Archive for March, 2023

Newark give early boost to competition prize pot

Friday, March 31st, 2023

Vulcan at Newark

Newark Air Museum have confirmed their regular contribution of a pair of Family Entry tickets for the prize pot in the Airscene 2024 Airshow Calendar Competition.

Newark’s first airframe was secured in 1963 thereafter the museum was formally incorporated as a Limited Company no.930888 and registered as charity no.256434 in April and September 1968 respectively.

After a number of years spent preparing its permanent site on the Winthorpe Showground a former World War II training base, the museum was officially opened to the public on Saturday 14th April 1973.

At Easter 1990 the museum opened its first Aircraft Display Hall to the public it provided 1,860 square metres of space. In 1994 the trustees instigated negotiations to purchase farmland on the museum’s southern boundary with the aim of guaranteeing the museum’s long-term future. Formal searches and formalities were eventually completed, allowing the purchase of 5.01 hectares of farmland to be completed prior to Christmas 1995.

In November 2004 the Museum opened its second Aircraft Display Hall to the public on completion of an extremely successful project in conjunction with the Heritage Lottery Fund.We continue to evolve and have achieved Accredited Museum status and the VAQAS quality standard.

Exciting returns for some RIAT favourites!

Friday, March 31st, 2023

Harrier at RIAT

We are extremely excited to announce the participation of the Spanish Navy at RIAT23 with their McDonnell Douglas EAV-8B Harrier II aircraft! The iconic ‘Jump Jet’ will perform a solo flying display, with another example on static display and we’re looking forward to welcoming these very special jets back to RAF Fairford.

Another rare appearance in the flying display will come courtesy of the Royal Danish Air Force, with their F-16 solo display. This is the first time we’ll have seen the Danish Fighting Falcon perform in the flying display since 2011 and they plan to use their spectacularly painted ‘Dannebrog’. They’ll also be bringing a twin-seat F-16BM for static display.

This week we’ve also added a small number of civilian aircraft to the static displays, including what will probably be this year’s smallest aircraft, a Slingsby Nipper!

Tickets are on sale for all days, with a four hour flying display on Friday, featuring many of the weekend highlights, followed by full-length flying displays featuring all aircraft on Saturday and Sunday.

Dustbusters flying high at RAF Museum Midlands

Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Dustbusters at RAF Museum Midlands

When the suspended aircraft at the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands need a spring clean, it calls for a specialist team of dustbusters with a head for heights to carry out the work!

Suspended from the ceiling, up to 100ft in the air, eight aircraft including a Vulcan bomber, will all be given a light dusting this week as part of the annual clean and inspection. Other aircraft being spruced up include a Canberra, Meteor, Sabre, Hunter, Lightning, Dakota and Javelin.

Strapped into harnesses, the specialist cleaning team climb the rafters of the building and abseil down to access the aircraft. No cleaning solutions are used on the aircraft, just a good dusting using large soft fibre mops. In addition to cleaning the aircraft, the team will also be inspecting the suspension cables supporting the aircraft in their flying display positions.

Tom Hopkins, Curator at RAF Museum Midlands said:
‘All the aircraft and vehicles within the RAF Museums collection undergo a regular inspection by our Technicians and Volunteers, however those suspended from the ceiling of our National Cold War Exhibition are 100ft high in some places and require a specialist team to carry out the work at dizzying heights.’

During the clean the Museum will remain open to visitors who can see the high-flying team from Rappel, industrial rope access specialists, in action.

The Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition features 19 aircraft, tanks, vehicles, models and memorabilia, and is the only place in the world where people can view all three British V-Bombers, the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant, together and under one roof.

The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free. Pre-book your arrival time online at

Happy 100th Birthday to the Italian Air Force!

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

RIAT Italian Air Force 100th

Buon Compleanno!

Today we wish happy 100th birthday to the Aeronautica Militare, who were formed on this day in 1923!

The Italian Air Force have been huge supporters of the Air Tattoo since first appearing in 1976, bringing a wide variety of aircraft over the decades, with their display appearances always among the most popular participants each year.

As part of the Italian centenary celebrations, at this summer’s RIAT we are planning a dedicated area showcasing a range of modern and historic Italian aircraft together for our visitors to view and enjoy.

