Archive for the ‘News UK’ Category

Join us for the RAF Stories Big Weekend!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

RAF Museum Big Stories Weekend

Date: 2-3 November 2019
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: Free
Location: RAF Museum Cosford / RAF Museum London / participating venues

The Royal Air Force Museum is teaming up with venues across the country for the ‘RAF Stories Big Weekend’, a national story collecting event capturing local stories relating to the Royal Air Force. Taking place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 November, the RAF Museum aims to capture hundreds of stories with the help of participating venues and events at both its Cosford and London sites.

Whether you’re a veteran, current serviceman or servicewoman, an air cadet or have family links to the RAF, whatever your connection, however big or small, you’re invited to attend and share your favorite anecdotes at a venue near you.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer – RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“We are extremely grateful to all the participating venues for hosting one the RAF Stories Big Weekend events. With venue’s up and down the country taking part, it’s easier for members of the public to get involved and ensure their RAF memories are captured. Whether its stories about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour and everything in between, we hope people will find their local participating venue and take up the opportunity to share their story with us.

Over the last two years, the RAF Museum has recorded hundreds of stories now available online for the public to view. By working together with other venues, the Museum is able to widen its reach and together this catalogue of stories will expand and enrich peoples understanding of the RAF today.”

RAF Stories is a global oral history project which digitalizes and makes accessible engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives.

All stories captured over the RAF Stories Big Weekend will then be uploaded to the RAF Stories website for audiences around the world to hear first-hand some of the inspirational and ground-breaking recollections from former RAF personnel and their families about their RAF journey.

Whether you have one anecdote or ten to share, join us at the RAF Museum Cosford and RAF Museum London on 2 and 3 November between 10.00am and 4.00pm, or search for your nearest venue on our website www.rafmuseum.org

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Plane marvellous weekend ahead!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Valiant at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 19-20 October 2019
Time: 10.00am-4.00pm
Cost: £13.50 per person (Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening the doors to thirteen aircraft during a two day Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October. Aviation fans and families with budding young pilots can enjoy a closer look inside some of the unique and historic aircraft from the Museum’s collection, including one of the RAF’s iconic V-Bombers.

Ticket holders will be given up to six hours to explore everything from British, German and Japanese Second World War fighter aircraft, to the pioneering research and development aircraft, many of which are sole examples.

The popular Vickers Valiant B1, one third of Britain’s strategic nuclear strike force during the 50s and 60s, known as V Force, is guaranteed to be one of the weekend highlights. The Valiant was the first of Bomber Command’s V class aircraft and established Britain’s air-borne nuclear deterrent force before pioneering operational in-flight refuelling in the Royal Air Force. Not only was it the first V-Bomber to enter service, it was also the first to drop an operational British nuclear weapon over Christmas Island in 1957. The Valiant is displayed alongside the Handley Page Victor H2 and Avro Vulcan B2 in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, the only place in the world where you can view all three aircraft together.

Also in the event line-up is the Bristol 188, often a talking point for the Museum’s younger visitors, curious by its unusual design. Built mainly of stainless steel, this aircraft was designed to investigate the effects of heat on aircraft structures at very high speeds. To protect the pilot against heat build-up a special cockpit refrigeration system was installed. Nicknamed ‘Flaming Pencil’, only two Bristol 188s ever flew, a third being used for ground tests.

Families will get the chance to climb on board and explore the Short Brothers Belfast, a giant of the RAF’s Cold War air fleet and take a seat inside the Focke Wulf FW 190, one of the most successful combat aircraft of the Second World War and the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. Marvel at the cockpit of the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire I, the most iconic aircraft of all time (close view only) and view inside the fuselage of the Avro Lincoln B2.

Other aircraft open exclusively for the event include: Hunting H126, English Electric P1A, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3, Kawasaki Ki-100-1b (close view only) and the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII. Aircraft will be manned by over 70 volunteers and cadets.

