Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

RAF Search and Rescue Boats on the Move

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

RAF Search and Rescue Boats

The move of our RAF search and rescue boats to their new position.

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and the award-winning RAF Museum is set to welcome visitors into a newly transformed London site when it formally reopens on Saturday 30 June

The Museum’s ambitious redevelopment features new immersive galleries, freshly landscaped green spaces, a children’s playground and new restaurant, making it the only place in London where visitors can test their flying skills, explore RAF stories, sit inside an iconic cockpit and enjoy a picnic in a single day.

Our newly transformed site will open to the public on Saturday 30 June.

Brooklands Museum Wins Coveted Museums + Heritage Award

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Brooklands Museum wins coveted award

Brooklands Museum in Surrey has won the prestigious Museums and Heritage Award for Permanent Exhibition, seeing off stiff competition from some major national institutions such as the Science Museum Group and Natural History Museum. The award was announced at a gala awards ceremony in London and presented by the Reverend Richard Coles.

The award was for the ambitious Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed, a major £8.4M project that involved dismantling, restoring and relocating a Grade 2 Listed WWII Bellman Hangar and reinterpreting it inside as an aircraft factory. As well as restoring and re-profiling the section of original 1907 Race Track where the Hangar once stood, the project also included constructing a new purpose-built Flight Shed to display live aircraft with a new archive store and workshop beneath. The Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed opened to the public in November 2017.

On why the Judges chose Brooklands as the winner, they said: “This new exhibition has it all – it’s immersive, creative, people-focused. It is astonishing in its risk-taking, has great volunteers at its heart and challenging in the way it has so brilliantly brought its collection alive.” Also, “Bold inspiring and interactive – made even more special by great people!”

The competition saw a broad range of entries from remarkable achievements of national institutions to projects crafted with limited resources and those championing their staff and volunteers who work hard to deliver inspiring visitor experiences. The Permanent Exhibition category included National Army Museum, Ashmolean Museum, London’s Natural History Museum and part of the Science Museum Group, ‘Wonderlab’ on the shortlist. Other categories included Volunteer of the Year, Educational Initiative, Marketing Campaign and Project on a Limited Budget.

Entry to the new exhibition spaces is included in the general admission price to the Museum which is open daily. The whole experience is enhanced and brought to life by volunteer stewards and demonstrators, some of them former employees of the Brooklands factories (which employed 14,000 people from surrounding towns and villages at their peak). The volunteers share their own reminiscences making every visit unique and which is a highlight for most visitors.

Brooklands Museum Director and CEO, Tamalie Newbery said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award from Museums and Heritage for our Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed project. After years of planning, fundraising and the dedication and hard work of our Volunteers, Staff and supporters, we have produced a visitor experience that really is unique and fully deserving of the incredible heritage that Brooklands is famous for.” The Museum has seen record visitor figures for the same period since the new facilities opened.

Brooklands is also currently one of five finalists for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award which is the world’s biggest museum award and will be announced on 5th July.

Over 1,000 RAF Veterans and Current Serving Personnel gather for an exclusive London site preview

Friday, May 11th, 2018

RAF Day at Hendon
2018 marks the Centenary of the Royal Air Force and the award-winning RAF Museum is set to welcome visitors into a newly transformed site when it formally reopens on Saturday 30 June.

Yesterday, the Museum welcomed over 1,000 RAF veterans and current serving personnel for a special ‘RAF Day’ get together and treated them to a special preview of London’s new Hangar 1, which houses two new, innovative galleries exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, its role today and invites visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology.

The Museum’s RAF Day also enabled us to establish closer relationships with RAF bases around the country and helped to ensure we are sharing their stories. As part of our RAF Centenary Programme, the Museum will also be launching a new digital project called RAF Stories; an online digital project which aims to inspire participants to share accounts of the Royal Air Force. RAF Stories seeks to find stories, not just from former and serving personnel, but also from their friends and family as well as extended partners who work closely with the RAF.

The day’s events also included a welcome speech by Air Marshal Stuart Atha CB DSO MA BSC RAF, live music from the UK’s premier jive and swing band – The Jive Aces, as well as tours, talks, refreshments and the chance to catch up with colleagues old and new. With service men and women joining in from across the country, it was a truly memorable and sentimental gathering.

