Archive for the ‘News UK’ Category

Autumn 1940s Weekend at Newark Air Museum

Friday, September 24th, 2021

1940s weekend at Newark Air Museum

Autumn 1940s Weekend
2 & 3, October 2021 …
… is fast approaching at Newark Air Museum

On Newark Air Museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire; close to the border with Lincolnshire preparations are well in hand for the 1940s Weekend event, which takes place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October, 2021. This two-day event has been organised to commemorate various aspects of the 1940s at what is part of the former RAF Winthorpe airfield site that was a World War II training base.

In the Dig For Victory Garden near the Anderson Shelter the produce has already been harvested and some preserves may be used to feed the volunteers who will be looking after the World War II ROC (Royal Observer Corps) that will be completed last year.

All around the museum’s extensive site, which will be developing a distinctive 1940s feel, the final display positions for visiting displays / groups are being set out; both under cover and outside. These displays include: vintage vehicles (cars and military vehicles; local history groups; variety of themed wartime trade stalls; and will feature regular performances during the weekend by local 1940s style vocalist, Sarah-Jane.

The museum wants to encourage as many visitors as possible to enter into the ‘1940s spirit’ by attending in period costume. Such participants will be admitted at a discounted admission rate if they just turn up on the day. This year we will once again have a strong emphasis on the re-enactors and promenarders wearing their winter clothing.

For members of the general public normal museum admission rates apply and full listing details about the events can be found on the Museum Events page of the museum website at www.newarkairmuseum.org

Pass on something wonderful

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

RAF Museum - Remember a Charity 2021

This year’s Remember A Charity Week (6-12 September), the Royal Air Force Museum is offering a free Will writing service for supporters who wish to leave a gift to the Museum in their Will.

After taking care of your family and friends, even a small legacy donation can make a huge impact, assisting the Museum, a registered charity, in its vision of inspiring future generations with the RAF story.

No matter how big or small your gift is, supporters can access free advice and a Will writing service through the Museum’s partnership with Bequeathed, an accredited legal firm.

Charities and museums underpin so much of community life in the UK and bring people together. Now more than ever, the RAF Museum is relying on gifts in Wills from supporters to help conserve the nations RAF heritage.

The last 18 months have prompted many of us to reflect on the things that matter the most – family, friends, and the causes close to our hearts. We’ve also been reminded of the value of planning for the future, to help look after the things we care about most.

Aimee Pitchford, Legacy Manager at the RAF Museum says:
‘Remember A Charity Week, from 6 to 12 September, is the perfect opportunity to consider passing on something wonderful by leaving a gift in your Will. By leaving a gift in your Will to the Royal Air Force Museum, your gift can reflect your own interests and passions, inspiring others through our collections and exhibitions as we continue to inspire everyone with the RAF story, the people who shape it and its place in our lives.’

The RAF has been responsible for some of the greatest stories ever told…not just of the heroism of the Battle of Britain that took place over the skies of Britain 80 years ago, but also of the RAF today. Underpinning these stories is a collection of more than 1.3 million objects, ranging in size from aircraft to lapel badges, and spanning more than a century of aviation history.

If you would like to find out more about leaving a gift to the RAF Museum in your Will, please visit www.rafmuseum.org.

#RememberACharityWeek

A week to go until Cockpit-Fest 21 at Newark Air Museum

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

Newark Lightning

Preparations for the 2021 Cockpit-Fest are well underway at Newark Air Museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire; close to the border with Lincolnshire. Newark Air Museum is a registered charity located on part of the former site of RAF Winthorpe; this year’s three-day Cockpit-Fest event is one of our first since the recent enforced Covid closures.

This will be the twenty first (21st) time that like-minded enthusiasts have displayed their aircraft cockpit sections at the museum. Cockpit-Fest has become a fixture on the aviation calendar and each year attracts many visiting cockpits and associated displays. Cockpit-Fest allows the owners the chance to display their prized exhibits to their fellow enthusiasts and the general public.

At this year’s event a diverse range of aviation will be represented; this includes a range of military jet cockpits and perhaps most notably this time a cockpit from a once famous Balderton landmark will be on display at the event.

