Archive for the ‘News UK’ Category

Ukrainian Fast Jet to star at Air Tattoo

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Ukrainian SU-27

One of the stars of last year’s airshow, a Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 from the Ukrainian Air Force, is set to grace the skies above RAF Fairford once more in a thrilling flying display at 2019’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

The Soviet-era heavy fighter was initially created in reaction to the United States Air Force’s F-15 Eagle. The Sukhoi design, which was the first Soviet aircraft to be operated using an electronic interface instead of conventional manual flight controls, is an exceptionally agile aircraft that can reach top speeds of 2,500 km/h.

Codenamed ‘Flanker’ by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), it first flew in 1977, and was much feared by potential Western opponents during the Cold War.

Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the original Su-27 series has continued to equip the Russian armed forces and serve with the Ukrainian Air Force, which we are excited to be welcoming back to the Air Tattoo this July.

Also delighting visitors with their thrilling flying displays will be the RAF Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the rarely seen Spanish Navy Harriers.

On the ground, visitors will be able to marvel at large transports like the Ukrainian Il-76 ‘Candid’, attending in support of the Su-27, the Royal Jordanian Air Force C-130H Hercules and the US Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster III, to name a few.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

STAAR recruits are ready for take-off!

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

STAAR Engines

The Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) class of 2019 has been selected from a record breaking number of applications from students across England, Scotland and Wales.

This summer, sixty Year 10 students aged 14-15 will participate in two, week long residentials that will see recruits experiencing life as an aerospace engineer, where they will live, work, learn and solve tasks together!

Over 260 students applied for the 60 places available for this year’s summer camp which offers a unique insight into the exciting world of aerospace for youngsters interested in future careers in STEM related fields. Prior to selection, applications were verified ensuring students met the criteria and then placed into a random draw of girls and boys for week 1 and week 2. The draw took place on board the VC10 aircraft by representatives of the organisations who help deliver the programme.

STAAR is fully funded by the global aerospace and defence technology giant, Northrop Grumman, with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. The residential weeks will accommodate 30 students per week and is delivered by the RAF Museum, Royal Air Force Cosford, RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team and Tablet Academy.

Sophie Millward, Access and Learning Administrator STAAR Programme, RAF Museum said:
“As we head towards the third year of the STAAR programme, it’s brilliant to see the demand for places growing year on year. We received hundreds of applications from schools spanning the entire length of the country, more than double the number compared to last year. We look forward to welcoming students in July for what will be a truly unique, engaging and memorable experience working with some of the best mentors in the aerospace industry.”

Gillian Arnott, Communications Manager and Corporate Citizenship Lead at Northrop Grumman UK said:
“This year, we are delighted to welcome and work with the Jon Egging Trust Blue Skies Programme, to offer STAAR places to four of their students, each of whom has met the STAAR recruit criteria. The mission of the Blue Skies Programme, to create opportunities to engage and inspire young people, particularly with an interest in aviation, is closely aligned with Northrop Grumman’s STEM educational outreach mission.”

Laura Carey, Area Director Central, Jon Egging Trust said:
“We are excited for our Blue Skies students who will be taking part in this fantastic opportunity to develop their skills in STEM in such an inspirational environment. The Jon Egging Trust delivers accredited programmes to increase young peoples’ self-confidence, self-esteem and other vital life and work skills and was set up in memory of Red Arrows Pilot Jon Egging who tragically lost his life at the Bournemouth Air Festival. The Trust realises Jon’s dreams of inspiring young people through his love of aviation, teamwork and leadership, helping them to overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions.”

The class of 2019 will be invited to attend the RAF Cosford Air Show on 9 June, where they will have the opportunity to meet with fellow recruits, STAAR partners and enjoy a day viewing the very pinnacle of the aerospace industry. Recruits will also be handed their starter packs and kit ready to start the residential week on 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August 2019.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit

Dress Up and Get Down for a Celebration of Vintage at Brooklands Museum

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Vintage at Brooklands Museum

The public are urged to dress up in vintage style, step back in time and immerse themselves in nostalgia well into the evening at Brooklands Museum’s annual homage to the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s on Saturday 18th May. Live period music in the dance marquee, aircraft and vehicle displays and a well-stocked trade village will mean an unmissable day as the 32 acre site brings together the fashion, music, dancing and vehicles from these great post-war decades of style.