A total of 300 tickets per day are available for Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October and are available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or on the day subject to availability, costing £13.50 per person. The ticket price also includes parking and a 10% discount on purchases made in the Museum shop on the day. For an additional £1.00, ticket holders can purchase a Log Book to keep a record of the aircraft they’ve accessed! A minimum height requirement of 1.07 metres applies for this event. Entry to the Museum is free of charge.

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Newark Aeroboot

Saturday 12th October 2019

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 12th October 2019. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again is a sell-out event.

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the development of facilities at its Gateway Aviation Site, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

Forty eight (48) 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 12th October, 2019 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.

Lysander restored to former glory

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

Lysander at Cosford

A Second World War Westland Lysander III (S.D.), the only surviving Special Duties variant of its type has been restored to its former glory at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

The aircraft has undergone conservation work including a new fabric outer skin and complete repaint in the Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre. Formerly displayed at the Museum’s London site in No 225 Squadron markings, the Lysander is now painted in No 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme, reflecting its service towards the end of the war in non-operational special transport services.

Following the Lysander’s arrival at Cosford in November 2016, the aircraft underwent an in-depth inspection and condition assessment followed by a few minor structural repairs. The airframe’s damaged fabric covering was replaced while a team of volunteers cleaned and lubricated mechanical systems back to a functional state.

The aircrafts biggest transformation comes from the recovering of its airframe in a traditional Irish linen fabric, hand sewn by the Museum’s Surface Finish Technician and then strengthened using original doping techniques.

RAF Museum, Surface Finish Technician Clive Roberts said:
“Thousands of stiches were made attaching the linen to the fuselage, wings and tailplane followed by six coats of doping, a UV microwave protection layer, primer and then finally painted in its 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme. It’s a slow process but essential to preserving the aircraft for as long as possible. We sought the help of a Lysander expert based in Switzerland, who provided us with original photographs and technical drawings to help with the paint scheme. One of the photos shows that during R9125’s service with 161 Squadron the cooling gills were incorrectly fitted so the camouflage no longer lined up. Since this has been documented we will change ours to match that.”

The Museum’s example, serial number R9125 first became operational with No 225 Squadron in 1940 as a coastal patrol and photo reconnaissance aircraft, based along the south coast of England. It took on the Special Duties role with No 161 Squadron in 1944 and was operational for a further two years until they became obsolete from the RAF in 1946.

The Lysander was originally designed for Army Co-operation duties including artillery spotting and reconnaissance. However, its lasting fame is not in this role, but as a Special Duties aircraft ferrying Allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe. Despite some notable successes, the Army Co-operation units suffered extremely high casualties – over 170 Lysanders were sent to France in 1939 and only 50 came back. Following their withdrawal from France, Lysanders patrolled the coastal areas of south and east England as an anti-invasion reconnaissance measure and later, began air-sea rescue duties in the Channel and North Sea.

Visitors to the RAF Museum Cosford will get the first glimpse of the aircraft during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week in November, before it’s transported in the new year to the Museum’s London site for public display.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s been a real privilege to work on such a beautiful aircraft. The reason she came to the Conservation Centre at RAF Museum Cosford was because the Irish Linen was deteriorating and needed to be replaced; this was not the original Second World War covering. Apart from this work our main aim was to conserve as much of the original aircraft as possible; the majority of the aircraft has had little work done to her apart from a clean and an application of a museum standard wax to help protect any bare metal areas. We have a few tasks still outstanding as we are looking at fitting a long-range fuel tank and a ladder as this would have been standard fit in her Special Ops role. The fresh paint scheme has given her a new lease of life and she is going to look great when she goes back on public display. The aircraft will return to our London site in 2020 but anyone who would like to view the aircraft will have the chance at our Open Week in November.”

From 11-16 November visitors can get up close to the current conservation projects undertaken by the team of Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers at Cosford during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week. In addition to the Lysander, visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington, Range Safety Launch, Messerschmitt Me 410, Dornier Do 17 and the LVG C.VI and speak with the teams who carry out this vital work.