The museum trustees are pleased to confirm that the Lightning F2A cockpit from XN728 – “The A1 Lightning” is being displayed in the UK for the first time, after it was saved by enthusiasts from a Newark scrapyard several years ago. Visitors to the event will get the chance to get close up to this much talked about local landmark.

Cockpit-Fest 2021takes place on Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Monday 30th August; and the event is being staged around the museum’s 16-acre site, alongside an Aeroboot / Aerojumble aviation and avionics sale. Here enthusiasts and the public can search out those aviation artefacts, books and models.

The event is supported by a range of organisations and individuals; with the visitors being encouraged to have a say in deciding, which is the best cockpit by voting on their favourite display and from these results, prizes are awarded.

Cockpit-Fest also attracts other visiting displays like local history / military vehicle groups; re-enactors; and even more aviation related displays such as clothing and historical artefacts.

Full details about the events and a full list of visiting cockpits and displays can be found on the Museum Events page of the museum website at www.newarkairmuseum.org

Fourteen Spitfires will take to the skies at IWM Duxford’s 1940s inspired Battle of Britain Air Show

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow

It’s time to practice your lindy hops and dust off your tweed jackets as IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show returns on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September, transporting visitors back to the summer of 1940 as the historic airfield prepares for a weekend of vintage showground entertainment and historic flying displays.

Following a successful return to Air Shows in July, IWM Duxford is thrilled to welcome visitors back for its final Air Show of the season which will see the historic site transformed with living history groups, 1940s music and dancing and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. The Battle of Britain Air Show will also see a spectacular array of aircraft take to the skies, including The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial flight. They will open the show’s packed flying programme with a Spitfire, Hurricane, and one of only two airworthy Avro Lancaster bombers remaining in the world. Air displays throughout the day will showcase the best of Second World War aviation with plenty more Spitfires as well as seaplanes, and Thunderbolts. Also featuring are the Great War Display Team who will be performing a choreographed dogfight with authentic First World War aircraft.

The showground will offer no shortage of entertainment including, for the first time, a vintage fairground complete with a carousel and ferris wheel, jazz and big band sounds from The Debonaires and 1940s classic songs from the cover act, Perfect Vintage. There will also be the chance to dance the lindy hop or try your hand at a swing dance and be sure to say hello to living history re-enactment groups, including Spirit of Britain who will portray the life and roles of 19 Squadron, based at RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. Explore static aircraft inside and up close and meet both current and former pilots to hear their stories of life in the air.

All IWM Duxford hangars and exhibitions will be open throughout the weekend including the recently opened Ops Block, an audio-visual experience that captures how men and women defended Britain from Luftwaffe attacks in the former nerve centre of RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. With the stories of real people who served here alongside their uniforms, keepsakes, and testimonies, the Ops Block links the personal to the extraordinary feats in the sky.

IWM Air Show Event Manager, Phil Hood, said “The Battle of Britain Air Show is always a very special event at IWM Duxford given the important role the site played during this pivotal moment in the Second World War. We also get to pay homage to the iconic Spitfire, an aircraft with a very close association to Duxford as the first station to receive it in 1939 and seeing fourteen of these warbirds close out the Air Show is guaranteed to be a spectacular site. It has been great to welcome visitors back to our Air Shows this year and we are thrilled to be able to increase the capacity to this event, allowing even more people to enjoy our air displays and showground entertainment.”

IWM will be asking that ticket holders over the age of 18 produce evidence (in line with an NHS Covid Pass) of either a negative Covid-19 test result or proof they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination. Please refer to the website for full details regarding entry requirements and other measures we will be keeping in place to keep everyone safe at this event.

Tickets to the Battle of Britain Air Show are available to purchase now at: Tickets | Imperial War Museums (iwm.org.uk)

Prices: Adult £42.50 / Children 5-15 £14.25 / Children under 5 and carers free

Runway race returns on bank holiday weekend

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

RAF Museum Spitfire 10K

Date: 29 August 2021 / Time: 10.00am / Cost: Standard entry £22.50 / Register: www.rafmuseum.org/cosford

The annual Spitfire 10K will return to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this August bank holiday weekend, with exclusive access to the airfield at RAF Cosford for up to 1,500 participants. Taking place on Sunday 29 August, the 10-kilometer race will take-off with a loop around the Museum and includes a sprint up and down the runway, finishing with a huge spinning Spitfire 10K medal!

