Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

RAF Museum Cosford 2019 Events Diary

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Armed Forces Weekend at RAF Museum Cosford

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during 2019:

events at RAF Museum Cosford

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“We have another busy events programme scheduled this year and visitors can expect to see all the big favourites making a return, including the Cosford Food Festival and Spitfire 10K.

We’ve increased the number of exhibitor pitches for the Food Festival this year to give foodies even more choice and we’re making plans to incorporate our VC10 aircraft in a special way, so watch this space!

The Spitfire 10K is one of our sell out events and of the 1,200 places available we only have around a third of the places remaining. We would encourage any runners who want to experience the unique opportunity to race across the airfield and get their hands on one of the highly sought after bespoke Spitfire 10K medals to sign up soon so they don’t miss out.

Brand new for 2019 will be a Night Shoot photography event taking place in March, that will see lighting used to illuminate our external aircraft, creating the perfect photo opportunity for aviation enthusiasts and keen photographers alike.

Also new this year will be our Armed Forces Weekend in June, taking on a similar format to the 100 Years of the RAF Festival we held in 2018, which attracted in excess of 11,000 visitors. There will be plenty of nostalgic activities for families to enjoy, plus re-enactors, engine demonstrations and even a play taking place across the entire site, celebrating and paying tribute to our heroes past and present.

Now into its second year the Vintage and Handmade Festival in August will be expanding with the addition of a vintage fairground and more exhibitors with plenty of added extras including access on board the VC10 and Hercules, making this event one not to be missed for those who love all things vintage!

It’s a busy schedule that caters to our wide and diverse audience and we look forward to welcoming back repeat visitors, along with those just discovering us for the first time. We’re confident that the RAF Museum’s great offer, combined with our exciting events programme will make a visit to remember!”

For further information on the 2019 events, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Admission charges apply for some events and activities. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year.

The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge.

2019 Events at Newark Air Museum

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

Newark Air Museum 1940's event

13 April, 2019 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble aviation & avionic sale

48 sellers tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire.

Open 9am to 2pm
{Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}

14 April, 2019 – Harrier Day 2019

A special event with visiting displays and cockpits to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Harrier ‘Jump-Jet’ entering British military service.

Open 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
{Normal admission rates apply}

18 May, 2019 – Canberra Saturday

An event dedicated to the Canberra aircraft at the museum and personnel that flew them; it will feature visiting displays and is open to the public.

Open 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
{Normal admission rates apply}

22 & 23 June, 2019 – Cockpit-Fest & Aeroboot

This annual gathering provides the perfect opportunity for the public to view a diverse range of visiting aircraft cockpits.

Open 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
{Normal admission rates apply}

17 & 18 August, 2019 – Copter-Fest

A new event to celebrate the helicopters in the museum collection; the event on the Sunday will coincide with the 2019 International Helicopter Day.

Open 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
{Normal admission rates apply}

31 August & 1 September, 2019 – Shackleton Boys 2

A book launch event that is being organised in association with Grub Street publishing and will be centred on Shackleton WR977. The event will form the focus of a mini-Reunion of former Shackleton air and ground crew personnel.

Open 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
{Normal admission rates apply}

12 October, 2019 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble aviation & avionic sale

48 sellers tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire.

Open 9am to 2pm
{Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}

26 & 27 October, 2019 – Autumn 1940s Weekend

This 1940s event will feature under cover 1940s entertainment and give re-enactors the chance to wear your winter period clothing {Normal admission rates apply}

Open 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
{Normal admission rates apply}

Full details about these and other museum activities can be found on the news & event pages of the website, which are regularly updated www.newarkairmuseum.org

Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00

£0.5m Biffa Award for Aerospace Bristol

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Aerospace Bristol Hangar

Thanks to a Biffa Award grant of £547,277, Aerospace Bristol will restore a 103-yearold hangar, making it publicly accessible for the first time. Visitors will witness ‘Conservation in Action’ as volunteers undertake important aerospace conservation and restoration projects.

Visitors to Aerospace Bristol will soon be able to enjoy live conservation work taking place on historic Bristol aircraft such as the Bristol Freighter, Fighter, and Bolingbroke. ‘Hangar 16M’, a 103-year-old grade-II listed building on the historic Filton Airfield, is to be restored and repurposed as a Conservation in Action workshop.

