Archive for the ‘UK Aviation Museum News’ Category

Escape the Winter Cold This Christmas at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Fleet Air Arm Museum

Families looking for indoor activities to escape the cold and frost during the festive season can do no better than a day trip to the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset. With its four halls all undercover, filled with over 100 historical aircraft, the museum provides a great winter option for visitors young and old to roam freely around the naval aviation exhibits; try the immersive aircraft carrier experience; board the first British-made Concorde; and uncover the role of women in the Royal Navy in the new “Pioneers to Professionals” exhibition. Throughout the winter season, the Museum Café will serve a selection of hot food, beverages and cakes, while aircraft landings and take off can still be watched from the two indoor airfield viewing spots.

Along with the permanent exhibits, this December visitors can also enjoy a programme of special events:

Christmas Concert Under Concorde – the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band will be performing their annual carol concert on 12th and 13th December under Concorde 2, with mulled wine and mince pies on arrival.
Christmas Search and Rescue – from 21st December to 5th January, budding aviators can help find Rudolph on an arts and crafts activity trail to try and save Christmas. Included with museum ticket.
Top Gun on the Flight Deck – feel the need for speed with a special screening of the cult 80s action movie featuring fighter pilot Tom Cruise on 28th December, with Top Gun-inspired cocktails and exclusive access to the aircraft before the film.

Entry to the Fleet Air Arm Museum costs from £13.50 per adult and £10.00 per child, with family tickets available from £39.50 for two adults and up to three children. Tickets for the Christmas Concert and Top Gun screening are to be purchased separately but include access to the museum. Book online at www.fleetairarm.com

Museum announces Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Artwork Loans

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

Battle of Britain Artwork

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the RAF Museum is making a selection of our Second World War art collections available to borrow for display.

The aim of this programme is to make works of art from our national collection more publicly accessible, to enable greater exploration of Battle of Britain stories within the national context of the 80th anniversary, and to build stronger relationships between national and regional organisations to support knowledge exchange.

Lenders will be able to borrow individual works or request a selection from the list, to be displayed in any appropriate form of temporary exhibition or single object showcase.

The RAF Museum will provide curatorial information about the works, the Battle of Britain 80th anniversary logo/brand pack and will promote the loans to the public as part of a nationwide campaign to mark the anniversary.

Works will be available to borrow from 1 March – 31 October 2020. The programme is open to Expressions of Interest from any accredited regional museum or gallery (or organisations working towards accreditation).

Successful lenders will be asked to share information about the RAF Museum with the displayed loan(s), and to share information about your organisation and Battle of Britain programme with us so we can promote your activities.

Transportation, courier support and nail to nail insurance costs must be met by the lender. The RAF Museum will endeavour to keep these costs as low as possible and will not recharge our internal administration costs.

Detailed condition reports, high resolution images and further details about the works can be provided upon request.
We welcome Expressions of Interest by 30th November 2019. As part of your EOI, please provide information about:

• Your selected loan(s) request. Please quote the RAFM accession number, title, and artist name in in all correspondence.
• Your proposed loan dates.
• Your display plans including the submission of UKRG Facilities Reports
• The collections (if any) you would be displaying alongside the loan(s).
• The audience reach the display would have
• Have you borrowed items from the RAF Museum/other national museum before?

Preference will be given to organisations that haven’t worked with the RAF Museum/other national museums for loans before. We would particularly welcome EOIs from organisations outside London.

Please send your expression of interest via email to Lisa Hickman, the Museum’s Registrar on 0208 358 4885 or lisa.hickman@rafmuseum.org

www.rafmuseum.org

Eurofighter Typhoon DA4 to be transferred to Newark Air Museum

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

Eurofighter moving to Newark Air Museum

The trustees of the Newark Air Museum (NAM) are delighted to announce that they have entered into an agreement with the Imperial War Museums (IWM) to accept the most generous transfer of Eurofighter Typhoon DA4 (ZH560) to the museum. Preparations are now underway to move DA4 to NAM’s Gateway Aviation Site in north eastern Nottinghamshire, close to the Lincolnshire county border.

