Posts Tagged ‘2007’

Conservation Centre Open Week

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Next year, the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC) at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is opening its doors to the public for the first time.The MBCC is one of the finest aircraft conservation centres in the world. To enable greater public access and an understanding of the centre’s work, it will be opening its doors to visitors for two exclusive periods in 2008.

Visitors to the Museum will gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access to aircraft conservation work and have a rare opportunity to view current projects, including work being undertaken on the Handley Page Hampden bomber, Lindbergh’s Miles Mohawk and the Sopwith Dolphin.

The first open week will run from Monday 28th January to Friday 1st February 2008. The second will be from 24th to 28th November 2008. The Conservation centre will be open each day from 11.00am – 3.00pm.

Manager of the Conservation Centre, Tim Wallis says:

“The conservation team at the MBCC are justifiably proud of the work they do towards preserving our aviation heritage. We welcome this opportunity to allow the public a degree of access towards finding out more about the painstaking and skilled work that aircraft conservation entails. The MBCC is a very busy place however and it will remain a working domain throughout. Come along and experience this fascinating work with us, I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.”

The main Museum is open daily from 10am – 6pm (last admission 4pm). Admission and parking are both free of charge.

For further information, please contact the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit

Spectacular Air Dynamics Return in 2008

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The biggest seafront airshow in the world will return to Eastbourne seafront next year from 14-17 August with four days of action packed flying to entertain visitors.Airbourne has just celebrated its 15th year and regularly attracts a vibrant mix of fast jets, aerobatics, helicopters, freefall parachutists and old warbirds, with the world famous Red Arrows always a hot favourite.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “I’m very excited to announce the dates for next year’s Airbourne. It’s the highlight of Eastbourne’s summer with such a variety of displays that get everybody involved. Kids love the activities and chance to speak to real-life pilots on the ground, while visitors return every year to find themselves bedazzled by even more daring air dynamics.”

Organisers Eastbourne Borough Council and the RAF are joining forces to put on an entertaining and exciting show for 2008, which sees the RAF celebrate its 90th anniversary so watch out for some special displays, in addition to the spectacular aerobatics which are a tradition at the show. Airbourne also features exciting ground demonstrations with full size aircraft, cockpits and displays from the RAF careers team. Visitors can speak to crew members, experience flight simulators and watch arena demonstrations all from the open landscape of the Western Lawns.

The show has a wide range of trade stands to suit all pockets from children’s attractions to a diverse catering village with Eastbourne beaches providing a magnificent setting to watch all the action.

The entertainment at Airbourne continues through to the evenings too. Visitors can enjoy a packed programme of events, including the Big Band night and concerts at the Bandstand and a spectacular and breathtaking firework finale on the Sunday night.

Join Friends of Airbourne free to receive newsletters and special offers as well as priority information on all of Eastbourne’s other events. For more information visit or telephone 0871 663 0031.

Thunder Day at Yorkshire Air Museum

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

On Sunday 21st October the first “Thunder Day” will see the engines of two of the Museum’s big jets “powered-up” to herald a week of activity for the half-term break.

The famous Buccaneer strike fighter/bomber, used during the first Gulf War, with its two huge Rolls Royce Spey 101 turbofans providing 22,000lbs thrust, and the massive Victor V-Bomber ‘Lusty Lindy’, herself a Falklands and Gulf War veteran, with her four Rolls Royce Conway’s delivering a mighty 80,000 lbs thrust making the ground shake for visitors.

In addition, the Museum’s award winning Aviation Fire & Rescue Service will be on station during the engine runs with their very latest American GMC 6-wheeler fire engine, acquired from Rolls Royce at Derby.

This will certainly create some thunder and excitement for children to enjoy, as well as, we suspect, their mum’s and dad’s!! The Buccaneer, as a naval aircraft type, will be demonstrating the hydraulically operated wing folding capability, bomb bay opening and air brake system, which is something the public rarely get to see.

