Me 262 rejoins Cosford’s German aircraft collection

June 2nd, 2017

Me262

Auf Wiedersehen London, Hallo Cosford!

The most advanced fighter aircraft of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Me 262, has been transported by road to its new home at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. This particular aircraft, Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe (Swallow) can already be seen by members of the public in its dismantled condition within one of the Museum’s display hangars.

The Me 262 is returning to Cosford after 14 years on display at the RAF Museum London. Prior to the move the aircraft was dismantled by Museum Technicians and Apprentices and arrived safely at Cosford just under a week ago. Over the coming weeks it will be re-assembled and displayed alongside fellow German fighters the Me109, FW190 and the Ju88 night fighter in the ‘War in the Air’ hangar. This fleet of rare Second World War Luftwaffe aircraft is a huge pull for Cosford, which is also home to their rival RAF equivalents.

The Me 262 was the only jet fighter to see air-to-air combat in the Second World War and its appearance was a great shock to the Allies. It was a significantly more advanced design than its British counterparts and many of its aerodynamic secrets were eagerly incorporated in later post-war combat aircraft.

Preliminary design work on what was to become the Me 262 began in 1938. Persistent problems with the turbojets intended for the aircraft delayed the project and the first flight by a Me 262 using jet power alone did not take place until July 1942. In December 1943 Hitler decreed that the Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) should only be manufactured as a fighter bomber. Senior Luftwaffe officers believed that the Me262 was more valuable as a fighter, and Hitler’s wishes were initially ignored much to his subsequent fury.

Small numbers of Me 262 fighters and fighter bombers were used operationally by the Luftwaffe from mid-1944. Allied pilots found the Me 262 a formidable opponent and special tactics were adopted to meet the new threat. However, chronic supply shortages meant that few Me 262s saw combat and the true potential of the Me 262 was never realised.

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said:
“The first Messerschmitt Me 262’s entered service in the autumn of 1944, as the first turbojet fighter to do so it heralded a new era in aerial warfare and represented a step change in technology. Today very few original examples survive so we are delighted to present this significant aircraft to our visitors at Cosford. Following the RAF Cosford Air Show on 11 June, the Me 262 will be reassembled so now is a good opportunity to catch a rare glimpse of this famous aircraft in its dismantled state.”

The new arrival isn’t alone….a second aircraft to move up to Cosford from London in recent weeks is the Hawker Hart Trainer, an advanced trainer version of the original Hawker Hart bomber. The Hart was introduced in 1930 and immediately became a great success; its performance exceeding that of contemporary fighters. The basic design was readily adapted for other roles including a fighter variant (the Demon) and an Army Co-operation version (the Audax). Aviation fans can now view the Hart in Hangar 1.

Both new arrivals are in addition to the six aircraft transported to Cosford at the end of 2016/early 2017 which include the Messerschmitt BF109G-2, the de Havilland Tiger Moth II, the Junkers Ju88 and the Gloster Gladiator 1, all four aircraft are now on display. The Wolverhampton built Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.1 will be joining the new line-up in the ‘War in the Air’ hangar soon and will be positioned alongside the Gladiator, whilst the Westland Lysander III will remain in the Conservation Centre and will undergo some minor repair work to its fragile linen skin.

The aircraft moves come as the Museum prepares for the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations in 2018 that will see the Museum transform its London site with a series of new permanent exhibitions opening in the summer of 2018. The multi-million pound development programme will see investments in new exhibitions, improved education and volunteering opportunities, and landscaping that will emphasise the site’s importance as a heritage airfield. It will improve the visitor experience, extend the Museum’s reach to new audiences and create a lasting legacy to mark the Centenary.

The enhanced aircraft collection at Cosford will enable the RAF’s story to be more comprehensively represented to Museum audiences in the Midlands. In addition, plans for 2018 will include displays exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, the role it plays today and its future contributions. Making the RAF story available to a global audience there will be a huge investment in the Museum’s online offer.

Aviation fans can keep up to date with the centenary aircraft moves and on-going developments by signing up to the Museum’s free e-Newsletter http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/contact-us/newsletters.aspx

The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm and entry is FREE. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

F-35 Lightning II Model at RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2017

May 31st, 2017

F-35 Model

The Royal Navy’s next generation carrier strike fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, will be represented at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 8 July with a full-scale model supplied by Lockheed Martin.

The Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed for many missions with advanced, integrated sensors built into every aircraft. Missions that were traditionally performed by small numbers of specialized aircraft, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and electronic attack missions can now be executed by a squadron of F-35s, bringing new capabilities to UK armed forces.

The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy plan to operate 138 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft. British pilots and maintainers are already embedded within the U.S. Marine Corps and their fleet of F-35Bs as part of an Anglo-American training programme. The operational test and evaluation of the UK’s first F-35s is currently taking place at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Meanwhile in the UK, personnel from RNAS Culdrose, RAF Marham and HMS Queen Elizabeth are well underway with preparations to receive the new aircraft. It is hoped the first F-35Bs will embark on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier for trials in the next few years.

“I am delighted that we will be able to show the public a full-scale model of the UK’s Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft at our International Air Day. This aircraft will fly off the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers from 2018 as they safeguard the UK’s interests well into the future. A great opportunity to get a sense of the fixed wing aircraft that will soon be in service with the Fleet Air Arm” says Commander Terry Tyack, RNAS Yeovilton’s Commander Air.

Air Day will provide a great opportunity to see first-hand the size and stealthy characteristics and hear about the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s F-35B Lighting II. The full-scale model will take its place in the static display alongside other iconic fixed wing carrier aircraft such as the Phantom and Sea Harrier.

Discounted advance tickets are available over the counter at participating Tourist Information Centres and online at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

More US aircraft join Air Tattoo salute

May 28th, 2017

Osprey

Visitors to this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds will be able to view one of the biggest gatherings of US military aircraft at a UK airshow in recent years.

In addition to the USAF display team the Thunderbirds, a B-1 and B-52 bomber and a stateof-the-art F-22 fighter jet already revealed, the Americans have announced that many more exciting aircraft will be arriving at the air base as the airshow prepares to stage the biggest celebration of the US Air Force’s 70th anniversary anywhere in Europe.

The airshow, which takes place on July 14-16, will also feature two CV-22B Ospreys, whose unique tiltrotors enable them to fly like a helicopter or like a fixed-wing aircraft. The aircraft, one of which will be in the flying programme and the other on display in the static park, has been used as a Special Forces transport aircraft thanks to its impressive speed and manoeuvrability.

Also confirmed for the static park will be two F-16C fighter jets from Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany; an MC-130J Commando II tactical transport and tanker aircraft, based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, used to support Special Operations; and a massive C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft which will travel all the way from Charleston, South Carolina.

Finally, the United States Navy will be showcasing the world’s most capable maritime patrol aircraft, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, on the ground at RAF Fairford. The aircraft is on order for the Royal Air Force, who will take delivery of their first example from 2019, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “The Air Tattoo enjoys a great relationship with the US military which stretches back almost four decades and over the years this has resulted in some very memorable tributes marking key milestones in the USAF’s history.

“Earlier this year the US military promised us their full support in marking their 70th anniversary and now we’re seeing them deliver. It’s fantastic. The range of American military aircraft on display at the Air Tattoo is going to be awesome – and there’s still time for more to be added!”

The Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. To view prices and enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com. All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.

Airfield run returns in September

May 28th, 2017

RAF Cosford Spitfire 10k Run

Date: 3 September 2017
Time: Race starts at 10am
Cost: Standard entry £22.50 per person (15 years and over)

Calling all runners….the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford needs you! The Spitfire 10K will be returning to the RAF Museum Cosford this September and will give participants the unique opportunity to race across the airfield and down the runway at RAF Cosford, in an exclusive charity run raising money for the RAF Museum!

Taking place on Sunday 3 September 2017, registration is now open for runners to sign up and set themselves a new and unique sporting challenge.

Taking-off from the Museum’s Hangar 1, visitors will head outside and begin the race with a loop of the Museum site past iconic aircraft including the VC10, Hercules and Nimrod, before heading onto the airfield at RAF Cosford. Participants will run alongside the wartime hangars, the air traffic control tower and of course, the race wouldn’t be complete without a sprint down the runway! The scenic route around the military airfield will take runners past several historic landmarks along the way and then it’s back onto the Museum site to cross the finish line. Upon completion, runners will be rewarded with a bespoke 2017 Spitfire 10K medal, a perfect and well-earned memento of their day.

RAF Museum Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“In 2016 we had over 650 runners participate in the first Spitfire 10K and this year we hope to beat that number and see even more people sprinting down the runway. It’s such a unique event, there really is no other race like it and the feedback from everyone who took part last year was phenomenal. We already have over 300 runners signed up for the 2017 Spitfire 10K and we have been working hard designing the new 2017 medal and t-shirts we’re sure runners will love.”