Event organiser Anji Patel, stated: “RAF Day was a huge success and it was wonderful and emotional to have such a large gathering of both current serving personnel and veterans. We want to make this an annual event and look forward to inviting them again next year.”

The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information about the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme visit

Tribute to the V-Force 2018

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Newark Air Museum - Tribute to the V Force

Saturday 19th May 2018

The preparatory work for the 2018 Tribute to the V-Force event on Saturday 19th May, 2016 is now almost complete. This will be the sixth time that the museum has hosted a V-Force Reunion event for former personnel who operated Valiant, Victor and Vulcan aircraft. On the day an area will be set up for former V-Force personnel to sign-in, collect their badges and this will be staffed by museum volunteers and some former members of the V-Force.

The event is also open to the general public and museum trustees, volunteers and staff have put together a range of visiting special displays and activities. On both days a number of museum aircraft will be open for people to visit – this will include the Vulcan, Hastings and Varsity. A small additional charge will be made for each aircraft visited (proceeds towards the museum’s various aircraft restoration projects).

There will also be a Vulcan XM594 systems demonstration, which utilises the Rover APU to operate various systems on the aircraft, including opening and closing the huge bomb bay doors.

Visiting Displays

V-Force Display – Gary O’Keefe
Mainly Military Model display
Walk-Round print signing – Garaeth Cooke
Airfield Research Group display
Royal Institute of Navigation – Astrovan c/w Smiths Mk2 periscopic sextants as per the V-Force; Hughes Mk.IX sextants Astro Compass Mk.II
Static display of radio controlled model aircraft
Tony Redding Research/contacts – PhD project
Lesley Hayward-Mudge V-Force log books & photos
Newark Air Museum model display
Grubb Street – Book sales by V Force authors Tony Blackman/Tony Wright
Vulcan to the Sky – table top display
John Cox & museum – Falklands book of remembrance & scrapbook

Programme of 4 V-Force related talks in the Dambusters Hut, these are free but please book a ticket when you arrive at the event.

BBMF Flypast

Saturday 19th May – Dakota

(These will be subject to serviceability & suitable weather conditions)

Normal museum admission rates apply: Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00.

Opening times; 10am to 5pm; last admission 4pm

Full event details and exhibit lists can be found on the News & Information page of the museum website:

The RAF100 Baton Relay is en route to Cosford!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

RAF100 Baton

Date: 5 May 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm

On 1 April, one hundred years since the formation of the Royal Air Force, a specially designed baton set off on a journey around the UK and abroad. On Saturday 5 May the baton will be heading to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford and will be an opportunity for members of the public to see and be part of this historic journey.

The baton is being carried by RAF personnel, cadets, veterans and members of the many sporting associations that make up the RAF. Over 100 days the RAF100 Baton will visit sites associated with the RAF, throughout the UK and across the globe.

Amongst many means of travel, the baton will be transported by boat along the River Thames by the RAF Rowing Club, carried by the RAF Falcons as they parachute from an aircraft, be ridden on horseback and power kited along Benbecula.

The relay team will be heading to RAF Cosford on Friday 4 May to meet with Station Commander, Group Captain Tone Baker for a tour of the station and an overnight stay in the Officers’ Mess, before spending a day at the Museum on Saturday 5 May from 10am to 4pm meeting with members of the public.

In addition to meeting the team and plenty of time for a selfie with the baton, the relay team will be offering a free ‘Name Your Plane’ activity for families, a nationwide call to action, inviting schools, community groups and members of the public to commemorate one of the 4,805 British Air Service personnel who lost their lives in the First World War. Visitors can cut out and decorate their plane template, and emblazon the name of a RAF, RFC, RNAS or WRAF service person across the wings. The completed planes from events across the country will then be collected up and included in a display at an iconic location later on in the year. All materials for this free activity will be provided.

The relay began its journey at the Royal Courts of Justice on 1 April 2018, followed by a trip to the RAF Museum’s London site where they were met by CEO Maggie Appleton who ran the last leg of the relay with them. The journey will end 100 days later on 10 July on Horseguards Parade.

RAF Museum Cosford General Manager, Alan Edwards said:
“It’s an honour to be part of the RAF100 celebrations and commemorations and to share in the RAF Baton Relay Team’s journey. We hope that visitors and local residents will show their support by joining us on Saturday 5 May and take the opportunity to speak with the team, participate in the free activity before they set off on the next leg of their journey which will take them on to Tywyn and Snowdonia.”

