Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

Trustees march 130 miles for Museum

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Trustee's run 5 Marathons

Date: 8-12 May 2017
Time: 9am, depart RAF Museum Cosford

Two Trustees from the Royal Air Force Museum are set to walk a marathon a day for five days in order to raise funds for the Museum’s £26m RAF Centenary Programme.

Alan Coppin and Robin Southwell, both Trustees of the RAF Museum will walk between the Museum’s two public sites; from Cosford in the West Midlands to Colindale in North West London and aim to raise £100K along the way.

The 130 mile walk will take-off from the RAF Museum Cosford at 9am on Monday 8 May after a sleepover in the Officer’s Mess at RAF Cosford. Following a grueling 30 miles on day one, Alan and Robin aim to reach their first stopover point in Solihull by 9pm. There will be no rest for the wicked, as it will be another early start on day two for a 26 mile leg of the journey towards Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. Stopovers will also include RAF Halton and RAF High Wycombe on nights three and four respectively, before they eventually reach the RAF Museum London on the Friday evening, completing their marathon mission.

The money raised will go towards the award-winning RAF Museum’s million-pound transformation of the visitor experience at its London site in 2018, coinciding with the centenary of the Royal Air Force. This £26m major transformation will celebrate and commemorate this anniversary with a national lasting legacy for the Royal Air Force, sharing the story of the RAF through its people and collections.

The new landscaping will welcome visitors to discover a new green heart of the community in Colindale, reflecting the historic RAF Hendon airfield. New, innovative galleries will explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology. Plus, a new digital sharing project will promote a conversation with a global audience and help connect people to the RAF story, ensuring it endures and enriches future generations.

The development plans will also include new exhibitions at Cosford, exploring the first 100 years of the RAF and new aircraft displays which are already underway, to enable the RAF’s story to be more comprehensively represented to Museum audiences in the Midlands.

RAF Museum Trustee, Robin Southwell said:
“It’s an important time for the Museum and we are all excited at the opportunities that lie ahead. Our aim is to raise awareness and funds for the Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme and we are grateful for the support from the Royal Air Force.”

To sponsor the Trustees five marathons in five days and support the RAF Museum visit their donate page: or for more information about the fundraising walk and the RAF Museum’s Centenary plans, visit . The RAF Museum is a registered charity, number 244708.

Fleet Air Arm Museum offers special access to witness historic Lynx last flight

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Lynx 815 squadron Fleet Air Arm Museum

Visitors to Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum will get a ringside view of the historic decommissioning and final flight of the Lynx helicopter’s service from the Royal Navy on 23rd March.

A six-minute long flying display by 815 Naval Air Squadron of RNAS Yeovilton can be seen from the special viewing area at the rear of the museum. The display will be free to view for all museum ticket holders on the day.

The Lynx has been a world leader in maritime operations for the last 41 years. It may also still have an analogue cockpit and be oily and battle-scarred; but for those who have flown, maintained and enjoyed its presence in the skies overhead will no doubt mourn the passing of this hugely-successful all British maritime helicopter. Four decades in operational theatres as diverse as Antarctica, the Far East, the Arabian Gulf and Caribbean are being brought to a fitting end with the decommissioning.

The Farewell Lynx event, running concurrently with the formal military decommissioning ceremony, provides the perfect opportunity for the ex-Lynx community to meet up with old flight members and shipmates, or for members of the public to simply browse the Lynx exhibitions, watch her final airborne display, and become part of this aircraft’s great history.

Museum staff will be on-hand to discuss the history in greater depth, and a Book of Commemoration will be donated by 815 Naval Air Squadron for comments, memories and stories. There will also be an opportunity to purchase a limited stock of Lynx memorabilia including pictures and prints to support the Squadron’s charity funds.
The airborne display will commence at 11.45am and last for approximately six minutes. Entry to the external viewing area is free with a valid museum ticket.

Tickets available from

VC10 ZA150 Open Day at Dunsfold Aerodrome

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

VC10 at Dunsfold Aerodrome

Date: Sat March 11th 2017
Time: 10:30am – 3:30pm
Price: £5 per person
Location: Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey

On Saturday 11th March we will be holding an Open Day at Dunsfold Aerodrome for our VC10 ZA150, which lives there. This was the very last VC10 of 54 built at Brooklands in the 1960s and was one of the last two to fly with the RAF from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. On its retirement in September 2013 it was acquired by Brooklands Museum and flew in to Dunsfold, where a team of dedicated volunteers maintain it in running order.

