Archive for the ‘News UK’ Category

The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Phantom

Date: 15 December 2017
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at RAF Museum Cosford

On 15 December, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be hosting the next Cold War Lunchtime Lecture with a talk entitled ‘The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring’. In this talk, Dr Kenton White from the University of Reading will look at the conventional defence planning of the UK during the Cold War.

Within this lecture, Dr Kenton will question whether during the Cold War, did Britain really have the means to defend itself, in the event of a shooting war? This lecture analyses the conventional defence planning of the UK, its relationship to the policy, and the possible and actual execution. In 1979 Britain committed almost the entire Royal Air Force to NATO’s defence of Western Europe. 100,000 troops were assigned to Home Defence, and Britain would act as a staging post for foreign troops on their way to the front.

Deterrent plans were aimed at the perceived threat: planning for the manifestation of that threat, and implementing those plans. These plans relate intimately to NATO’s “Flexible Response” strategy and the desire to raise the nuclear threshold enabling NATO to stop a WTO attack by conventional means. Analysing the plans for mobilisation, and comparing them to the forces and facilities available, this lecture seeks to understand if the UK fulfilled its obligation, not only to NATO, but to the Armed Forces and British public.

Professor Kenton White is a Sessional Lecturer in Politics, International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Reading, and also works with the University of Portsmouth at RAF Cranwell. He has a PhD in Strategic Studies, researching British defence policy and practice during and after the Cold War. He studies military history and defence policy from the Napoleonic Wars to today. Prior to entering academia he was the Managing Director of a computer animation company.

This FREE lecture will be held in the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 15 December, lasting approximately one hour. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme . ‘The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring’, is the final lecture taking place at Cosford this year, with more lectures planned for 2018. The programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures, which are held at the University of Wolverhampton, the Royal Aeronautical Society in London and the RAF Museum in London respectively.

For further information about the Museum’s research programme or to book your FREE ticket to the lecture, please visit the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Under the wings of Concorde to be supersonic venue for Christmas carol concert

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Concorde at Fleet Air Arm Museum

The popular Christmas carol concert under the wings of Concorde returns this year at Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum on two evenings, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th December.

Visitors can join the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band under Concorde 2 in Hall Four of the Yeovilton museum.

The concert features several classics and festive numbers for the occasion. Doors open at 6.30pm, the concert starts at 7.30pm.

General Manager of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Marc Farrance, said: “Our Christmas Carols are very popular and they’re held in such a unique setting – under the Concorde 2.
“We are delighted to host the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band for the third year running.

“The event has been incredibly popular in recent years. And this year we are holding it over two nights to make sure no one misses out on tickets.”

Tickets are £15 each and include a mince pie and mulled wine on arrival. A bar and refreshments will also be available.

It is strongly recommended that those wishing to go purchase their tickets in advance.

They can be purchased from the museum during normal opening hours, by calling 01935 840565 or online at www.fleetairarm.com

Air Day Picks up Somerset Tourism Award

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Yeovilton Air Day picks up Tourism Award

The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day was recognised for its achievements with a Silver award in the Tourism Event of the Year category at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards ceremony held at the Somerset County Cricket Club.

After 6 months of assessing evidence and judging by a panel of experts the winners were announced by Laura Rawlings from BBC Radio Bristol and presented with their awards by ex-England cricketer Marcus Trescothick MBE. On behalf of the Air Day, Commander Terry Tyack (Commander Air, RNAS Yeovilton) and Audrey Huelin (AHA Events) received the award in front of a capacity audience of the best tourism businesses from across the region.

“It is tremendous that Air Day has been recognised such a local thriving tourism industry. The success of the event is a combination of significant effort from a series of teams including AHA, the military, civil service and civilian contractors; it is an absolute pleasure to receive the award on their behalf,” said Commander Tyack.

Audrey Huelin added, “Our Air Day is truly living up to its international status. Our Early bird tickets for next year’s Air Day, which takes place on Saturday 7th July, recently went on sale and within one hour we received ticket orders from Brazil and Japan!”.

Successful businesses in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Awards will now be fast tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2018 and then possibly on to the National Visit England Awards later in 2018.

