Fleet Air Arm Museum offers special access to witness historic Lynx last flight

March 4th, 2017

Lynx 815 squadron Fleet Air Arm Museum

Visitors to Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum will get a ringside view of the historic decommissioning and final flight of the Lynx helicopter’s service from the Royal Navy on 23rd March.

A six-minute long flying display by 815 Naval Air Squadron of RNAS Yeovilton can be seen from the special viewing area at the rear of the museum. The display will be free to view for all museum ticket holders on the day.

The Lynx has been a world leader in maritime operations for the last 41 years. It may also still have an analogue cockpit and be oily and battle-scarred; but for those who have flown, maintained and enjoyed its presence in the skies overhead will no doubt mourn the passing of this hugely-successful all British maritime helicopter. Four decades in operational theatres as diverse as Antarctica, the Far East, the Arabian Gulf and Caribbean are being brought to a fitting end with the decommissioning.

The Farewell Lynx event, running concurrently with the formal military decommissioning ceremony, provides the perfect opportunity for the ex-Lynx community to meet up with old flight members and shipmates, or for members of the public to simply browse the Lynx exhibitions, watch her final airborne display, and become part of this aircraft’s great history.

Museum staff will be on-hand to discuss the history in greater depth, and a Book of Commemoration will be donated by 815 Naval Air Squadron for comments, memories and stories. There will also be an opportunity to purchase a limited stock of Lynx memorabilia including pictures and prints to support the Squadron’s charity funds.
The airborne display will commence at 11.45am and last for approximately six minutes. Entry to the external viewing area is free with a valid museum ticket.

Tickets available from www.fleetairarm.com

VC10 ZA150 Open Day at Dunsfold Aerodrome

March 4th, 2017

VC10 at Dunsfold Aerodrome

Date: Sat March 11th 2017
Time: 10:30am – 3:30pm
Price: £5 per person
Location: Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey

On Saturday 11th March we will be holding an Open Day at Dunsfold Aerodrome for our VC10 ZA150, which lives there. This was the very last VC10 of 54 built at Brooklands in the 1960s and was one of the last two to fly with the RAF from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. On its retirement in September 2013 it was acquired by Brooklands Museum and flew in to Dunsfold, where a team of dedicated volunteers maintain it in running order.

Entry is by pre-purchased ticket only and the timetable is as follows:

10.30-12.30 Visits on board the aircraft – morning session ticket holders
12.30-13:30 Aircraft closed to prepare for engine run at approx. 13:00
13.30-15.30 Visits on board the aircraft – afternoon session ticket holders

Tickets must be booked for either the morning or afternoon session. Afternoon session ticket holders may arrive from 12:30pm.


Museum launches new Cold War Lunchtime Lecture series

March 3rd, 2017

Gloster Javelin

Date: 17 March 2017
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at RAF Museum Cosford

On 17 March, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be hosting the first Cold War Lunchtime Lecture of 2017 with a lecture entitled ‘Coping with Technological Uncertainty: Military Aircraft Procurement, 1945-1957’. In this lecture, Professor Keith Hayward, a consultant and writer on aerospace and aviation issues, will examine Britain’s military aircraft procurement process during the early period of the Cold War.
Each lecture in the series discusses a different topic related to Cold War air power and to kick start the 2017 series, Professor Keith Hayward will be discussing aircraft procurement from the period at the end of the Second World War through to the Sandys White Paper of 1957. This paper set forth the perceived future of the British military and had profound effects on all aspects of the defence industry during a major period in the development of British aviation technology.

The lecture will begin by covering the immediate post-war hiatus in new developments driven by a mixture of austerity, technological uncertainty and prudence and will then consider the impact of the Korean Emergency and the hurried re-armament programme of the 1950s. It was during this period that the Hawker Hunter, Supermarine Swift and Gloster Javelin programmes came into focus, as well as the challenge and problems of acquiring a new generation of jet aircraft that culminated in the 1955 crisis and subsequent White Paper. Professor Hayward will consider the reforms in procurement that were introduced in the English Electric P1 programme and more controversially for OR339. The lecture will then conclude with a discussion around Sandys White paper with final thoughts about its intent and outcomes.

