Lane via the entrance next to the Motor Auction Site.

A queuing area will be set up outside in the car parking area; N.B. there will be NO access to the wider museum site, display buildings or café.

We appreciate that this is not a perfect solution, but it does act as a step towards reopening again and also it gives us a chance to fully evaluate how social distancing measures might need to be implemented in the Museum Shop when we try to open normally.

All profits from the Museum Shop are covenanted to the museum to help fund its on-going development; so rather than shopping online or elsewhere please pay us a visit soon and help support your aviation heritage!

RAF Museum Celebrates Sikh heritage

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

WO Bally Flora

The RAF Museum is pleased to announce that WO Bally Flora MBE has donated three of his service turbans.

The donation includes two examples of the current issue, Warrant officer’s and Airman’s Turbans, introduced during 2006 and the earlier light blue style of Turban as worn by WO Flora when he first joined the RAF.

Two of these turbans will go on display in our Head Dress display at the main entrance of our London site in time for Diwali – this Saturday 14 November.

WO Balbir Singh Flora MBE
Warrant Officer Balbir Flora joined the RAF when he was 17 and worked in Logistics. He now works as part of the RAF Special Engagement Team, previously serving as a logistics supplier. The aim of this team is to engage with diverse communities, to change perception of the Armed Forces and promote the RAF as an alternative career.

The RAF Museum is currently closed. We are planning to reopen our doors on 5 December, so pre-book your tickets now at www.rafmuseum.org