Early bird tickets for next summer’s Air Day are now on sale with no booking fees, for a limited period only, at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Old Buckenham Airfield Opens a Second Museum

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce the opening, on Remembrance Sunday 2017, of its second Museum; the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery.
This new addition to the Airfield has been designed as a complement to the 2015built 453rd Bombardment Group Museum which houses the largest collection of 453rd memorabilia in existence.

The new Gallery showcases some of the extensive collection of James Clarey. His collection, combined with that of the late Pat Ramm, is partly on display in the 453rd Museum, of which he is also Curator. James, however, did not limit his collecting to the 453rd and has so many exhibits relating to the 8th Air Force (of which the 453rd was a part) that the decision was made to create the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery, in order to provide a place where they can be on public display.

Based in the Airfield’s ‘Small Blister Hangar’ the Gallery contains a host of displays and exhibits. At its heart is a faithful recreation of the Post Exchange which was a key feature of the lives of all the servicemen at Old Buckenham during the War. The Post Exchange, as the name suggests, was the place for parcels and letters to go back and forth between England and the U.S. and for most servicemen would have been the most tangible link with home. Post Exchanges also served as a shop and social centre on the base.

Remembrance Sunday will also see the unveiling of a new ornamental railing enclosure for the Memorial Garden. Built in house by the airfield, the railings required over a thousand fixings and took over a week to complete. A brand new LED lighting system completes this latest update, the first major improvement since the Garden was created in 2012.

Fittingly, the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery will be formally opened following the traditional Remembrance Sunday Service, held at 1055 at the War Memorial. The United States will be represented by a senior officer from Lakenheath Air Base.

www.oldbuck.com

Remembrance Sunday Service to be held at Cosford

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

RAF Cosford Remembrance Service

Date: Sunday 12 November
Time: 10.45am

On Sunday 12 November, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance, paying respect to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

Visitors who wish to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women are invited to join the service, led by the Station Chaplain at RAF Cosford. Those attending will also be treated to renditions from the Cosford Military Wives Choir, who will perform for visitors on arrival and during the service.

The service will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 and visitors are politely requested to assemble no later than 10:30am ready for the Service to commence at 10.45am. As well as readings from Museum volunteers, there will be hymns and the sounding of ‘The Last Post’ performed by a bugler, followed by a two minute silence. Students from Muxton Primary School in Telford will also be in attendance, reading a poem they have written especially for the service.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“The RAF Museum is a fitting location for this poignant occasion and we hope that local residents will choose to join us on Remembrance Sunday so we can remember together. I would like to thank the Station Chaplain and the Cosford Military Wives Choir for their involvement in this years’ service. I’m sure visitors will enjoy the special service we have planned as well as the performances from the choir.”

During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF Cosford and the Museum in honour of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Following the service visitors are free to explore the Museum at their own leisure.

If you would like to find out about Service Personnel who fell serving in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force during the Great War of 1914 to 1918, or to dedicate a digital poppy, please visit the RAF Museum’s online story vault: www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk

The Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge. For further information please visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Air Day Debut for Lithuanian Air Force

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Lithuanian L-39

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is delighted to announce the participation of two aircraft types from debuting nation Lithuania. The Baltic state’s air force will send an Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer and a Mil Mi-8T utility helicopter for static display. Rarely seen at Western European events, they get Air Day’s international line-up off to the very best of starts.

The L-39 Albatros was a real success for Czech firm Aero Vodochody. During a 25-year production run, 2,900 were built and supplied to almost 50 militaries. Lithuania, plus around a dozen other nations, took delivery of the L-39ZA armed trainer/light attack variant. Its duties include surveying and defending Lithuanian airspace.

The remarkable Mil Mi-8 (NATO codenamed ‘Hip’) is the world’s most produced-helicopter: a staggering 17,000-plus examples of the Soviet-origin design having been manufactured. Lithuania only employs three Mi-8Ts (‘Hip-Cs’) in the troop transport and search and rescue roles.

As the Lithuanian Air Force continues with their modernisation programme these assets are a very welcome addition to the Royal Navy’s air show at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on Saturday 7 July. Early bird tickets with no booking fees are now on sale for a limited period only at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Phantom Arrival at RAF Cosford

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

RAF Cosford Black Phantom

Following last week’s launch of the RAF Cosford Air Show 2018, a cold-war era F-4 Phantom aircraft, known as ‘Black Mike’, was delivered by road to the airfield, in preparation for the Air Show on Sunday 10th June 2018.

