Striding into the New Year with the Lancaster Challenge

January 11th, 2021

Lancaster Challengre Medal

Date: Registration now open, challenge finishes on 17 May 2021 Cost: £20 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum is striding into the New Year with a brand-new virtual challenge, where participants can choose whether to complete 80K, 150K or even 500K!

Registrations for the Lancaster Challenge opened on Saturday 9 January 2021, exactly 80 years since the first test flight of the Avro Lancaster. Whether you need to walk off the Christmas calories, or get outdoors to beat the lockdown blues, participants of the Lancaster Challenge can walk, run, hike, swim, cycle or row their way to the finish line. Participants will have access to a downloadable log sheet to record their 80K, 150K or 500K distance, before being rewarded with an exclusive, Lancaster Challenge medal after the challenge closes on 17 May, the anniversary of Operation CHASTISE, better known as the Dambusters Raid.

As a virtual race, the Lancaster Challenge can be completed anywhere in the world. Within the first 48 hours of registrations opening, more than 1,850 people have signed up to participate, with entries flying in from across the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, America, Singapore and Thailand. The Armed Forces Community are also showing their support for the Challenge with more than 400 Armed Forces Personnel already taking part.

Online registration is now open at, entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds will go towards supporting the RAF Museum (registered charity number 244708) to enable the Museum to continue sharing the RAF story – past, present and future.

RAF Museum London Public Events Manager, Ella Hewitt said:
“The Lancaster Challenge was due to start on the 2 March, 79 years since the Lancaster’s first mission with the RAF, but we want to keep people motivated and moving in lockdown, so you can begin the challenge as soon as you sign up! Whether you choose to complete 80K, 150K or 500K, participants can select the distance to suit their ability and complete it anytime, anywhere, individually, or with members of their household bubble. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages, but we do recommend under 16’s are accompanied by an adult.”

This year’s bespoke medal design features the Lancaster, arguably the most famous, and certainly the most successful heavy bomber operated by the RAF during the Second World War. With an impressive performance and excellent flying characteristics, the Lancaster soon established its superiority over its rivals. Indeed, it was described by Marshal of the RAF, Sir Arthur Harris, Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, as ‘the greatest single factor in winning the war’. The Lancaster on display at RAF Museum London, known as S for ‘Sugar’ has a distinguished operational record having flown 139 missions during the Second World War.

RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton said:
“During these difficult times, looking after our mental and physical health is important for us all. Key to planning our recovery during the next few weeks and months is that we concentrate more than ever on looking after ourselves and each other and that is why we are encouraging all our staff to take time-out of their day, while working from home, to get outdoors and enjoy some daily exercise. Our staff will be leading the way by participating in the Lancaster Challenge and we hope families, participants from our previous challenge events, along with our friends in the RAF and partner organisations will join us. Support from our Challengers enables us to keep the doors of our Museums open for all generations to enjoy.”

Participants can stay connected and make new friends as they complete the Challenge by joining the RAF Museum Virtual Running Group on Facebook. Meet other Challengers, share your progress and ask fellow participants for advice. However you choose to complete the challenge, the Museum would love to hear from you! Tag @rafmuseum in your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or with #LancasterChallenge2021.

Limited edition Lancaster Challenge T-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online. The souvenir T-shirts cost £14.00 and will be delivered with your medal following the end of the challenge. Sizes range from small to XX Large.

Or why not consider fundraising for the RAF Museum, pledge to raise £80 and receive your souvenir Lancaster Challenge t-shirt for free, delivered with your medal at the end of the challenge. Starting your fundraising could not be simpler, select the sponsorship option when signing up online and head to our Lancaster Challenge JustGiving page. Once you have set up your JustGiving page, our team will be in touch with some handy tips to kick start your fundraising.

To register for the Lancaster Challenge visit Entry costs £20 per person, additional booking and postage charges apply for overseas participants.

Vintage Desford plane charts course for public display

December 8th, 2020

RS Desford

A vintage plane offering a glimpse into Leicestershire’s aviation history is set to move from storage to a new home in an aircraft museum.