The process to transfer this significant airframe started during the summer, when IWM announced its availability for disposal as part of a review of its extensive aviation collection. This review has identified objects that do not fully fit with its remit to tell the stories of the causes, course and consequence of war from the First World War to the present day in Britain and the former Empire.

In the documents notifying interested parties of the proposed disposal the IWM’s Disposals Manager made the following comments about the DA4 airframe.

“As a prototype, this airframe is an experimental model and is not representative of a production or operational aircraft. DA4 was one of the seven original industry development aircraft before becoming a RAF ground instructional airframe.”

Following a visit to IWM’s Duxford site by Dave Hibbert, Museum Trustee & Acquisitions Officer, NAM was able to confirm to the IWM Disposals Manager that the DA4 airframe fulfilled several criteria in the museum’s stated Collecting Policies, including:

“Aircraft used in a Training role, this because of our local connections with Flying Training.

Aircraft which show the development of the Jet Fighter / Bomber from the Post War period.”

Another important factor for NAM trying to secure DA4 was that it had been based at nearby RAF Coningsby, Lincs, where the airframe had been used for training ground crew specialists for the Royal Air Force. As such displaying DA4 at Newark would allow them to provide good public domain access to the aircraft for the local RAF and aviation community.

An initial letter of intent to proceed with the transfer was received by NAM in late July 2019. Since that time liaison-work has been ongoing between the two museums to confirm a suitable date for the move to be completed. Following more recent contacts with IWM Duxford, the move has been scheduled to take place in early 2020.

“We are honoured, excited and extremely proud to have secured such a fantastic airframe for the collection,” commented Dave Hibbert. He continued, “We are especially grateful for the assistance provided by the IWM staff in helping us to start the process of undertaking this landmark transfer.”

He concluded, “We are now looking forward to working with the IWM team at Duxford during the coming months to complete this move in an efficient and professional manner.”

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Fleet Air Arm Museum’s Aircraft Expert Hosts Special Evening Showcasing Top Artefacts

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Fleet Air Arm Museum

He’s an expert on aircraft at Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum and a familiar face from television documentaries, now senior curator David Morris is highlighting some of his top 100 favourite items at the museum during a special exclusive evening at 6pm on Tuesday 3rd December.

The evening coincides with the publication of two new books by David, both available on the night. “The Fleet Air Arm and RNAS* in 100 Objects” and “Corsair KD431 revisited”. The Fleet Air Arm Museum has one of the last remaining Second World War Corsairs painted in authentic colours.

David Morris, senior curator at The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Museum explains:
“Only six years after man had successfully flown for the first time in 1903, the Royal Navy saw the potential of taking flying machines to sea. Initially they were used for aerial surveillance but quickly became involved in combat. We are so lucky to have a vast collection – Europe’s largest – at the Fleet Air Arm Museum – and it’s been thrilling to pick some of my favourites to share.

“Those attending the evening might be surprised at my choices. They include a simple deck hook or arrestor hook, the immensely strong metal hook fitted to aircraft and used to catch a wire on a ship’s deck to bring the aircraft to a halt. This is perhaps the one object that is unique to naval aviation. It is perhaps ‘the’ most definitive naval aviation object in the book.

“Probably my all-time favourite involves First World War Naval Air Fitter Henry Allingham, who was born in 1896, alive in three centuries (he died in 2009 age 113) and possibly unique in that he had the potential to have seen every object in the book. The bronze bust of Henry, on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum simply has to be object No1 in my list of favourites.”

Doors open at 6pm and tickets cost £15 and include mulled wine and mince pies, rum and gin tasting and an opportunity to visit the museum and its ship. Tickets are available online at www.fleetairarm.com/event

Aircraft conservation work goes on show

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

Conservation work at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 11-16 November 2019

Time: 10:15am-1:00pm

Cost: £6.00 per person (under 16s free)

This month, the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will open its doors, allowing Museum visitors behind the scenes access to aircraft conservation projects and the chance to speak with the teams who carry out this vital work.

From 11-16 November visitors can get up close to the current conservation projects undertaken by the Museum’s team of Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week. Highlights will include the newly restored Second World War Westland Lysander III (S.D.) fuselage, and the Handley Page Hampden fuselage, which is now nearing completion. The Open Week in November will be the last opportunity for aviation fans to view both aircraft at Cosford before they move to the RAF Museum London for public display in the new year.