RAF Cosford Media Officer, Squadron Leader Chris Wilson said:
“The Baton has already been travelling throughout the UK and Cyprus during April so it’s great to see it arrive in Shropshire. Working in conjunction with the RAF Museum we have a unique opportunity to not only highlight some of the great activities that RAF personnel get involved with but to share the Baton with lots of members of the public.”

Keep up to date with the relay team on social media by searching #RAFBatonRelay or for more information about the relay route visit:

60th Anniversary of Yorkshire Built Blackburn Buccaneer to be Celebrated at Yorkshire Air Museum

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Buccaneer at Yorkshire Air Museum

Sunday 29th April

The Spring “Thunder Day” taking place at the Yorkshire Air Museum on Sunday 29th April will mark a very significant milestone of Yorkshire aviation history as it will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the first flight of the development prototype of the aircraft that was to become the Blackburn Buccaneer.

Spring “Thunder Day”
The Museum’s live example of the Buccaneer S.2 XN974 will be one of the highlights at the first “Thunder Day” of the 2018 season at the Yorkshire Air Museum on Sunday 29th April, perfectly timed to celebrate this 60th anniversary of the Blackburn Buccaneer. It will make a full engine power up during the course of the day, performing its control surface movements, wing folding, bomb bay door rotation and rear air brake activation, all under power. The mighty Spey engines were capable of producing 11000 lbs of thrust each, so this is an exciting, noisy display! We are also delighted to announce that Wing Commander David Herriott, Secretary of the Buccaneer Aircrew Association will be with us to give a presentation about the aircraft and its history, from the perspective of a navigator on the aircraft.

The other 6 live aircraft in the Museum’s collection will also be started up, including the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a and diminutive Eastchurch Kitten WWI bi-planes, the 1945 WWII Douglas C-47 Dakota, the 1947 de Havilland Devon VIP transport, with both of these twin-props firing into life amongst plumes of smoke as they cough and splutter into life. Then, there will be the mighty Nimrod MR2 with its four Spey engines and finally the thunderous Handley Page Victor XL231 firing up her four Rolls Royce Conway power-plants that can produce 80 000 lbs thrust!!
All this will be carried out under the watchful eye of the Yorkshire Air Museum’s unique Volunteer Fire Team, who will also be conducting children’s activities and displaying their impressive fire appliances.

Blackburn Buccaneer – Historical Background
The military requirement was for a carrier based, low level strike and reconnaissance aircraft, capable of delivering conventional or nuclear weapons at very low level to counter the threat of the expanded Soviet Union naval capability with the huge Sverdlov–class cruisers. The aircraft was to be capable of approaching these warships below radar level at high speed, deploying weapons and quickly flying out of range.

First Flight
The tender for the Ministry of Supply specification M.148T was won by the design (Project B.103) by Blackburn’s Barry P Laight and became the last true Blackburn designed and built aircraft from the historic Brough factory near Hull, East Yorkshire. The development project (NA.39) was fully codenamed Blackburn Advanced Naval Aircraft, which resulted in the nickname of the “Banana Jet”, something unwittingly reinforced by the unusual contours of the design, implementing for the first time the principle of Boundary Layer Control, to disperse slow moving air over the wing surfaces to enhance stability and reduce stall speed for effective low altitude operation.

The first flight of Project B.103 took place at the Royal Aeronautical Establishment test centre, Bedford, at 12:57pm on 30th April 1958. According to test pilot Derek Whitehead, the flight went “exactly as planned”, with the aircraft in its duck-egg blue/grey and white “anti-flash” underbelly markings weaving gently as the pilot tested the controls whilst holding the aircraft at very low level, then rising easily away. The success of this first flight was a matter of great pride for Blackburn, especially the Chairman at the time, Eric Turner, who described it as “a wonderful achievement in getting the N.A.39 prototype in the air by the target date.” It was actually the first time that a very tight target date for a large and complicated military aircraft had been met, a result of superb teamwork at every level. Early Blackburn Buccaneer S.1 production models went into service with the Fleet Air Arm on 17th July 1962. However, they suffered from a lack of power from the original de Havilland Gyron Junior engines, resulting in some tragic accidents under more severe testing and operation. This was solved when the superior new Rolls Royce Spey engines were fitted, producing 40% more thrust for the following S.2 and other variants. By this time, Blackburn Aircraft Company had merged with Hawker Siddeley, so S.2 and later variants were known as Hawker Siddeley (Blackburn) Buccaneers.