Leicestershire County Council is considering moving the Reid and Sigrist Desford ‘Bobsleigh’ plane – nicknamed the ‘Desford Bomber’ – to Newark Air Museum where it will go on public display.

The twin engine light aircraft, built as a prototype trainer in 1945 in Desford, was acquired by the council in 2005 and took to the skies for a successful test flight in 2018 after being restored by Windmill Aviation.

Currently in the care of the specialist team who restored it at Spanhoe Aerodrome, the council’s museum service has never had the space to display the aircraft when fully assembled.

Councillor Richard Blunt, cabinet member for heritage, said: “This in an important plane that offers a fascinating insight into engineering and aviation history and a transfer to Newark Air Museum will ensure it can be put on display for all to see.

Newark Air Museum have shown they can provide the long-term care it requires. Their specialist expertise in interpreting, displaying and conserving aircraft will ensure that the plane is publicly accessible, appropriately interpreted and continues to be properly cared for and maintained.”

Howard Heeley, Newark Air Museum Trustee, said: “The museum trustees are excited at the possibility of being able to display the unique Desford aircraft, which fits several criteria in our Collecting Policy.

It will be a wonderful addition to our collection and we are pleased that it will now be displayed in the local area for everyone to enjoy.”

The proposal will be discussed by the council’s cabinet on 15 December – watch the meeting online at:

Great News – Newark Air Museum Re-Opening

November 30th, 2020

Newark Air Museum Re-Opening

The Newark Air Museum (NAM) is a registered charity, located in eastern Nottinghamshire; close to the border with Lincolnshire; like many similar organisations it has been closed throughout the second Covid-19 lockdown.

The good news is that the museum will re-open to the public on Saturday 5th December at 10am. Throughout December and the Christmas Holiday period it will also be open on the following days; however, some restrictions will be in place:

Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December
Weds 9th December
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th December
Weds 16th December
Saturday 19th to Wednesday 23rd December (inclusive)
Sunday 27th to Thurs 31st December (inclusive)
Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd January 2021

To comply with the regulations, NAM will not be able to open the 2 Aircraft Display Hangars, the Engine Hall or the Small Object Display Hall to visitors, so only the outdoor exhibits will be accessible. There is no need to pre-book to pay NAM a visit. However, visitors will need to comply with Tier 3 Covid Regulations & Guidance. The museum has well-proven COVID-secure measures in place, allowing everyone to enjoy a socially distanced visit in a safe and Covid-Secure manner.

Under this revised method of opening visitors will be able wander around NAM’s 16-acre site and be able to see:
• 26 aircraft & helicopters (c/w ongoing restoration work on some days)
• 3 fuselage restoration projects
• 5 aircraft cockpits
• The Museum Memorial Garden
• The Dig For Victory Garden
• Various munitions – Yellow Sun, Blue Steel, ZPU-4 etc.
• The NAM Red Barrows
• The famous ex RAF Swinderby Post Box

In recognition of this much reduced offer the trustees have lowered the admission cost to £5 per adult (all ages), with FREE admission to accompanied children under the age of 16. Visitors with Motability needs should be aware that some exhibits are displayed on grass and these can be difficult to access during wet conditions – NAM is sorry about this, but please be aware if you plan to visit.

To comply with the regulations, there will only be a takeaway service from the Museum Café. This means that there will be no indoor seating available to eat or drink any purchases. The picnic benches outside will be accessible but visitors should comply with the Tier 3 Covid regulations. The food options will be limited to pre-packed sandwiches; cakes; snacks; hot & cold drinks; plus, our famed Toasties & Paninis – please remember that these have to be consumed outside the café.

The Museum Shop will be open as normal, for all of those aviation purchases such as aircraft kits, modelling supplies; books etc. – we recommend shopping early for Christmas, as some suppliers are struggling to provide us with requested stock.

Our revised opening times for this month are 10am-3pm (last admission at 2pm). The Museum Café will close 30 minutes before closing time. The Museum Shop will close at the same time as the museum, with last admissions for shoppers into the shop being 20 minutes before closing time.

