Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy’ at The Fleet Air Arm Museum

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

WRNS

Today women with the necessary skills can join any branch of the Royal Navy. A little over 100 years ago, the Women’s Royal Naval Service motto was ‘Never at Sea’ yet in fact women were actively working on board serving ships and supporting naval operations long before 1917.

A new exhibition, opening today at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, reveals the remarkable stories of naval women. ‘Pioneers to Professionals’ traces the role of women in the Royal Navy from the mid-17th century through to the present day, highlighting the dramatic changes that have taken place over more than 250 years.

Leading by example, these pioneering women comprehensively demonstrated their capabilities and so laid the foundations for the eventual integration of the WRNS into the Royal Navy in 1993. Today females in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines make up 9.3% of the force in the UK Regular Forces and Future Reserves. Furthermore, the percentage of officers who are female in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, in the UK Regular Forces, stands at 10.6%. In July 2016, the government announced the lifting of restrictions on women serving in ground close combat roles, removing the last remaining barriers to full integration.

Women’s contribution to the Royal Navy has been overlooked in the past. It is a common misconception that until the introduction of the uniformed women’s service, the navy was an exclusively male domain. However, from the 17th century early pioneers disguised themselves as men or accompanied their husbands to sea on warships and this continued into the early 19th century.

The formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1917 was an important milestone for the history of women and the Royal Navy. It allowed women to work in an official capacity in shore-based roles thus releasing men for shipboard service. Artefacts and photographs from the early years of the WRNS on display in this exhibition include a WRNS Director’s Log Book, images of those pioneer Wrens and drawings from the time.

During World War 2, the reformed WRNS took on an even wider variety of vital roles than their World War 1 forerunners. They were Aircraft and Radio Mechanics with the Fleet Air Arm, code-breakers at Bletchley Park and Despatch Riders ferrying important messages. Some received gallantry awards for their courage and fortitude. The exhibition profiles just a few of their contributions including an evocative tableau of a Despatch Rider in the midst of an air raid and a display showing Wrens assisting with the training of Fighter Direction Control Officers using an adapted ice cream seller’s tricycle.

Post-World War 2, women continued to expand the part they played in the Royal Navy and today are able to play an active role across all naval operations. Many have risen through the ranks to senior positions and in some cases have received gallantry awards for their actions.

‘Pioneers to Professionals’ underlines the key place of women in the Royal Navy story and what they have achieved over the past 250 years. The exhibition’s final collage of images depicts the huge variety of roles undertaken by women in the modern navy, roles that their early predecessors would never have imagined possible.

Curator Susan Dearing said “Women have been contributing to the work of the Royal Navy for over 250 years but their story has tended to remain in the background and their accomplishments largely unrecognised. But those who so successfully took up the challenge of working in the Royal Navy made possible the fact that women today enjoy the same service opportunities as their male colleagues. This exhibition provides a great opportunity to bring their inspiring story to the forefront.”

Entry to the Fleet Air Arm Museum costs from £13.50 per adult and £10 per child, with family tickets available from £39.50 for 2 adults and up to 3 children. Book online at www.fleetairarm.com

New Look for Brooklands Museum

Friday, July 12th, 2019

Brooklands Museum new logo

This week, Brooklands Museum in Surrey unveils its new logo to the public as it begins launching its refreshed brand identity across the business.

Brooklands Museum is the largest museum in Surrey, occupying 32 acres on the site of the world’s first motor racing circuit. It showcases the achievements of the pioneering men and women in motorsport and aviation since its creation in 1907. The famous Race Track and the huge aviation manufacturing factories made it a household name for much of the twentieth century. Since opening as a public Museum in 1991 it has continued to grow its collection of aircraft, racing bikes and cars as well as opening the award-winning* Brooklands Aircraft Factory. Visitors can also walk through the world’s largest privately-owned ex-London Bus collection, climb aboard the number 237 and take a seat to reminisce about the golden age of bus travel.

The new Brooklands visual style centres around a striking gold colour with and uses a series of nostalgic illustrations. Throughout July and August the museum will appear on trains and platforms across the South Western network and on double decker buses covering surrounding routes. The poster campaign focuses on a single piece of history unique to Brooklands and relates it to the present day. In one shot a Hawker Hurricane is face-to-face with a toddler in a model pedal plane who dreams of becoming a flying legend one day. In another, an archive shot of one of the leading female racing drivers from the 1930s is shown next to the statement: Breaking records and making history.

The museum’s refreshed look has been spearheaded by the Marketing Director Samantha Hart who joined the team in January 2019.