Entry is by pre-purchased ticket only and the timetable is as follows:

10.30-12.30 Visits on board the aircraft – morning session ticket holders
12.30-13:30 Aircraft closed to prepare for engine run at approx. 13:00
13.30-15.30 Visits on board the aircraft – afternoon session ticket holders

Tickets must be booked for either the morning or afternoon session. Afternoon session ticket holders may arrive from 12:30pm.

Museum launches new Cold War Lunchtime Lecture series

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Gloster Javelin

Date: 17 March 2017
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at RAF Museum Cosford

On 17 March, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be hosting the first Cold War Lunchtime Lecture of 2017 with a lecture entitled ‘Coping with Technological Uncertainty: Military Aircraft Procurement, 1945-1957’. In this lecture, Professor Keith Hayward, a consultant and writer on aerospace and aviation issues, will examine Britain’s military aircraft procurement process during the early period of the Cold War.
Each lecture in the series discusses a different topic related to Cold War air power and to kick start the 2017 series, Professor Keith Hayward will be discussing aircraft procurement from the period at the end of the Second World War through to the Sandys White Paper of 1957. This paper set forth the perceived future of the British military and had profound effects on all aspects of the defence industry during a major period in the development of British aviation technology.

The lecture will begin by covering the immediate post-war hiatus in new developments driven by a mixture of austerity, technological uncertainty and prudence and will then consider the impact of the Korean Emergency and the hurried re-armament programme of the 1950s. It was during this period that the Hawker Hunter, Supermarine Swift and Gloster Javelin programmes came into focus, as well as the challenge and problems of acquiring a new generation of jet aircraft that culminated in the 1955 crisis and subsequent White Paper. Professor Hayward will consider the reforms in procurement that were introduced in the English Electric P1 programme and more controversially for OR339. The lecture will then conclude with a discussion around Sandys White paper with final thoughts about its intent and outcomes.

Professor Keith Hayward was formally Professor of International Relations at Staffordshire University, Head of Economic and Political Affairs at the UK aerospace trade association and until January 2015, Head of Research at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. He has consulted for several companies and government departments, including the UK Ministry of Defence and the Department of Business, Innovation and Science. He has acted as an advisor to the UK House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. He has taken part in two recent collaborative studies of the space industry on behalf of the Commission of the European Union and the European Space Agency and is also the author of several books and over 100 articles and chapters on aerospace and aviation issues.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2017. ‘Coping with Technological Uncertainty: Military Aircraft Procurement, 1945-1957’, is the first of four lectures taking place at Cosford this year. The programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures, which are held at the University of Wolverhampton, the Royal Aeronautical Society in London and the RAF Museum in London respectively.

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said:
“The early Cold War period was a time rapid technological change combined with austerity in Britain, which led to a number of challenges in the procurement of new aircraft. In this lecture, Professor Hayward, a recognised expert on Britain’s aviation industry, will explore this important period and the factors that affected aircraft procurement for the British military.”

This FREE lecture will be held in the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 17 March, lasting approximately 1 ½ hours. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

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

Model show returns to Cosford in April

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Shropshire Model Show

Date: 2 April 2017
Time: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Cost: FREE entry

The popular Shropshire Scale Model Show will be returning to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Sunday 2 April 2017.

This annual event attracts thousands of visitors each year and takes place nestled amongst the world-class collection of aircraft and military vehicles on display at the Museum. Thousands of intricately detailed models of aircraft, cars, bikes, trucks and science fiction items will be spread across the whole site, filling the Museum hangars with a world of model making. Over 100 modelling clubs and traders from across the country will be attending the one day show this year.

With modelling clubs displaying their creations, many of which have taken years to perfect, and traders selling everything any dedicated modeller could ever want or need, model making fans are guaranteed to enjoy the show. Items on offer will include a range of modelling materials and kits to suit modellers of all abilities, from young children who are just discovering their passion for modelling, right through to the avid modellers who have been building kits for many years. There will be everything from kits in various sizes along with glues, paints and other detailed sets available to purchase on the day.

Event organiser, Gary Stevens Secretary of the Shropshire Scale Modellers and The Telford Branch of The International Plastic Modellers Society says:
“We’ve made a few changes to the shows layout this year, working around the Museum’s new aircraft arrivals, which I’m sure will be popular with visitors. We have lots of the popular traders and exhibitors returning to the show again this year and we look forward to welcoming model fans to the event.”

