Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

Sky’s the limit for Large Model Air Show

Friday, June 17th, 2022

RAF Museum Large Model Air Show

Date: 2-3 July 2022
Time: Gates open 8.30am, flying 9.30am-5.00pm
Cost: £15.00 (under 16s are free)
BBMF Lancaster Flypast: Sat 2.14pm / Sun 1.58pm (weather permitting)

Scale models of iconic aircraft will be taking to the sky at the Large Model Air Show, when the two-day family event returns to the RAF Museum Midlands on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July.

The show will be packed with over seven hours of spectacular flying displays from hundreds of miniature models, accompanied by interactive experiences on the ground keeping families, aviation fans, and modelling enthusiasts entertained.

Taking place on the airfield at RAF Cosford, see biplanes through to modern day jets, all designed, built and flown by experienced model aircraft pilots. With acrobatic displays, synchronised flypasts and smoke affects, they truly look like the real thing!

There will be more flying than ever before with three flightlines for the first time. The line-up includes a mass flying formation of Spitfire’s, and an impressive collection of First World War aircraft taking to the skies. Plus, an appearance from the largest model aircraft in the country, including the Constellation, Bristol Bulldog, Comet DH88, and the Vulcan. This 20ft Vulcan model will retire after more than 10 years appearing at the show, and its farewell flight will be an exciting recreation of the real Vulcan XH558’s last flight, flying in formation with two Red Arrow Hawks on its wingtips.

A flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster is an event highlight guaranteed to wow crowds both days, flying in at 2.14pm on Saturday and 1.58pm on Sunday.

The event is growing both in the air and on the ground with more than 50 traders, including a ‘bring, buy and swap’ shop, street food vendors, entertainment and activities on offer.

There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to get behind the controls and fly some of the training model aircraft, with guidance from top pilots. Or, have a go at the exciting drone flying experience where users will learn the basics of drone flying before attempting to guide one through hoops, under tunnels, and over barriers. Those who master the controls quickly can take on the challenge of completing an obstacle course. This drop-in activity is suitable for children aged 8 or above. The youngest visitors will also have plenty of high-flying fun with trampolines and Airfix model making activities running throughout the day (charges apply).

The catering line-up is just as impressive as the flying with street food vendors serving up a diverse menu with flavours from around the world.

Tickets for the event are available to purchase online, £15.00 adults and under 16s are free. Exclusively for this event camping is available on the airfield at RAF Cosford, from £50.00 including show entry. For more information and to purchase tickets to the Large Model Air Show visit www.rafmuseum.org/midlands. The event is organised in partnership with the Large Model Association.

Cockpit-Fest 22 at Newark Air Museum

Monday, June 13th, 2022

Newark Air Museum Cockpit Fest

Preparations for the 2022 Cockpit-Fest are well underway at Newark Air Museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire; close to the border with Lincolnshire. Newark Air Museum is a registered charity located on part of the former site of RAF Winthorpe; this year’s Cockpit-Fest event moves back to its more traditional June time-slot; on Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th June, 2022.

This will be the twenty first (21st) time that like-minded enthusiasts have displayed their aircraft cockpit sections at the museum. Cockpit-Fest has become a fixture on the aviation calendar and each year attracts many visiting cockpits and associated displays. Cockpit-Fest allows the owners the chance to display their prized exhibits to their fellow enthusiasts and the general public.

At this year’s event a diverse range of aviation will be represented; this includes a range of military jet cockpits and civilian types; plus, several of the on-loan cockpits that resident at the museum. This includes several cockpits that will be displayed at the event for the very first time.

In addition, a diverse range of visiting cockpit related exhibits are also expected to be displayed around the 16-acre site; alongside an Aeroboot / Aerojumble aviation and avionics sale. Here enthusiasts and the public can search out those aviation artefacts, books and models.

The event is supported by a range of organisations and individuals; with the visitors being encouraged to have a say in deciding, which is the best cockpit by voting on their favourite display and from these results, prizes are awarded.

Cockpit-Fest also attracts other visiting displays like local history / military vehicle groups; re-enactors; and even more aviation related displays such as clothing and historical artefacts.

Full details about the events and a full list of visiting cockpits and displays can be found on the Museum Events page of the museum website at www.newarkairmuseum.org

Birmingham dates added to Spitfire tour

Thursday, June 9th, 2022

RAF Museum Spitfire Tour

A Spitfire from the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands is heading to Birmingham in July, as five new dates are added to the Spitfire’s tour of the Midlands.

In celebration of the Museum’s 50th anniversary, the Spitfire will visit regional towns and cities highlighting the area’s rich RAF heritage. Museum bosses are thrilled to announce that Birmingham, ‘home of the Spitfire’, will be hosting five days! ‘Brummies’ can get up close to the iconic aircraft when it goes on display outside Birmingham New Street Station from Wednesday 6 to Sunday 10 July.