Restoration of the hangar – which, until recently, was home to the GWAAC air ambulance helicopter – has been made possible by Biffa Award: a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to communities and environmental projects across the UK.

Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol, said:

“This fantastic grant from Biffa Award has given us the opportunity to repurpose the building to become an exciting new part of the visitor experience, engaging visitors with engineering marvels from our aerospace heritage, offering exciting hands-on learning opportunities and stories to inspire future generations. Most museum conservation work is undertaken behind ‘closed doors’, unseen by the public. But as a result of bringing conservation into public view, visitors will not only learn more about the Aerospace Bristol story, but also how vital heritage skills are saving the nation’s past.”

Aircraft and engine restoration works will be undertaken by volunteers, who have already played a pivotal role in making Aerospace Bristol a reality. Over 150 former engineers and community volunteers spent thousands of hours restoring objects that are now on display at Aerospace Bristol, which opened to the public in October 2017. The new facility and Conservation in Action project will allow many of these volunteers, and new members of the volunteer team, to put their skills to good use and share their knowledge with a new generation of engineers and innovators.

Jess Stone, Aerospace Bristol volunteer and Airbus Undergraduate Engineering Apprentice, said:

“It’s really exciting that a new generation will be able to get involved in exciting engineering projects and gain hands-on experience working with aircraft and engines. This is an amazing opportunity for young people to learn from the older generation, who have so much experience and knowledge of Bristol aircraft.”

Maurice Thompson, Air Cadet Squadron Leader, Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing, said:

“It’s absolutely fantastic that Cadets will soon have the opportunity to see aircraft being worked on in a stunning historic hangar. I can’t wait to visit, as I know they’ll be excited and inspired to learn more about the workings and mechanics of aircraft.”

Gillian French, Biffa Award Head of Grants, said:

“It’s fantastic to see this iconic building being given a new lease of life. We are thrilled to support this project that will allow people to witness, and take part in, real life conservation work.”

Restoration work on the hangar is set to begin early this year, to be completed in Autumn 2019.

www.aerospacebristol.org

New exhibit arrives at Newark Air Museum

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

Lynx at Newark Air Museum

Westland Lynx HC.28

Earlier this year the Newark Air Museum was approached about taking a Lynx helicopter on loan by its owner Andy Rawden. Discussions proceed with this planned arrangement but now in a generous and unanticipated gesture, Andy has decided to donate the airframe to the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire, close to the county border with Lincolnshire.

The helicopter in question is Westland Lynx HC.28 QP-31, which has been in store at Fleetlands, Hants for a number of years, where it has been used as a training aid. Built back in 1978 with the code number WA033, this Lynx helicopter initially flew in the UK as a trails unit using the registration G-17-21; before being purchased by the Qatar Ministry of Interior Ministry of Defence (MoD) and delivered to the Qartari Police with the serial QP-31.

Hutchinson Engineering Services of Weston, Notts, completed the helicopter’s long-move north from its previous south coast location on Tuesday 18th December, 2018, with the offloading being completed in fading wintery light. This latest helicopter arrival at Newark completes the museum’s ‘hat-trick’ of helicopters in 2018; a feat they last achieved in 1980 with the arrival of the Whirlwind HAS.7, XM685; Sycamore 3, WT933 and Skeeter AOP.12, XL764. On that occasion the acquisitions were completed in just over a month.

“We are extremely grateful to Andy Rawden for his generosity in donating this Lynx helicopter to the museum.” commented Dave Hibbert, Museum Trustee & Acquisitions Officer. He continued, “We are pleased to have secured such a unique helicopter for the collection. We appreciate that it will be a long-term rebuild project to complete its restoration and initially it will be stored on site.”

He concluded, “However this is a challenge that we relish and we are already trying to source missing items. At Andy’s request we will aim to display it in its original Qatari Police Force markings.”

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Hawker Typhoon Back on Display

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Hawker Typhoon at RAF Museum

The RAF Museum London is proud to announce the Hawker Typhoon is back on display in Hangar 3

HAWKER TYPHOON IB MN235
MUSEUM ACCESSION NUMBER 74/A/27

Ordered by Air Ministry from Hawker Aircraft Ltd, contract no.943/SAS/C.23 (A). Sub-contracted by Hawker Aircraft Ltd to Gloster Aeroplane Co Ltd, sub-contract no.B.12148/39. Glosters built all but 15 of the 3,317 Typhoons built.