This UK Athletics licenced race over an accurately measured course is suitable for keen runners and novices alike, so if you’re aged 15 and over why not give it a go? Whether you’ve been running for years, or you’re just getting into the sport for the first time, the race at Cosford is guaranteed to be a fun and memorable one.

Organisers are also encouraging participants to get into the spirit of the Spitfire 10K by dressing in wartime attire – don your victory curls or flying jacket and run this event in style! Or, why not sport a bespoke 2017 Spitfire 10K t-shirt, available to purchase when you register online. The Spitfire 10K will be a fun family day out and spectators are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Plus, following the race, visitors have the added bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free Museum, where they will find over 75 historical aircraft on display.

Runners can arrive from 8.00am onwards and it will be ready, steady….scramble at 10.00am sharp!

To register for the event visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Entry costs £22.50 per person with proceeds going towards the RAF Museum (registered charity number 244708), to support work conserving and sharing the story of the RAF for current and future generations. Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person. For further details about the event, visit the Museum’s website or call 01902 376200.

Canadians Return to Lincolnshire Skies

May 28th, 2017

Canadian Hornet

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is sending one of its CF-18 Hornet fighter jets to the Scampton Airshow, renewing the air arm’s long relationship with Lincolnshire that dates back to the Second World War.

The distinctive twin-engine fighter, a version of the F/A-18 Hornet produced by McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, is the backbone of the Canadian Air Force, and will be one of the stars of the extensive static display in the airshow, which takes place at RAF Scampton on September 9-10.

Thousands of Canadian airmen were based in Lincolnshire during the war serving within the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command, Coastal Command and Fighter Command. One unit flying bombers, 420 Squadron was formed at RAF Waddington near Lincoln in December 1941, and flew more than 530 sorties in eight months before transferring to Yorkshire where the bulk of the RCAF bomber squadrons were based.

Three land-based Canadian Coastal Command squadrons were located in Lincolnshire at RAF North Coates and RAF Strubby and many of the RCAF’s Fighter Command units were based in the area for periods of the war. One of them, 401 Squadron which flew Spitfires is still operating today flying the CF-18.

Airshow Director Paul Sall said: “The history between Lincolnshire and the Royal Canadian Air Force is undeniably strong with many Canadian Air Force personnel based in the county through the Second World War. The connection with RAF Scampton is particularly of note with 30 members of the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron being Royal Canadian Air Force. To confirm the Royal Canadian Air Force will be sending a CF-18 Hornet to be part of the inaugural Scampton Airshow is just magnificent and reinforces the long standing relationship with Lincolnshire.”

“We’re yet to receive confirmation which unit will be sending the CF-18 but we’re all keeping our fingers’ crossed, that give its links with the county, it will come from 401 Squadron.”

Scampton Airshow tickets can only be purchased in advance at www.scamptonairshow.com. Tickets are priced at £39 with all under 16s able to enjoy the airshow free when accompanied by an adult ticket-holder.

WFS becomes Museum Centenary Partner

May 26th, 2017

WFS

World Fuel Services, with its regional center based in London, United Kingdom, proudly announced this week that they have become a Founding Member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum’s Corporate Membership Programme and a RAF Centenary Partner. With the 100th anniversary of RAF’s founding taking place in June of 2018, World Fuel Services will participate in many of the celebrations and events planned around this milestone.

The museum operates two sites, one in Hendon, North London, and the second in Cosford. Both offer free admission to the public. Its mission is “to tell the story of tell the story of the Royal Air Force through its people and collections” and “to ensure that the Royal Air Force’s story endures and enriches future generations.” The museum accomplishes this through a world-class collection and display of aircraft, special exhibitions, films, interactives, artwork, engines, missiles, photographs, medals, uniforms along with research and education facilities.

“World Fuel Services is delighted to support the RAF Museum as a Founding Member of its Corporate Membership Programme and an RAF Centenary Partner. We are committed to the aviation space, with a long and proud history of delivering aviation fuel, services and solutions to the Military, General and Commercial aviation sectors. It’s very exciting for our company to be able to play our part in sharing the stories and celebrating the RAF’s achievements with the community and the hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts who visit the museum. We look forward to playing our role in many museum and centenary events over the coming years, including the RAF centenary celebrations planned for June 2018,” commented Mark Amor, World Fuel Services’ Vice President of Commercial Development.