Before heading to Birmingham, the rare blue reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX will visit Coventry on 18-19 June and Shrewsbury on 25-26 June. Following five days of engagement with families, shoppers and commuters in Birmingham early July, the aircraft will finish the tour in Leicester on 16-17 July.

The Spitfire received a warm welcome from the people of Telford on the first tour date in May, and following an appearance at the Cosford Air Show this weekend, the aircraft will be back on the road once again. Visit the Spitfire at a location near you and try on some of the real RAF uniforms, flying jackets and hats. Alongside the real Spitfire is a replica cockpit section to climb inside for an authentic Spitfire experience, perfect for a Spitfire selfie!

Birmingham’s manufacturing brilliance produced more Spitfires than anywhere else in the UK, making it a fitting venue for the tour. During the Second World War the people of Birmingham also contributed to the war efforts through Fighter Funds. These funds were set up to encourage the public to donate money to buy aircraft and brought communities and Allied countries together. The aircraft bought were named after that individual town, country or business. £5,000, approximately £175,000 today, bought one aircraft.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Spitfire Fund collected £23,500, enough to buy four Spitfires, all made at Castle Bromwich. The Vickers-Armstrong aircraft factory at Castle Bromwich was one of the largest producers of aircraft during the Second World War. It produced 11,939 Spitfires and 305 Avro Lancasters. The factory closed in December 1945 and the Castle Vale housing estate was built on the site.
Look out for the Spitfire ‘flying’ into a town or city near you on the following dates:

Coventry on 18–19 June, Millennium Place (Coventry Food Festival)
Shrewsbury on 25–26 June, Quarry Park (Shrewsbury Food Festival)
Birmingham on 6–10 July, New Street Station
Leicester on 16–17 July, Jubilee Square

Visit the Spitfire on tour this summer and pick up your free Spitfire virtual reality experience voucher code, redeemable on your next visit to the RAF Museum Midlands (Terms and Conditions apply). Entry to the Museum is free, for details of the exciting aircraft displays, experiences and events visitors can enjoy at the Museum and to pre-book your arrival time visit www.rafmuseum.org/midlands.

Vulcan XM594 Repaint Starts at Newark Air Museum

Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Vulcan XM594

Now that a bespoke scaffolding system has been installed around Avro Vulcan XM594 at Newark Air Museum, teams of museum volunteers are now able to work on this huge restoration and repainting project in safe conditions.

Thanks to the expert assistance from Inspired Scaffolding Services from Bilsthorpe near Newark, the scaffolding system became operational just before the recent Platinum Jubilee Holiday Weekend.

The extensive scaffolding work platform has been erected alongside key areas of the aircraft structure, which includes the wing and nose section of the aircraft. This allows museum staff and volunteers to access the aircraft in a safe and secure manner and is anticipated to be in position for around ten (10) weeks this summer.

In addition to the repainting of the upper wing of the Vulcan, the platform has simplified the accessibility for the museum’s restoration teams to work on the elevons and to remove the jet pipe exhaust sections for repair.

For most of the work period the aircraft’s cockpit will remain as part of the museum’s open cockpit offer. The modest contributions for accessing this iconic aircraft (when possible) will contribute towards the ongoing fund raising campaign to cover the scaffolding hire costs and the cost of the weekly safety inspections.

This fund raising campaign can be accessed via the following Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Vulcan-XM594-Repaint-2022

Two Fund Raising Campaigns Launched at Newark Air Museum

Friday, May 20th, 2022

Vulcan XM594 at Newark Air Museum

In the last twenty-four hours the museum has launched two fundraising campaigns to assist on major projects on two of our Avro airframes, Shackleton WR977 and Vulcan XM594.

In December 2021 the museum took ownership of Shackleton WR977 and this was undertaken in the knowledge that some significant structural repairs were required on both main undercarriage structures.

Until this work has been completed we are unable to re-open this particular aircraft for our fabulous cockpit tours. So that we can undertake this work in a safe and secure manner we need to construct two concrete jacking plinths; one under each aircraft wing. Design work has been undertaken for these plinths; so much so the excavation work and pouring of the concrete is due to be taken before the end of May.

In addition to this civils engineering work, we also need to fabricate jacking pads/heads to fit on the jacks that we purchased last autumn. We have tried to source these amongst the aviation community but without success. The construction of the jacking plinths is due to take place during the week commencing 23rd May 2022; followed by the fabrication of the jacking pads/heads. Support for this project can be made via this weblink: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Shackleton-WR977-U-C-Repair-2022

Also during week commencing 23rd May, 2022 scaffolding will be erected at the nose and on the starboard wing of Vulcan XM594, which was also acquired in December 2021. This will allow museum Painting Teams to move onto the aircraft to carry out some much needed refurbishment and repainting work during the summertime.