1944 Built by the Gloster Aeroplane Co Ltd at Hucclecote, Gloucester. Fitted with 2,180hp Napier Sabre IIA Engine. Given airframe No.153219. Part of Typhoon batch MN229 – MN269 which formed part of the 5th production batch of 800 aircraft, delivered Dec 43 -Jun 44.

O8 Feb 44 First flight at Hucclecote Aerodrome, Glos – a 40 minute flight flown by Squadron Leader Allan H Smith DFC, serving as a test pilot for the Gloster aircraft company on rest after completing his first operational tour with No 486 (NZ) Squadron. Squadron Leader Smith later commented that it must have been a good aircraft because he signed it ‘off test’ for delivery to the RAF after 40 minutes flying without any faults that would require another test flight. See logbook copy DoRIS ref. MF10029/12.

16 Feb 44 Off contract and allocated to 51 MU Lichfield, Staffs for storage.

Mar 44 Allocated to USA for flight evaluation, in response to a USAAF requirement to investigate the Typhoons’ potential as a fighter-bomber and to increase its fuel capacity.

12 Mar 44 To 47 MU RAF Sealand, Cheshire for packing.

24 Mar 44 Shipped to New York on the `SS American Manufacturer’.

16 Apr 44 Arrived in New York. Last entry on movement card.

6 May 44 To Wright Field, Ohio

After arrival in the United States the Typhoon was intended for fighter comparison and evaluation trials by the USAAF. On an unknown date it was issued with the Flight Test evaluation serial number T2-491/FE-491, though it is thought that it did not fly with this number applied. The `FE’ stood for `Foreign Experimental’. The aircraft was evaluated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Due to changing requirements the Typhoon did not undertake the test programme originally envisaged and following a minor accident after only nine hours flying was put into store.

Examination of the aircraft as part of the assessment of its condition after 21 years at Hendon revealed that on the starboard side of the cockpit there is a small wooden container marked `Airplane Defect Reports’.

The aircraft also carries, on the reverse of a removable panel below the cockpit (port side) a `Data Case’ that has the following pencilled on it: `P38-G-3-LO, Aircraft 42-12791′. If this is indeed from a P-38 Lightning then these would seem to be two small modifications made by the Americans during their brief evaluation of the aircraft.

Jul 44 Noted at Freeman Field, and photographed 6 Jul 44 after assembly. Photo assembled in USA – Aeroplane June 2004 p.82.

24 Jul 46 Again at Freeman Field. Engine prepared for storage. Total flying hours – nine.

03 Jan 49 Allocated to the National Air Museum and eventually placed in crated storage at the reserve collection of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington. Apparently never on public display whilst in USA.

On this date the aircraft passed from USAAF ownership but its location remained unchanged – Chicago Orchard Place Airport, Park Ridge, Illinois, used for storage of museum aircraft since late 1948. It appears to have been dismantled for storage by this date.

Also transferred was a spare Napier engine sent out with the aircraft in 1944 – in 2016 this remained in store, complete and in good condition, with the Smithsonian Institution.

Aug 1953 Letter in Air Pictorial (page 249) from Keith Boyer, who had seen `a Hawker Aircraft’ serialled MN235 – The Typhoon – at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago. Air Pictorial mis-identified the aircraft as a Hurricane, despite the correctly quoted serial number. The aircraft was stored for a future National Air Museum along with some 135 other aircraft.

In the late 1940s, General Henry `Hap’ Arnold, Chief of Staff of the US Army Air Force, collected together sixty WW2 aircraft from all over the world and had them stored in an unused Douglas Aircraft Company factory at Park Ridge, Chicago, Illinois. However the aircraft – presumably including the Typhoon – were evicted when the factory re-opened in1952 with the on-going Korean War. The factory site later became O’Hare International Airport. After a period of external store the aircraft were crated by the time Mr Boyer saw them, and they were moved to the newly acquired storage facility at Silver Hill, Suitland, Maryland by early 1955 from whence the Typhoon was extracted in 1967. This is now the Paul E Garber facility of the National Air and Space Museum.

Apr 67 RAFM request to Smithsonian for Typhoon to be returned to the UK. Aircraft prepared for shipment.

Jul 67 Presented to RAFM by Smithsonian. Hurricane IIc LF686/5270M given in exchange by RAF 1969.

04 Jan 68 Shipped back to England from Baltimore to Liverpool Docks on S S Samaria. Taken by road to 71 MU Bicester for survey of work needed for restoration.

