Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Phantom

Date: 15 December 2017
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at RAF Museum Cosford

On 15 December, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be hosting the next Cold War Lunchtime Lecture with a talk entitled ‘The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring’. In this talk, Dr Kenton White from the University of Reading will look at the conventional defence planning of the UK during the Cold War.

Within this lecture, Dr Kenton will question whether during the Cold War, did Britain really have the means to defend itself, in the event of a shooting war? This lecture analyses the conventional defence planning of the UK, its relationship to the policy, and the possible and actual execution. In 1979 Britain committed almost the entire Royal Air Force to NATO’s defence of Western Europe. 100,000 troops were assigned to Home Defence, and Britain would act as a staging post for foreign troops on their way to the front.

Deterrent plans were aimed at the perceived threat: planning for the manifestation of that threat, and implementing those plans. These plans relate intimately to NATO’s “Flexible Response” strategy and the desire to raise the nuclear threshold enabling NATO to stop a WTO attack by conventional means. Analysing the plans for mobilisation, and comparing them to the forces and facilities available, this lecture seeks to understand if the UK fulfilled its obligation, not only to NATO, but to the Armed Forces and British public.

Professor Kenton White is a Sessional Lecturer in Politics, International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Reading, and also works with the University of Portsmouth at RAF Cranwell. He has a PhD in Strategic Studies, researching British defence policy and practice during and after the Cold War. He studies military history and defence policy from the Napoleonic Wars to today. Prior to entering academia he was the Managing Director of a computer animation company.

This FREE lecture will be held in the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 15 December, lasting approximately one hour. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme . ‘The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring’, is the final lecture taking place at Cosford this year, with more lectures planned for 2018. The programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures, which are held at the University of Wolverhampton, the Royal Aeronautical Society in London and the RAF Museum in London respectively.

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

Under the wings of Concorde to be supersonic venue for Christmas carol concert

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Concorde at Fleet Air Arm Museum

The popular Christmas carol concert under the wings of Concorde returns this year at Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum on two evenings, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th December.

Visitors can join the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band under Concorde 2 in Hall Four of the Yeovilton museum.

The concert features several classics and festive numbers for the occasion. Doors open at 6.30pm, the concert starts at 7.30pm.

General Manager of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Marc Farrance, said: “Our Christmas Carols are very popular and they’re held in such a unique setting – under the Concorde 2.
“We are delighted to host the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band for the third year running.

“The event has been incredibly popular in recent years. And this year we are holding it over two nights to make sure no one misses out on tickets.”

Tickets are £15 each and include a mince pie and mulled wine on arrival. A bar and refreshments will also be available.

It is strongly recommended that those wishing to go purchase their tickets in advance.

They can be purchased from the museum during normal opening hours, by calling 01935 840565 or online at www.fleetairarm.com

Old Buckenham Airfield Opens a Second Museum

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce the opening, on Remembrance Sunday 2017, of its second Museum; the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery.
This new addition to the Airfield has been designed as a complement to the 2015built 453rd Bombardment Group Museum which houses the largest collection of 453rd memorabilia in existence.

The new Gallery showcases some of the extensive collection of James Clarey. His collection, combined with that of the late Pat Ramm, is partly on display in the 453rd Museum, of which he is also Curator. James, however, did not limit his collecting to the 453rd and has so many exhibits relating to the 8th Air Force (of which the 453rd was a part) that the decision was made to create the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery, in order to provide a place where they can be on public display.

Based in the Airfield’s ‘Small Blister Hangar’ the Gallery contains a host of displays and exhibits. At its heart is a faithful recreation of the Post Exchange which was a key feature of the lives of all the servicemen at Old Buckenham during the War. The Post Exchange, as the name suggests, was the place for parcels and letters to go back and forth between England and the U.S. and for most servicemen would have been the most tangible link with home. Post Exchanges also served as a shop and social centre on the base.

Remembrance Sunday will also see the unveiling of a new ornamental railing enclosure for the Memorial Garden. Built in house by the airfield, the railings required over a thousand fixings and took over a week to complete. A brand new LED lighting system completes this latest update, the first major improvement since the Garden was created in 2012.