Keep an eye out for updates and aircraft confirmations in the coming weeks!

Airscene 2024 Airshow Calendar Competition is now OPEN

Sunday, March 26th, 2023

Museum of Berkshire Aviation

A little bit later than normal but the Early Entry Phase for the 2024 Airshow Calendar Competition is now accepting entries.

Entries for this phase MUST Have been taken during 2022 only, and subject matter is strictly limited to:

4a) Static or display aircraft as observed from the ground (or crowd seating) at an Airshow or event with a scheduled air display (during advertised hours).

4b) Aircraft at a scheduled aviation museum event (e.g. Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day).

4c) Aircraft at an Aviation Museum (photo shoots and night shoots accepted as long as there are no re-enactors in the submission)

There are no real changes for this year’s competition other than the addition of the “during advertised hours” clause in 4a above. After receiving a few entries last year that were clearly not taken either in an area that the public had access to, or were taken before the gates were open etc, I want to discourage entries which are in conflict with the idea of a level playing field. This year you are also being asked to include a title for your entry in case it is one of the final 12 that will appear on the calendar.

In addition I want to remind you all that entries which show an aircraft on Arrival or Departure to or from an air show will only be accepted if these days were a ticketed day such as at RIAT.

The Museum of Berkshire Aviation is kicking off the prize pot again this year with 3 Family Tickets in the pot, which will be allocated as the prize pot grows throughout the year.

Shortlisting of Early Entries will begin on April 1st and the final date for submissions is 30th April 2023 at midnight, the main phase of the competition will open on 1st May.

Good Luck and I look forward to receiving your entries.

Bring on the fast jets!

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

RIAT Fast Jets

If you like fast jets then this week’s aircraft update is sure to get your blood pumping!

First up, we’re pleased to confirm the return of the Belgian Air Component to RIAT: Their popular F-16 solo display will feature the colourful ‘Dream Viper’ display jet. In addition to the flying display, there will also be a pair of F-16AM Fighting Falcons in the static displays. We’re also pleased to be welcoming one of their SF.260 training aircraft to join the static displays, something which we haven’t seen at Fairford for many years.

From the Swedish Air Force, we’re pleased to announce two jets for the flying display, with their much-loved Gripen solo display and a rare appearance of their SK.60 training jet. For those wanting a closer look, there will also be examples of both aircraft types joining the static displays.

Tickets are on sale for all days, with Friday’s preview day being followed by full-length flying displays featuring all aircraft on Saturday and Sunday.

Red Arrows announced at UK’s biggest free festival

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Red Arrows at Bournemouth Air Show by Paul Johnson (photo by Paul Johnson)

The world-famous Red Arrows and supersonic Eurofighter Typhoon will be making a roaring return to the UK’s biggest free land, air and sea event, the Bournemouth Air Festival, this year.

The elite Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots will be joined by some of the most famous fighter aircraft used in World War Two’s Battle of Britain – the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster.

All the iconic planes will be performing over four days of the award-winning festival alongside the Tutor, an RAF plane used for University Air Squadron (UAS) elementary flying training and for flying grading.

The landmark festival, which is now in its 15th year, is scheduled to take place from Thursday, August 31, to Sunday, September 3 across 1.5 miles of beach and clifftop.

Red Arrow’s Team Leader and Red 1, Tom Bould, said: “We’re thrilled, as a team, to be returning to Bournemouth for all four days of the 2023 air festival.”

“The event will be a highlight of our summer and with miles of beaches and a distinctive coastline, the location is a brilliant backdrop for a packed programme of world-class displays.”

“We’re busy putting together a new aerobatic show for 2023 and are excited to bring this to Bournemouth and showcase the talented people, skills and work of the entire Royal Air Force through this display of teamwork and precision.”

“What is even more fulfilling and motivating as a team is knowing that hundreds of thousands of people head to Bournemouth for the air festival.”

“Not only is it humbling, and a privilege, to perform a dynamic display for everyone in-the-sky but it’s also a great opportunity to meet individuals, many of whom are young people and families, on-the-ground during the festival – including at the RAF Experience area, where there’s chance to learn more about the Service.”

“Crucially, the festival in Bournemouth is a testimony to the ability of air events to bring communities together, to support local economies and to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds through the wonder of aviation and STEM.”