09 Apr 68 Transported by road by 71 MU to 27 MU Shawbury for restoration to display condition by a largely civilian team, restoration beginning 26 April 1968.

Arrived in UK missing one 20mm cannon, spinner, most engine cowlings, starboard aileron, undercarriage parts, radiator/oil cooler unit, side panels below cockpit and various inspection panels.
The missing cannon was replaced from RAFM stocks; the spinner was adapted from a HP Hastings spinner and other parts were made by 27 MU. The aircraft was in generally good condition with only slight corrosion.
Replacement engine cowlings were made from sheet aluminium, and the missing radiator was replaced by a cut-down Bedford lorry unit made to look like the original from the front at least. The incomplete state of the aircraft delayed the restoration team who had hoped to have the aircraft ready for the Royal Review of the RAF at Abingdon in June 1968; the intended display of the aircraft on Horse Guards Parade September 1968 also had to be postponed. See Form 700 issued at 27 MU 19 November 1968 – DB351.

19 Nov 68 Restoration completed and aircraft formerly presented to Dr John Tanner of the RAFM by Wg Cdr D A Gifkins, CO of 27 MU. Aircraft remained in store at Shawbury. Photos: Aircraft Illustrated Feb 69 p.48; Aero Modeller Feb 69 p.63; Royal Air Force News 14 Dec 1968. Colour photos at Shawbury – Aircraft Illustrated Apr 71 p.151 and Wrecks and Relics – The album p.55; Hawker Typhoon Special Mach 1 (Thomas) p.13; Flypast May 2008 p.20.

Feb 1972 Repainted by 27 MU at Shawbury.

By Nov 1972 Moved to Hendon for Museum opening and displayed in Camm Hall area ever since. This area is now known as the `Fighter Hall’.

1994 Centrepiece of `D-Day’ display – some repainting scheduled.
`Invasion’ stripes applied to wings and fuselage. Photos as latterly displayed – Aviation News February 2014 p.78; Flypast May 2014 p.10.

4 Nov 2013 Dismantling underway for move to MBCC RAFM Cosford for attention.
Removal of the cannon fairings revealed traces of the original wartime paint scheme on the wing leading edge – yellow leading edge band, upper surface grey and even clearly delineated black underside stripes – original Typhoon identification stripes to avoid confusion with Fw190.

7 Nov 2013 By road to MBCC at RAFM Cosford. Photos as delivered – Flypast January 2014 p.7 and April 2014 p.32; February 2014 pp. 90-91; Wrecks and Relics 24th Edition (2014). Repainted in representative markings of a Typhoon of No 440 Squadron RCAF, codes I8-T; fuselage repainted by 10 March 2014. Photos of fuselage and wings; Napier Heritage News 83 Spring 2014-cover; Flightpath Vol 25 No 4 p.27, 2014.

Nov 2013 Excavations by the volunteer Freeman Field Recovery team found the complete missing Typhoon Radiator core and at least one engine cowling amongst other buried aircraft parts, plus a complete Typhoon main undercarriage leg, propeller blades and other spares.
Photo of radiator – Britain at War Magazine Jan 2014 p.12.

8 May 2014 Despatched by road to RAF Brize Norton en route to Canada for loan to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Rockliffe, Ottawa. Flown out by RCAF C-17 17 May 2014. Photo being unloaded – Classic Wings Issue 93 p.15.

4 June 2014 Following assembly, towed from conservation hangar to main display hall at Rockcliffe. Formal unveiling on 6 June 2014 – 70th anniversary of D-Day. Photos on display; Flypast August 2014 p.16; Aeroplane August 2014 p.8; Flightpath Vol 26 No 1 (2014) p.6..

12 Apr 2018 Arrived back in UK via Liverpool docks.

18 Apr 2018 Following its return from Canada, to temporary storage at RAF Museum Stafford.

23 July 2018 By road from Stafford – Temporarily on loan to BAE Systems/RAF Coningsby. ‘Rolled Out’ at Coningsby on 27 July. Photos- Aeroplane September 2018 p.8.; Aviation News September 2018 p.22; Britain at War September 2018 p.6. For display in BBMF hangar.