We will however keep these dates under review and may change them if Tier 3 Regulations or our circumstances alter. We suggest that you keep up to speed by checking the website on a regular basis; following us on Twitter or by calling 01636 707170 before you visit.

Airshow ‘50th’ Book Set To Fly Off Shelves

November 25th, 2020

Air Tattoo at 50

Over the past 50 years, millions of people from across the globe have marvelled at the incredible aviation spectacles that have seen the Royal International Air Tattoo grow to become the world’s greatest airshow.

For the first time ever, the complete history of the Air Tattoo, from its birth in 1971 to the present day, has been captured in a beautifully illustrated book written by renowned aviation journalist Ben Dunnell and features hundreds of dramatic photos, many taken by some of the world’s leading aircraft photographers.

Charting the growth of the Air Tattoo from its modest beginnings at North Weald airfield, the book describes how a small band of volunteers with a shared passion for aviation – and encouraged by legendary aviators including Battle of Britain ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader and Concorde test pilot Brian Trubshaw – went on to create one of the most loved and respected airshows in the world.

Split into decades, the book describes how special links forged in the 1970s with the Royal Air Force, NATO and the US Air Force (USAF) paid dividends and helped attract a mouth-watering array of international military aircraft to the airshow’s second home, RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire. The fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s further cemented the Air Tattoo’s reputation as it enabled a number of special ‘debuts’ by Eastern Bloc aircraft rarely, if ever, seen in the West.

By then, hundreds of volunteers were helping stage the event, a number which grew to around 1,500 following the switch to a new home at RAF Fairford in 1985. This move, combined with the enduring support of the RAF and USAF, helped open the door to a wealth of exciting aircraft including the stealthy B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, F-14 Tomcat carrier-borne fighters, B-52 and B-1 bombers, V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors and the latest Typhoon, F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II combat fast jets – among many others.

Author Ben Dunnell said: “The Air Tattoo has always been the place to be — and that goes right back to its earliest days. As a meeting-place for the world’s air arms, united in friendship, this show is unrivalled. What’s more, it has actively helped foster new alliances . . . as well as being a very exciting event, of course. In writing this book, that side of the Air Tattoo’s history has been as important as all the great personal memories.”

Insightful, fascinating and at times humorous, Air Tattoo 50 – The Story of the World’s Greatest Airshow (RRP £30+p&p), is being published to mark the airshow’s 50th anniversary in 2021 and is available from As well as extensive coverage of the dazzling array of international aircraft that have taken part in the airshow, the book charts some of the challenges it has had to overcome, such as losing its home at RAF Greenham Common in 1983, the death of co-founder and creative driving force Paul Bowen in 2004, establishing a new parent charity, the RAF Charitable Trust in 2005, and the airshow cancellations in 2008 and 2020.

Air Tattoo founder member and former airshow director Tim Prince said: “So many people from across the globe have been involved in the building of this remarkable gathering of international aviators and their aircraft into a highly respected and valued annual event. This wonderful book gives an insight into this impressive Royal International Air Tattoo ‘family’ which, over some 50 years, has worked tirelessly to uphold its reputation as the best, whilst at times, with its motto of ‘it can be done’, overcoming some pretty daunting challenges.”

The Christmas gift that gives twice

November 19th, 2020

RAF Museum Christmas Gift Box

Instead of participating in predictable gift swapping this festive season, give your loved one a gift with meaning, something that will continue to give beyond Christmas Day, by also supporting the work of the Royal Air Force Museum.

The Museum’s Adopt an Artefact programme provides the ideal opportunity to find an unusual gift for the person who has everything, as well as making your money go a little further by giving to charity. The artefact adoption process is quick and simple, order online at and cut out stressful shopping trips.

A Christmas Gift Box from the Defence Catering Group is the latest artefact to be made available for adoption, alongside more than 60 other objects ranging from tiny badges with major honours, to clothing that is more than just a fashion statement. The Christmas Gift Box package sent to RAF personnel serving overseas at Christmas is a timely reminder of the Christmases that many families have spent apart, and the importance in bringing a touch of home and Christmas joy to the ones you love, wherever they may be.