To make reaching the Museum even easier, there will be a free park and ride for the day to cope with the additional visitors, running from Cosford train station. The show will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm and entry to the event is FREE of charge. For further information, please visit the museum website at

Newark Indoor Aeroboot Sale Sat 4th March

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Newark Aeroboot

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Saturday 4th March 2017

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 4th March 2017. 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 Project Panini (Mod) fund raising campaign to build a new Café & Toilet facilities at the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

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

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

Buyers / visitors at this event will be able to access the museum site on Saturday 4th March, 2017 at a special discounted admission price of just £4.50 per person.

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

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

France under Friendly Bombs is Focus of Lecture

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Aerial Photo

Date: 9 March 2017
Time: 6.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: University of Wolverhampton, MC001, Millennium City Building, Wolverhampton Campus

The Allied bombing campaign against targets in France during the Second World War will be the focus of a lecture taking place at the University of Wolverhampton next month. The lecture entitled ‘France under Friendly Bombs, 1940-1945’ will be presented by Professor Andrew Knapp, Emeritus Professor of French Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Reading, also an accomplished author on the subject.

Taking place on Thursday 9 March 2017, this lecture is a continuation of the joint partnership between the University’s Department of War Studies and the Royal Air Force Museum. Delivered by emerging and established researchers, these lectures explore a variety of air power related topics ranging from historical themes to contemporary issues.

During this first lecture for 2017 at the University, Professor Andrew Knapp will discuss how studies of the Allied strategic bombing offensive during the Second World War have tended, logically, to focus on the main target, Germany. Yet, over one in every five bombs dropped by the Allies on continental Europe during the Second World War fell on France. Although most of the raids were linked, directly or indirectly, to the Normandy landings, the Allies bombed France from June 1940 till April 1945, and they killed over 57,000 French civilians – a figure of the same order as the British civilian death toll from German action in the same period. This lecture offers an overview of a comparatively neglected aspect of the Allied offensive.

The lecture will begin with a focus on the offensive against France from the Allies’ perspective. When and where did most of the raids take place and what were the main target sets? How relevant to France were non-material objectives such as morale and what opposition did Allied aircraft face from the Luftwaffe? What political problems were presented by bombing a friendly people, and how, if at all, did bombing techniques differ between raids on France and the Reich? Professor Andrew Knapp will examine how successful this aspect of the Allied offensive was, before moving on to consider the French reactions to the Allied offensive.

The second part of the lecture will focus on the French reactions from a variety of perspectives, including the Vichy state’s efforts to develop civil defence, evacuation measures, and emergency relief. There will be discussions around Vichy’s attempts to use the raids for propaganda purposes and the Allies’ attempts to justify their actions to the French public. Intercepted letters and telephone calls will be used to highlight the French public opinion at the time, both in general and in relation to Allied aircrews. Professor Andrew Knapp will conclude the hour and a half lecture by reflecting briefly on the wider issue of bombing friendly populations to liberate them and the political costs and benefits.

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said:
“While Germany was the primary target for the Allied bombing campaign in the Second World War, occupied countries, such as France, were also attacked. Targeting occupied countries presented its own set of challenges for both the attackers and the attacked. In this lecture, organised by the RAF Museum and hosted in conjunction with our partner, the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Knapp, a recognised expert on the bombing of France during the Second World War, will discuss some of the issues related to the challenge of bombing France.”

The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2017. ‘France under Friendly Bombs, 1940-1945’, is the first of three joint lectures taking place at the University of Wolverhampton this year. The second lecture in the series will take place in June and the final lecture of the year in November.

This FREE lecture will be held at the University of Wolverhampton, MC001, Millennium City Building, Wolverhampton Campus, at 6.30pm on Thursday 9 March. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

For further information about the Museum’s research programme or to book your FREE ticket to the lecture, please visit the Museum website

RAF Centenary Exhibition: Behind the scenes

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

100 objects


The RAF Museum is busy developing it’s London site and preparing exhibits for the RAF Centenary next year One of the areas in the new exhibition will be a timeline covering 100 years of the RAF. Like the exhibition itself, it will not be looking to tell you the whole history of the RAF but will be taking events, some major, some minor and placing them in the appropriate position on the timeline.

Accompanying the timeline will be a number of tactile models showing how aircraft of a similar role have evolved (representative models can be seen in the photos) and a miscellany of roughly 100 smaller objects highlighting many varied aspects of the RAF. It covers technical equipment, (some high tech, some very low tech) and personal items from the mundane to the extraordinary.