18 Oct 2018 Returned by road from RAF Coningsby to Hendon

26-28 Nov 2018 Re-assembled at Hendon and placed back on public display

www.rafmuseum.org

Experimental Jet and German bomber are highlights at open cockpit event

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Ju88 at RAF Museum

Date: 7 December 2018 /Time: 6pm-9pm / Cost: £13.50 per person

Aviation fans will have the rare opportunity to take seat inside the cockpit of the Cold War era British Aircraft Corporation TSR2 and get a close look inside the Second World War Junkers Ju88 at the final ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event, taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Friday 7 December.

The event which has celebrated the Royal Air Force Centenary throughout 2018 at both its Cosford and London sites has given ticket holders exclusive access to 100 aircraft and vehicles, spanning the service’s entire career. The series of events concludes at Cosford in December, themed around aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s Test Flight and War in the Air collection.

From the Test Flight collection and for the first time ever, visitors can enjoy on-board access to the British Aircraft Corporation TSR2, the only complete airframe remaining and one of only two examples in the world. Although never developed beyond the prototype stage, the TSR2 was one of the most exciting and controversial British combat aircraft designs of the 1960s. The increasing sophistication of air defence systems led the RAF to consider the procurement of a high speed, low level strike and reconnaissance aircraft to replace the English Electric Canberra. Christened the TSR2 (Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance Mach 2), eleven prototypes were ordered in October 1960, with the first maiden flight in September 1964. Initial reports indicated that the TSR2 was an outstanding technical success, however, political opposition to the project led to it being cancelled by April the following year. The cancellation of the project is a subject of great debate to this day.

Other Test Flight aircraft and vehicles open on the night include the sole example British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) (close view only). Built as an advanced technology demonstrator, many of the features pioneered by EAP, including the wing layout, were later refined for the Eurofighter Typhoon, in service with the RAF today. Also included in the event is the Bristol Type 188, Short Brothers SB5 WG768 (close view only) and the Hunting H126.

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s War in the Air aircraft and vehicles and for the first time ever the Junkers Ju88R-1 will be open for close viewing. The Ju88 was the most versatile German combat aircraft of the Second World War, beginning life as a bomber, before becoming a night fighter and intruder; undertook anti-shipping operations and flew long-range reconnaissance missions. It was during the Battle of Britain, that Ju88’s played a major role in a number of daylight actions against British radar stations, airfields and ports. The aircraft was reasonably manoeuvrable for its size, and could take a great deal of punishment, however its lack of armoured protection and insufficient defensive armament meant that it was relatively easy prey for British fighters. At the time of the Battle of Britain the Ju88 was at the beginning of its service career and its remarkable adaptability, particularly as a night fighter, had still to be exploited by the Luftwaffe.

Also open on the night in War in the Air hangar will be fellow German fighter the Focke Wulf FW190A-8/R6, the Hawker Hurricane IIc (close view only), Sopwith Pup (close view only), Boulton Paul Defiant Mk1 (close view only), Crossley Ptn 1940 and the Museum’s latest arrival the Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3.

To ensure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle who will be available to answer any questions.

A total of 300 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 7 December and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive after-hours access from 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 4pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm. Plus, visitors can also enjoy perusing the Museum Shop from 4.30pm and take advantage of their 10% off discount voucher!

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply).

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.

December fun thanks to The National Lottery

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

Newark Air Museum Hangar 2

#ThanksToYou

On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2018, we are offering a free admission to the air museum to National Lottery players.

Newark Air Museum will be one of hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

The idea is simple: any visitor, who presents a National Lottery ticket or Scratchcard on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2018, will gain free admission to the air museum site.

Back in 2003 we received £453,000 from The National Lottery. The money helped to pay for the construction of Aircraft Display Hall 2 on our Southfield Site.

Tracey Crouch, former Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “This campaign is a fantastic way for National Lottery projects to give back to the players who support them every week, raising millions of pounds for good causes. There are hundreds of venues hosting events up and down the country, so I encourage everyone to get out there and take advantage of what is on in their area.”

Museum Trustee, Howard Heeley said, “Thanks to National Lottery players we were able to get around twenty five aircraft and cockpits displayed under cover, thereby protecting their condition for future generations of visitors to see and enjoy.” He concluded, “Through this #ThanksToYou offer it is nice to be able to give a little bit of enjoyment back to the local community.”

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Buccaneer cockpit arrives at Newark Air Museum

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Buccanear at Newark Air Museum

Friday 26th October saw  the latest addition to Newark Air Museum’s collection of airframes and cockpit sections arrive at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire, close to the county border with Lincolnshire. Friday’s arrival was the cockpit section from Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XX899.