Fittingly, the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery will be formally opened following the traditional Remembrance Sunday Service, held at 1055 at the War Memorial. The United States will be represented by a senior officer from Lakenheath Air Base.

www.oldbuck.com

Remembrance Sunday Service to be held at Cosford

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

RAF Cosford Remembrance Service

Date: Sunday 12 November
Time: 10.45am

On Sunday 12 November, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance, paying respect to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

Visitors who wish to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women are invited to join the service, led by the Station Chaplain at RAF Cosford. Those attending will also be treated to renditions from the Cosford Military Wives Choir, who will perform for visitors on arrival and during the service.

The service will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 and visitors are politely requested to assemble no later than 10:30am ready for the Service to commence at 10.45am. As well as readings from Museum volunteers, there will be hymns and the sounding of ‘The Last Post’ performed by a bugler, followed by a two minute silence. Students from Muxton Primary School in Telford will also be in attendance, reading a poem they have written especially for the service.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“The RAF Museum is a fitting location for this poignant occasion and we hope that local residents will choose to join us on Remembrance Sunday so we can remember together. I would like to thank the Station Chaplain and the Cosford Military Wives Choir for their involvement in this years’ service. I’m sure visitors will enjoy the special service we have planned as well as the performances from the choir.”

During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF Cosford and the Museum in honour of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Following the service visitors are free to explore the Museum at their own leisure.

If you would like to find out about Service Personnel who fell serving in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force during the Great War of 1914 to 1918, or to dedicate a digital poppy, please visit the RAF Museum’s online story vault: www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk

The Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge. For further information please visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Rare aircraft on show during Open Week

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Hampden Fuselage

Date: 13-18 November 2017
Time: 10:15am-1:00pm
Cost: £5.00 per person

A rare example of a Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be one of the highlights at the Conservation Centre Open Week taking place on 13-18 November 2018.

The Handley Page Hampden’s forward and rear fuselage sections will be placed in line for aviation fans to view during the behind the scenes week. Since it was last viewed by the public almost 12 months ago, the forward fuselage and cockpit section has been completed, manufactured entirely from scratch by one of the Museum Technicians, using pre-production drawings. The new section also includes some original components from the P1344 Hampden and aviation fans will be able to get up close to view the progress during the forthcoming Open Week. Work is continuing on the aircraft fuselage section and it is hoped that work will be completed sometime in 2018. Once complete, the aircraft at Cosford will be one of only two examples and one nose section in existence from a total of 1,430 built.

Other aviation treasures on show to visitors will include the Vickers Wellington, one of only two complete examples anywhere in the world, out of 11,461 built. This popular aircraft is a favourite with aviation fans and has undergone work to treat small amounts of corrosion to its famous geodetic framework, both wings and fuselage, since its arrival at Cosford in June 2010. Now free of corrosion, both wings have been painted in a protective layer and one has already been re-covered in Irish linen, doped and painted in its Bomber Command Night colour scheme. Work is now underway to repeat the process on the aircrafts second wing and eventually the fuselage.

The Westland Lysander III, the only surviving Special Duties variant of this aircraft (which were used to ferry allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe). The aircraft which has undergone an in depth inspection and condition assessment over the last six months will also be on display to visitors. This project is being run by the Museums team of Volunteers and work over the next few years will include replacing its fragile linen outer skin.

Another aircraft spending a short period of time in the Conservation Centre is the Hawker Siddeley Gnat T1 – the first aircraft used by the RAF Red Arrows, superseded by the current aircraft, the Hawk in 1979. The aircraft was previously on public display at Cosford and is destined to move to the Museum’s London site before the end of the year. The Open Week in November is a last chance for Red Arrow fans to see the aircraft in the West Midlands. As the aircraft is being prepared for transportation by road, it is also a chance to see it in a partial stripped condition.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s that time of the year again when the Conservation Centre opens its doors to the public. The Open Week has become a firm favourite with the aviation enthusiasts and local people who have been regular attendees over the years. This year we are highlighting the Westland Lysander, a WW2 aircraft that was used on SOE ops amongst other things. The aircraft will be in a stripped condition allowing visitors to view the usually closed up areas in detail. If you want a day out with a difference, why not come along and see what we are doing.”

Visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Range Safety Launch, a project being run by a team of Volunteers, plus see a glimpse of the Dornier Do 17 smaller objects including propellers and engines. The First World War German LVG aircraft will also be on display to visitors along with some more unusual objects including the Skynet satellite and a missile collection, which are both being prepped ready for a move down to the Museum’s London site in preparation for the new centenary plans in 2018. 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 13-18 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 5pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call 01902 376200.