Brooklands Museum is such an incredibly special place and we felt that we needed to give it a modern image that is instantly recognisable and attractive to new visitors. We’ve spent a lot of time consulting with our volunteers, members and audiences to harness what Brooklands means to them and what we have to offer, and this will shine through in our summer visitor campaigns. Brooklands Museum is not just a transport museum; every day we walk in the footsteps of the legends and pioneers who changed the world of motorsport and aviation; so many firsts and record-breaking achievements actually happened here. We’re extremely excited about re-engaging past visitors and welcoming new guests to Brooklands Museum this year.”

The Museum is home to the legendary Concorde where you can re-live the age of supersonic flight and experience the exciting era of modern travel. This stunning aircraft stands proudly alongside the Sultan of Oman’s luxurious, private airliner and other fine examples of Brooklands Aircraft and engineering.

One of the most unique elements of this historic destination is that many of the day-to-day and specialised areas of keeping the museum alive is accomplished by a team of over 800 dedicated, skilled volunteers; one of the largest volunteer teams in the country. This could be anything from aircraft restoration, building maintenance, stewarding, archiving and welcoming and guiding visitors and groups. Spend the day exploring the interactive collections and discover what it was like to be a racing driver or pilot over 100 years ago.

Brooklands Museum guarantees a great day out for people of all ages and interests. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you pass through the motoring village where the original sheds, filled with historic racing cars and motorcycles, set an authentic tone enhanced by the smell of engine oil and music from the heyday of motor racing at the Brooklands Race Track. You can also hear the stories of aviation legends who pushed boundaries and overcame the impossible to change the way we travel today. During the winter season, don’t miss the chance to go behind the scenes on a Torchlight Tour, exploring Brooklands after dark in search of some of those ghostly legends.

Brooklands Museum is open daily from 10am and admission charges, directions, news and events can all be found by visiting www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Sywell Aviation Museum Scoops Heritage Award

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Sywell Heritage Award

On 4th July 2019 the Sywell Aviation Museum was awarded The Peoples’ Choice Award for Best Museum at the Northants Heritage Awards held at Holdenby House, Northants. The award was voted for by members of the public and the Museum fought off stiff competition from much larger municipal museums and stately homes secure the most public votes. Many thanks to all those who voted!

Photo – Mike Goodman and David Knight receiving the award

www.sywellaviationmuseum.org.uk

NFL Star Mario Addison at RAF Museum

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Maria Addison at RAF Museum

On Monday July 1 2019, Mario Addison – NFL star of the Carolina Panthers – visited the RAF London Museum to find out more about the brave American men and women who fought alongside the Royal Air Force in the Second World War.

Mario’s guided tour was a chance to commemorate and celebrate the inspiring stories of the RAF and the enduring relationship between the US and UK, ahead of his own visit to RAF Lakenheath on July 4th, US Independence Day, where he will be meeting today’s British-based American servicemen and their families.

Mario is visiting London as the NFL celebrates its own centenary in 2019, and further engraining the sport’s own close US-UK ties with London’s newly-launched NFL Academy. Mario will also be returning to London with the Carolina Panthers in October as part of four NFL fixtures taking place in London.

www.rafmuseum.org

Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster fly in for Large Model Air Show

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

BBMF at Large Model Aircraft Rally

Date: 6-7 July 2019

Time: Gates open 8.30am

Cost: £8.00 in advance (until 3 July) / £10.00 on the gate

A flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster is set to wow crowds at the forthcoming Large Model Air Show taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July. The flypast is in addition to the hundreds of model aircraft taking to the skies during the two-day family event.

The Large Model Air Show is part of the Museum’s ‘Summer of Spitfire’ programme of events and activities where visitors can expect to see a spectacular mass formation Spitfire flypast, followed by the chance to get a closer look at the models in the static display line-up later in the show. Listen out for the unmistakable sound of a real Spitfire as the BBMF treat visitors to a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast on Saturday and Lancaster flypast on Sunday, an exciting highlight both days not to be missed! (weather permitting)

The popular event takes place on the airfield at RAF Cosford and even offers visitors the unique opportunity to camp on the airfield, so why not turn the weekend into a mini break and enjoy the exclusive overnight airfield access and weekend entertainment.

On offer both days will be the chance for flying novices to get behind the controls and have a go at flying a scale model aircraft in the ‘Future Pilots Zone’. Families will be kept fully entertained with children’s fun rides, trade stalls and a craft tent to peruse around, alongside an assortment of military vehicles and a Rolls Royce car display (Saturday).

