Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Flying display honours National Service Veterans

Friday, May 11th, 2012

20th May 2012

Vulcan flypast 12:25pm (weather permitting)

Lancaster display 1:00pm (weather permitting)

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster and Vulcan XH558 will be taking to the skies over Shropshire in honour of the thousands of National Service RAF veterans. These iconic aircraft will perform for visitors and guests at the National Service (RAF) Association parade, taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Sunday 20th May 2012.

Starting at 11.00am, the parade will be led by 495 (Sutton Coldfield) ATC Sqn Band and will form up on the entrance roadway to the Museum site. Following a short 100m march, the parade will finish next to the Museum’s Hangar 1, where Air Marshal Garwood, Air-DComOps will be the reviewing officer.

This year will mark the organisations 10th parade and re-union which has been held at Cosford since 2004. Last year, over 2,000 guests attended the event of which over 600 presented themselves for the parade. All Veterans who served in the Royal Air Force are welcome to participate, providing them with the opportunity to reunite with lost friends and colleagues.

Members of the public are also invited to join in the days activities which will include a Vulcan flypast scheduled for 12:25pm and a Lancaster flying display at 1:00pm (both weather permitting). Entertainment will be provided by vocal group the “D Day Darlings”, plus National Veterans Organisations and training camp associations will be represented in Hangar 1. On completion of the formal events, guests will have access to the RAF Museum site where they can catch up with old friends and view the exhibits.

The Museum gates will open at 9am on Sunday 20th May, although the Museum itself will open at 10am. Entry to the Museum, participation in the parade and viewing the displays is FREE. For further information, please call the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit the museum website at

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Air Tattoo Debutant Takes Pole Position

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

A rare Russian-built helicopter never before seen in the UK is among the first aircraft to confirm participation in next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The Polish Navy will be sending one of its Mi-14 ‘Haze’ helicopters, which are used in Anti-Submarine Warfare and Search and Rescue, to the Air Tattoo on July 7-8 along with a maritime and reconnaissance variant of the Soviet-made Antonov An-28.

Both Hungary and Latvia have also confirmed they will be sending Russian-built aircraft, the former sending an Antonov An-26 transport aeroplane and the latter an Mi-8 helicopter. This performs a search-and-rescue role as well as transporting troops and supporting Special Forces. Other aircraft from Brazil and France have also been confirmed for the Air Tattoo.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “Russian-built aircraft are very popular among UK enthusiasts because of their rarity on these shores. To have one making its UK debut is a real coup and one the enthusiasts will look forward to seeing.

“With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics taking place in the UK next year, I think there’s a feeling that this is the place to be in 2012. Although it is still early for most international air arms to confirm their participation we are already hearing whispers from Asia that might see some extremely rare and exotic aircraft heading for Fairford next summer. It’s very exciting.”

Next summer’s Air Tattoo, which is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, will see the airshow join forces with the RAF to stage a special Diamond Jubilee celebration in honour of Her Majesty The Queen.

A limited number of special Super Earlybird tickets, priced £29, are available until January 4 by visiting or by calling 0800 107 1940. All Air Tattoo tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

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A Herculean Christmas Gift Arrives at Cosford

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

A Hercules C130K Mk.3 has just become the latest aircraft to go on display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, arriving just in time for Christmas. The aircraft was moved from the airfield to the Museum’s site yesterday and placed in its new permanent display space, outside overlooking the Museum site. This supersized Christmas present took a team of fifteen Museum Technicians and RAF Personnel three hours to safely move the aircraft into position, once the aircraft had been defueled.

Now one of the largest aircraft in the Museum’s extensive collection, the Hercules C130K Mk.3 made its final flight into RAF Cosford in August courtesy of No 47 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton. Since its arrival earlier this year, the aircraft has undergone a short period of maintenance carried out on the airfield.

The XV202 Hercules C130K Mk. 3 was an American aircraft built by Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia and acquired by the RAF in 1966, used mainly on longer routes and for paratrooping. This particular aircraft was one of 30 Hercules modified during the early 1980’s, with the fuselage being lengthened by 15ft. Work was carried out by Marshall of Cambridge (Engineering) Ltd, using fuselage plugs in front of and behind of the wing.

RAF Museum Curator, Al McLean says:

“We are very pleased to have this iconic aircraft, particularly as it has such a long record of service with the Royal Air Force and it makes a fine addition to the Cosford site.”

Visitors wishing to see the Hercules can now do so on a daily basis and over the Christmas period. The Museum will be open daily throughout December from 10am apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The Museum will then close again on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Monday 2nd January 2012 from 10am. Admission is FREE. For more information on the Museum please call 01902 376200 or visit

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Interactive gallery to receive £25,000 upgrade

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust for the purpose of upgrading its interactive gallery for children.