“It’s wonderful to have World Fuel Services on board as our Founding Corporate Member; we are looking forward to working together to build a long term relationship for the future.” Says Maggie Appleton MBE, CEO of the Royal Air Force Museum
World Fuel Services’ sponsorship directly supports the ongoing redevelopment efforts of the museum’s Hendon location. This includes new exhibitions showcasing the RAF’s first 100 years and the role of the RAF from the Cold War into the future, along with outdoor renovations and landscaping to bring back the sense of space and place of the historic Hendon Aerodrome.

To learn more about World Fuel Services’ full suite of business and general aviation solutions, join World Fuel Services in stand A67 at the 2017 European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE 2017) in Geneva, May 22-24.

www.rafmuseum.org

Museum aircraft join Air Show line-up

May 23rd, 2017

BAe Harrier GR9

A collection of aircraft from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be joining the line-up in a static display at the RAF Cosford Air Show, taking place on Sunday 11 June 2017. Aircraft confirmed to appear include the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP), the BAe Harrier GR9A and completing the Museum’s display at this year’s show is the Hawker Hurricane IIc.

As part of the Air Show’s key theme this year ‘International Co-operation’, the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) and the BAe Harrier GR9A will be rolled out from the Museum hangars and exhibited outside on the airfield, forming part of a unique display of aircraft which are manufactured in multinational environments. These aircraft show the evolution of aircraft design and construction from single manufacturer through joint company schemes to multinational component manufacture. Both aircraft are sure to be a popular attraction for aviation fans visiting the show, which attracts in excess of 50,000 visitors each year.

This year’s RAF Cosford Air Show will also be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, originally formed as the Historic Aircraft Flight in 1957. This national treasure and jewel in the RAF’s crown will be marking the anniversary with a special flying display. On the ground, the RAF Museum’s Hawker Hurricane IIc will be on static display allowing aviation fans to get up close to one of Britain’s most iconic aircraft and the main aircraft of RAF Fighter Command squadrons during the Battle of Britain.

RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Al McLean said:
“This is the perfect opportunity for aviation fans and photographers to get stand-alone photos of our aircraft outside of the hangar, particularly the EAP which is unique to Cosford and is rarely seen outside. We are delighted to be able to support the show again this year with static aircraft displays and we hope they will prove popular with visitors.”

In addition to the aircraft displays, the Museum’s Access and Learning team will be running workshops in the Whittle Innovation Centre on the airfield throughout the day, where families can take part in rocket car activities, in free drop-in sessions. There will also be the opportunity to try on some of the jackets, hats and flying goggles from the Museum’s handling collection and view some of the objects used by RAF personnel through the years. To find out more about the Museum and the wide range of learning opportunities available, head to the Whittle Innovation Centre and speak with the team.

RAF Museum Cosford Access and Learning Manager, Julie Brierley said:
“Last year was our first time exhibiting at the Air Show and we were delighted that over 1,000 visitors took part in our STEM workshops. This year, we will again be showcasing some of the activities we run with school groups and we actively encourage families to get involved and have a go. There will be free rocket car workshops running throughout the day in the Whittle Innovation Centre building, situated on the airfield and we hope that families will join us for some hands-on fun.”

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are advanced sale only and cost £25 per person with free entry for accompanied under 16s. Tickets will not be available to purchase on the gate so to avoid disappointment, visit the show’s website www.cosfordairshow.co.uk and book online. Tickets are also available to purchase in advance from the Museum.

Old Buckenham Airshow completes its 2017 display roster with a 25 tonne movie star

May 23rd, 2017

B27 Sally B

Old Buckenham Airfield is thrilled to reveal the last act of its 2017 Airshow display lineup; the extraordinary Boeing B-17 ‘Sally B’, star of Hollywood blockbuster “Memphis Belle”. The Airshow, winner of the EDP Tourism Awards “Family Event of the Year” in 2016, will take place on the 29th and 30th July.

The Flying Fortress completes the 2017 lineup; arguably the most diverse in the Airshow’s long history. Along with the B-17 three other wartime icons will be displaying on the afternoon of the 30th July; the Supermarine Spitfire, North American P-51 Mustang and Hawker Hurricane; arguably the three most recognisable and evocative fighters of World War II.

The exotic warbirds will be joined by a mixture of extraordinary acts, from the high energy aerobatics of the Extra 300, chased around the sky by a 41% scale model, to another American Airshow legend; Otto the Helicopter flown by the incomparable Brendan O’Brien who will also once again attempt to land on a moving vehicle whilst aboard his Piper Cub.