Ticket holders will also have access to the RAF Museum where they can view over 75 historic aircraft including the world’s oldest Spitfire Mk1 and a rare reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX. Displayed side by side until 1 September, these aircraft illustrate the diverse roles in which the Spitfire served, ranging from a fighter interceptor to high altitude photographic reconnaissance.

The Spitfire theme will continue throughout July and August as the Museum pays homage to one of the most iconic aircraft in history with a packed programme of events and activities.

On selected dates throughout August interactive family friendly Spitfire Storytelling will take place in the War in the Air hangar located next to the Spitfire and delivered by costumed re-enactors. Enjoy Behind the Barriers access for a closer look inside the world’s oldest Spitfire, accompanied by a Second World War handling collection. Capture the fun in the Spitfire Selfie Station packed with giant Spitfire props and uniforms to try, a perfect memento of your visit.

There will be more Spitfire fun throughout two of the Museum’s big summers events, the Cosford Food Festival and Vintage and Handmade Festival taking place on the 20—21 July and 17-18 August respectively. Soak up the festival atmosphere whist sipping on a glass of Spitfire Heritage Gin, keep a look out for the stand at both events selling the prestige gin by the glass and the bottle. There will be plenty of Spitfire themed fun for youngsters to enjoy at the Cosford Food Festival including Spitfire cupcake and biscuit decorating. At the Vintage and Handmade Festival children can get crafty in the mini makers tent making peg Spitfires before heading to Spitfire School in the Second World War hut!

The Museum will host two exclusive RAF Stories Spitfire talks with Candida Adkins, daughter of female Spitfire Pilot, Jackie Moggridge who will be sharing her personal stories about her mother on 3 August. On 31 August, listen to the first-hand experiences from Air Cdre Paul Godfrey who enjoyed a distinguished RAF career, including three seasons with the BBMF flying the Spitfire, Hurricane and Chipmunk.

Step inside the new Virtual Reality Zone and experience the thrill of flying in a Spitfire. Located in the Test Flight hangar, this brand-new experience places you in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air for a panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight. With the use of VR goggles, fun focussed visitors can enjoy a 6-minute flight and see first-hand what it’s like to taxi and take-off in a Spitfire, and of course….no flight would be complete without a circuit of the airfield, including low passes and a loop de loop, before landing and taxiing into the hangar. The footage developed exclusively for the RAF Museum is the first of several new VR experiences on board real aircraft to become available, with more flights arriving soon. The experience costs just £5 per person and is suitable for visitors ages 13+.

The Summer of Spitfire will conclude on the 1 September at the annual Spitfire 10K and Spitfire Family Run. The 10K will see 1,500 runners take to the airfield and sprinting down the runway, each wearing their roll of honour card, paying tribute to Pilots who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain. Upon completion, runners will be rewarded with a bespoke 2019 Spitfire 10K medal. The 10K is already sold out but there are a limited number of places still available for the Family Run that will see hundreds of families with younger children run a shorter 1km race route around the Museum grounds, past iconic aircraft.

For more details on the packed Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities and to view a wide range of Spitfire Merchandise including many exclusive items visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am. Admission is free.

Cockpit-Fest 2019 at Newark Air Museum

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Cokpit Fest at Newark

Cockpit-Fest 2019 proved to be another great event at the Newark Air Museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. Once again the Cockpit-Fest and Aeroboot display areas were located alongside each other on the Southfield Site, which is now going to be a permanent arrangement. The two day event was well attended and drew a lot of positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike.

The museum trustees were particularly thankful to a host of people: all of the Cockpiteers and Exhibitors, their friends and families; the Aeroboot stall holders; the museum staff, aircraft openers and volunteers who helped during the build-up, during and after the event.

Support for this year’s event came from the following people and organisations:

Ken Ellis (‘Wrecks & Relics – Spirit of Cockpit-Fest’ Awards)
The Museum Shop
Jane Knox-Kiepura & Kiepura Aviation

As now seems to be the case with Cockpit-Fest there was a diverse range of cockpits and supporting displays on show and everyone who displayed at the event was a winner and a credit to this wonderfully diverse hobby. Below are this year’s official results:

Grand Champion (Visitors Award) – Lynx AH.7 – XZ220, Andy Rawden

Visitors Award Non-Cockpit – Mainly Military Models display

Cockpiteers Cockpit Award – Lynx AH.7 – XZ220, Andy Rawden

Cockpiteers Award Non-Cockpit – Jet Provost and BAC167 Strikemaster cockpit panels display, Alana Cordran

