Archive for March, 2024

Introducing aircraft from Canada and Slovenia

Friday, March 29th, 2024

RIAT Spartan

Aircraft celebrating Slovenia and Canada make up this week’s announcement with debutants and an award-winning display heading to RAF Fairford.

A pair of Pilatus PC-9Ms will be joining us this summer, which includes demo pilot Lt Fiorelli’s popular display which won Best International Flying Demonstration at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in 2017 and 2015, with the second aircraft on static. Sticking with the static line-up the Slovenians are also providing their C-27J Spartan, which is a first-time visitor to RAF Fairford.

Ahead of their 100th anniversary on Monday we have also announced some aircraft in recognition of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s centenary.

In special liveries, we have a De Havilland Vampire FB.52 and a Canada Chipmunk both on static from the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron and Shuttleworth Collection respectively.

Newark Air Museum Chinook Update

Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Newark Air Museum Chinook

Following the arrival of BV Chinook HC.1, ZA717 from RAF Cranwell back in February 2018 Newark Air Museum became the first Accredited Independent museum in the UK to acquire and display a Royal Air Force (RAF) registered Chinook helicopter.

Since its arrival the museum staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to acquire missing airframe panels and structures from many normal disposal sources, including the original manufacturer.

Sadly, these efforts have been to no avail, so the museum’s resourceful volunteers have now started to fabricate missing and damaged items for the nose section and side sponsons on this unique Chinook rebuild project.

The majority of the damage that is being repaired was caused during a non-fatal flying incident on 25th July, 1989 that saw ZA717 ‘written-off’ at RAF Mount Pleasant, in the Falkland Islands. Having been transported back to the UK, ZA717 was later used at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire to train Aircrew Loadmasters in slinging techniques and load securing methods.
These ongoing repair and restoration works will soon be more visible as the museum is planning to reposition the Chinook and nearby Puma XW208 helicopter, to make them both more accessible. This move will also benefit the museum’s long-term plan to use ZA717 as an interactive education space / resource for visiting groups of school children, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Air Training Corps (ATC) cadets.

More NATO aircraft revealed!

Friday, March 22nd, 2024


The Swedish Air Force will return to RIAT with their SAAB JAS-39C Gripen to perform in the flying display, and in addition they’ll bring a JAS-39D Gripen for the static display.

Another returning aircraft will be the NH90 TTH of the German Army, appearing in both the flying and static displays, as part of our NATO 75th Anniversary theme. Their NH90 has been a popular display item for the last two years with it’s attractive camofluage livery, so we’re pleased to be welcoming them back to RAF Fairford this summer.

A rare addition to the static displays comes in the form of a Bréguet Alizé. Now operated in civilian hands, the type flew with the French Navy for many years in the anti-submarine warfare role. This will be the first time we’ve seen an Alizé at RIAT in over 20 years, and the plan is that the aircraft will arrive on Friday afternoon, then be on static display over the weekend as part of our NATO 75th Anniversary theme.

Cleaners embark on a high-flying mission!

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

Cleaning 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 and with nerves of steel, 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:
‘The Museums commitment to preserving objects within our collection extends beyond mere display. It involves each aircraft and vehicle undergoing a regular inspection by our skilled Technicians and Volunteers. However, when it comes to the aircraft suspended from the ceiling of our National Cold War Exhibition, a unique challenge emerges. These iconic aircraft, reach up to 100 feet in places, and navigating such dizzying heights requires a specialist team equipped with the necessary skills and equipment.’

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 10.00am and admission is free. Pre-book your arrival time online at

Our first F-16s announced!

Friday, March 15th, 2024


This week we are pleased to unveil our first F-16s, courtesy of the Royal Danish Air Force.

The Danes are the first nation to confirm attendance of the iconic fast-jet, which will feature as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations for the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

They will be sending their solo display, flown by well-known demo pilot Teo, plus at least one other F-16 to join our international static display line-up at RAF Fairford this summer.

Our final addition this week is a CL-604 for static display.

A British Antartic Survey Twin Otter will be joining us in July

Earlier this year we revealed that a British Antartic Survey Twin Otter will be joining us on the showground in July.

Recently we caught up with their Air Unit Operations Coordinator Dan Beedon, to find out a little bit more about what it’s like to work at the world’s most southerly point.

From now until the summer, we will be providing updates from a variety of people who work alongside the Twin Otter.

F35 Fighter Jet to Debut New Display At The RAF Cosford Air Show 2024

Friday, March 8th, 2024

RAF Cosford Air Show F35

The RAF Cosford Air Show are thrilled to announce that an F35 fighter jet from RAF Marham will perform their brand new ‘role demo’ display for the first time at the RAF Cosford Air Show, held on Sunday 9th June 2024.

A capacity crowd of 55,000 people attended the Air Show in 2023 and organisers are promising more excitement in the air and on the ground for 2024.

The role demo is anticipated to demonstrate the latest operational generation of fighter jet’s capability, including high speed passes and other thrilling manoeuvres, never before performed by an F35 from 617 Squadron.

Marilyn Summers, Commercial Director said: ‘We’re very excited to be welcoming an F35 from 617 Squadron to Cosford once again and seeing their brand new ‘role demo’ display. It is very fitting that the new display will debut at the RAF’s only Air Show

‘In 2023 a static replica F35 gave the next generation a unique opportunity to get up close and even sit in the jet, with a flypast from an F35 proving to be a crowd favourite at the Air Show in 2022 and 2023.
We can’t wait for audiences to experience this exhilarating display for the first time at the Royal Air Force Cosford Air Show.’

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are now on sale and can be purchased at

Royal Air Force aircraft at RIAT

Friday, March 8th, 2024

RIAT Red Arrows

Our first RAF announcements are here!