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2
The first production Buccaneer S.2 was XN974, now to be seen at the Yorkshire Air Museum. XN974 is certainly no ordinary Buccaneer. It first flew on 5th June 1964, from Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire, and then went to the Royal Aircraft Experimental test facility in Bedford and then to HMS Eagle for sea trials, including work on HMS Hermes and HMS Ark Royal. In 1965 in went to the USA for hot weather testing and, on its return flight, on 10th October, became a record breaker by becoming the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly the transatlantic route non-stop and un-refuelled from the Canadian Air Force base at Goose Bay, Newfoundland to RNAS Lossiemouth, achieving the distance of 1950 miles in 4hours 16 minutes. It became a prime avionics and system development test bed between 1967 and 1982, and, during the ”Gulf War” (Desert Storm), it took part in the RAF activities designated “Operation Granby”, flying high altitude re-fuelling trial sorties with Tornado GR1 aircraft, lasting up to 3 hours in flight. It was flown into retirement here at Elvington on 19th August 1991, wearing RAF camouflage markings, and has remarkably been kept in live, ground operational condition since then. It has now been restored into its original Fleet Air Arm colours, and makes a very striking looking aircraft.

Fulfilling its design brief, the Buccaneer has been described as the most stable low-level strike aircraft ever built. It served with the Fleet Air Arm until 1978, when the Sea Harrier was introduced. The RAF acquired the type in 1969, after the cancellation of the proposed British Aircraft Company TSR2 project, then taking the Fleet Air Arm Buccaneers. The RAF fleet was gradually reduced to 60 aircraft, with the scaling down of the Cold War, coming out of service on 31st March 1994 to be replaced by the new PANAVIA Tornado as production of this type escalated.

However, the Buccaneers saw service alongside the Tornado GR1’s during the first Gulf War during 1991, crucially providing laser target designation for the Tornado’s which they lacked at that time.

Thunder Day Admission:
Admission: £12 Adults; £10 Concession; £5 Child (5-15) or £30 Family (2A+3Ch).
Gates Open at 10:00am until 17:00pm.
Propeller aircraft will be run during the morning and then again in the afternoon from 13:15pm. Buccaneer XN974 will conduct its run at 14:30pm

The Fabulous Forties Come to Life at Brooklands Museum

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Fabulous Forties at Brooklands Museum

The 1940s Relived – Saturday 12th May 2018
10am – 9pm

Live period music in the dance marquee, aircraft and vehicle displays and a well-stocked trade village will mean an unmissable day of nostalgia at Brooklands Museum’s annual homage to the 1940s on Saturday 12th May. The 1940s Relived celebrates the fashion, music, style, vehicles and social scene that epitomised this decade, giving equal weight to the Second World War and to its immediate aftermath – both important periods in the history of Brooklands. And it’s not just a show to watch – the public are urged to dress in ‘40s style and join the action on a fun-filled day that lasts well into the evening.

At the heart of the event will be the dance marquee with a rolling programme of music and FREE dance classes. Vintage specialist DJ Swing Shift will be providing the sounds, and singing live will be chanteuse Noelle Vaughn, one of the most authentic singers on the circuit. This year, the organisers are thrilled to confirm the appearance of the Kalamazoo Dance Band who will relive that golden era of big bands with familiar numbers made famous by the likes of Glen Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.

Brooklands was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing venue which still retains its 1930s appearance and buildings so is a perfect venue for such a nostalgic event as this. Under the Race Car Bays there will be a trade village where visitors will find sellers of original and quality reproduction clothing, homewares and ephemera from the era. This year there are more sellers of vintage clothing than ever before which shows how the popularity of a love for the past is growing. Displays of vehicles will include saloons, tourers, vans, trucks and military 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.

Any ladies not able to finesse their ‘40s look themselves need not worry, as a vintage-style hair and make-up parlour will be set up in the original Press Hut, manned by 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: At lunchtime, anyone is welcome to have their portrait shot done in the Art Deco Ladies Reading Room inside the Clubhouse. Photographs will go up on-line and can be ordered directly from the photographer on the day.