The F-4 Phantom II was operated by the Royal Air Force between 1969 and 1992, principally as an air defence fighter. Although the jet was an American design, produced by McDonnell Douglas, the UK’s Phantoms were a special batch built separately and containing a significant amount of British technology including the addition of Rolls-Royce Spey engines. Of all the UK’s Phantoms, the airframe which arrived today at RAF Cosford is perhaps one of the most iconic, known as ‘Black Mike’ due to its unique paint scheme applied by 111(F) Squadron in the late 1980s.

The airframe, now owned by GJD Services Ltd, has been the centre of a campaign by aviation enthusiasts, who plan to restore her to exhibition standard. David Butterfield, from the British Phantom Aviation Group, said, “The British Phantom Aviation Group (BPAG) are extremely proud and honoured to participate with Phantom XV582 ‘Black Mike’ at the RAF Cosford Air Show 2018. Our hardworking, dedicated team of volunteers have shown outstanding knowledge, skills and aptitude to make the move from RAF Leuchars happen. We look forward to working with RAF Cosford over the coming months and we are certain that the aircraft will be a great attraction as part of the RAF100 static displays.”

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “The Royal Air Force’s Phantoms played a critical role in defending the UK’s airspace during the height of the Cold War. Therefore, having an example of the type was essential as part of our RAF100 static exhibition at the Air Show on Sunday 10th June 2018. It will be the first of many aircraft which will be transported by road to RAF Cosford over the coming months specifically for display at the Air Show.”

Tickets for the Air Show, which is promising to be a spectacular and interactive tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary, are already on sale via the event’s website. Tickets will again only be available in advance, and are priced £25.00 per adult, with accompanied under-16s attending the Air Show for free, presenting excellent value for money.

www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Rare aircraft on show during Open Week

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Hampden Fuselage

Date: 13-18 November 2017
Time: 10:15am-1:00pm
Cost: £5.00 per person

A rare example of a Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be one of the highlights at the Conservation Centre Open Week taking place on 13-18 November 2018.

The Handley Page Hampden’s forward and rear fuselage sections will be placed in line for aviation fans to view during the behind the scenes week. Since it was last viewed by the public almost 12 months ago, the forward fuselage and cockpit section has been completed, manufactured entirely from scratch by one of the Museum Technicians, using pre-production drawings. The new section also includes some original components from the P1344 Hampden and aviation fans will be able to get up close to view the progress during the forthcoming Open Week. Work is continuing on the aircraft fuselage section and it is hoped that work will be completed sometime in 2018. Once complete, the aircraft at Cosford will be one of only two examples and one nose section in existence from a total of 1,430 built.

Other aviation treasures on show to visitors will include the Vickers Wellington, one of only two complete examples anywhere in the world, out of 11,461 built. This popular aircraft is a favourite with aviation fans and has undergone work to treat small amounts of corrosion to its famous geodetic framework, both wings and fuselage, since its arrival at Cosford in June 2010. Now free of corrosion, both wings have been painted in a protective layer and one has already been re-covered in Irish linen, doped and painted in its Bomber Command Night colour scheme. Work is now underway to repeat the process on the aircrafts second wing and eventually the fuselage.

The Westland Lysander III, the only surviving Special Duties variant of this aircraft (which were used to ferry allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe). The aircraft which has undergone an in depth inspection and condition assessment over the last six months will also be on display to visitors. This project is being run by the Museums team of Volunteers and work over the next few years will include replacing its fragile linen outer skin.

Another aircraft spending a short period of time in the Conservation Centre is the Hawker Siddeley Gnat T1 – the first aircraft used by the RAF Red Arrows, superseded by the current aircraft, the Hawk in 1979. The aircraft was previously on public display at Cosford and is destined to move to the Museum’s London site before the end of the year. The Open Week in November is a last chance for Red Arrow fans to see the aircraft in the West Midlands. As the aircraft is being prepared for transportation by road, it is also a chance to see it in a partial stripped condition.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s that time of the year again when the Conservation Centre opens its doors to the public. The Open Week has become a firm favourite with the aviation enthusiasts and local people who have been regular attendees over the years. This year we are highlighting the Westland Lysander, a WW2 aircraft that was used on SOE ops amongst other things. The aircraft will be in a stripped condition allowing visitors to view the usually closed up areas in detail. If you want a day out with a difference, why not come along and see what we are doing.”

Visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Range Safety Launch, a project being run by a team of Volunteers, plus see a glimpse of the Dornier Do 17 smaller objects including propellers and engines. The First World War German LVG aircraft will also be on display to visitors along with some more unusual objects including the Skynet satellite and a missile collection, which are both being prepped ready for a move down to the Museum’s London site in preparation for the new centenary plans in 2018. Museum Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers will be available throughout the week to speak with visitors about their work and answer any questions they may have.

The Conservation Centre will open from 13-18 November between 10.15am and 1.00pm each day and admission is £5.00 per person (children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult). The Museum’s other hangars will be open from 10am until 5pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call 01902 376200.

PLUS…in addition to the open week, visitors will also have the exciting opportunity to climb on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249 during daily tours running from 13-18 November. Tickets are available to purchase online via the Museums website http://www.rafmuseum.org/cosfordor on the day, subject to availability.

RAF Cosford Air Show Tickets now on Sale

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Cosford Aerial Photo

The organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show have announced plans for next year’s Air Show, on Sunday 10th June 2018, which they promised would be “the most spectacular and interactive Air Show tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary.”

The Royal Air Force was formed in 1918, and is proud of its rich history and achievements. From battle-winning performances high above the skies of Britain in the nation’s hour of need to more recent activities that include tackling terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, securing and protecting the skies above the UK and disaster relief around the World, there is much to celebrate at next year’s Air Show on Sunday 10th June.

One of the most exciting attractions planned for the Air Show is a showcase of 100 aircraft in a chronological exhibition showcasing the development of aeronautical design and capability over the past century. The first participant of which was announced today, the Boulton Paul Defiant I was a two-seat turret fighter, operated as a night fighter in the 1940-42 by the Royal Air Force during WWII. The airframe, which will be on display at the Air Show, is part of the RAF Museum collection, and is the single surviving complete example of the type worldwide. This airframe also has a local connection; it was built at Boulton Paul’s factory in Pendeford, Wolverhampton, in 1938. This is the first of many RAF Museum aircraft coming out from their hangars to join the special RAF100 exhibition on the airfield.

Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott, said, “Planning for the 2018 Air Show has been going on for a long time, the Royal Air Force’s centenary is such an important event to celebrate. We have grand plans to make the RAF Cosford Air Show a once in a lifetime event to Commemorate the RAF’s achievements, Celebrate the RAF of today and Inspire the public about the RAF’s future. “

Tickets for the Air Show have gone on sale, with organisers holding the price at £25.00 despite increasing costs, with the emphasis being put on providing great value for money for visitors, something reinforced for families as accompanied under-16s can attend the Air Show for free.

www.cosfordiarshow.co.uk

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Newark Air Museum Aeroboot

Saturday 14th October 2017

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 14th October 2017. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again is heading towards being a sell-out event.

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the Project Panini (Mod) fund raising campaign to build new Café & Toilet facilities at the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

Around 50 tables, featuring a host of different sellers, who come from around the UK will be arranged amongst the aircraft in Display Hangar 2 at the museum.

Buyers / visitors who attend this fund raising event will have the opportunity to search through a varied selection of aviation and avionic items: including books, paintings, prints, DVDs, plastic kits, die-cast models, clothing, radio equipment and aircraft parts. Regular updates / seller’s information are being posted on the news page of the museum website www.newarkairmuseum.org

Buyers / visitors at this event will be able to access the museum site on Saturday 14th October, 2017 at a special discounted admission price of just £4.50 per person.

The museum opening times will be 09.00 to 17.00 hours; with the sale taking place between 09.00 and 14.00 hours; to get the best bargains we suggest that you get there early.

Further details are available on the Events Page of the museum website www.newarkairmuseum.org or by telephoning 01636 707170.