It will be ready, steady…..scramble at 10.00am sharp as the race begins with a dash around the Museum grounds, passing by iconic aircraft including the VC10, Hercules and Nimrod, before runners make their way onto the airfield at RAF Cosford. Participants will enjoy a scenic route around the military airfield, taking them past several historic landmarks along the way including wartime hangars, an air traffic control tower and of course, the race wouldn’t be complete without a sprint down the runway! Then it’s back onto the Museum site to cross the finish line where runners will be rewarded with a highly sought-after bespoke 2021 Spitfire 10K medal, a perfect and well-earned memento of their day.

The Spitfire 10K is held in memory of RAF Battle of Britain personnel. All runners will each receive a roll of honour card containing the name of a Battle of Britain pilot or crew member to wear with their race number, sharing the story of those who served in this pivotal aerial campaign with a new generation.

RAF Museum Public Events Manager, Ulrike Stuebner said:
‘It’s great to have the physical race back at the Museum this year. We received brilliant support and participation for the virtual race in 2020, but there is nothing like the thrill of running down the runway on an active RAF base, it’s such a unique experience.

We are well known for our brilliant Spitfire 10K race day medals, and this year’s design will not disappoint. We are keeping it under wraps until the end of the race, but I can confirm it includes our notorious spinning element, and there is still time for people to sign up and get their hands on one!

One of the most popular elements of the race is the Roll of Honour cards. It’s wonderful to see runners researching the incredible life of ‘their’ pilot or crew member and sharing these stories with family, friends and even on social media. We encourage people to get involved and keep their memory alive, sharing RAF stories is what the Museum is all about.’

The Spitfire 10K is a UK Athletics licensed race and a great event for keen runners, achieving a personal best is aided by the flat airfield terrain. But for those who just want to have fun, why not get into the spirit of the Spitfire 10K by dressing in wartime attire – don your victory curls or flying jacket and run this event in style! If you’re aged 15 and over why not give it a go? Whether you’ve been entering races for years, or you’re just getting into running, the RAF Museum’s Spitfire 10K is guaranteed to be fun and memorable.

Friends and family are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Following the race, visitors have the bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free Museum, where they will find a world class collection of aircraft and artefacts on display, including the world’s oldest Spitfire.

To take part in this unique racing experience, register online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Entry to the Spitfire 10K costs £22.50 per person, or £20.50 per person for Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs. 2021 Spitfire 10K technical running t-shirts and vests are also available to purchase in advance and on race day (subject to availability).

Or pledge to raise £80 and receive your race day t-shirt for free. Help us honour those who defended our skies during the Battle of Britain by fundraising for the RAF Museum. Support for this event enables the RAF Museum, a registered charity, to tell the inspiring stories of RAF personnel, just like The Few – the courageous Battle of Britain Pilots and Crew who fought in the skies above Britain in 1940. Select the sponsorship option when signing up online.

If you can’t make it to Cosford for race day, why not sign up for the Virtual Spitfire 10K which launches on the bank holiday weekend and runners have until Battle of Britain day on the 15 September, to complete the challenge. The virtual race allows you to tailor the racing experience to fit your schedule and ability. You can take part in real time with other runners at 10.00am on race day, or if running 10K is not for you, why not split the distance into a few runs, a long walk, row, or a cycle. Runners from all over the UK, and across the world can take part, running in honour of a Battle of Britain pilot while supporting the RAF Museum. Further details on the virtual event can be found online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free, simply pre-book your arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Then it’s chocks away as you explore the Museum’s vast collection of aircraft, vehicles, artefacts and the fascinating story of the RAF!

Schools win place on aerospace residential

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Students with a passion for STEM subjects have taken part in a six-part online STEM mission, competing against teams from other schools across the UK, in a bid to secure their place on the Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme.

Delivered by the Royal Air Force Museum, in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK, the STAAR programme offers students the opportunity to experience the excitement of the aerospace industry first-hand. Hundreds of Year 9 students took part, and the six winning schools who most successfully met the overall mission objectives across each of the six challenges, will now enjoy a two-day residential educational and vocational experience at RAF Cosford, when they return to school after the summer holidays.