There will be much interest, as usual, in who will win the Brooklands Best-Dressed Competition this year. Visitors are urged to don their finest period attire to attract the attention of the Brooklands Style Scouts who will be on site looking for the finest ‘40s outfits, with none other than ‘Winstan’ Churchill himself judging the finalists.

A special highlight at this year’s show will be the Museum’s Hawker Hurricane that has undergone a major restoration programme over the last few years. If the weather permits, the aircraft, built in 1940, will be displayed outdoors alongside the Air Raid Shelter by the Race Track that was used by the factory workers during wartime. Aircraft production at the site which took place over an 80 year period can be fully explored by visitors as their entry ticket includes access to the incredible Brooklands Aircraft Factory which opened in November last year. 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 at Brooklands 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 once of the most productive aviation sites in Europe.

There will be a Family Activity Zone where the Brooklands Learning Team will be leading a workshop where children can make a 3D scene featuring the Hurricane which they can colour in themselves and take home; just as in period, the help of a civilian workforce will be vital!

All the exhibition areas, aircraft, racing cars and motorcycles at the Museum will be open as usual from 10am until 5pm, and the on-site London Bus Museum will be running rides around the local area aboard period appropriate buses*. However, the music and dancing will continue in the marquee until 9pm with a bar and food to keep visitors sustained. Last entry to the site is 6pm. Additional visitor parking is in The Heights off Wellington Way – as directed by special event signage on the day.

Admission: Adults £15, Seniors £13, Children (5-16 yrs) £8, Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £40 with advance discounted tickets available 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.

Climb on board the F-111 and VC10!

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

RAF Museum Cosford VC10

Date: 19 May 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Cost: £13.50 per person

The second of four ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this year, will be held on Saturday 19 May. Up to 600 aviation fans will have the opportunity to get a closer look inside more aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s collection, during an afternoon and evening session.

The RAF Museum Cosford and London is home to over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles and event organisers have selected 100 from the collection that they believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events will celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary by giving visitors access to aircraft and vehicles, spanning the services entire career.

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

From the Cold War collection, aircraft and vehicles on the night include the General Dynamics F-111 F-CF. Built as a two-seat fighter-bomber, the F-111A variant became the first variable-geometry combat aircraft to enter service, seeing extensive service 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 and vehicles open for the special event include the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis, Leopard tank, Bv 202 Over snow, and the Green Goddess (close view only).

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s transport and training vehicles, used for moving troops and equipment and retained to teach aircrews the wide variety of skills they must master before becoming operational. The Museum’s collection consists of some of the largest and smallest machines flown by the Royal Air Force and one of the event highlights will include the Vickers VC10 (weather permitting). 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. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event in May will be the first-time aviation fans have been given the opportunity to step on board the aircraft since its arrival at the Museum in 2015.

Another transporting giant of the RAF, the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 (weather permitting) will also be open to visitors, along with the advanced navigation trainer Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1.

Aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s Hangar 1 collection will include the de Havilland Chipmunk, one of the RAF’s longest serving aircraft types 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 Morris Minor Traveller, Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Junkers Ju52/3M during the May event.

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 600 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 19 May and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive access. The afternoon session will run from 1pm-4pm, followed by an evening session 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 5pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). Details on the RAF Museum London events are also available online.

Attending the exclusive ‘Open Cockpits and Cabs’ events is an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, which is a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Morning at Brooklands Museum

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Volunteers at Brooklands

Thursday 3rd May 2018

Some fantastic volunteering opportunities will be on offer at a special event on Thursday May 3rd from 10am – 12noon at Brooklands Museum. Everyone is welcome to come along to the Museum’s Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Morning to meet some of the current volunteers and staff and discover the wide range of options to suit all ages, interests and levels of commitment.

By joining the Volunteer programme you can make a real difference to the Museum, make new friends and share your skills and experience to help preserve and interpret the heritage of Brooklands to hundreds of weekly visitors. Brooklands is the birthplace of British motor sport and aviation, home of Concorde and has just completed a multi-million pound development. The new Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed exhibitions have transformed the site and generated a lot of interest with a marked increase in visitor numbers.