The cockpit was transported from its former display location in Coventry to Newark by Nottinghamshire based contractor Gillivers Haulage. The move was made possible thanks to the good offices of the managers at Coventry Airport who were kind enough to grant their permission for the cockpit to be lifted over their perimeter fence from its previous display location.

Owned by Robin Phipps, Buccaneer cockpit XX899 has been placed on long-term loan at the Newark Air Museum, where it will be displayed alongside several other cockpits outside Display Hangar 2 on the museum’s Southfield Site. These cockpits were recently repositioned to create sufficient space to accommodate XX899.

A few panels have been removed from XX899 on a temporary basis and this is to allow them to be returned to display standard by the owner. One important feature of this particular Buccaneer cockpit is that it retains a significant section of fuselage structure, which allows the canopy to slide on its rails as per its original design.

The trustees of the Newark Air Museum were happy to welcome both the Buccaneer cockpit and its owner to their Gateway Aviation Site in eastern Nottinghamshire. They are also pleased to report that the cockpit will be participating at their Cockpit-Fest 2019 event that takes place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June, 2019.

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Second World War Hampden bomber is brought back to life at Cosford

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Hampden at RAF Cosford

Date: 12-18 November 2018
Time: 10.15am-1.00pm
Cost: £5.00 per person

A rare example of a Second World War Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is making huge steps forward. As one of the Museum’s longest running conservation projects, the aircraft has undergone a major transformation and for the first time since the mid-1940s you can see a complete fuselage section in the UK.

The aircraft now has all four fuselage components fully assembled, attached and painted in its original 144 Squadron colour scheme and serial number. It’s been a labour of love for one of the Museum’s skilled Aircraft Technicians who has built a large section of the aircraft from scratch using original Handley Page pre-production drawings from the late 1930s and where possible, measurements taken from the partial wreckage remaining from the original aircraft. And it won’t be long before aviation fans can catch a glimpse of the Hampden, as it goes on show during the Museum’s Conservation Centre Open Week taking place 12-18 November.

The Museum’s Hampden, serial number P1344, is one of only three examples of the type remaining and was recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991 and acquired by the RAF Museum. The night it was shot down (5 September 1942), the aircraft was one of nine aircraft lost out of 32 that departed Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, heading to northern Russia to provide protection for the Arctic Convoys; a costly night in terms of both human and aircraft loss. Three crew members died, two survived and become prisoners of war and the aircraft suffered significant damage. The wreckage lay on the Kola Peninsula, Northern Russia undiscovered for almost half a century, but now the British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force is being lovingly brought back to life.

Since it was last viewed by the public some 12 months ago, restoration on the badly damaged airframe has progressed significantly and the unmistakable Hampden silhouette can now be seen. Damage to the tailboom was structurally too much to repair and a new tail was built in-house. Within the last few weeks this newly constructed section has been painted by the Museum’s Surface Finish Technician and attached to the original rear fuselage which still bears the marks of bullet holes from the night it was fatally shot down. Adding the tailplane, which is 30-40% original, and the newly constructed forward fuselage, the RAF Museum Cosford aircraft is one of only two Hampden’s worldwide, with the other on display in the Canadian Museum of Flight, Vancouver and a nose section in East Kirkby, UK.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“We’re delighted with how the Hampden, a lesser known aircraft of the RAF inventory, is finally coming together after all these years. We are currently trying to source an original rear undercarriage and tail wheel, but if one can’t be found it will be replicated and made in the Centre. The aircraft has been populated internally with items from the Museum’s reserve collection and the next twelve months will see work commence on manufacturing flying control wires to enable the elevator and rudder to move as well as fabricating new bomb bay doors.

Hampden’s, along with Wellington’s, which we also have here at the Centre, bared the brunt of the early bombing campaign over Europe. They played a vital role in the RAF and our nation’s history and I’m confident this rare example will be warmly received by visitors at our Open Week next month.”

Aviation fans will be able to view the newly painted fuselage section from 12-18 November when the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre opens its doors to visitors, giving behind the scenes access to aircraft conservation projects and the chance to speak with the team who make them happen.

Other projects include the Westland Lysander, Vickers Wellington, Range Safety Launch, Dornier Do 17 and the First World War German LVG CVI aircraft will also be on display to visitors. Museum Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers will be available throughout the week to speak with visitors about their work and answer any questions they may have.