This RAF tradition began in 1914 when Princess Mary supported the creation of a fund to pay for a Christmas gift box to be sent to every serving member of the UK Armed Forces. Originally made of brass, its contents included smoking materials, chocolate and a photograph of the Princess. The Museum’s Christmas Gift Box available for adoption was distributed to RAF personnel serving in Iraq, and contained food, toiletry and novelty items including a stress ball, flashing red nose and a Christmas card, echoing the sentiments behind the 1914 one, while helping to maintain morale for those deployed away from home at Christmas.

Those adopting an artefact in the run up to Christmas will receive a Christmas card and the option to add a bespoke RAF Museum gift for just £7.50. Choose from a Christmas bauble, snowflake mug, festive fudge, or advent calendar. All adoptions with the additional gift placed by the 18 December are guaranteed to arrive in time for you to present your loved one with their card and gift on Christmas Day.

Make your gift stand out this year. Whether you adopt the Christmas Gift Box for someone you can’t be with on Christmas Day, the Burma Star for someone you look up to, or perhaps a lucky mascot to give courage and hope to inspire a dear friend, these alternative gifts with fascinating stories are not something you see in your average Christmas stocking! If your Christmas tradition includes hours of playing games with family, our Playing Cards with Hidden Maps would make the ideal adoption for the one who always finds a sneaky way to win! For the chocoholic in the family who cannot resist reaching into the sweet tin, the Chocolate and Sugar Confectionary Coupon Card adoption means there is no need to feel guilty about the calories consumed. Adopt an Artefact in the name of someone you love, and know that your gift will keep on giving, as support from adoptees will help the Museum to continue sharing the RAF Story, past, present and future, while engaging and encouraging learning.

Starting at £25.00, adoptions last for 12 months starting from 25 December. All adoptees will receive a digital adoption certificate and photo of their adopted artefact, along with exclusive updates and information on your chosen object throughout the year. Recognition of your adoption will feature alongside the object on Collections Online, the Museum’s new digital collections system, where you can add a dedicated message along with the name of adoptee. For more details on how to Adopt an Artefact and to browse the items available, visit

You can also show support for the Museum by purchasing a gift from the Museum’s onsite and online shops, packed with a wide selection of items, including many unique designs.

This season’s must have accessory you can’t be seen without, and a great stocking filler, is the Museum’s bespoke reusable face mask, available in Spitfire and Second World War Pilot designs, just £6.00 each. For the little ones, the Sunderland flying boat bath toy for just £6.00 is an ideal alternative to a rubber duck, while our Spitfire plush toy for £20.00, Red Arrows Die Cast model for £16.00 and flying suits available in green and Red Arrows designs for £35.00, are all great gifts for budding pilots of all ages.

If you’re looking to kit out your loved one with some new clothing this year, browse a varied selection of t-shirts, jumpers and jackets online, including a Spitfire motif V-neck jumper for just £35.00. Wrapping up warm this winter won’t be a problem with the RAF stripe scarf for £34.50, and the new black leather roundel gloves for £49.00. Finish off the look with a Spitfire Ace pilot watch for £35.00, or RAF wings sweetheart silver brooch for just £30.00. To view the full RAF Museum Shop range visit

The Museum is planning to re-open its doors to visitors on Saturday 5 December (Government guidelines permitting) with a range of measures in place to ensure a safe and great day out for the whole family. While still offering FREE entry to all, visitors are kindly asked to pre-book their arrival time online at

Newark Air Museum Reintroduces Order & Collect System For Shop Sales

November 11th, 2020

Newark Air Museum Shop

The Newark Air Museum (NAM) is a registered charity and throughout and Since the second Covid-19 lockdown was introduced its been looking at ways of selling aviation kits and books, with the aim of raising vital funds for its charitable activities.

We have therefore decided to reintroduce the Order & Collect system like we did in the summer and this will start to operate on Saturday 14th November, 2020.