Professor Keith Hayward was formally Professor of International Relations at Staffordshire University, Head of Economic and Political Affairs at the UK aerospace trade association and until January 2015, Head of Research at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. He has consulted for several companies and government departments, including the UK Ministry of Defence and the Department of Business, Innovation and Science. He has acted as an advisor to the UK House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. He has taken part in two recent collaborative studies of the space industry on behalf of the Commission of the European Union and the European Space Agency and is also the author of several books and over 100 articles and chapters on aerospace and aviation issues.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2017. ‘Coping with Technological Uncertainty: Military Aircraft Procurement, 1945-1957’, is the first of four lectures taking place at Cosford this year. 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.

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said:
“The early Cold War period was a time rapid technological change combined with austerity in Britain, which led to a number of challenges in the procurement of new aircraft. In this lecture, Professor Hayward, a recognised expert on Britain’s aviation industry, will explore this important period and the factors that affected aircraft procurement for the British military.”

This FREE lecture will be held in the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 17 March, lasting approximately 1 ½ hours. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

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.

Model show returns to Cosford in April

February 27th, 2017

Shropshire Model Show

Date: 2 April 2017
Time: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Cost: FREE entry

The popular Shropshire Scale Model Show will be returning to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Sunday 2 April 2017.

This annual event attracts thousands of visitors each year and takes place nestled amongst the world-class collection of aircraft and military vehicles on display at the Museum. Thousands of intricately detailed models of aircraft, cars, bikes, trucks and science fiction items will be spread across the whole site, filling the Museum hangars with a world of model making. Over 100 modelling clubs and traders from across the country will be attending the one day show this year.

With modelling clubs displaying their creations, many of which have taken years to perfect, and traders selling everything any dedicated modeller could ever want or need, model making fans are guaranteed to enjoy the show. Items on offer will include a range of modelling materials and kits to suit modellers of all abilities, from young children who are just discovering their passion for modelling, right through to the avid modellers who have been building kits for many years. There will be everything from kits in various sizes along with glues, paints and other detailed sets available to purchase on the day.

Event organiser, Gary Stevens Secretary of the Shropshire Scale Modellers and The Telford Branch of The International Plastic Modellers Society says:
“We’ve made a few changes to the shows layout this year, working around the Museum’s new aircraft arrivals, which I’m sure will be popular with visitors. We have lots of the popular traders and exhibitors returning to the show again this year and we look forward to welcoming model fans to the event.”

To make reaching the Museum even easier, there will be a free park and ride for the day to cope with the additional visitors, running from Cosford train station. The show will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm and entry to the event is FREE of charge. For further information, please visit the museum website at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Newark Indoor Aeroboot Sale Sat 4th March

February 26th, 2017

Newark Aeroboot

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Saturday 4th March 2017

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 4th March 2017. 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 Project Panini (Mod) fund raising campaign to build a 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 / sellers 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 4th March, 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.

France under Friendly Bombs is Focus of Lecture

February 23rd, 2017

Aerial Photo

Date: 9 March 2017
Time: 6.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: University of Wolverhampton, MC001, Millennium City Building, Wolverhampton Campus

The Allied bombing campaign against targets in France during the Second World War will be the focus of a lecture taking place at the University of Wolverhampton next month. The lecture entitled ‘France under Friendly Bombs, 1940-1945’ will be presented by Professor Andrew Knapp, Emeritus Professor of French Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Reading, also an accomplished author on the subject.

Taking place on Thursday 9 March 2017, this lecture is a continuation of the joint partnership between the University’s Department of War Studies and the Royal Air Force Museum. Delivered by emerging and established researchers, these lectures explore a variety of air power related topics ranging from historical themes to contemporary issues.