The grant comes soon after the Charitable Trust supported the successful upgrade of the interactive gallery at the Museum’s Cosford site earlier this year, which refurbished the older exhibits and also added updated ones.

Between July and September 2012 Aeronauts will be transformed, widening the range and number of visitors able to take part in activities. The revamp will also create a new teaching space for school visits to the Museum.

The upgrade will create a new interactive activity area for younger visitors and families and allow the Museum to develop advanced scientific information displays for older visitors.

New exhibitions will include a balance machine to test pilot aptitude, an ultrasonic radar table and lifesized model aircraft for younger children to explore.

The Aeronauts Interactive Gallery in London was opened in 1998 by members of the popular BBC Children’s show ‘Blue Peter’. It currently contains over thirty ‘hands on’ exhibits which teach children about the scientific aspects of flight and aircraft design.

The gallery was designed for children aged from 7 – 12 years and is popular with both school parties and the general public. It is divided into 7 fascinating areas, each focusing on a specific flight related topic. Visitors can walk through the cloud wall into a world of flying machines, experience a Dakota that flew on the D Day operation or discover whether they have the “Right Stuff” with our pilot aptitude test. Technophiles can enter the “Hangar” to learn about engineering, or feel the thrust of a propeller and propel themselves down a track. Or, daredevils who are really ready for action can take their place in the “Mission”.

Andy McGlynn, the Museum’s Head of Fundraising:

“We are delighted that the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust is supporting the transformation of the Aeronauts Gallery. These changes will improve the experience we are able to offer visitors of all ages and create exciting new ways to discover the science of flight.”

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Friday, December 9th, 2011

A FICTIONAL fast jet pilot named ‘Ace Mandala’ has been unveiled as the face of next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, organisers have announced.

Ace will feature prominently on billboards, in advertising and on poster sites around the UK in the run-up to next summer’s airshow on July 7-8.

Ace is the creation of renowned artist David Bent, who was inspired following a trip to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus in 2007 at the invitation of the Red Arrows. The Red Arrows first saw David’s work on display at the Air Tattoo and shortly after his visit to Cyprus, the artist was invited to become the Reds’ artist in residence.

It was whilst photographing one of the display pilots in his Hawk jet that the idea for Ace came. David said: “Although Ace made his first appearance on the 2011 posters we hadn’t given him a name or an identity. I believe he symbolises all the skilled, adventurous and brave airmen who fly. We decided we’d develop him as a character so that he could become the face of the Air Tattoo. Ultimately, I hope Ace will be to the Air Tattoo what The Stig is to Top Gear.”

Air Tattoo Marketing Deputy Director Helen Webb said when she first saw David’s artwork she was immediately struck by his vivid use of colours and his ability to convey all the excitement aviation has to offer. She said: “We felt that if David could apply the same eye-catching techniques to creating a poster image for the Air Tattoo then it could have a big impact. In the past, members of the Red Arrows have said their journey to becoming a world-class pilot was first inspired by a visit to the Air Tattoo. By bringing ‘Ace Mandala’ to life, we hope to convey the sort of excitement and thrills that can spark the imagination of a future fast jet pilot.”

Next summer’s Air Tattoo on July 7-8 will see the airshow join forces with the Royal Air Force to stage a special Diamond Jubilee celebration in honour of Her Majesty The Queen. A limited number of special Super Earlybird tickets, priced £29, are available by visiting or by calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

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Major new event encourages folk to be patriotic

Friday, December 9th, 2011

A major new event aimed at celebrating the best of everything British is to be staged at Cotswold Airport next year.

Aviation, the motor industry, food, drink, wildlife, and traditional crafts, are just some of the areas to be covered at the Best of British Show, which will take place during the August Bank Holiday weekend (26th and 27th).

The annual Cotswold Airshow and Battle of Britain Airshow are to be merged and will form part of the major new event, which will also include a concert featuring talented UK bands and individuals.

It is hoped the show will become established as a ‘must visit’ date on the events calendar.

Event director Suzannah Harvey said: “We wanted to create a unique new event and what better than a show which celebrates the best of what our fine nation has to offer.

“It will come at a time when national pride will be on a natural high too, due to the Olympic Games being staged in the UK during the summer.

“In keeping with our proud aviation heritage, a British-themed flying display will form a key part of the proceedings, but there will be so much more for people to see and do as well.”

It is hoped that the RAF’s world famous Red Arrows aerobatic display team – who were based at Cotswold Airport (formerly RAF Kemble) for many years – will make their now annual return to their ‘spiritual home’, along with the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

They will be joined by other famous British aircraft such as the Typhoon, Tucano and Tiger Moth.