‘Thunder Day’ will begin the countdown to next year’s centenary of British Powered Flight, which will mark the first officially recorded flight, on October 16th 1908, of Samuel Franklin Cody’s experimental Army Aeroplane No.1, Britain’s first powered aircraft

This event will herald a week of activity, ‘Cockpit Fest’, from Monday 22nd October to Friday 26th October, during which cockpits of aircraft such as the Harrier GR3 Jump Jet, Meteor, Tornado, Herald, Dakota and even the Victor itself, will be opened up wherever possible for visitors to see inside. So, if you fancy jumping in a jump jet, you know where to come!

Admission to the museum is just £5 Adults, £4 Senior Citizens and £3 Children 5-15, with under 5’s free. There is also ample free parking. Gates open at 10am and close at 5pm.

Museum Bright Spark Wins Apprentice of the Year

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Rebecca Pitts, an Apprentice working for the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, beat the competition hands down to become the Telford College of Arts and Technology, Apprentice of the Year 2006/2007.Rebecca, aged 18 from Telford, was nominated for the ‘Engineering Apprentice of the Year’ award by her Company Representative, Mr Tim Wallis, Manager of the Royal Air Force Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC). After winning her category Rebecca was entered for the Telford College of Arts and Technology ‘Overall Apprentice of the Year’ along with the winners from each of the other categories, and was crowned the overall winner.

Having worked for the Museum for two years as part of a 5 ½ year apprentice placement, Rebecca has just completed the first year of a BTEC National Certificate in Operating and Maintenance. The course consisted of 6 modules in total which included Mechanical Technology and System Measurements and she received distinction grades in all six modules. Rebecca is also the only female in the country studying the course and she is delighted her hard work and effort has paid off.

Rebecca is also studying for her NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineer Operations and has completed the first year of her course four weeks early. Tim Wallis, Manager of the MBCC says: “Rebecca is a very focused, driven student which stood her in good stead for a difficult year. Next year will be even harder to achieve but I have no doubt that Rebecca will be successful in anything she sets her mind to.”

The Modern Apprentice Scheme provides a work-based training and development for 16 – 24 years olds who have left full-time education. Two days a week are spent at college and three days are spent in the workplace.

The location of the Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre and the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering offers a unique training opportunity. The scheme also offers a unique opportunity to fill a skills shortage of technicians qualified and skilled to work on the conservation and preservation of historic aircraft.

The Royal Air Force Museum will be recruiting a further two apprentices to begin training in October 2007.

Rebecca will be enjoying the summer break from college and working full time at the Museum over the summer months, before returning to college in September for her third year.

Record Breaking Aviator Unveils Airbourne Exclusive

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Record breaking aviator Polly Vacher, flies into Eastbourne on Tuesday to launch an extra special prize for Red Arrows fans at Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow.

As well as flying on Saturday and Sunday at the show, the world famous team are offering Airbourne the exclusive opportunity for two guests to win a day with the team at RAF Scampton.

The competition which can be entered by SMS text message, will raise funds for Polly’s ‘Flying Scholarships for the Disabled’ charity, as well as funding some of the flying at the show.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism & Environment, Councillor Steve Wallis said “We are delighted to team up with Polly and the Red Arrows to provide this once in a lifetime fantastic opportunity. To spend a day with the team at their base is very rare indeed – the lucky winner has a wonderful day lined up ahead.”

Polly, who flies into Eastbourne seafront with the Army Air Corp Historic Aircraft team on Tuesday, is launching the scheme as part of her whistle-stop Wings Around Britain tour. Raising funds and awareness for the charity, the scholarship aims to empower disabled people, building confidence and self esteem while undertaking the challenge of learning to fly.

Polly brings with her a wealth of experience which has seen her achieve many records including – the first woman to fly solo in a single engine aircraft over the North Pole and Antarctica. The flight is documented in her inspirational book ‘Wings Around the World’, which also helps fund the charity.

Airbourne returns from 16 – 19 August with RAF flying from the Eurofighter Typhoon, Chinook, Hawk, Tucano, Merlin, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Falcons parachute team.

Competition entries are open now, to enter simply text AIR1 followed by your date of birth (DDMMYY) to 84222 eg AIR1 260880.

Texts cost £1 plus one standard rate text message. For full terms and conditions visit

New Chinook Exhibition to be Unveiled

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce the unveiling of a new permanent exhibition: The interactive, walk-through Chinook Helicopter.The Boeing Chinook is a versatile and powerful helicopter, used for troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield re-supply. It was first procured by the RAF in 1980 and has seen operational service in The Falklands War, The first Gulf War and the current Gulf conflict.