The Conservation Centre will open from 10.15am to 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 display hangars will open from 10.00am until 4.00pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Air Tattoo Savings are Just the Ticket

Friday, September 27th, 2019

Royal International Air Tattoo

Tickets for next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo have gone on sale, with special discounts available for a limited period.

The airshow, which this year attracted 245 aircraft and around 170,000 visitors, will turn the spotlight on the world’s fighter pilots and the vital role they perform in protecting national – and international – security around the clock and at a moment’s notice.

Taking place at RAF Fairford on July 17-19, 2020, the airshow will once again feature two full show days on the Saturday and Sunday, with more than seven hours’ flying on each day, with a preview highlights day on the Friday featuring a four-hour display.

An Air Tattoo spokesman said: “With next year marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain it’s an ideal time to focus on the aircraft and pilots whom many consider aviation’s ‘elite’.”

Friday tickets are currently priced at £44, a saving of £10 on the full advance price; a limited number of Saturday tickets are being made available priced £54, a saving of £5 on the full advance price while Sunday tickets are currently priced £49, offering a saving of £10.

The spokesman said: “Tickets for each of the three days of this year’s airshow were priced the same and the feedback we received was that ticket prices for Friday and Sunday should have been cheaper than for the more popular Saturday.

“We are committed to ensuring the flying display programmes on Saturday and Sunday are as similar as possible. Nevertheless, we are keen to encourage people to attend on the Sunday simply because of the overwhelming demand we experience for Saturday which sells out early every year.”

Multi-day discounts will continue to be offered as will free parking and free entry for all under-18s who attend with an adult ticket holder. For full details about the various ticket prices and enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com

Top five things to see and do at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 September 2019
Tickets from £35; kids go free*

The Battle of Britain Air Show returns to IWM Duxford this weekend, with the site transforming into a film set in commemoration of the 1969 Battle of Britain film. Visitors can expect a mass Spitfire flypast, historic film screenings and vintage makeovers.

Here are the top five things to look out for over the epic weekend:

1. Gaze up at original Second World War fighter aircraft
From Hawker Hurricanes to a Bristol Blenheim, the Battle of Britain Air Show will showcase an array of fighter and bomber aircraft in daring flying displays. The air show will culminate in a mass flight of 18 Supermarine Spitfires, synonymous with the Battle of Britain in 1940.

2. Watch historic Duxford footage from Imperial War Mumseums’ film archives
Visitors can watch rarely seen films from IWM’s archives, include amateur footage taken by Prince William of Gloucester at the Battle of Britain (1969) film set a RAF Duxford. Second World War footage taken during King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 1941, and of the US Air Force’s fighter pilots based at Duxford, will also be screened.

3. Have a vintage makeover and enter the ‘best dressed’
A wardrobe department will be on hand with aviation-themed costumes to help visitors look the part in IWM Duxford’s film set. Hair and makeup gurus Pretty Me Vintage will demonstrate how to create 1940s victory rolls, while traders will be offering an array of garments, from bomber jackets to boiler suits.

4. Get lost in the Land Warfare Hall
The costume and props worn by American soldiers in the exhibition hall were originally costumes in Spielberg’s D-Day classic Saving Private Ryan, and the Tiger Tank featured in the film. Further along the Normandy Experience trail, visitors can spot General Montgomery’s campaign caravans, used during Operation Overlord in 1944.

5. Pick up a Spitfire souvenir
Air show visitors can browse through IWM Duxford’s shops, and pick up anything from a Spitfire keyring to a RAF Irvin flying jacket.

www.iwm.org.uk

Flight simulation show just got bigger!

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Flight Sim 2019 at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 5-6 October 2019
Time: 9.30am to 5:00pm (4.00pm Sunday)
Cost:
£10 per day/ £18 weekend pass (advance)
£12 per day/£22 weekend pass (on the day)
Free entry for under 14’s, when accompanied by a paying adult.

Aviation fans can experience the best that desktop flying has to offer when Flight Sim 2019 takes place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford next month.