It is anticipated that this work will take up to ten (10) weeks and on certain occasions it could limit the public access to the aircraft. In the coming days we will be introducing a short fund raising campaign to support this vital restoration work, which will help secure the long-term future of this particular exhibit.

This work should not interrupt the external tours of XM594, which have been a regular feature of our weekend opening sessions. These are led by former Vulcan crew members and provide a fascinating insight into Vulcan operations during the Cold War. Support for this project can be made via this weblink: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Vulcan-XM594-Repaint-2022

www.newarkairmuseum.org

IWM Duxford marks 80 years since the Avro Lancaster entered service with events and appearances this summer

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

IWM Lancaster

This year will mark 80 years since the most successful British heavy bomber of the Second World War, the Avro Lancaster, entered service with the RAF and IWM Duxford will be giving the visitors the chance to delve into its fascinating history, see one in flight over the airfield at the annual Duxford Summer Air Show and enjoy a special screening of the new documentary feature film, Lancaster, with the chance to meet the filmmakers.

IWM In Conversation: Lancaster Filmmakers | £40 | 25 June, 9.45am – 4:30pm

Join the filmmakers behind the new feature length documentary, Lancaster, for a talk and Q&A session followed by a screening of this new film release and a guided tour of Duxford’s Lancaster KB889 with the chance to climb inside. Hear behind the scenes insights, including how the team worked with veterans to highlight stories of courage, friendship and the complex moralities of war. During the film you will see incredible footage from the IWM archive as well as scenes shot at the site. Lancaster is produced by Haviland Digital, Trevor Beattie Films and British Film Company.

The Inside View: The Lancaster | £10 | Every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am and 2:30pm

Visitors can join an expert IWM guide as they grant access behind-the-ropes to explore the iconic 4-engine monoplane, including the chance to enter the iconic aircraft. Learn about the design of the aircraft by Roy Chadwick and its illustrious history in the celebrated Dambusters Raid as well as the heroism of the young men in Bomber Command who would have formed the Lancaster’s crew and the harsh conditions they faced in combat.

Duxford Summer Air Show | £45/£15 | 18 June

For one day only, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster Bomber visits IWM Duxford for a spectacular flying display at this year’s Duxford Summer Air Show. The rest of the weekend is packed with all the thrills and spills you’d expect from with fast-flying, all-action aerobatics, and spectacular sights in the air and activities for all the family to enjoy on the ground.

www.iwm.org.uk

RAF Museum Extends Relationship with Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

RAF Museum staff

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce the renewal of its official association with the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been formally signed between the Royal Air Force Museum and the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust, in the presence of the Museum’s CEO Maggie Appleton MBE and Graham K Clarkson, Chairman of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust

The MOU will see the RAF Museum and Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust continue their partnership and further develop the interests of both parties through collaborative programmes focused around the Museum’s Short Sunderland flying boat – which was originally located at Pembroke over 50 years ago.

RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton says:
We are delighted to continue our partnership – and friendship – with the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust. As a National Museum, we are committed to inspiring people with the RAF story right across the UK. This relationship supports that aim and underlines our joint commitment to share our expertise and experience with each other.

Graham K Clarkson, Chairman Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust added: “I am very pleased to have signed the MOU on behalf of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust and look forward to our continued co-operation with the RAF Museum on many points of mutual interest. We are particularly looking forward to working together on special projects for the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre which relate to our long RAF history. I am sure that the MOU will be the basis of many joint ventures and co-operation in the future which will to be the benefit of both parties and to visitors to both centres.”

www.rafmuseum.org

Spitfire takes off on tour of the Midlands

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

Spitfire PR XIX

A Spitfire from the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands will go on tour this summer, visiting regional towns and cities as part of the Museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The iconic aircraft will visit four locations across the Midlands in May, June and July, touring some of the region’s popular landmarks, highlighting and celebrating the area’s rich RAF heritage.

A tour of the rare blue reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX will be stopping off in Coventry, Leicester, Shrewsbury, and Telford for a weekend of engagement with families, shoppers, commuters, and festival goers in the heart of each location.

Families are invited to get up close to the aircraft and hands-on with the interactive activities on the ground. Don a battledress uniform, wartime flying jacket, pilot helmet and goggles before taking a seat inside a replica cockpit for an authentic Spitfire experience, perfect for a Spitfire selfie! Museum ground crew will showcase a collection of wartime props, while sharing local RAF stories and details of the exciting aircraft displays, experiences and events visitors can enjoy at the Museum.