Based around the frame of an actual Chinook forward fuselage, the exhibition will allow visitors a ‘walk-in’ experience and includes a full cockpit with controls, along with additional display materials including interactive kiosks and audio-visual presentations on wide-screen monitors. The exhibition is fully accessible by ramp and is supported by a number of graphics panels.

The ex-US Army Chinook model: CH-47D (serial currently unknown), was flown across from America to Osnabruck in Germany and then to Mildenhall in the UK. From there it travelled by road, to the Museum site in London. This fuselage is a product of the current refurbishment programme for US CH-47s, which are receiving new front ends.

The exhibition is sponsored by Chinook manufacturer Boeing, who organised the gift of this ex-US Army airframe, along with a large scale model displayed over the exhibit and a kind donation through RAFM American Foundation. Honeywell have donated the T-55 engine and Rockwell Collins has provided a mock up of their Collins Avionics Architecture System, (CAAS) – a fully integrated tactical helicopter flight and mission management system comprising five advanced Multi-Function Displays and two colour Control and Display Units. Summit Aviation assisted in preparing the Chinook fuselage for the exhibition.

Technical assistance was provided by RAF Odiham, where the RAF’s Chinook fleet is based, along with the provision and fitting of many additional parts, ranging from pylon fairings taken from a wreck, to crew seats replicated by their workshop and rotor blades.

The exhibition will be on permanent public display in the Rotorcraft area of the London site, from Thursday 18th July 2007.

For more information please visit

Casino draws the crowds

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is again delighted to be working alongside the Westcliff Casino to bring this prestigious event to Southend.

The Casino has sponsored the Airshow since 2001, and this year it is going one-step further and will be giving visitors to the airshow an opportunity to win a Caribbean holiday in a special prize draw.

Mike Phillips, General Manager of the Westcliff Casino, says: “We are very happy to be supporting the Southend Airshow. We have been involved for the past six years and it just keeps on getting better and better every time. The event happens right outside the Casino and we have the best views of the Airshow in Essex. The Westcliff Casino Southend Airshow is a massive event for the community of Southend and attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country. It really puts Southend and the Westcliff Casino on the map. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Red Arrows perform again this year – the show promises to be very exciting. I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to the event and take part in our fabulous competition.”

Councillor John Lamb, Southend’s Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Regeneration, says: “The Airshow is fantastic free family fun and is the biggest event in Southend’s calendar. It’s hugely popular with residents and people flock from miles to see the spectacular air displays. However, the Airshow is not just a huge tourist attraction, it also generates significant, essential income for many of our local businesses, supports more than 60 local jobs and gives the town year round world-wide publicity which puts us and our leisure industry firmly in the public eye.”

For more information log onto or call the Airshow Hotline on 01702 390333.

Lots do to – thanks to Airshow ground crew!

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

There’s more than just spectacular aerial stunts at this year’s Westcliff Casino Southend Airshow.Residents keen to enjoy Southend’s premier event, on Sunday 27th and Bank Holiday Monday 28th May 2007, can expect plenty of lively attractions.

Southend’s famous seafront will be packed with activities, market areas, big brand name exhibitors such as Honda, Hyundai, Waitrose and EA Games, military town shows and lots of opportunities to mingle with the pilots taking part in Europe’s largest free Airshow.

New for 2007 will be the Veterans’ Village – a place where ex-service men and women of all ages can come together to get in touch with lost friends and apply for their coveted Veteran’s Badge. The Veterans’ Village is being backed by the Ministry of Defence and supported by Friends Reunited.

Councillor John Lamb, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Regeneration says: “This year promises to be the best ever! We’re showcasing exciting aerial teams and the seafront will be buzzing with activity, so come along!”

Landing again is the ‘Meet the Pilots’ area. This crowd-pleaser is expected to be one of the show’s biggest draws, where people of all ages have the chance to meet up with the stars of the show, take some photos and get some autographs!

People that want to experience some ups and downs of their own they can try out the flight simulators, whilst huge inflatables will keep the kids occupied when the planes are gearing up for action. The more daring can impress their friends with a go on the infamous ‘sling shot’ ride.