The Museum will host the event delivered by Just Flight, for a seventh consecutive year which attracts more than 2,000 visitors. Due to popular demand, this year’s show has been extended to a two-day event and will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October. Set against a backdrop of aircraft including the world’s first jet airliner, the Comet, visitors can enjoy a weekend packed full of the latest software and presentations from the experts.

Over 30 exhibitors are already confirmed to attend which includes leading companies in flight simulation; Laminar Research, Orbx, Aerosoft, Honeycomb Aeronautical and Infinite Flight to name but a few. With more exhibitors expected to join the line-up and a full weekend of presentations taking place in the adjoining auditorium, organisers are looking forward to welcoming visitors to their biggest show to date.

Suitable to new and veteran desktop pilots alike and any aviation enthusiasts who are keen to find out more about life in the virtual skies. Flight Sim attendees can enjoy the very best of both the virtual and the real worlds of aviation at the same venue, as there will be ample opportunity to explore the aircraft and exhibits at the RAF Museum over the weekend, where entry is free.

Whilst exploring the Museum, make sure you step inside the new Virtual Reality Zone and experience the thrill of flying in a Spitfire. The VR goggles place you in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air for a panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight…..it’s a must for those who love virtual reality!

Save money by booking your ticket in advance at www.flightsimshow.com, where you can also keep up to date with all the latest news about exhibitors and events over the weekend. Flight Sim 2019 is organised and hosted by Just Flight, in association with media sponsor PC Pilot magazine.

The RAF Museum Cosford is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free. Further information can be found at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Newly digitised footage of 1969 Battle of Britain film to be screened at Duxford air show

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Prince William of Gloucester

• Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will celebrate the history of cinema at IWM Duxford, 21-22 September
• Footage was filmed by and features a rare royal glimpse of Prince William of Gloucester, and will be screened on both air show days at 12.30pm and 3.45pm in the AirSpace Zone

 Imperial War Museums (IWM) has digitised and released rarely seen footage of the making of the 1969 Battle of Britain film, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Michael Caine classic and IWM Duxford’s annual Battle of Britain Air Show.

 The striking amateur footage was filmed by Prince William of Gloucester, who can also been seen inside the cockpit of a Spitfire on IWM Duxford’s airfield. A trained pilot, the prince was tragically killed in an air race in 1972.

 The unique behind-the-scenes footage of director Guy Hamilton’s 1969 film, which tells the story of the Allied victory over the Luftwaffe in 1940, shows the production crew preparing for the shoot including testing pyrotechnics. While filming part of the Eagle Day sequence at RAF Duxford, the crew deliberately exploded and destroyed one of the airfield’s First World War Air hangars.

 IWM Duxford, Britain’s best preserved Second World War airfield, has played a significant role in the history of filmmaking in Britain. This year’s Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show, which takes place 21-22 September at IWM Duxford, will celebrate the site’s place in cinema history – and will be screening Prince William of Gloucester’s amateur footage along with other classics over the two-day festival.

 Jane Fish, senior film curator at IWM, said: “The footage has rarely been seen outside of the family of Prince William of Gloucester, and so it’s wonderful to have been able to digitise it and make it accessible for people. It’s a really evocative glimpse into the making of Battle of Britain film, and you can even see the production team preparing special effects, including a small explosion on a bomber aircraft. The fact that it was filmed by Prince William of Gloucester gives the footage even more of a rich historical association.”

 The air show will include displays from an array of original Second World War aircraft, including P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts, and will culminate in a mass flypast of 18 Spitfires. Four Búchon fighter jets with Luftwaffe markings, which starred in the 1969 Battle of Britain film, will also take flight.

 The air show will also feature the Bremont Great War display team, who starred in George Clooney’s The Monuments Men (2014), and aircraft from films including Memphis Belle (1990); Pearl Harbour (2001), Dunkirk (2017) and Squadron 303 (2018).