Look out for the Spitfire ‘flying’ into a town or city near you on the following dates:

• Telford on 14–15 May, Southwater
• Coventry on 18–19 June, Millennium Point (Coventry Food Festival)
• Shrewsbury on 25–26 June, Quarry Park (Shrewsbury Food Festival)
• Leicester on 16–17 July, Jubilee Square

Barry Smith, RAF Museum Director of Visitor and Commercial Development said:
‘This year the RAF Museum Midlands is celebrating 50 years of sharing RAF stories, and what better way to celebrate this than to take one of our most iconic aircraft out on tour. The RAF has a long history in the Midlands, and we’re excited to share these stories within the community, and with new audiences who may not have visited the Museum before.’

The Midlands is steeped in RAF history, during the Second World War it was home to the largest Spitfire factory in the UK. RAF Castle Bromwich in Birmingham produced 11,939 Spitfires by 1945, more than half of the 20,000 produced across the UK. Thousands of people from across the Midlands have a connection with the RAF story, from the many men and women who served in the RAF, to members of the public who came together and supported the war efforts through Spitfire Funds.

Visit the Spitfire on tour this summer and pick up your free Spitfire virtual reality experience voucher code, redeemable on your next visit to the RAF Museum Midlands (Terms and Conditions apply). Tag #RAFMuseum in your #SpitfireSelfie to be in with a chance of winning one of five prize bundles worth £50 (Terms and Conditions apply) Entry to the Museum is free, simply pre-book your arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org/midlands.

Sywell Aviation Museum Grand Opening

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Sywell Grand Opening

Easter Saturday 16th April 2022 Sywell Aviation Museum’s Grand Opening and 21st Birthday Party

SAM first opened its doors in 2001 in three Nissen huts dismantled from RAF Bentwaters and re-erected at the Northamptonshire aerodrome. It expanded twice in 2011 and 2012 with two more huts having been added. 2012 saw the addition of its first complete airframe – unique Hawker Hunter F.2 WN904 from RAF Waterbeach courtesy of the IWM.

After an epic effort, their second airframe Handley Page Jetstream 200 G-RAVL arrived from Cranfield University in March 2020 and since then much work has been done to restore her. The Museum is actively seeking Jetstream parts including seats and interior trim or related memorabilia.

In 1970 with the demise of Handley Page, Terravia Ltd set up Jetstream Ltd at Sywell to continue production of the type. RAVL (then N1035S) was bright back from the USA by the CEO of the company – Captain Bill Bright – for use as a company demonstrator. Indeed he flew her to victory in the 1971 Daily Express National Air Race in June 1971 between Sywell – Biggin Hill.

The Museum was able to track down his children who remember flying on holiday in the machine in the early 1970s. Now living in Spain, Marcus and Rebecca Bright attended the event as guests of honour to be reunited with the aircraft they last saw 45 years earlier.

In addition to a huge number of military and classic vehicles and re-enactors, the Museum welcomed resident and visiting aircraft including a Miles Gemini & Messenger, a brace of Austers, Avro 504 and Fokker DR1 replicas, Beagle Pup prototype, DH Leopard Moth, Piper Cub, Yak 50 and a pair of DH Chipmunks!

This free event was a fine way to mark over 2 decades of opening during which time the Museum has never charged an entry fee and relies on donations to survive.

The Museum is very grateful to readers for their kind donation of military/aviation books, model kits and accessories and diecast models earlier in the year which helped raise funds at a recent book sale – more are always sought to help fund the Jetstream restoration – if you can help please get in touch.

The Museum is open weekends & Bank Holidays 1030-1630 until the end of September and Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons 1200-1600 from Mid May to Mid October. Entry is free, donations welcome.

www.sywellaviationmuseum.org.uk

Royal Air Force Bircham Newton Heritage Centre OPEN DAYS 2022

Sunday, April 17th, 2022

RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre at Bircham Newton has a unique collection of memorabilia from the former Royal Air Force station’s past service, which spanned more than 44 years, including two world wars and the Cold War. On display are photographs and personal memories of service personnel who served there and other related items from its fascinating history. The Centre is staffed and run entirely by volunteers, many of whom are ex-service or children of service personnel. Close by there are two stone memorials to remember those who served at Bircham Newton and its main satellite airfield near Docking.

Easter Sunday 17th April
Sunday 1st May
Sunday 29th May
Sunday 12th June
Sunday 26th June
Sunday 17th July
Sunday 31st July
Sunday 14th August
Sunday 28th August
Sunday 11th September
Sunday 25th September
Sunday 30th October
Sunday 13th November (Remembrance Sunday)

Opening times are from 10am to 4pm

Disabled access & toilets will be available, and car parking and entrance will be free.

www.rafbnmp.org.uk