Wrecks & Relics Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Award (Ken Ellis) – Buccaneer S.2B – XW550, The Buccaneer Aviation Group
Wrecks & Relics Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Award (Ken Ellis) – Venom FB.1 – WK393, Tony Collins

Wrecks & Relics Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Award (Ken Ellis) – Wyvern cockpit rig, Rob & Dan Carter

Newark Air Museum Cockpit-Fest Long Service Award (attended all 20 events) – Tony Dyer

Newark Air Museum Cockpit-Fest Long Service Award (attended all 20 events) – Naylan Moore

Cockpit-Fest will be back next year with an International event, on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st June, 2020

www.newarkairmusem.org

 

Museum launches Summer of Spitfire at Armed Forces Weekend

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

RAF Museum Armed Forces Weekend

Date: 29-30 June 2019 / Time: 10.00am-5.00pm / Cost: FREE

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will launch its ‘Summer of Spitfire’ season of family activities centred around the most iconic aircraft ever built, at the Armed Forces Weekend celebrations taking place on 29 and 30 June.

This family weekend packed full of nostalgic activities will offer visitors the first opportunity to step inside the NEW Virtual Reality Zone and experience the thrill of flying in a Spitfire. This brand-new experience places you in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air for a panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight. With the use of VR goggles, fun focussed visitors can enjoy a 6-minute flight and see first-hand what it’s like to taxi and take-off in a Spitfire, and of course….no flight would be complete without a circuit of the airfield, including low passes and a loop de loop, before landing and taxiing into the hangar.

The footage developed exclusively for the RAF Museum is the first of several new VR experiences on board real aircraft to become available, with more flights arriving soon. The experience costs just £5 per person and is suitable for visitors ages 13+. Doors to the six new VR stations will open on 29 June and is just one of the many exciting activities taking place across the site over Armed Forces Weekend.

Re-enactors, period settings, engine demonstrations and military and civilian vintage vehicle displays will bring the Museum to life with authentic experiences nestled amongst the historical aircraft on display. Exclusively for the Summer months, the Museum will display its rare photo reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX alongside the World’s oldest Spitfire Mk 1.

WHAT’S ON over the Armed Forces Weekend:

• Learn how the plotting table played a vital role in the pilot’s flying missions
• Join a Vulcan pilot and his team preparing to scramble under the wings of the real aircraft
• View the airships display and find out more about their use during the First World War
• ‘Greyhounds’ play, a second World War Theatre performance by Time & Again Theatre Company on Saturday 29 June (£5 per person).
• Find out how sea mines were recovered and detonated, or in some cases not, during special talks
• Take a closer look inside the cockpit of the world’s oldest Spitfire and enjoy a rare view of the photo reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX
• Walk amongst the Second World War tents, meet members from Women’s Voluntary Service and take part in rifle and bayonet drills
• See a range of military and civilian vehicles on display
• Climb inside the Hunter and Phantom cockpit and experience what it was like to fly these aircraft
• Meet the pilot and find out more about the Japanese Kawasaki Ki-1001b
• Watch as RAF Bomber Command ground crew prepare themselves for a mission, including the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
• Watch Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk500 and Bristol Hercules Mk216 demonstrations
• Dress up in RAF attire and grab some props from the Museum’s handling collection and take photos as a memento of your day
• Families can enjoy decorating their own Armed Forces flag to take home
• Share your stories and personal connections to the RAF with the Museum’s RAF Stories team who will be on site capturing contemporary stories relating to the RAF for the digital online collection
• The Museum’s restaurant will be serving a selection of Armed Forces treats all weekend

(Vehicles and re-enactment groups subject to change.)

The ‘Armed Forces Weekend’ will run from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2019. The Museum’s Summer of spitfire programme will conclude on 1 September at the sell-out Spitfire 10K. For more information visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

New Museum & Memorial Director at Yorkshire Air Museum

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Barbare George

• The First Female Director of the Museum

• A new mission and initiative of the Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial

• To Honour, Educate and Inspire

At the beginning of June 2019, The Yorkshire Air Museum welcomed a new Director. Barbara George began her role as the Director of The Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial, as countries across Europe gathered to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings.

It was perhaps a poignant moment in time to be assuming the role, as the Museum moves forwards into a new era of development and exciting new initiatives, both locally, regionally and internationally.

Who Is Barbara George?