The Lysander has now been restored to its form glory after undergoing three years of conservation work including a new fabric outer skin and complete repaint. As the only surviving Special Duties variant of its type, the Lysander is now painted in No 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme, reflecting its service towards the end of the war in non-operational special transport services.

Nearing the end of almost 30 years of restoration, the Hampden is one of only three examples of the type remaining, recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991. The aircraft now has all four fuselage components fully assembled, attached and painted in its original 144 Squadron colour scheme and serial number. The Hampden restored at Cosford is the first complete fuselage section in the UK since the mid-1940s.

The Open Week is also an opportunity to see the Messerschmitt Me 410 in a stripped back condition with engines and internal structure fully visible for the first time. The Me 410 was moved into the Conservation Centre earlier this year for a short-term restoration programme and is due to go back on display in the Museums War in the Air hangar before Christmas.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s hard to believe that the Open Week is upon us again. For regular visitors, this will be the last chance to see the Hampden and Lysander before both head to our sister Museum in north London for public display. New this year will be the chance for our visitors to see the Me 410 in more detail than would normally be possible when the aircraft is on display; the aircraft will go back on public display late November. As always, a warm welcome awaits our visitors.”

Repeat visitors will be able to view the on-going restoration of the Vickers Wellington. One of two remaining Wellingtons, the aircraft at Cosford is the only complete example of its type. Since its arrival at Cosford in June 2010, the Wellington has been stripped of its linen outer skin so that work to repair small amounts of corrosion to the geodetic framework could take place. The wings are now free of corrosion and have been painted in a protective layer and the fuselage will soon undergo the same treatment. Following this, the aircraft will then be re-covered in Irish linen, doped and painted in its Bomber Command colour scheme.

Members of the public who have followed the story of the world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 will be able to get up close to the aircrafts forward fuselage and learn more about the project. Clear of the marine crustacean that has coated the aircraft for 73 years underwater, the fragile fuselage will be on display for visitors to view. Previously destined for the RAF Museum’s London site, the aircraft will now remain at Cosford and will eventually go on display in a specially controlled environment to help preserve the remains of the sole surviving example and to best tell its remarkable story. Fellow German aircraft LVG CVI, a two-seat reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft used during the First World War, built mainly of wood and fabric, will also be on display in a stripped back condition.

There will be much more than just aircraft on show during the annual open week. The Range Safety Launch (RSL) 43ft boat, number 1667 is one of the centre’s longest running projects and demonstrates the diversity of the role played by the Royal Air Force in protecting our nation. Most of the conservation work on RSL 1667 has been carried out by the Museum’s team of engineering Volunteers.

The Conservation Centre will open from 11-16 November between 10.15am and 1.00pm each day and admission is £6.00 per person (children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult). The Museum’s display hangars will open from 10.00am until 4.00pm and entry is free of charge. For further information or to purchase tickets in advance visit: www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

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 throughout the open week. Visit the Museum website for more details and to purchase tickets in advance.

RAF Museum will hold Remembrance Service

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

RAF Museum Remembrance Service

Date: 10 November 2019
Time: 10.30am arrival / 10.45am service commences
Cost: FREE

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance on Sunday 10 November, paying respect to members of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

Visitors are invited to join the service, led by RAF Cosford Station Chaplain, Wg Cdr Wynn and pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service personnel. 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. A marching contingent from No 1 Radio School (phase 2 students), RAF Cosford will begin the proceedings, which will also include readings, hymns and the sounding of ‘The Last Post’, followed by a two minute silence.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“We hope visitors and nearby residents will choose to join us once again for the RAF Museum’s Remembrance Service on 10 November, which saw more than 500 people attend last year. We would like to thank RAF Cosford and Cosford Military Wives choir for making the event possible as well as students from Albrighton Primary School who will be participating in the service, reading poems they have written.”

Year six students at Albrighton Primary School recently took part in a workshop delivered by the Museum’s Access and Learning team, exploring the history behind Remembrance Sunday and the significance of the poppy, using a handling collection to spark discussion. A selection of poems and artwork created by the students will be displayed in the Museum’s ‘War in the Air’ Hangar over the remembrance period for visitors to view.