During this first lecture for 2017 at the University, Professor Andrew Knapp will discuss how studies of the Allied strategic bombing offensive during the Second World War have tended, logically, to focus on the main target, Germany. Yet, over one in every five bombs dropped by the Allies on continental Europe during the Second World War fell on France. Although most of the raids were linked, directly or indirectly, to the Normandy landings, the Allies bombed France from June 1940 till April 1945, and they killed over 57,000 French civilians – a figure of the same order as the British civilian death toll from German action in the same period. This lecture offers an overview of a comparatively neglected aspect of the Allied offensive.

The lecture will begin with a focus on the offensive against France from the Allies’ perspective. When and where did most of the raids take place and what were the main target sets? How relevant to France were non-material objectives such as morale and what opposition did Allied aircraft face from the Luftwaffe? What political problems were presented by bombing a friendly people, and how, if at all, did bombing techniques differ between raids on France and the Reich? Professor Andrew Knapp will examine how successful this aspect of the Allied offensive was, before moving on to consider the French reactions to the Allied offensive.

The second part of the lecture will focus on the French reactions from a variety of perspectives, including the Vichy state’s efforts to develop civil defence, evacuation measures, and emergency relief. There will be discussions around Vichy’s attempts to use the raids for propaganda purposes and the Allies’ attempts to justify their actions to the French public. Intercepted letters and telephone calls will be used to highlight the French public opinion at the time, both in general and in relation to Allied aircrews. Professor Andrew Knapp will conclude the hour and a half lecture by reflecting briefly on the wider issue of bombing friendly populations to liberate them and the political costs and benefits.

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said:
“While Germany was the primary target for the Allied bombing campaign in the Second World War, occupied countries, such as France, were also attacked. Targeting occupied countries presented its own set of challenges for both the attackers and the attacked. In this lecture, organised by the RAF Museum and hosted in conjunction with our partner, the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Knapp, a recognised expert on the bombing of France during the Second World War, will discuss some of the issues related to the challenge of bombing France.”

The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2017. ‘France under Friendly Bombs, 1940-1945’, is the first of three joint lectures taking place at the University of Wolverhampton this year. The second lecture in the series will take place in June and the final lecture of the year in November.

This FREE lecture will be held at the University of Wolverhampton, MC001, Millennium City Building, Wolverhampton Campus, at 6.30pm on Thursday 9 March. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

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.

Global Security Company throws its weight behind new airshow

February 23rd, 2017

Northrop Grumman Logo

Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company, pledged its support to the new Scampton Airshow earlier this month with an agreement to become the show’s Title Sponsor.

The Scampton Airshow, held at the home of legendary RAF aerobatic display team the Red Arrows, offers a wide range of sponsorship and networking opportunities for businesses to connect with audiences throughout the show.

Scampton Airshow Director Paul Sall said he was confident that the sponsorship agreement with Northrop Grumman would prove mutually-beneficial as the new event begins to establish itself as a key player within the UKs airshow industry. He said: “To be supported by one of the leading defence and security suppliers in Europe is a huge vote of confidence in our new airshow. Its backing not only underlines the value of the airshow but it also reinforces the airshow’s potential for delivering a first class regional event that will benefit visitors and businesses alike.

“We are very excited to be working with Northrop Grumman at the Scampton Airshow and to building a long and successful relationship.”
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Working closely with the Royal Air Force (RAF), Northrop Grumman has a long-established presence in the UK with a range of programmes, including provision of whole life support for the fleet of E-3D Sentry aircraft based at RAF Waddington. The company performs engineering and logistics support, and sustainment and modernisation for the fleet including depth maintenance to maintain relevant mission capabilities.

The Scampton Airshow is an exciting new event which is expected to attract in excess of 40,000 spectators in its first year alone. Staged in aid of the RAF Charitable Trust, the airshow will take place from 9-10 September at RAF Scampton. Not only will spectators witness an impressive five-hour flying display, but there will be an array of entertainment on the ground, from a nostalgic Vintage Village through to interactive and engaging exhibits from across industry in the Techno Zone.