Like before we have taken some photographs of the key sections of the Museum Shop to try and provide an idea of what is in stock. Copies of these can be requested via a page on the museum website

The main product areas are listed as:
Italeri Aircraft Kits
Revell Aircraft Kits
Airfix Aircraft Kits
Airfix Quick-Builds
Tamiya Aircraft Kits
Assorted Aviation Books
Modelling Paints & Accessories

Anyone deciding to make a purchase can ask for the items to be reserved for collection at a convenient time on the days that the Shop is open – purchases will need to be made by card payment over the telephone, or by cash when you come to collect the item(s).

We have completed a set of Covid-Secure Risk Assessments for the Collection Area in front part of the site and full details about this process are listed on the website. Social distancing measures will be in place and Covid-Secure procedures will be used and normal access routes to the Collection Area will be in operation i.e. off Drove Lane via the entrance next to the Motor Auction Site.

A queuing area will be set up outside in the car parking area; N.B. there will be NO access to the wider museum site, display buildings or café.

We appreciate that this is not a perfect solution, but it does act as a step towards reopening again and also it gives us a chance to fully evaluate how social distancing measures might need to be implemented in the Museum Shop when we try to open normally.

All profits from the Museum Shop are covenanted to the museum to help fund its on-going development; so rather than shopping online or elsewhere please pay us a visit soon and help support your aviation heritage!

RAF Museum Celebrates Sikh heritage

November 10th, 2020

WO Bally Flora

The RAF Museum is pleased to announce that WO Bally Flora MBE has donated three of his service turbans.

The donation includes two examples of the current issue, Warrant officer’s and Airman’s Turbans, introduced during 2006 and the earlier light blue style of Turban as worn by WO Flora when he first joined the RAF.

Two of these turbans will go on display in our Head Dress display at the main entrance of our London site in time for Diwali – this Saturday 14 November.

WO Balbir Singh Flora MBE
Warrant Officer Balbir Flora joined the RAF when he was 17 and worked in Logistics. He now works as part of the RAF Special Engagement Team, previously serving as a logistics supplier. The aim of this team is to engage with diverse communities, to change perception of the Armed Forces and promote the RAF as an alternative career.

The RAF Museum is currently closed. We are planning to reopen our doors on 5 December, so pre-book your tickets now at

British Airways 747 Retires to Dunsfold Aerodrome

October 22nd, 2020

747 retires to Dunsfold

Dunsfold Aerodrome is delighted to confirm a second 747 will be taking up residence on the airfield from today, Thursday 22nd October, where it will begin its new life as a TV and film set.

The retired British Airways 747, registration G-CIVW, will depart from Cardiff Airport as flight number BA9178E, landing into the Aerodrome in Surrey at 14:15*.

Jim McAllister, Chief Executive, Dunsfold Aerodrome, comments: “The 747 is a unique and important piece of aviation history and we are excited to be taking delivery of this retired aircraft at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Whilst G-CIVW will no longer fly, the aircraft will be preserved and given a new lease of life in the world of TV and film, training and special events.”

The aircraft, affectionately known as the Queen of the Skies, was built in Everett in the United States and entered the British Airways fleet on 15 May 1998. Its last flight was on 11th June 2020 from Bournemouth to Cardiff and, since then, the aircraft has been stored at Cardiff Airport.

G-CIVW will keep its Chatham Dockyard livery which was first introduced in June 1997. The livery takes its name from the Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent and was based on the original flag used by Admiral Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Chatham Dockyard livery was created for BA by the Admiral’s Original Flag Loft factory in Chatham which had made flags for more than 400 years.

The aircraft, like many other 747s, has ties with the world of film, having flown many actors worldwide in its cabins and visited film set hotspots like Los Angeles and New York. In its new role it will feature more prominently in front of the camera, used to mock up interior and exterior shots for TV and film.

With an aviation heritage that includes the development of military aircraft such as the Harrier, Hawk and Hunter, Dunsfold Aerodrome is the perfect fit for the generation-defining 747.