In the dance marquee will be a rolling programme of live music, DJs and FREE dance classes while outside, under the Race Bays will be traders selling everything from clothing and records to homewares, books and magazines. Any ladies wishing to refine their look should head to the Press Hut as a vintage-style hair and make-up parlour will be set up courtesy of Hair That Turns Heads – a troupe of stylists who specialise in recreating the looks and styles from the period. Due to the high demand on the day, they are already taking appointments in advance. To discuss a booking, speak with the team directly on: 07733 383 735 or e-mail:

Displays of vehicles will include saloons, tourers, vans, motorcycles, hot rods and military which will fill the Paddock, Motoring Village and surrounding areas along with re-enactor groups portraying everything from the Home Guard, RAF and Land Army Girls to civilian and family life adding to the ‘time travelling’ effect. In the skies, the organisers are planning fly-ins of period aircraft*. These will land on the airstrip opposite the Museum entrance at Mercedes-Benz World and visitors will be able to see them up close and meet the pilots.

Special guests on the day include the Vintage Tourists, a couple of globe-trotting gals who write about the very finest places to visit all with a vintage twist. They have been tasked with scouting the site for the best-dressed man and lady at this year’s event which culminates in a prize-giving ceremony in the marquee in front of eager crowds. Also making an appearance will be Studio Harlow: specialising in Hollywood style portraits, they will be setting up a free portrait studio in the Art Deco surroundings of the Ladies Reading Room in the Clubhouse. This will give visitors a chance to capture their inner film star and provide a memorable keepsake of their day.

Brooklands was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing venue which retains its 1930s appearance and buildings so is a perfect venue for such a nostalgic event as this. As well as the motoring heritage, aircraft production and flying which took place at Brooklands over an 80 year period can be fully explored by visitors as their entry ticket includes access to the incredible Award-Winning Aircraft Factory. Inside, full size sections of aircraft are displayed on ‘assembly lines’ and visitors can try some of the tooling and manufacturing skills used by workers through specially-designed interactive work stations. The centre piece in the factory is ‘R for Robert’, the Brooklands WW2 Wellington Bomber surrounded by artefacts that tell the incredible stories during this period and ‘meet’ some of the pilots, engineers and 14,000 workforce that made Brooklands one of the most productive aviation sites in Europe.

All the aircraft, racing car and motorcycle exhibition areas at the Museum will be open as usual from 10am until 5pm. However, the music and dancing will continue in the marquee until 9pm with a bar and catering to keep visitors sustained. There will be a Family Activity Zone led by the Brooklands Learning Team where children can make their own traditional toy to take home. FREE parking will be available, just follow the event signage on the day.

Tickets are available in advance at a discounted rate or on the day: Adults £14.50/£16, Seniors £13.50/£15, Children (5-16 yrs) £8/£9, Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £38/£42. Advance discounted tickets are available from the Museum Shop or from Dance Classes are included in the entry price. The Concorde Experience is £5 for adults, £3 for children. Rides in the 4D Theatre are £4 for adults, £2 for children.

RAF Museum’s numbers grow to almost a million

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

RAF Museum Cosford

Numbers: 989,593 people
Date: 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
Growth: 39% increase on previous year

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce that its visitor figures enjoyed substantial growth on the back of a major redevelopment of its London site and a re-invigorated public events programme for the RAF Centenary at both its London and Cosford sites.

In total, 989,593 people visited the RAF Museum from 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019. This represents a spectacular growth of 39% on the previous year’s figures.

The Museum’s London site recorded 544,628 visitors, up an unparalleled 59% on the previous year, while its site at Cosford in the West Midlands welcomed 444,965 visitors, a leap of 20%.

Commenting on this growth in visitor numbers, Maggie Appleton, CEO for the Museum stated:
“This growth is a fabulous response to the huge investment that the Museum made in the redevelopment of our London site in 2018 and a reflection on the public’s support for the RAF during the UK’s commemorations of the RAF Centenary. It also reflects how the Museum’s new vision of inspiring everyone with the RAF story – the people who shape it and its place in our lives – has struck a resonant chord with both our longstanding visitors and those new to the Museum.

This was achieved by sharing RAF stories through our collections in new immersive ways, with inspiring exhibitions, in landscaping that recalls our aviation heritage, and across our fabulous event and activity programmes.