It is with huge excitement that we can announce our first Royal Air Force flying display.
Headlining this announcement, we have none other than the Red Arrows.

Back at full strength with a full team of nine jets, they will be celebrating their 60th anniversary with a display that will bring in many formations and shapes not seen in years.
In addition to the Red Arrows, we have two fantastic fast jet solo displays. First, the Eurofighter Typhoon. A fan favourite that has a real impact with its high-octane display.

Second is the F-35B, this year performing a full display with a mixture of high-speed passes, tight turns, and its iconic hover.

Pretty great so far, right? Well the RAF aren’t done yet.

Finally, we have the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Friday visitors will be treated to a series of flypasts, whilst on Saturday and Sunday, join us to see a very special display which will see the Lancaster accompanied by four historic fighter aircraft.

Alongside the RAF announcement, we also have a whole host of aircraft from QinetiQ attending the static display. We aim to park these alongside other British flight test aircraft for our
‘Pushing the boundaries’ theme.

Remember that this is your last week to get your hands on some special offers!

On midnight Sunday 10th March, all discounted prices on enclosures will be ending, as well as Super Early Bird Sunday general admission tickets.

Restoration Outlook at Newark Air Museum

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024

Newark Jaguar

During 2023 volunteers at Newark Air Museum logged in excess of 18,300 (eighteen thousand and three hundred) hours of working on a host of projects around the museum’s sixteen-acre site in north eastern Nottinghamshire.

In 2024 the museum trustees hope to harness similar levels of dedication and support to continue with similar restoration work and associated repainting projects.

High on the priority list will be continued work on Avro Shackleton, WR977, to carry on from the work on the aircraft’s nose section that was completed in autumn 2023. Some preparatory work had already taken place on the upper fuselage surfaces in the mid and rear sections of the aircraft.

On the sister Avro airframe, Vulcan, XM594, some additional structural repairs and maintenance repairs will continue, with the aim of keeping the airframe in a good overall condition, both externally and internally.

As the better weather arrives work will recommence on the repainting of the MiG-23; whilst structural repairs will continue on nose section of Chinook, ZA717; and progress will continue with the rebuild of the Auster AOP9.

A number of new repainting projects are also scheduled to start. This will include the application of distinctive 92 Squadron markings to Hunter T7. Currently it is marked as XX467, however it entered RAF service as XL605 and was part of the Blue Diamonds Display Team, it will wear these markings. Jaguar T2, XX829 will be repainted in a grey/green camouflage scheme, which the airframe wore during its early service with 54 Squadron. Both airframes have recently been cleaned in preparation for their repainting.

Offers extended for one more week

Monday, March 4th, 2024

RIAT Offers extended

RAF Museum supports National Lottery Open Week #ThanksToYou campaign

Monday, March 4th, 2024

RAF Museum Flight Simulator

• The National Lottery Open Week runs 9-17 March 2024
• Any National Lottery ticket, Scratchcard or Instant Win Game can be used to unlock offers
• The RAF Museum is offering lottery players two for one on Flight Simulator and 4D Theatre rides, plus 10% off in the Museum shop and restaurant

This March, The National Lottery, in its 30th year, will once again be saying thank you to players for the £30 million they raise for good causes every week, with the National Lottery Open Week. The focus this year is on encouraging the nation to try something new, by offering an array of free entry and special offers at hundreds of National Lottery funded venues across the UK.

From Saturday 9 to Sunday 17 March, anyone with a valid online or retail National Lottery ticket, Scratchcard or Instant Win Game can enjoy a low-cost day out thanks to special offers at hundreds of National Lottery-funded venues and attractions, including the RAF Museum in both London and the Midlands.

Visit the RAF Museum this National Lottery Open Week and enjoy flying entertainment for the whole family, with two for one tickets on Flight Simulator and 4D Theatre rides. Experiences include flying with the Red Arrows in the amazing 4D theatre, combining motion picture with physical effects. Or feel the speed and agility of the Eurofighter Typhoon onboard the Flight Simulator, with a pilot’s eye view from the cockpit. It’s guaranteed family fun for thrill-seekers of all ages!

National Lottery ticket holders will also receive 10% off in the Museum shop for the duration of the Open Week. Receive money off an extensive collection of clothing, gifts, models and kits, home and kitchenware, toys, games, jewellery and much more!

After exploring the hangars at the Museums Midlands site, relax and refuel in the onsite restaurant and enjoy 10% off a great selection of food and drink, including barista coffees, homemade cakes, hot lunches or snacks from the deli. To redeem your discounts at the Museum, simply show your National Lottery ticket, Scratchcard or Instant Win Game to a member of staff.

The RAF Museum is currently progressing plans to deliver a major regional engagement programme, alongside a site transformation at its Midlands site, supported by an investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The development will transform the Midlands site with an immersive exhibition exploring today’s RAF, a new Learning Centre will provide bespoke facilities, and a purpose-built Collections Hub will enable the Museum’s stored collection to be shared with the public for the first time. The complementary development of a woodland landscape and new public realm will encourage outdoor learning, discovery, and contemplation.

Barry Smith, Director of Visitor and Commercial Development at RAF Museum said:
‘We’re thrilled to be taking part in the National Lottery Open Week this year. As with many other organisations across the UK, The National Lottery has directly helped us, with the funding enabling us to begin progressing plans for our Inspiring Everyone: RAF Museum Midlands Development Programme. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket, making a vital contribution to good causes and in turn, supporting us. We’re looking forward to welcoming players at the RAF Museum during Open Week.’

To view all venues and offers that are available throughout The National Lottery Open Week, visit The RAF Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free.

Terms and conditions and booking instructions across special offers will vary, check the individual offer listing for details.