During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF Cosford, RAF Museum staff and volunteers, Cosford Military Wives Choir and Albrighton Primary School 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 10.00am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge. For further information please visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Join us for the RAF Stories Big Weekend!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

RAF Museum Big Stories Weekend

Date: 2-3 November 2019
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: Free
Location: RAF Museum Cosford / RAF Museum London / participating venues

The Royal Air Force Museum is teaming up with venues across the country for the ‘RAF Stories Big Weekend’, a national story collecting event capturing local stories relating to the Royal Air Force. Taking place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 November, the RAF Museum aims to capture hundreds of stories with the help of participating venues and events at both its Cosford and London sites.

Whether you’re a veteran, current serviceman or servicewoman, an air cadet or have family links to the RAF, whatever your connection, however big or small, you’re invited to attend and share your favorite anecdotes at a venue near you.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer – RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“We are extremely grateful to all the participating venues for hosting one the RAF Stories Big Weekend events. With venue’s up and down the country taking part, it’s easier for members of the public to get involved and ensure their RAF memories are captured. Whether its stories about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour and everything in between, we hope people will find their local participating venue and take up the opportunity to share their story with us.

Over the last two years, the RAF Museum has recorded hundreds of stories now available online for the public to view. By working together with other venues, the Museum is able to widen its reach and together this catalogue of stories will expand and enrich peoples understanding of the RAF today.”

RAF Stories is a global oral history project which digitalizes and makes accessible engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives.

All stories captured over the RAF Stories Big Weekend will then be uploaded to the RAF Stories website for audiences around the world to hear first-hand some of the inspirational and ground-breaking recollections from former RAF personnel and their families about their RAF journey.

Whether you have one anecdote or ten to share, join us at the RAF Museum Cosford and RAF Museum London on 2 and 3 November between 10.00am and 4.00pm, or search for your nearest venue on our website www.rafmuseum.org

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Plane marvellous weekend ahead!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Valiant at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 19-20 October 2019
Time: 10.00am-4.00pm
Cost: £13.50 per person (Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening the doors to thirteen aircraft during a two day Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October. Aviation fans and families with budding young pilots can enjoy a closer look inside some of the unique and historic aircraft from the Museum’s collection, including one of the RAF’s iconic V-Bombers.

Ticket holders will be given up to six hours to explore everything from British, German and Japanese Second World War fighter aircraft, to the pioneering research and development aircraft, many of which are sole examples.

The popular Vickers Valiant B1, one third of Britain’s strategic nuclear strike force during the 50s and 60s, known as V Force, is guaranteed to be one of the weekend highlights. The Valiant was the first of Bomber Command’s V class aircraft and established Britain’s air-borne nuclear deterrent force before pioneering operational in-flight refuelling in the Royal Air Force. Not only was it the first V-Bomber to enter service, it was also the first to drop an operational British nuclear weapon over Christmas Island in 1957. The Valiant is displayed alongside the Handley Page Victor H2 and Avro Vulcan B2 in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, the only place in the world where you can view all three aircraft together.

Also in the event line-up is the Bristol 188, often a talking point for the Museum’s younger visitors, curious by its unusual design. Built mainly of stainless steel, this aircraft was designed to investigate the effects of heat on aircraft structures at very high speeds. To protect the pilot against heat build-up a special cockpit refrigeration system was installed. Nicknamed ‘Flaming Pencil’, only two Bristol 188s ever flew, a third being used for ground tests.

Families will get the chance to climb on board and explore the Short Brothers Belfast, a giant of the RAF’s Cold War air fleet and take a seat inside the Focke Wulf FW 190, one of the most successful combat aircraft of the Second World War and the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. Marvel at the cockpit of the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire I, the most iconic aircraft of all time (close view only) and view inside the fuselage of the Avro Lincoln B2.

Other aircraft open exclusively for the event include: Hunting H126, English Electric P1A, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3, Kawasaki Ki-100-1b (close view only) and the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII. Aircraft will be manned by over 70 volunteers and cadets.