The Airshow will once again also provide one of the largest classic car gatherings in the region, along with a vast military display including tank rides. Pleasure flights are available courtesy of a Bell executive helicopter and show-goers can also start their flying career in a variety of machines, including a WWII Boeing Biplane. Popular favourites such as the Food Village (we only allow reasonably priced quality local food vendors on site) and the Attack and Destroy Bar will return with a bespoke range of beers created solely for the weekend. For families, the host of amenities that made us Award Winners are maintained and improved upon, but one key element remains; kids under 12 continue to have free admission to the show.

For the second year in a row the show will be televised and advance ticket sales have set another record, the fifth year in a row where a new level has been set. As a result the pre-purchase of tickets is highly advisable.

Matt Wilkins, Airshow Organiser said “It was a tall order trying to match last year’s display which featured more horsepower than before. This year we truly have something for everyone, including the coveted trio of Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang. Kids and adults across the US have been amazed by Otto the Helicopter and we’re delighted to be able to bring him to Norfolk for the first time. We’ve done all we can to live up to our award of “Family Event of the Year” and look forward to another great weekend on the 29th and 30th of July”

All information including ticket sales is available online at www.oldbuckenhamairshow.co.uk

Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers at Air Day

May 20th, 2017

Bristol Scout

Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 8 July plans to inspire the next generation of engineers with an extensive display of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related interactive exhibits. Leading the way will be a full-scale replica of Bloodhound, the vehicle attempting to travel at 1,000 mph for the World Land Speed Record later this year.

The Bloodhound Team is sharing this engineering adventure with a global audience and aims to inspire the next generation by bringing STEM to life in the most exciting way possible. The vehicle can cover a mile in 3.6 seconds, four and half football pitches in one second or 150 metres in the blink of an eye! Bloodhound will be powered by the same Rolls-Royce jet engine that can be found in an RAF Typhoon, an example of which will be taking part in the flying display.

Whilst Bloodhound will be part of the outdoor ground attractions there will also be a dedicated STEM hangar with activities provided by The Imagineering Foundation, The Royal Aeronautical Society and My Future My Choice. They will be presenting fun and exciting engineering and technology activities for youngsters, specially developed by regional and national organisations. There will be something for all ages and opportunities to learn about the fascinating modern cutting-edge technology that is around us every day – with plenty of opportunities to have fun!

On static display within the STEM hangar, in stark contrast to today’s technology and engineering achievements, will be the world’s only airworthy Bristol Scout. This wonderful WW1-era, rotary-engined, single-seat biplane became the first British aircraft to roll its wheels off a Royal Navy carrier’s deck in 1915. The Bristol Scout will help showcase Britain’s pioneering aviation heritage and the evolution to today’s fast jets that will take part in the flying display.

Discounted advance tickets are now also available over the counter at participating Tourist Information Centres. Further information and online booking available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Italians to Whip up a Storm at RAF Cosford Air Show

May 12th, 2017

Italian Air Force Tornado

The flying display line-up for the RAF Cosford Air Show received yet another exciting boost this week, with the news that the Italian Air Force will be sending an A-200 Tornado to perform on Sunday 11th June!

The Panavia Tornado is a swing-wing, combat aircraft, jointly developed by Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom in the 1970s. The Tornado will be familiar to many Air Show visitors, as the type is also flown by the Royal Air Force, but this will be the first time an Italian example, operated by 311º Flight Group, part of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo, will be appearing at the event. It is hoped that the jet used for the flying display will be adorned in a special paint scheme, unveiled earlier this year in Italy, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 311° Gruppo.

The Italian Air Force will also be sending a C-27J Spartan, a tactical transport aircraft, for static display at the Air Show. Air Show Deputy Director, Marilyn Summers, said, “The Tornado is another display item which will thrill and excite our audience, complimenting the amazing line-up of RAF aircraft which are already committed to perform during the six-hour flying display. We are anticipating yet another sell out so we recommend purchasing Air Show tickets as soon as possible to avoid missing out!”

With the Air Show rapidly approaching, organisers are reminding visitors that they are not able to purchase admission tickets at the gate. Air Show Tickets, priced £25.00, are currently available from the Air Show website and selected retail outlets including the RAF Museum and local Tourist Information Centres. Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event a superb family day out. The RAF Cosford Air Show is an advanced ticket only event, for more details see www.cosfordairshow.co.uk.