The Conservation Centre will open from 12-18 November between 10.15am and 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 other hangars will be open from 10am until 4pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Visitors attending the Open Week on Saturday 17 November may also be interested in attending ‘The Glider Pilot Regiment and the RAF’ talk taking place at 2.00pm in the Museum’s Conference Room located in the Visitor Centre. Chaired by the Glider Pilot Regiment Society Chairperson, Jane Barkway-Harney, the talk will discuss the genesis of the Regiment, the selection and training of its volunteers, and the role the RAF played in preparing these Army soldiers to take to the skies. The talk will also focus on the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Sicily, the longest military glider tow in history and Operation Varsity – the largest single Airborne lift and final operation of the Glider Pilot Regiment during Second World War. This operation saw RAF crews seconded to the Glider Pilot Regiment as glider pilots to make up for previous losses. The talk will last approximately 1hr 15 minutes and costs £5 per person. Further details can be found on the Museum’s website.

Half Term Flying Fun for Families

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Nimrod Tours at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 27 October to 4 November 2018
Time: 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
Cost: Suggested donation of £3 / Entry to Museum is FREE

Explore a selection of Cold War aircraft throughout half term week at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, when families will be given rare access to fighter jets and a reconnaissance plane.

The Museum will be opening the Hawker Hunter F Mk.4 cockpit for close viewing, allowing visitors to take a seat inside the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG1 and running tours on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249.

The Hunter was a transonic British jet powered fighter aircraft developed for the RAF in the late 1940s/early 50s. The Mk.4 as seen at Cosford was the first version that could carry drop tanks or bombs on under-wing pylons. The variant equipped 13 German based RAF day fighter/ground attack squadrons plus 9 others in Fighter Command, including the Museum’s example (Hawker Hunter F Mk. 4 XE670).

The Phantom is one of the most successful and widely-used warplanes of all time, originally designed to meet a US Navy requirement for a supersonic two-seat carrier-borne air defence fighter, entering US Navy service in July 1961. The example on display at Cosford (Phantom FG.1 XV591) is one of 48 production Phantom FG.1 aircraft purchased for British service, 20 for the RAF initially and 24 of the remainder, including XV591, for the Royal Navy.

The Hunter (close view only) and Phantom cockpits are both located inside the National Cold War Exhibition and will be opened daily from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. Both cockpits will be manned by a Visitor Experience Assistant and Volunteer who will be on hand to answer any questions.

Visitor Experience Supervisor, Sam Barrett said:
“It’s important visitors not only get to see the aircraft and exhibits we have on display, but they get to experience them too. By allowing families to step onboard the specially prepared Hunter, Phantom and Nimrod its gives an extra level of understanding and undoubtedly inspires the next generation. Tactile access sparks curiosity and encourages more questions and in turn allows visitors to learn more about the history and the role of the RAF, as well as it being a fun experience!”

Alongside the Hunter and Phantom cockpits will be a Cold War handling collection consisting of helmets, life jackets and a collection of photos, for visitors to try on, and take photos. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up on the day and head into the National Cold War Exhibition. Children must be a minimum of one metre tall in order to sit inside the cockpit and must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested donation of £3 per person.

Daily tours on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249, will run throughout half term week and families will have the exciting opportunity to learn about its intelligence gathering role in the Royal Air Force. During the tours lasting around 15 minutes, aviation fans will learn about the history of the aircraft, hear about the crews on board and view some of its sophisticated surveillance equipment. The Nimrod flew in both the Maritime patrol and electronic intelligence gathering role. Maritime surveillance, anti-submarine operations and intelligence gathering have been key tasks for the Royal Air Force for much of its long history. When the Nimrod was finally retired from service in 2011, the type had operated with distinction for over 40 years in all these roles, and more. Tickets cost £5 per person and are available to purchase online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or on the day, subject to availability and weather permitting.

After accessing the historic aircraft, youngsters can also have go at building and painting an Airfix model in a make and take activity. Suitable for children aged 8+ (younger children will require assistance), choose from a number of kits and build your models nestled amongst the Museum’s collection of aircraft on display in Hangar 1. Families with younger children can opt to assemble and decorate a wooden biplane, each kit contains pre-cut wooden pieces, plastic screw and easy to follow instructions. Participation costs £3 per person.

The Museum is open daily throughout half term week from 10am until 5pm and entry is FREE of charge.