 On the ground, IWM Duxford will be transformed into a film set once again, giving visitors the opportunity to dance their way into a party scene, or step in as an extra and deliver their lines. History lovers can watch cinematic footage from IWM’s archives, while fashionistas can enter a best dressed competition, or try on a costume from the wardrobe department.

 You can find out more about the air show below, and see trailers here.

How Nottinghamshire Remembers Aviation

Friday, September 6th, 2019

619 squadron

During the summer we have been working with the Nottinghamshire County Council to produce some follow-up material to the two Aviation Memorial booklets that we co-produced with them a few years ago.

This time we agreed on a series of short video interviews that will aim to highlight the more than twenty (20) aviation memorials that can be found right across the county. The first five (5) of these videos are now hosted on YouTube and links to them can be found below.

Providing there is sufficient interest in these short video films we hope to visit and record further interviews at other memorial locations around the county. To support this aim we hope that you might be able to feature these interviews in your publications and on your website.

The first five videos feature memorial locations that reflect the international diversity of personnel who are remembered across the county. Nottinghamshire was once a location that trained personnel from Australia, Canada, Poland, New Zealand, Rhodesia, South Africa, the USA and from all around Great Britain; and also many operational squadrons and base. Most of those countries are represented in these first videos – please help us to remember the sacrifices those people made.

619 Squadron & Lancaster ME846 https://youtu.be/xdrYkOfEVU0

RAF Balderton https://youtu.be/MTCWMLUPbCY

Bleasby Memorial https://youtu.be/ViHYwQ-ztTs

RAF Winthorpe https://youtu.be/0KWkTtBiY2Q

Staunton-in-the-Vale https://youtu.be/ggm-_F3-2Ks

We will also be featuring these videos on our social media channels so please look out for the following tags #ExploreNotts & #NottsAviation

www.newarkairmuseum.org

‘Father of the RAF’ Lord Trenchard’s truck now on display

Friday, September 6th, 2019

Bedford truck at RAF Museum Cosford

A Bedford MWC 15cwt Truck that was specially prepared to act as the bier for the ‘Father of the Royal Air Force’, Lord Trenchard’s funeral in 1956 is now on display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

After years in storage, the truck has undergone conservation work led by the Museum’s team of volunteers from the Conservation and Engineering team. This latest addition to the collection can now be seen on display in the Museum’s Hangar 1 in its original condition.

The Bedford War Department type truck was designed as a light utility military truck. During the Second World War period (1939-1945) nearly 66,000 examples were produced for service use. The RAF utilised them as general crew and transport trucks, and some were also made as anti-aircraft gun platforms and mobile water tanks.

The Museum’s example, registration 05 AS 35, was especially prepared to tow the trailer carrying the first Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Viscount Hugh Trenchard’s coffin at his funeral on 21 February 1956. The procession saw his coffin taken from the Air Ministry in Whitehall to Westminster Abbey where his ashes were laid to rest in the RAF Chapel.

The RAF Chapel at Westminster Abbey is dedicated to the RAF aircrew casualties of the Battle of Britain and Viscount Trenchard himself headed a committee to raise funds for a stained-glass window and the furnishing of this chapel. His ashes are interred there along with Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding and Marshal of the Royal Air Force Bomber Harris. A service is held there each year on the Sunday following Battle of Britain Day (15 September) to remember the RAF personnel who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain.

RAF Museum Cosford Assistant Curator, Clare Carr said:
“We’re delighted to add the Bedford MWC 15cwt Truck to our collection of vehicles on public display at Cosford. It was a versatile military vehicle and this particular example played an important role in Viscount Trenchard’s funeral, arguably the man who single-handedly laid the foundations for the Royal Air Force during the inter war years, earning him the affectionate title the ‘Father of the Royal Air Force’.

The truck was last on display for the RAF 50th Anniversary Royal Review at RAF Abingdon on 14/15 June 1968 and was acquired by the RAF Museum shortly after. Now, after more than 50 years in storage, the Bedford truck can be seen on display alongside other aircraft and vehicles in Hangar 1.”

The RAF Museum Cosford is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free. Further information can be found at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.