A couple of weeks ago we took a long list of roughly 150 items and laid them down on a 10 meter long table to see if we could whittle the list down to about 100. This allowed us to group some of the objects together, see what items worked and which didn’t and get a general feel for what this part of the exhibition may look like…

An Extraordinary Edition for An Extraordinary Service

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

RAF book

The RAF Museum is proud to announce the launch of the RAF Centenary Anthology, a handmade, limited edition of 1,500 books of which 250 are signed exemplary copies.

Forged in the crucible of the First World War, the Royal Air Force will commemorate its Centenary on 1 April, 2018.The story of the RAF has shaped the modern world. By inspiring technological development, pioneering cultural change and pushing the boundaries of human achievement, the RAF has touched the lives of millions around the globe

This new anthology, produced by award-winning specialist publishers Extraordinary Editions in association with the RAF Museum, will commemorate a hundred years of service and sacrifice, courage and honour whilst celebrating the spirit and values of the people who have contributed to the RAF Story

A donation from all sales will be made to the RAF100 Appeal supporting the RAF Association, Charitable Trust, Benevolent Fund, Museum and the Royal Air Force.

The RAF Commemorative Anthology will consist of at least 650 pages of documents, orders, operational reports, maps, air diagrams, diaries, letters and ephemera, recording RAF life over its first 100 years. It will measure an impressive 39 x 27 cm, in order that original documentation can be reproduced at full size.

From General Smut’s memorandum on the need for an air force to the latest air actions, the book presents both a history of the Service and a series of fascinating glimpses into RAF life, operations and policy. Among the many extraordinary documents included in the book are the leaflet dropped over German lines telling them of Von Richthofen’s death, the tragic last written note from Arthur Aaron VC and the secret clandestine letters from an imprisoned Douglas Bader.

A team based at the RAF Museum has been working over the last year, identifying and assessing material and photographs from the RAF Museum archives and the Air Historical Branch in order to create the ultimate documentary history of the Service. There will be a specially written introduction to each chapter and extensive footnotes throughout to guide the reader.

All the documents and images will be scanned at ultra-high resolution to ensure the best possible reproduction and the book will be printed on a specially made, acid free, archival quality paper.

The Centenary Edition will be hand bound on brass posts in quarter leather over reinforced boards, with a book cloth cover depicting the roundel and a pattern of rivets reminiscent of a wing section. Each copy will come in a die cut slip-case revealing the roundel. This edition is limited to 1,250 copies.

The Signed Exemplary Edition will be limited to just 250 copies published in 5 different versions, each representing an iconic aircraft and signed by three pilots or crew from that aircraft: the Spitfire, the Lancaster, the Vulcan, the Harrier and the Tornado. In addition they will contain extra material about each specific aircraft.

Each of the Signed Exemplary Editions will be hand-bound in full leather using RAF colours, with the roundel of the cover inlaid in leather, and presented in a specially made solander box.

This Anthology is now offered at a special subscriber discount to members of the RAF and the RAF charities. Members can secure a copy by completing the subscriber form and sending a deposit. Once sufficient subscriptions have been received the book will go into production with delivery planned for early 2018 in time for the anniversary. All subscribers will have their names listed in the book.

The entire edition set is limited to just 1500 copies worldwide and books will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis. Members who wish to purchase a copy are urged to do so as soon as possible as any unsubscribed copies will be made available to the public from June 2017 at full price at which point this subscriber offer will close.

Subscribers will be kept in touch with the project through RAF100 partner publications and the RAF Museum and Extraordinary Editions websites. In early 2018 Extraordinary Editions will write to each subscriber requesting their final payment, checking delivery details and confirming delivery costs.

The Centenary Edition is available to subscribers at £750 [rrp £950]
The Signed Exemplary Edition is available to subscribers at £1450 [rrp £1950]

For more information or to register your interest please email: or telephone: 020 7267 4547

New RAF Museum Playlist

Friday, February 10th, 2017


The RAF Museum joins the long list of celebrities, politicians and industry leaders with its own Spotify playlists.

Spotify is a music, podcast, and video streaming service which is taking over how we listen to music. It allows users to listen to a large library of music and also to compile playlists for others to enjoy.

Along with our other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube, the Museum sees Spotify as a fantastic way of engaging with audiences, young and old. We look forward to developing new playlists which reflect our collections the work we do and the music we love.

The latest album to be added to the RAF Museum’s playlist ‘Love is in the air…craft’ is now live on Spotify! Click here to listen:

The playlist was lovingly compiled by staff at the Museum and includes some love songs with a ‘flight’ theme. The new Valentine’s playlist is the third album to be created by the Museum.