With more than 32 schools taking part, the winning teams are:

• John Hampden Grammar School
• Denmark Road High School
• Madeley Academy
• Barnwell School
• Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School
• King Edward VI Handsworth Girls School

Julie Brierley, Head of Access and Learning at RAF Museum Cosford said:
‘We were blown away with the interest we received from schools across the country, with over 520 students participating. Schools from as far north as Glasgow, to the far corners of Cornwall took part, along with schools throughout the Midlands and London. We hope it’s been an enjoyable and educational insight into the exciting world of aerospace, and we look forward to welcoming the winning schools to Cosford later this year for their STAAR residential experience.’

To secure their place on the STAAR residential, students had to successfully complete a series of STEM challenges based on a mock mission. Entries were judged by a panel of experts from the Royal Air Force and the aerospace industry, with Air Marshal Knighton overseeing the final selection.

Teams were tasked with designing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), detailing its capabilities, and then creating a 3D CAD model of their design. Teams had to demonstrate their problem-solving skills as they decrypted coded messages using various techniques, and plot routes to navigate their way through obstacles in a pathfinder’s task. In the final stages of their mission, students took part in aerial reconnaissance, assessing historical images and modern satellite images, before presenting their findings.

Air Marshal Knighton said:
‘I have been hugely impressed by the quality of the entries. The level of technical knowledge is remarkable, but the imagination on display is amazing. It has been a real privilege to judge this competition. I can’t thank the students and staff enough for their hard work.’

The students from each winning school will develop their skills further and complete phase two of their STAAR mission during the onsite residential at RAF Cosford in the autumn term. Students will get to participate in a range of activities, including programming drones to swarm.

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK, Europe and Middle East said:
“In 2021 we adapted the STAAR programme to deliver a challenging competition to even more young people than before. By bringing STEM subjects and their real-world applications to life we aim to provide inspiring opportunities to experience the careers that are available within the aerospace and defence industry. Congratulations to all the teams who took part, and we look forward to welcoming the winners to RAF Cosford for an amazing educational and vocational experience.”

The STAAR programme is fully funded (including travel, food and accommodation for the residential phase) by Northrop Grumman and is delivered in partnership with the RAF Museum and Tablet Academy, with the generous support of RAF Cosford and the RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR.

Adoptions help keep the RAF Museum flying

Monday, July 19th, 2021

RAF Museum Fighter Fund

Within its first year, the Royal Air Force Museum’s Adopt an Artefact initiative has helped raise more than £65,000 to help keep the Museum flying, with over 200 adoptees supporting the Museum in one of the toughest years faced by visitor attractions.

‘Adopt an Artefact’ highlights a selection of iconic and unusual objects from the Museum collection which span more than a century of aviation and RAF history. It’s also a unique opportunity for everyone to be part of the RAF’s story while raising funds for the Museum.

To celebrate the first anniversary, the Museum is introducing five new objects for people to adopt, each with their own fascinating story to tell. The new objects joining the list of over 60 already available to adopt include a flying car, dog lead, RAF Cosford hospital tag, fighter fund card and even a toothbrush. These five new items have all been specially selected from the Museum’s collection of more than 1.3 million items and can be adopted online at rafmuseum.org.

The NEW Anniversary artefacts available for adoption include the Nylon Halex toothbrush. But this is no ordinary toothbrush and concealed within the handle is a small, magnetised compass swinger. This is an example of the work of Section 9 of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (MI9). One of MI9’s specialities was smuggling escape aids into prisoner of war camps in otherwise unremarkable looking objects. It’s the perfect adoption for any budding spies and can be spotted on display at the Museums London site.

The RAF Cosford Hospital Key Tag for the female nurses’ quarter is a poignant adoption for the medical staff who worked there. Opened in 1940 and housed in a series of inter-connected wooden huts, the RAF Cosford hospital treated more than 42,000 patients during the Second World War, including returning prisoners of war and burns victims. Following the war, the hospital’s remit was widened to include care for the local population, and thousands of military and civilian patients were treated at the hospital before its closure in 1977. Visitors to the Museums Cosford site can view the tag on display.