The Army and RAF will be there, demonstrating their weaponry and equipment, and the Royal Marines will take on any challengers up the climbing wall.

Hungry plane enthusiasts can choose from plenty of popular market and food stalls serving up a variety of snacks and drinks.

BBC Essex is broadcasting special programmes live from the seafront and there will be exclusive coverage of the entire flying display. Radio Airshow is broadcast at the event, on 1530mw from 12 noon on both days. Essex FM will be bringing some great entertainment over both days of the Airshow with roadshows, competitions and giveaways.

If the public have any queries or lost property then staff at the Airshow Information Centre, opposite Westcliff Casino, can help them out. Visitors are advised to arrange to meet their friends and families at the Information Centre should they accidentally split up; staff will be ready to look after any lost youngsters.

For more information log onto, or call the Airshow Hotline on 01702 390333.

Get reunited at the Veterans Village

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Hundreds of former service men and women are set to arrive in Southend next weekend as the town supports Veterans Day 2007, part of this year’s Westcliff Casino Southend Airshow.A huge Veterans Village will be created on the seafront, hosted by many local Veterans Associations. They are calling for veterans of all ages, including those who have served in more recent conflicts such as the Falklands and Iraq to come along and share their stories.

There will be the Pegasus Collection (the largest collection of WWII memorabilia), “then and now” photographic exhibitions and weapon displays, plus a giant interactive screen where people can leave messages for former colleagues and friends who they may have served with.

The Veterans Agency will also be on hand to promote the support available to Veterans, and there will be opportunities for all ex-service people to apply for their “Veterans Badge”.

Southend’s Veterans Village is being supported by Friends Reunited.

Jonathan Clark, Head of Friends Reunited, says: “Friendships forged between comrades in the armed forces form amongst the strongest bonds especially for those who served in war-time Britain, so it’s particularly hard when friends lose contact over the years. We’ve heard of some particularly heart-warming stories of old pals reuniting through the site and the changes we’ve made to improve the service mean it’s now easier than ever to find that special person you may be looking for.

“One member reunited with a fellow evacuee after 60 years apart and another with his Navy cabin mate after 30 years. It would be wonderful to see more reunions at this year’s airshow.”

Councillor John Lamb, Southend’s Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Regeneration, says: “I am delighted that we have been able to support Veterans Day at the Airshow. Please come along and support the veterans, hear their interesting stories and how they continue to contribute to their local communities.”

Veteran’s Day has been organised by the Ministry of Defence and officially takes place on the 27th of June.

For more information log onto or call the Airshow Hotline on 01702 390333.

Jumbo Boost for Airshow!

Friday, May 18th, 2007

The organiser’s of the next weekend’s Westcliff Casino Southend Airshow have made a huge coup with this year’s flying display – with an appearance from a jumbo jet!A Boeing 747 from Hong Kong based Oasis airlines will be making its Southend Airshow debut on the Sunday of the show. It is the largest aircraft ever to display at the show and will be an awesome sight for spectators – especially as it’s rarely seen at an airshow, let alone a seaside event.

Airshow flying director Ray Thilthorpe says: “It really is very exciting to have the Boeing 747 in our Sunday line up. It’s a massive aircraft and will look spectacular set against the dramatic backdrop of the Thames Estuary.”

Another big star set to appear in Monday’s flying programme is the RAF’s Typhoon. This state-of-the-art aircraft, which is set to be the RAF’s major front line fighter replacing the Tornado F3 and Jaguar, will be making a welcome return to the free seaside show. The Southend Airshow in 2005 was the first public display from the Typhoon and wowed the crowds with its amazing manoeuvrability.

Taking place over the Bank Holiday 27th & 28th May, the Airshow attracts approximately three-quarters of a million people to Southend and generates more than £10 million into the local economy each year.

Other aerial highlights for this year include the welcome return of the world famous Red Arrows. The RAF’s flagship aerobatic team will be taking to the skies on both Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be adding a touch of nostalgia with the Hurricane, Spitfire and C-47 Dakota formation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the flight and its appearance at Southend will be a chance for the public to see a piece of history in action.

For more information log onto or call the Airshow Hotline on 01702 390333.