To find out more about bespoke sponsorship opportunities at the Scampton Airshow, please visit www.scamptonairshow.com/airshow/commercial-opportunities or call Head of Corporate Relations David Winstone on 01285 713380 x5634

Patrouille Suisse Adds Flare to RNAS Yeovilton Air Day

February 22nd, 2017

Patrouille Suisse

The Swiss Air Force’s superb Patrouille Suisse national display team has confirmed that it will participate in RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day’s flying display on Saturday 8 July. Making its first visit to RNAS Yeovilton in a decade, Patrouille Suisse’s mesmerising performance will undoubtedly be one of the memorable highlights at the Somerset airshow.

Equipped with six Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs, painted in the Swiss national colours of red and white, including a large painted flag on the aircraft’s underside, the team’s National pride is both evident and prominent. Regarded as one of the best display teams in Europe, the Patrouille Suisse performs with great precision and panache. Its routine is based on smooth formation manoeuvres, interspersed with dramatic solo and duo passes and includes the outstanding ‘Tunnel’ – one of the most exciting manoeuvres flown by any national team.

The Patrouille Suisse was created in 1964, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Swiss Air Force. Initially equipped with the beloved Hawker Hunter, which it flew for over 30 years, it converted to the Tiger IIs in 1995. Its continued operation of front line combat aircraft throughout its existence marks it as unique on the European Airshow circuit, in contrast to the training Hawks of the Red Arrows for example.

Further display team, fast jet and historic aircraft participation news will be announced in due course. Discounted advance tickets can be purchased at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Bringing Poppies from Flanders Fields

February 18th, 2017

Bronco Demo Team

The Bronco Demo Team’s OV-10 will be bringing Poppies from Flanders Fields to venues and airshows all over Europe in 2017; supporting a message of peace and reconciliation in remembrance of the sacrifice by so many 100 years ago.

The Bronco Demo Team is based at Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport situated just 12 nm East from the Ypres salient. The airfield was first used during World War I, initially by German fighter squadrons and later, during the advance of the Allied Powers leading to the end of the conflict, by the Royal Air Force.

As a commemoration of The Great War, the Bronco Demo Team has adorned their OV-10 Bronco in a truly amazing new “Poppy” livery. The Poppies and “LEST WE FORGET, 1914-18” graphics reflect light differently when the aircraft moves, producing a different shine and brightness at various angles. The effect is outright awesome and very unique!
Our OV-10 Bronco will carry actual Poppy seeds to venues and airshows in 2017, underlining the theme. The seed packets will be offered for sale at the shows, with each bag individually marked with flight date and show name. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

OV-10B Bronco

The Boeing North American Aviation Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s for counter insurgency (COIN) combat. One of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft in the Vietnam War.

The OV-10B variant was produced for Germany in the target tug role. 18 aircraft were delivered in the early 70’s and were equipped with target towing equipment in the fuselage. A clear dome replaced the rear door and a rearwards facing seat was installed in the cargo bay for a winch operator.

Bronco Demo Team

Formed in 2010, the Bronco Demo Team’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate the history of the OV-10 Bronco and the people who designed, built, flew and maintained this unique airplane.


RAF Centenary Exhibition: Behind the scenes

February 18th, 2017

100 objects


The RAF Museum is busy developing it’s London site and preparing exhibits for the RAF Centenary next year One of the areas in the new exhibition will be a timeline covering 100 years of the RAF. Like the exhibition itself, it will not be looking to tell you the whole history of the RAF but will be taking events, some major, some minor and placing them in the appropriate position on the timeline.

Accompanying the timeline will be a number of tactile models showing how aircraft of a similar role have evolved (representative models can be seen in the photos) and a miscellany of roughly 100 smaller objects highlighting many varied aspects of the RAF. It covers technical equipment, (some high tech, some very low tech) and personal items from the mundane to the extraordinary.

A couple of weeks ago we took a long list of roughly 150 items and laid them down on a 10 meter long table to see if we could whittle the list down to about 100. This allowed us to group some of the objects together, see what items worked and which didn’t and get a general feel for what this part of the exhibition may look like…