The sky’s the limit with Handley Page HP120 Flying Car adoption! Developed in 1950s when there was considerable interest in the concept of a flying car, this model was built for wind tunnel testing. Before building full-sized prototypes, designers often use large accurate models to observe the behaviour of proposed new aircraft under simulated flight conditions. Powered by a jet engine and fitted with folding wings and a moveable tail, this flying car concept never went beyond the wind tunnel model stage. Adoptees can view this unique item on display in London.

Calling all dog lovers…the heavy-duty Dog Lead used with patrol dogs at RAF Scampton in the 1970s is the perfect adoption for you. RAF police dogs have their own RAF service numbers and non-commissioned ranks. This sometimes means that the dog will outrank its handler! The RAF Police have used dogs in the protection of airfields and military installations since 1945. RAF police dogs are trained in two distinct roles, either patrol and guarding or as specialist search dogs. This object, which recognises the important contribution of service dogs, is proudly on display at Cosford.

The Fighter Fund Card of Honour now available for adoption is an example of the many Fighter Funds established in 1940 to raise the £5,000 required to purchase an RAF fighter aircraft which was then named after an individual, business, town or city. They enabled ordinary people to contribute to the war effort and brought communities and Allied counties together. Savings cards encouraged the public to donate a small but regular amount to a Fighter Fund. Stamps could be purchased for a penny and, on completion of the card, the owner was issued with a large Stamp of Honour. Eighty years on, you can help support the Museum’s public fund by adopting the Fighter Fund Card of Honour! Look out for this artefact next time you visit the Museums Cosford site.

Adopt online at www.rafmuseum.org, where you can discover more about the new artefacts and browse through more than 60 items up for adoption, including everything from a Red Arrows flying suit, to lucky mascots, and even a commemorative beer mat, there really is something for everyone! Adoptions can be made on an individual or corporate basis; join Mars and Chelsea FC by adopting one of our amazing aircraft!

Starting at £25.00, adoptions last 12 months from the date they are adopted. As recognition for their adoption, all adoptees will receive a digital adoption certificate and photo, exclusive updates, and the option to include a dedicated message along with the name of the adoptee alongside the object on Collections Online, the Museum’s digital collections system.

Abi Betteridge, Individual Giving Manager RAF Museum said:
‘Since we launched Adopt an Artefact last year, dedication messages from adoptees have continued to flood our web pages. We have seen many personal tributes to loved ones, like Twinkletoes the Cat who was adopted in memory of someone’s father, a wartime Hurricane pilot and cat lover. One of the more humorous dedications we have seen was for the Elsanol Chemical Toilet Fluid, it read ‘Lest we forget all the little underappreciated jobs that make the world go around’. There have also been messages of reflection, encouragement and support, it is very moving to read through them.

Adopting an artefact can help make a real difference to the services we continue to deliver. The money raised through adoptions could help fund places for students on our three-year engineering Apprenticeship in the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre, or provide our Access and Learning team additional members of staff, enabling them to deliver our amazing learning programme to even more learners.’

Edward Sharman, Head of Development RAF Museum, said:
‘As a result of the pandemic, the Museum has seen a reduction in our self-generated income of over £3m. By adopting one of our amazing objects in the collection, support from our adoptees is helping the Museum continue inspiring everyone with the RAF story. It is also a fantastic opportunity for individuals and organisations to be part of the RAF’s history and to receive something unique in return for their support. We hope adoptees have enjoyed being part of Adopt an Artefact and will consider continuing to support us and adopt for another year.’

All adoptees can view their adopted artefact during a visit to the Museum, where each object can be found on display at either the Museum’s Cosford or London site.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free, simply pre-book your arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Then it’s chocks away as you explore the Museum’s vast collection of aircraft, vehicles, artefacts and the fascinating story of the RAF!

Science and Industry Museum to Vacate Lease on Air And Space Hall

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Avro Shackleton

The Science and Industry Museum and Manchester City Council announce today that the museum will no longer lease the historic Lower Campfield market hall building which houses the Air and Space Hall.