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Aerodrome will not be open to spectators for the 747s final flight and landing.

To watch a live stream of the landing please go to our Facebook page

Brooklands Museum receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

October 14th, 2020

Brooklands Museum

Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey has been awarded £950,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Brooklands Museum is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Based on the site of the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit and the most prolific aircraft manufacturing site in Europe, Brooklands Museum attracts visitors who are looking for an experience that immerses them in British history, in the place where it actually happened. The stories of the men and women from Brooklands’ pioneering age to the heyday of British aviation and pre-war motorsport, are celebrated throughout the Museum, giving up-close access to an incredible collection of cars, planes and historic buildings. Each visit is brought to life by the over 800-strong workforce of dedicated volunteers, whose knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for Brooklands are the backbone of the visitor experience.

Like many organisations up and down the country, Brooklands Museum continues to face financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next six months will be exceptionally difficult as the winter season and uncertain lockdown restrictions prevail. The funding has been awarded to cover the Museum’s projected losses until Spring 2021 and to provide a cash reserve to cover up to eight weeks’ running costs.

Brooklands Museum Director and CEO, Tamalie Newbery said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding. Brooklands is an award-winning museum and now we will be able to remain open to visitors and carry on our work preserving the Brooklands site and collection. As an independent charity, income from visitors has always been our main source of funds, so the Covid epidemic has been very tough. However, we have been delighted by the public’s response since we reopened in August and this grant means that throughout this winter and beyond, people will be able to continue coming here and discovering the inspiring stories of what people accomplished here.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:
“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Brooklands Museum is open Thursday to Sunday and every day during half term (week of 26th October). Tickets must be booked in advance at

Brooklands Museum is part of Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme and adheres fully to official Covid-19 guidance with the appropriate safety measures in place for its visitors.

Aircraft conservation work goes on show at RAF Museum Cosford

October 14th, 2020

Wellington restoration at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 9-14 November 2020 / Time: 10:15am-3:00pm (time slots) / Cost: £6.00pp (under 11s free)

Visitors to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will have the opportunity to step inside the Conservation Centre and take a look behind the scenes at aircraft conservation projects, during the annual Open Week from 9-14 November.

In addition to getting up close to current projects, including the refabrication of a Wellington bomber and the reconstruction of the Handley Page Hampden, those visiting during the Open Week will have the chance to speak with the teams who carry out the vital work.

A new arrival in the Conservation Centre and a highlight at this year’s event is the Hawker Tempest II. The Tempest was transported by road from the Museum’s London site in February and will undergo some remedial work by the team at Cosford. The Museum’s example served with No. 5 Squadron RAF, based at Peshawar (now part of Pakistan), before being transferred to the Royal Indian Air Force in 1947. Providing close-air support to the Indian Army, the Tempest remained in front line Indian service until 1953. It was later acquired by the RAF Museum and has been on public display in London since 1991. This is the first time the aircraft has been to Cosford and visitors attending the Open Week will have the first glimpse.

The newly restored Second World War Westland Lysander III (S.D.) fuselage, and the almost complete Handley Page Hampden fuselage, will soon be moving to the RAF Museum’s London site for public display. The Open Week in November will be the last opportunity for aviation fans to view both aircraft at Cosford.

The Lysander has now been restored to its former 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. Visitors to the open week will have the exclusive opportunity to view the cockpit and inside the fuselage from the wing box area, where they will see all the crew positions.

The Open Week is also an opportunity to see 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. 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.

The Conservation Centre will open from 9-14 November between 10.15am and 3.00pm each day, with 45-minute time slots. The number of tickets available for each time slot are limited and must be booked in advance. Tickets are now available to purchase via the Museum website, admission is £6.00 per person (children under 11 are free and must be accompanied by an adult).

To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience, there will be several precautions in place. Measures include the introduction of time slots and limiting the number of tickets available, and social distancing markers and barriers will control the number of individuals in each area.

The Museum’s display hangars will open from 10.00am until 4.00pm. While still offering FREE entry to all, visitors are kindly asked to pre-book their arrival time online at