PLUS…in addition to the open week, visitors will also have the exciting opportunity to climb on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249 during daily tours running from 13-18 November. Tickets are available to purchase online via the Museums website http://www.rafmuseum.org/cosfordor on the day, subject to availability.

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Newark Air Museum Aeroboot

Saturday 14th October 2017

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 14th October 2017. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again is heading towards being a sell-out event.

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the Project Panini (Mod) fund raising campaign to build new Café & Toilet facilities at the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

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

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

Buyers / visitors at this event will be able to access the museum site on Saturday 14th October, 2017 at a special discounted admission price of just £4.50 per person.

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

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

Flight simulation event heads to Cosford

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Flightsim at Cosford

Date: 7 October 2017
Time: 9:30am to 5:00pm
Cost: £8 in advance / £10 on the door

Aviation fans can experience the virtual skies in Shropshire next month as the Flight Sim 2017 event heads to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford for a fifth consecutive year. Taking place on Saturday 7 October, aviation enthusiasts will enjoy a day packed with all the latest flight simulation software and the chance to test out their virtual flying skills.

After four very successful shows held at the RAF Museum, the UK’s largest Flight Sim show will be returning to Cosford for an even bigger and better event. Just Flight, one of the UK’s leading flight simulation software publishers, will be hosting this major gathering in association with PC Pilot magazine to show visitors the very best in desktop flying. Building on the success of previous events, organisers are anticipating in excess of 1,500 visitors will attend the one day show.

With 34 exhibitors at this year’s event, visitors will be able to get hands on and fly the latest flight simulation aircraft, preview ‘in development’ projects, check out the latest hardware and chat with leading developers, publishers and other enthusiasts. The line-up also includes nine brand new exhibitors who will be joining the show for the first time this year.

This show will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 from 10am until 5pm, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the wide range of entertainment on offer. So whether you’re a veteran desktop pilot, flight simulation novice, or someone thinking of getting airborne in the virtual skies for the first time, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Visitors attending the Flight Sim 2017 event this autumn will experience the best of both, the virtual world and the real world of aviation, as they explore the world class collection of aircraft and exhibitions on display at the RAF Museum Cosford.

Advance tickets for Flight Sim 2017 are now on sale online for just £8 per person and can be purchased up until 5 October, with free entry for under 16s accompanied by an adult. Advanced ticket holders will also receive a free goody bag on arrival!

Tickets purchased on the day cost £10 per person. For further information on the event or to purchase your tickets in advance, please visit the show’s website www.flightsimshow.com.

To cope with the additional visitors, a free park and ride will operate from Cosford train station with regular pickups throughout the day. Entry to the Museum is free of charge and on-site parking is available (charges apply). Entry into Hangar 1 on Saturday 7 October will be for Flight Sim 2017 ticket holders only.

Rolling Thunder at Yorkshire Air Museum- Sunday 27th August

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Victor

This coming Sunday, in a grand end to the summer holiday, Elvington Airfield will reverberate to the sound of the Yorkshire Air Museum’s mighty jets as we stage another, eagerly anticipated “Rolling Thunder” Day, after a two year break. Fresh from a winter deep overhaul and repaint, the Yorkshire built Blackburn (Hawker Siddeley) Buccaneer XN974 will provide a striking spectacle in its fabulous and original Fleet Air Arm markings and will be the first time the aircraft has been seen on Elvington’s runway in this colour scheme since the aircraft’s development in 1964. XN974 was the prototype for the Naval carrier based variant of the superb Buccaneer low-level strike aircraft, and the aircraft set a record in 1965 by becoming the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to make the transatlantic route from Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Canada to RNAS Lossiemouth, Scotland, non stop without refuelling. (See image: A56E5458).

The ‘Cold War’ jets:
Nimrod MR2 XV250, the ‘Mighty Hunter’, as this ‘high tech’ intelligence gathering, surveillance and submarine tracking aircraft was known as, will give full vent to her four Rolls Royce Spey engines to roar off down the runway, as her dedicated team pay tribute to all those who spent many hours of duty aboard these impressive hunter aircraft. XV250 is indeed maintained as a ‘living’ Memorial to the 14 crew of Nimrod XV230, who lost their lives in the tragic accident in Afghanistan in 2006.