This hall, which is closed due to the extent of repairs needed, and many of the objects within it, formed Manchester City Council’s Air and Space Museum, which opened in 1983.The Air and Space Hall was originally taken on by the North Western Museum of Science and Industry in 1985 due to the disbanding of Greater Manchester Council’s Air and Space Museum, before transferring to the Science Museum Group in 2012.

The majority of the aviation collection on display will be returned from loan to their home organisations, which include the RAF Museum. Many new onward destinations for loan are currently being planned to ensure that the collections can continue to be enjoyed by the public across the UK.

The RAF Museum’s Avro 707A and English Electric P1A will be rehomed at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, and the Avro 504K will find a new home at the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Essex – where members of the public will soon be able to see them on display. The Yokosuka Ohka II will travel to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona, USA, while the Avro Shackleton will travel to its ‘spiritual home’ at the Avro Heritage Museum in Woodford, Stockport. Many aircraft will also return to The Aeroplane Collection at nearby Ellesmere Port.

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO said: “We are delighted to be rehoming these aircraft and sharing them with new audiences to enjoy and connect with their stories. I know they will resonate with audiences and communities, with some even having local stories linked to them. As a National Museum, the RAF Museum is committed to sharing the story of the Royal Air Force with everyone, and having jewels from our collection on display in different parts of the country, and indeed the world, means that this story is more accessible and available. I look forward to visiting each site to see them on display.”

Science and Industry Museum Director, Sally Macdonald, says: “The decision to vacate our lease has not been easy but it’s the right thing to do for our visitors, the building and the city. Since the Science Museum Group took on the Science and Industry Museum in 2012, we have been working hard on an extensive and intensive programme of urgent repair and conservation work to the buildings the museum inhabits so we can continue to inspire visitors with ideas that change the world.
“We have just completed a £5million new Special Exhibitions Gallery which over 20,000 visitors have already enjoyed, and we are investing £11.3million in our iconic Power Hall, due to reopen in 2023. We are also undertaking repairs valued at over £3m to the 1830 Station and 1830 warehouse.

“As a charity we have invested significant resource to maintain and repair the Air and Space Hall since we have taken on its stewardship, however historic buildings do have a complexity of issues that date back many decades. The repair and investment work required to bring this beautiful building back to life is substantial, the space presents real challenges in the sustainable display of historic objects and ultimately, it is the responsible thing to now pass the building back to Manchester City Council, ready for its next chapter. We take seriously our responsibility to look after our globally significant buildings, which include the world’s oldest surviving passenger station and railway warehouse and we have to prioritise these buildings that we own.”

“I would like to thank all of the visitors, volunteers and partners that have helped to make the Air and Space Hall such a special place for many. We will continue to tell stories and display iconic objects demonstrating the region’s transport innovation in our galleries, in our new talks and learning programmes and online.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, says: “The Council welcomes the significant investments which are being made to improve the Science and Industry Museum across the heritage buildings that the museum owns. We recognise that to thrive and continually attract visitors museums need to evolve over time. As such, we support the planned changes. This creates an opportunity to introduce new activities into the Lower Campfield Market building to help support Manchester’s economic recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with Allied London, we are developing proposals to refurbish both Upper and Lower Campfield Markets to create and support jobs. These will be brought forward in due course.”

The museum collection, including objects of scale, will continue to be used to tell the story of aeronautics in the North West and will be used in future galleries to showcase the huge contribution the region has made in aviation history.

Visitors in Manchester will also be welcomed when they visit Greater Manchester Transport Museum, Bury Transport Museum, Avro Heritage Museum, Runway Visitor Park, North West Museum of Road Transport and other Greater Manchester Transport Heritage partner venues to view heritage transport collections nearby.