The First Female Director of the Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial.Barbara has worked for the Museum since 2014, assuming the role of Deputy Director in 2017.

She is a French national and also has Australian citizenship. Barbara has an MA in Applied Languages and Commerce and has lived and worked in the UK, France and Australia with extensive experience in the fields of management, marketing and communications, and a life-long interest in museums and history, volunteering until recently within the prestigious Collections Department of the York Minster.

Along with the Board of Trustees, Barbara is going to be launching a new Museum strategy this month.

This new Museum ethos is ‘To Honour, Educate and Inspire’.

Barbara comments, “Traditionally the role of museums used to be to collect and preserve objects and showcase them to the public. However, current visitors are now demanding a less static and more engaging and fulfilling experience. Our new strategy and ethos will place the visitor journey and learning at the heart of everything we do.”

“We want to empower people to take their own journeys of discovery at the Yorkshire Air Museum. We also want to make our collections and stories relevant to the diverse audiences who visit us.”

“One of the purposes of our strategy has been to rethink our mission as an organisation. We are satisfied that our new mission encompasses the values that our museum and memorial want to stand for. “

About The New Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Director.

Barbara completed a MA in Applied Languages and Commerce at Lille University, France. She is an accredited translator in English and French certified by the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs.

She worked in London in public relations and financial marketing prior to moving to Australia to join her husband, a FA-18 pilot in the RAAF. In Australia, she was Marketing Communications Manager for the largest recruitment services provider in the country prior to studying immigration law in 2003.

She created a consultancy firm advising people on Australian immigration policy matters and translation services. She joined the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship in 2010 where she was Assistant Director and worked on various policy portfolios as well as a Parliamentary Inquiry into Australian immigration detention centres.

Barbara moved back to the UK with her family following an RAAF posting for her husband within BAe Systems. She started work at the Yorkshire Air Museum at the end of 2014 as Museum Manager (Development). She was promoted to Deputy Museum Director in 2017. She’s also been an archiving volunteer within the Collections Department of the York Minster for the past 4 years.

Barbara has been instrumental at Yorkshire Air Museum in creating strategies to bring more families to the museum and develop its educational programme for schools, increasing the school visits to the museum by 300%. Barbara is French with an Australian citizenship and is a member of the Museums Association and the Association of Independent Museums.

“I am very excited about our upcoming summer events, particularly our celebration of 50 years since the moon landing on 21st July which will be so much fun, followed by our family day on 28th July and our new revamped Thunder Day on 18th August. In between, there will be an action-packed summer of activities at the museum and much work to be done on planning new exhibitions”

http://yorkshireairmuseum.org/latest-news/introducing-the-museum-and-memorial-director/

Celebrate a Summer of Spitfire at the RAF Museum

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

Summer of Spitfire at RAF Museum

This summer will see the Royal Air Force Museum paying homage to one of the most iconic aircraft ever built with a programme of events and activities dedicated to the Spitfire.

The Museum is home to a large collection of Spitfires, including the world’s oldest. This summer it will explore the history of the Spitfire and the story of those RAF servicemen and women who worked with this wondrous aircraft.

Weekend festivals, thought provoking storytelling, close views of real Spitfires, and a series of nostalgic events including a Battle of Britain Day will transport visitors back to a time when the Spitfire protected Europe’s skies.

Visitors will also be able to take the pilot’s seat and enjoy a 6-minute Spitfire flight through the Museum’s new virtual reality experience (Cosford only), take a selfie in a Mk XVI Spitfire (London only) or enrol in the Museum’s Spitfire Academy Adventure, its latest immersive experience that combines all the demands of an escape room challenge with the fun of a treasure hunt (London only).

Summer of Spitfire Events

For more information about the Museum’s Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities at both the RAF Museum London and Cosford visit www.rafmuseum.org. Events are subject to change, flypasts are weather dependant.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am. Admission is free.

Restoration Updates – Newark Air Museum

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

Vulcan restoration at Newark

Despite some horrendous weather this week work has just been completed on the erection of the scaffolding structure around the tail fin of Avro Vulcan B.2 XM594 at Newark Air Museum. This will allow restoration work to be undertaken in a safe manner by a dedicated team of museum volunteers. This work is anticipated will take the rest of the summer to complete.

The team working on the rebuild of BV Chinook HC.1 helicopter, ZA717 have also been trying to take advantage of breaks in the weather to secure more of the glazing panels along the helicopters fuselage.

Progress reports on all of these projects will continue throughout the summer.

www.newarkairmuseum.org