I should like to take this opportunity to thank all our funders, in particular the National Lottery Heritage Fund, BAE Systems, the State of Kuwait and the Libor Fund, whose major contributions ensured this success, as well as each member of our team who contributed so much passion and hard work to ensure that the Museum enjoyed its most successful year ever.

It is a very fitting tribute to the men and women who serve the RAF so valiantly today that so many people explored their stories and those of the people who came before them during its Centenary year.”

The Royal Air Force Museum is open daily from 10.00am. Admission is free.

Thrilling helicopter showcase announced for the RAF Cosford Air Show

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Army Air Corps Apache at RAF Cosford

The RAF Cosford Air Show announced exciting news today that the Attack Helicopter Display Team will be returning on Sunday 9th June, with their explosive display showcasing the Apache gunship helicopter.

The Apache is the Army Air Corps’ primary attack helicopter and its display, accompanied by ground-based pyrotechnics, is always one of the crowd favourites at the Air Show. Today, organisers also confirmed an assortment of other helicopters for static display: The Royal Air Force will send a Puma HC2 troop transportation helicopter, the Royal Navy will showcase their Merlin HM2 submarine hunter and the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity will exhibit their newest H145 life-saving helicopter.

Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott said, “We’re pleased to have a number of exciting helicopters on display at the Air Show, big and small, military and civilian, which our visitors will be able to interact with.”

With the Air Show fast approaching, and with no tickets available at the gate, those wishing to attend are being encouraged to purchase their tickets soon. Air Show tickets, priced £29.00, are currently available from the Air Show website and RAF Museums at Cosford and Hendon, as well as selected Tourist Information Centres. Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event a great family day out.

Wing your way to Cosford for Open Cockpits Weekend

Monday, April 15th, 2019

RAF Museum Cosford Hercules Cockpit

Date: 22-23 June 2019 / Time: 10.00am-4.00pm / Cost: £13.50 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening the doors to thirteen aircraft from its collection during a two day Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June. It’s the perfect opportunity for aviation fans and families with budding young pilots to get a closer look inside some of the historic aircraft on display and take to the flying controls whilst sitting in the pilot’s seat.

Just 300 spaces per day are available for this exciting event which gives ticket holders up to six hours to explore everything from jet fighters to airliners, including aircraft from British, American and Russian Air Forces.

The June event at Cosford will be themed around the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, the transport and training collection in Hangar 1 and a selection of aircraft outside in the Museum grounds.

The popular Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 is guaranteed to be an event highlight. The C-130 Hercules has been a key component of the Royal Air Force’s frontline for over fifty years and continues to provide service to the present day. A familiar sight, at home and abroad, the Hercules can rightly claim to have been the ‘first in and last out’ in numerous campaigns and operations. As a tanker, and as transport, it has delivered vital strategic and tactical mobility – providing the platform for the Royal Air Force’s operational capabilities, through the Cold War and beyond.

Ticket holders will also be able to step on board another RAF transporting giant, the Vickers VC10 during the special event. Designed as a long-range airliner able to operate from short runways at airfields in hot and high conditions, the VC10 had a high cruising mach number with very good short field performance. In the later part of its service the aircraft was modified for the tanking role but kept its passenger and freight carrying ability. This is the first time the VC10 will be opened to visitors using its new fully accessible boarding ramp, kindly donated to the Museum by local based aviation ground handling manufacturer, Aviramp.

From the Cold War collection, aviation fans can take a seat inside the cockpit of the General Dynamics F-111 F-CF, a two-seat American fighter-bomber. The F-111A variant became the first variable-geometry combat aircraft to enter service, seeing extensive action during the Vietnam War. As well as serving with US forces, the F-111C variant were produced for the Royal Australian Air Force. The final production variant, the F-111F (as seen at Cosford) featured improved avionics, including navigational and digital computer systems, improved wing structure and landing gear, and more powerful engines. Their main offensive load was Paveway laser-guided bombs, with Sidewinder missiles carried for self-defence. A total of 106 were built from 1972 and they saw much service during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Other Cold War aircraft that families will get the chance to climb on board and explore during the Open Cockpits Weekend include the Short Brothers Belfast, Handley Page Hastings, Avro York C1, and the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21PF (close view only).