The museum’s historic New Warehouse which houses the Revolution Manchester, Textiles, Experiment, and Special Exhibition galleries remains open with a changing programme of major special exhibitions including Top Secret: from ciphers to cyber security and Use Hearing Protection: the early years of Factory Records, and events for visitors of all ages. The rest of the 7 acre museum is currently undergoing a multi-million pound restoration programme to carry out crucial conservation and renovation work across its listed buildings and structures, bringing to life the story of the site, revealing new spaces and perspectives for all visitors to enjoy, play and learn in and creating a more sustainable museum. The Museum’s much-loved Power Hall is due to reopen in 2023.

www.rafmuseum.org

Air Tattoo to Serve up Aviation Feast – Virtually!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Virtual Air Tattoo

Whilst the actual Royal International Air Tattoo won’t be taking place as planned at RAF Fairford this weekend, Airshow organisers are ensuring their supporters will still be able to enjoy plenty of aviation-related thrills and excitement – albeit virtually!

The six-hour, free-to-view, live-streamed Virtual Air Tattoo takes place on Saturday, July 17 from 10am to 4pm and will include exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage, virtual flying displays, live interviews, competitions and special features.

Presented by Air Tattoo commentator and aviation expert Ben Dunnell and filmed from a live studio by PlanesTV, the 2021 Virtual Air Tattoo will build on the success of last year’s inaugural event that attracted an audience in excess of one million.

As well as being given exclusive operational access to RAF Coningsby and the Historic Army Aircraft Flight at Middle Wallop, the Virtual Air Tattoo team flew on board a USAF Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker air-to-air refuelling flight from RAF Mildenhall. In the studio, there will be a number of live interviews including talks with Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins, from the Red Arrows and Air Tattoo co-founder Tim Prince.

Air Tattoo Head of Air Operations Peter Reoch said whilst it was disappointing not to be able welcome aircraft to RAF Fairford there had been incredible support from air arms from around the world who were keen to participate in the virtual event. Among those represented at the Virtual Air Tattoo will be Austrian, Danish and French, who all participated in the first Air Tattoo in 1971, plus 20 other countries from across the globe.

He said: “We’ve got lots of surprises planned for the live stream , including virtual flying displays with a special 50th anniversary twist! We’ll also be previewing next summer’s Air Tattoo by announcing the Airshow’s themes for 2022. I’m confident that, like the Airshow itself, everyone will find lots to enjoy during the day.”

As well as celebrating the Air Tattoo’s 50th anniversary, the virtual event will also be launching ticket sales for next summer’s ‘real’ Airshow, which will take place on July 15-17, 2022. For ticket details and prices, visit www.airtattoo.com

During the event, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the Air Tattoo’s parent charity. Text TRUST to 70490 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message). Also through Virgin Money Giving: https://bit.ly/rafcharitable

Air Tattoo Air Traffickers Honoured

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

GATCO Award for RIAT

The dedication and professionalism of the Royal International Air Tattoo’s volunteer Air Traffic Services (ATS) team during the past 50 years has been recognised with the presentation of a prestigious trophy.

Awarded by the Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers (GATCO), the Hunt Trophy is the organisation’s highest honour and is awarded only occasionally to an individual or group considered to have made an outstanding contribution to air traffic services. The Air Tattoo’s volunteer ATS team was selected for its dedication since the first Air Tattoo was staged at North Weald airfield in 1971.

GATCO President and CEO Luis Barbero announced the award during a virtual meeting (on June 25) attended by past and present members of the Air Traffic Services team. They included current ATS Manager Gary Elson, his immediate predecessor Ian Revell and Nigel Green, GATCO’s current retired members co-ordinator, who led the Air Tattoo’s ATS team for a number of years. Also present were Air Tattoo CEO Paul Atherton, Head of Air Operations Peter Reoch and Chairman of the Air Tattoo’s parent company RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, Alan Smith.

Luis Barbero said: “I’m incredibly humbled and honoured on behalf of GATCO to present the Hunt Trophy to the Air Traffic Services team at the Royal International Air Tattoo to mark 50 years of commitment and dedication as volunteers helping make the event the biggest military airshow in the world. We wish to thank you for all the work you do and for making the event possible for all the aviation enthusiasts in the UK and around the world.”

Ian Revell said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised by our peers, it really means a lot to the team. Over 20 years that I was manager, I was really lucky to work with some really talented and dedicated people and that’s what makes the team. I am sure the skill, determination and dedication hasn’t changed over the years.

“It would be wrong to receive this without also recognising the team at RAF Brize Norton who, over the years, have helped us by providing our radar service so this award is for them as well.”

www.airtattoo.com