Then it will be the turn of the awesome Handley Page Victor XL231 (See image: 7DAFB494). Famously known as “Lusty Lindy”, this aircraft started out as part of Britain’s airborne nuclear deterrent in the late 1950’s, later converting to the Tanker role for air to air refuelling, where it saw action in the Falklands War in the Ascension Island theatre and then in the first Gulf War, in “Desert Storm”, where it was given it’s distinctive name! It is the best example of only two surviving ground operational Victor’s in the world, so is always a huge draw for enthusiasts when the rare chance comes to hear her four mighty Rolls Royce Conway engines set the ground shaking as this still futuristic looking aircraft sets off at high speed down the 10 000ft runway.

Our vintage propeller aircraft will also see action with the two WWI bi-planes conducting static engine runs on the Museum site in the morning. Our WWII Douglas C-47 Dakota and 1947 De Havilland Devon twin props will also conduct taxi runs on the airfield for a full day of ‘kerosene infused’ action!!

Ian Reed, Museum Director, comments: “Famous for being the venue for motorsport driving days, numerous world record attempts and other high speed feats of daring, this vast runway, formerly part of the WWII RAF Bomber Command base of RAF Elvington, is the perfect place to ’exercise’ these high performance aircraft in front of an adoring audience and we are thrilled at this opportunity and extend our thanks to Elvington Parks for their cooperation in staging this event.”

Admission is £12 Adults, £10 Concession, £5 Child and £30 Family. Gates open at 10:00am. www.yorkshireairmuseum.org

75 years on – the story behind Hampden P1344’s final flight

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Hampden Bomber by Peter Arnold

Date: 5 September 2017
Time: 7.00pm / aircraft viewing following the lecture
Cost: £7.50 per person

The Handley Page Hampden Bomber P1344 (PL-K), currently undergoing conservation at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be subject of a lecture taking place on Tuesday 5 September 2017. The lecture will be presented by the Museum’s Conservation Centre Manager who has personal experience working to restore the aircraft and with former crew and family members. The evening lecture will include details of the dramatic story behind its final flight, which took place exactly 75 years earlier, plus a behind the scenes look at how the aircraft looks today!

The RAF Museum Cosford will be holding a lecture examining the aircraft’s known history, its final flight and what happened to the crew who survived the crash landing. The talk will be held in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre, commencing at 7.00pm and tickets are limited to just 200 visitors. Special guests will include relatives of the Hampden crew members, who, over the years have visited the Museum to view progress and to share information.

Following the lecture, attendees will be invited to the Conservation Centre to get up close to the aircraft, currently being restored. This exclusive after-hours access to the aircraft, in an area which is not usually open to the public, will give those attending the lecture the chance to speak directly with the team working on it.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“The Hampden was my first project when I started with the Museum back in 2005 and that’s where my interest started in the aircraft. Compared to other Bomber Command aircraft it is not a very well-known one but it certainly played an important role during the Second World War. My talk is a chance for the audience to learn more about the type and the brave young men who flew them followed by a visit to view the restoration at the Conservation Centre, on the 75th anniversary of its last flight”.

The Hampden is one of the Museum’s longest running conservation projects, which has progressed considerably over the last year. As one of only three examples of the type remaining, the significance of this project is huge. Work carried out onsite at Cosford has included manufacturing a forward fuselage and the aircraft tailplane, incorporating some existing fixtures and fittings from the original aircraft which suffered severe damage during its crash landing. Over the coming months work will progress on restoring and re-building the tailboom and once that work is complete, there will be a complete fuselage.

Places at the lecture cost £7.50 per person and parking on the night is free of charge. Tickets for the lecture are now on sale via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Museum Publishes Smuts Report

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

On 17 August 1917 General Jan Smuts presented his recommendations to the War Cabinet for the creation of an Air Ministry to control and administer all matters in connection with air warfare of every kind.

Smuts report specified that the new ministry should proceed to work out the arrangements for the amalgamation of the two (Air) services; the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and for the legal constitution and discipline of the new Service.

The report stated that ‘the day may not be far off when aerial operations with their devastation of enemy lands and destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale may become the principle operations of war, to which the older forms of military and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate.’

This report laid the foundations for the creation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 and may be read in full online via the RAF Museum’s website: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/whats-going-on/news/museum-publishes-smuts-report/

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

With the services 100th anniversary approaching next year, the RAF Museum is hard at work preparing for the historic occasion by delivering a £26m RAF Centenary Programme at its London site, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The new exhibition halls at London will be opening in Summer 2018 as part of the wider calendar of national RAF events. Until then it’s business as usual at both RAF Museum sites, open daily from 10am and admission is FREE.