Head down to Hangar 1 and you will find the Museum’s transport and training aircraft, used for moving troops and equipment and retained to teach aircrews the wide variety of skills they must master before becoming operational. Aircraft from this collection open during the June event will include the Vickers Varsity T Mk I, brought into RAF service in 1951 for crew training as a replacement for the Wellington T10. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Hawker Siddeley Andover E3A, a short take-off and landing transport aircraft that operated in trooping, paratrooping, airdropping, freighting and casevac roles. Plus, the de Havilland Devon, Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Junkers Ju52/3M will also be included in the aircraft line-up.

The final aircraft in the event programme is the advanced navigation trainer, Scottish Aviation Jetstream T Mk1 which will be featured outside with the hangar backdrop. Access to all the external aircraft will be weather permitting.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle and available to answer any questions. A special Log Book can be purchased for an additional £1, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!

A total of 300 tickets per day are available for the event on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June and aviation fans will have up to six hours to enjoy the exclusive access. Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply 1.07m). Ticket holder will also receive a 10% discount on purchases made in the Museum shop during the Open Cockpits Weekend. Entry to the Museum is free of charge.

Air Tattoo Visitors Set to be Starstruck!

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Royal International Air Tattoo

Visitors to this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo in the Cotswolds are set to experience its most astronomical year yet, with an array of exciting exhibits and aircraft for all the family to enjoy.

The three-day event (19-21 July) held annually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing and to celebrate, the Air Tattoo will be turning its spotlight to the heavens to look at some of the exciting and innovative ways organisations are reaching out into space.

Giving his seal of approval to this year’s theme, Air & Space: Inspiring The Next Generation Air Force will be British astronaut Major Tim Peake who will be making an appearance at the airshow on Friday, July 19.

As part of the European Space Agency (ESA), Tim was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, launching on a Soyuz rocket in December 2015 and returning to earth six months later having taken part in a variety of activities including conducting a spacewalk to repair the Station’s power supply.

He said: “I’ve been wanting to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo for some time and this year’s ‘Space’ theme presented the perfect opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Other star attractions include the critically-acclaimed Techno Zone®, which among other exciting exhibits, will host a planetarium show and a full-scale ExoMars rover prototype from Airbus Defence and Space, which visitors can witness drive across a simulated Martian surface.

Visitors can also see Starchaser Industries’ Nova 2 rocket which will be on static display for up-close viewing and space technology firm Skyrora’s The Black Arrow – the UK’s only rocket to successfully launch a satellite into orbit.

If that isn’t enough, visitors on the Friday will find themselves under the ‘microscope’ as Airbus DS’s Pleiades satellites flies over RAF Fairford taking a photo of the airshow as it orbits the earth.

Techno Zone® Coordinator Sandra Keen said: “The Techno Zone® never ceases to amaze visitors with its hands-on displays, but this year is set to be particularly awe-inspiring.

“It’s always a big attraction for youngsters and hopefully the unique exhibits will ignite a spark and inspire them to discover and learn more about air and space”.

RAF Fairford, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, was NASA’s only UK transatlantic abort landing site for the Space Shuttle and in 1983 hosted a visit by the spacecraft which was secured on the back of a jumbo jet bound for the Paris Air Show.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

HRH The Princess Royal Attends Aerospace Bristol Gala Dinner

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

HRH Princess Royal at Concorde50 Gala Dinner

Filton, Bristol, April 9, 2019: Aerospace Bristol, a family visitor attraction that is home to the last Concorde ever to fly, has celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Concorde’s first British flight with a dinner kindly attended by HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the museum.

Delivered in partnership with Airbus, the Concorde50 gala dinner was held under the wings of the supersonic passenger jet in Aerospace Bristol’s Concorde Hangar, on the edge of the historic Filton Airfield. It was from there that Concorde first took to the skies from British soil on 9th April 1969, and landed for the final time on 26th November 2003.

Fittingly, it was the pilot of that final flight, Captain Les Brodie, who returned to the Flight Deck and – as Her Royal Highness and distinguished guests looked on – operated the controls to lower and raise Concorde’s droop nose and activate her landing lights. The manoeuvre was possible thanks to careful restoration work by Aerospace Bristol’s Conservation team and volunteers, with Concorde smoothly returning to motion as if waking for the first time since touching down more than 15 years ago.