Regarded as one of the best air shows in the UK due to its unique position on the south coast of England, the Bournemouth Air Festival offers both land and sea viewing opportunities.

Cllr Beverly Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Vibrant Places, said: “Bournemouth Air Festival is a fantastic end to the summer and last year’s Platinum Jubilee Air Festival was no different.

“From the iconic Red Arrows to the thrilling night displays and the fabulous family atmosphere throughout, it really creates an electric atmosphere, bringing crowds from far and wide, supporting the economy and local jobs.”

BCP Council’s air festival director Jon Weaver said: “The RAF Red Arrows, Typhoon and Battle of Britain are a firm favourite among festival goers, and we look forward to welcoming them back for an incredible four days this coronation year.

“This year we are once again planning to deliver a truly memorable four days of thrills and entertainment, and we’re looking forward to making more announcements to the festival programme over the coming months.

“We have an incredible team that organises it and I can’t wait to see this year’s festival come together in what shall be a very special coronation year.”

Newark Air Museum’s Golden Jubilee

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Newark Golden Jubilee

On 14th April, 2023 the Newark Air Museum (NAM) will have been officially open to the public for fifty (50) years. To celebrate this golden jubilee anniversary, NAM is hosting a two-day special event on the weekend of 15th and 16th April, at its site in eastern Nottinghamshire, close to the Lincolnshire county border.

Various themes will be marked during the event to recognise both NAM’s past achievements, and also with an eye to the future developments and associations.

One particular aim is to try and get as many people as possible to attend the celebrations, who were at the official opening back in 1973. NAM already has a number of people amongst its membership who fit that profile, but the museum trustees are keen to make contact with any members of the public who were at the official opening in 1973.

The official opening in 1973 was marked with the release of a special First Day Cover, copies of which were flown across the local area in various aircraft. If anyone attends the Golden Jubilee event with an original First Day Cover, that person will be allowed free admission to the museum celebrations.

Looking to the future, the event will be the first time that NAM has hosted a display from the Air and Space Institute (ASI) in Newark, who will be present on both days and who are creating exciting opportunities within aviation.

Ross Tarnowski, ASI’s, Head of Learning and Skills for Engineering and Technology said: “It is great to see Newark Air Museum reach their 50th anniversary and a significant milestone in their rich history. Since opening, the museum has gone from humble beginnings to one of the largest volunteer managed aviation collections in the UK. I am really pleased that the Air & Space Institute has a partnership with the museum which allows our learners access to this unique collection.

The educational benefit for our students is exceptional, and we are already discussing with the museum how the 3D printing of aircraft components (including cockpit switches and covers) can be integrated into supporting the upkeep of such a prodigious collection. Further collaborative projects are planned to ensure that ASI and its students can continue to aid such a valuable local organisation and charity.”

Final preparations for the event are still being refined but NAM volunteers will have lots of open cockpits available for visitors to look at; along with visiting displays and some possible celebrity appearances. Plus, an outdoor Aeroboot aviation sale that will be running on both days, is already filling up with sellers quite nicely and should be a good opportunity to grab some aviation bargains.

Vulcan XM594 Log Books – The Search Goes On!

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

Vulcan XM594 crew

For more than twenty years Newark Air Museum (NAM) has hosted an ongoing social history project to record the history of its Avro Vulcan, XM594.

The aircraft flew over 1,400 sorties; spread over 5,300 hours of flying; during twenty years of service with the RAF.

So far over 100 former aircrew members have freely given NAM access to their Log Books, this has allowed NAM to record details on around 700 of the sorties.

In the lead up to the 60th Anniversary of XM594 entering operational RAF squadron service with the RAF Scampton Vulcan Wing in September 1963, the museum is aiming to expand on this total. Ideally NAM would like dates of sorties; crew member details etc., in time for the event on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September, 2023.

To gather as wide a picture as possible of XM594’s service life NAM is particularly keen to record specific anecdotes, memories and, or stories to accompany these Log Book entries. Any in-service pictures would also be appreciated.

So if you flew in this Vulcan, or know of somebody who did, then please contact the museum so that with your agreement NAM can obtain copies of the information, for inclusion in the Newark Air Museum Archive.

Details can be sent via email to and NAM will pass on the details to Bill O’Sullivan who is cataloguing this information.