A total of 300 tickets per day are available for Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October and are available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or on the day subject to availability, costing £13.50 per person. The ticket price also includes parking and a 10% discount on purchases made in the Museum shop on the day. For an additional £1.00, ticket holders can purchase a Log Book to keep a record of the aircraft they’ve accessed! A minimum height requirement of 1.07 metres applies for this event. Entry to the Museum is free of charge.

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Newark Aeroboot

Saturday 12th October 2019

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 12th October 2019. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again is a sell-out event.

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the development of facilities at its Gateway Aviation Site, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

Forty eight (48) 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 12th October, 2019 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.

Lysander restored to former glory

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

Lysander at Cosford

A Second World War Westland Lysander III (S.D.), the only surviving Special Duties variant of its type has been restored to its former glory at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

The aircraft has undergone conservation work including a new fabric outer skin and complete repaint in the Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre. Formerly displayed at the Museum’s London site in No 225 Squadron markings, the Lysander is now painted in No 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme, reflecting its service towards the end of the war in non-operational special transport services.

Following the Lysander’s arrival at Cosford in November 2016, the aircraft underwent an in-depth inspection and condition assessment followed by a few minor structural repairs. The airframe’s damaged fabric covering was replaced while a team of volunteers cleaned and lubricated mechanical systems back to a functional state.

The aircrafts biggest transformation comes from the recovering of its airframe in a traditional Irish linen fabric, hand sewn by the Museum’s Surface Finish Technician and then strengthened using original doping techniques.

RAF Museum, Surface Finish Technician Clive Roberts said:
“Thousands of stiches were made attaching the linen to the fuselage, wings and tailplane followed by six coats of doping, a UV microwave protection layer, primer and then finally painted in its 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme. It’s a slow process but essential to preserving the aircraft for as long as possible. We sought the help of a Lysander expert based in Switzerland, who provided us with original photographs and technical drawings to help with the paint scheme. One of the photos shows that during R9125’s service with 161 Squadron the cooling gills were incorrectly fitted so the camouflage no longer lined up. Since this has been documented we will change ours to match that.”

The Museum’s example, serial number R9125 first became operational with No 225 Squadron in 1940 as a coastal patrol and photo reconnaissance aircraft, based along the south coast of England. It took on the Special Duties role with No 161 Squadron in 1944 and was operational for a further two years until they became obsolete from the RAF in 1946.

The Lysander was originally designed for Army Co-operation duties including artillery spotting and reconnaissance. However, its lasting fame is not in this role, but as a Special Duties aircraft ferrying Allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe. Despite some notable successes, the Army Co-operation units suffered extremely high casualties – over 170 Lysanders were sent to France in 1939 and only 50 came back. Following their withdrawal from France, Lysanders patrolled the coastal areas of south and east England as an anti-invasion reconnaissance measure and later, began air-sea rescue duties in the Channel and North Sea.

Visitors to the RAF Museum Cosford will get the first glimpse of the aircraft during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week in November, before it’s transported in the new year to the Museum’s London site for public display.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s been a real privilege to work on such a beautiful aircraft. The reason she came to the Conservation Centre at RAF Museum Cosford was because the Irish Linen was deteriorating and needed to be replaced; this was not the original Second World War covering. Apart from this work our main aim was to conserve as much of the original aircraft as possible; the majority of the aircraft has had little work done to her apart from a clean and an application of a museum standard wax to help protect any bare metal areas. We have a few tasks still outstanding as we are looking at fitting a long-range fuel tank and a ladder as this would have been standard fit in her Special Ops role. The fresh paint scheme has given her a new lease of life and she is going to look great when she goes back on public display. The aircraft will return to our London site in 2020 but anyone who would like to view the aircraft will have the chance at our Open Week in November.”

From 11-16 November visitors can get up close to the current conservation projects undertaken by the team of Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers at Cosford during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week. In addition to the Lysander, visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington, Range Safety Launch, Messerschmitt Me 410, Dornier Do 17 and the LVG C.VI and speak with the teams who carry out this vital work.

The Conservation Centre will open from 10.15am to 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 display hangars will open from 10.00am until 4.00pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.