There are also collections of Vickers and Hawker aircraft, vintage racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles and historic buildings where many of them were built and tested. The unique history of the site is brought to life every day with the valuable support of volunteers. In 2016 the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was awarded to the Brooklands Volunteers – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Volunteers cover a wide variety of roles vital to the Museum, from stewarding and guiding both adults and school children to restoration of aircraft and vehicles, research, administration, marshalling at events, painting and gardening. Over 800 volunteers are registered at the Museum, coming from every sector of the community and professional background, and priding themselves on their professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm. Visitors often comment about how much their visits are enhanced by interaction with them.

Entrance to the Museum to prospective volunteers is free and tours of the Museum will be available. So why not come and meet the team and Sue Lewin, Volunteer Resources Manager at Brooklands Museum. Entry is via Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL. If you are interested in discussing some opportunities but are unable to make the date, please contact Sue Lewin, Volunteer Manager on 01932 857 381 Ext 242 or email

RAF Centenary Spitfire Challenge

Monday, April 16th, 2018

RAF100 Spitfire Challenge

Spitfire 100K Challenge
100K in 100 days
Date: Entries open until 1 April
Location: Anywhere you like!
Cost: £20 per person

Spitfire 10K and Family Run
Date: 2 September 2018
Time: Family Run 9.15am / Spitfire 10K 10am
Location: RAF Museum, London NW9
Cost: Standard entry £22.50 per person (15+ years); £5 each for fun run

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and as part of the celebrations and commemorations, the award-winning RAF Museum is inviting runners to take part in some exciting events to mark the once in a lifetime occasion and help raise funds for the RAF 100 Appeal.

SPITFIRE 100k Challenge:
To celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force, the RAF Museum has set a new centenary year challenge to run 100K in 100 days. The Spitfire 100K Challenge is a virtual race which launches on 1 April 2018 and runners have exactly 100 days to walk, jog or run 100K in a location of their choice. Runners will be given a log sheet to record their 100K before being rewarded with a spinning propeller Spitfire 100K Challenge medal.

Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds from the Spitfire 100K Challenge will go towards the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities – Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, Royal Air Forces Association, Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum.

As a virtual race, the 100K challenge can be completed anywhere in the world and runners from as far as America, Germany and Denmark have already signed up. Online registration is now open and closes on 1 April when the challenge begins. Limited edition Spitfire 100K Challenge t-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online.

SPITFIRE 10k and Family Fun Run:
This year we are offering 800 runners the opportunity to run a 10K on our historic airfield site in North West London. 2018 is a big year for the Royal Air Force and for the Museum. We have three new exhibitions and a beautiful landscaped site, evoking the London Aerodrome from 100 year ago. You will start under the Sunderland and run through the site and then continue around the streets of Colindale, before coming back on site to finish on our ‘taxiway’.

At the end of the race you will be awarded with an exclusive Spitfire 10K medal, which will be extra special for 2018 as this year will be the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

T-shirts can be ordered when you purchase your Spitfire 10K entry and will be available for collection on the day. The deadline to pre-order your t-shirt is Sunday 12 August 2018.

Entry to the Museum is free of charge and runners, spectators and supporters are encouraged to explore the site on race day.

Spitfire Family Run:
For 2018 we will also be holding a NEW Spitfire Family Run. This gentle run will take place around our transformed site. Each registered runner will receive a special medal upon completion. The race is suitable for all ages, but children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Standard entry (all ages): £5 (this includes a medal). Please note that only paying participants will be awarded a medal.

The Spitfire 10K is a UK Athletics licenced race over an accurately measured course and is suitable for keen runners and novices alike, so 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 Spitfire 10K is guaranteed to be fun and memorable.

Organisers are also encouraging participants to 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! Or, why not sport a bespoke 2018 Spitfire 10K t-shirt, available to purchase when you register online. The Spitfire 10K will be a fun family day out and spectators are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Plus, following the race, visitors have the added bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free Museum, where they will find over 75 historical aircraft on display.

To register for the event visit the Museum’s website Entry to the Spitfire 100K Challenge is £20 per person, the Spitfire 10K costs £22.50 per person (Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person), and participation in the Spitfire Family Run is £5 per person. All proceeds will go towards the RAF100 Appeal (registered charity number 1167398). For further details about the event can be found online.