Professor Iain Gray CBE, Chair of Aerospace Bristol, said “I am most grateful to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of Aerospace Bristol, for so kindly accepting our invitation to join us in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Concorde. The iconic Concorde was an engineering marvel, developed far ahead of its time by talented engineers working on the cutting- edge of 1960s technology. Through our exhibition, inspiring workshops for schools, and Concorde50 events, it is this spirit of innovation that Aerospace Bristol aims to ignite in the engineers of the next fifty years and beyond, encouraging the young people of today to develop the big ideas of tomorrow.”

Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice President Airbus, said: “Concorde has a special place in Airbus’ heart and history. Many of its innovations, from electronic flight controls to anti-skid braking systems, helped inform future aircraft designs. We also maintained the aircraft at Filton for more than 10 years after its final flight.

“To see the aircraft once again at the centre of celebration, helping inspire the next generation of engineers, is fantastic, particularly as we are fast approaching Airbus’ own 50 year milestone which is a celebration of everyone who has the courage to bold and improve things, just as Concorde did.”

Aerospace Bristol will continue its Concorde anniversary celebrations with a series of Concorde50 events taking place throughout the year. The first public moves of Concorde’s droop nose will take place on Saturday 13th April 2019 at 11am and 1pm. An Aerospace Bristol ticket is required and further details can be found at

NATO Anniversary to be Celebrated at RAF Cosford Air Show

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Slovak Air Force LET-410

With just two months to go until this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show, tickets are selling faster than ever before and visiting Air Forces continue to confirm their participation in the Midlands’ largest one-day event.

Today, the Air Show organisers announced that the Slovak Air Force will be participating in the Air Show for the first time and they will be sending one of their LET-410 transport aircraft for static display on Sunday 9th June. This will be on display in a special area dedicated to celebrating 70 years of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), alongside other NATO aircraft such as a Belgian SF.260M and German Sea Lynx. In total, six nations have already confirmed their attendance to the Air Show, with more expected to notify of their plans in the coming weeks.

One of the key themes for this year’s show is celebrating the NATO 70th anniversary. In 1949, the United States and 11 other Western nations formed NATO, with its membership growing larger over the course of the Cold War era. Now an Alliance that consists of 29 independent member countries, its purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “We’re grateful to the Slovak Air Force for supporting the RAF Cosford Air Show 2019 with this interesting aircraft, which will be a great addition to our NATO celebration.”

With the Air Show fast approaching, and with no tickets available at the gate, those wishing to attend are being encouraged to purchase their tickets soon. Air Show tickets, priced £29.00, are currently available from the Air Show website and RAF Museums at Cosford and Hendon, as well as selected Tourist Information Centres. Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event a great value family day out.

Concorde’s 50th anniversary celebrated by cavalcade of Bristol Cars & Buses

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Bristol Buses

Over 150 passengers travelled from Aerospace Bristol to the Fleet Air Arm Museum on board classic buses and cars

Filton, Bristol, April 9, 2019: Today marks 50 years since the first test flight of a British-made Concorde was completed – flying from Filton Airport to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, a journey taking just 22 minutes but changing the course of aviation history.

To celebrate the anniversary, Aerospace Bristol – the museum that is now home to the last Concorde ever to fly – and the Fleet Air Arm Museum – home to Concorde 002, which first took to the skies 50 years ago today – teamed up to organise a nostalgic journey across the West Country.

Over 150 people visited Concorde Alpha Foxtrot at Aerospace Bristol this morning, before boarding Bristol Buses and Cars and travelling to Yeovilton, where they visited Concorde 002.

The two museums give visitors the opportunity to discover more about the world’s most famous aircraft, from the people behind its initial forays to the edge of space and record-breaking speeds, to the experience for passengers and even the food served on-board.

Aerospace Bristol tells the story of Bristol’s aviation and engineering heritage – from the first powered flights through to the modern day – including how Bristol diversified into the automobile industry and produced the cars and buses that formed the cavalcade today.

The museum will be celebrating Concorde50 throughout the year, with special events taking place around its star attraction Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde ever to fly. Upcoming events include:

9th April: Meet Concorde pilot Captain Colin Morris
13th April: The first public move of Concorde Alpha Foxtrot’s ‘droop nose’
16th April: A talk on the life of a Concorde pilot, with Captain Tim Orchard
20th April: Special tours to mark 40 years since Concorde Alpha Foxtrot’s maiden flight