On the ground, military vehicles will be joined by a large number of classic cars, with everything from Minis to Bentleys grabbing the public’s attention.

A dog show, lurcher racing, birds of prey and ‘The Lamb National’, will be among the acts entertaining in the show arena.

There will be music to suit every taste later on both days too when bands and solo artists from all over Britain take to the stage to perform.

A traditional funfair and a trade village, showcasing everything from beautifully hand-crafted items to the finest in traditional food and drink, will also give visitors plenty to enjoy.

Miss Harvey added: “We’re still in the planning stages but the show really seems to have captured the imagination as we already have confirmed bookings from organisations and individuals we have contacted.

“We are offering some great sponsorship packages and would also love to hear from any traders interested in coming.

“The Best of British Show is not purely an air show and it isn’t solely a country fair; the event is a celebration of Britain as a whole and includes both those aspects and more.

“Our aim is to offer something for everyone and we truly hope that people will feel patriotic and come along to enjoy the fun.”

Tickets for the event are priced at £15 (adults) and £5 (child aged 5 to 14), in advance.

For more information, visit

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

From the Vulcan to the Red Arrows, the Lancaster to the Typhoon, all the action from this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo flying display have been captured on an exciting new DVD released this week.

The official Air Tattoo 2011 DVD features displays by many of the world’s greatest aircraft as they perform on one of aviation’s greatest stages. Highlights include the USAF A-10, the, the Frecce Tricolori, Team Viper and the RAF’s Tornado GR4 Role Demo.

There is also the opportunity to see just why Maj Murat Keles, pilot of the Turkish Air Force F-16; Capt Michael Brocard, the French Air Force Rafale display pilot; and the crew of the Italian C-27J Spartan, took top honours at this summer’s Air Tattoo’s flying display awards. Stunning in-cockpit footage offers the viewer a pilot’s-eye-view of many of the displays as aircraft twist and turn above RAF Fairford to the delight of thousands of spectators.

Altogether, 219 aircraft, representing 27 air arms and 17 nations took part in RIAT 2011 and among those featured on the DVD are some of the ‘stars’ on static display including the rarely-seen Ukrainian Su-27 ‘Flanker’ and the debut appearance of the RAF’s future strategic tanker aircraft – the A330 ‘Voyager’.

With narration by one of the UK’s most respected aviation journalists and Air Tattoo commentator, Ben Dunnell, the official RIAT 2011 DVD provides an informed, entertaining and occasionally moving insight into the modern military mindset.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “Even for the seasoned enthusiast, it can be hard to take in all the action the Air Tattoo has to offer. Our official DVD is an opportunity to fully appreciate the sheer power, agility and operational capabilities of many of the world’s greatest aircraft – both past and present.”

Sold in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the official RIAT 2011 DVD is priced £16.95 and can be ordered online at or by calling 0800 297 1940.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011

Tickets for next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo go on sale today with prices not only frozen but – for a limited period – lower than they were this year.

A limited number of special ‘Super Earlybird’ tickets for the July 7-8 event go on sale at 10am on Friday, November 11, priced £29 each. This represents a saving of £10 on the standard 2012 advance admission ticket price – and is £5 cheaper than this year. The £4 book fee has also been waived.An Air Tattoo spokesman said: “Next July will see us stage an RAF tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee and we want as many people as possible to join in this special celebration.

“Not only can people make a huge saving by purchasing tickets now, but we will also continue to offer free parking and allow all accompanied under-16s free entry. At a time when many of us are counting the pennies, we were determined to ensure the Air Tattoo continues to offer families value for money.”

Organisers are urging people to note that next summer’s Air Tattoo, which is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, takes place earlier than usual, on July 7-8, because of the London Olympics later that month.

The spokesman said: “Like the Olympics, we’ll be featuring the fastest, the most agile and those with the greatest endurance – albeit in the world of aerospace rather than sport.”

The limited number of Super Earlybird tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday, November 11 from or by calling 0800 107 1940. They will be on sale until January 4, subject to availability.

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VIP Guests To View Wellingtons Progress

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

14th to 19th November 2011

10.15am to 1.00pm

FREE Admission

Cosford’s award winning conservation centre will be opening its doors to visitors for exclusive behind-the-scenes access to aircraft conservation work from Monday 14th to Saturday 19th November. A number of VIP guests are expected to attend the Conservation Centre Open Week taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford next week, to view the progress being made on the conservation of the Museum’s Wellington Bomber.

Special guests include Mary Stopes-Roe, daughter of Barnes Wallis, designer of the Wellington Bomber’s famous geodetic structure. Mary will be visiting the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre on Thursday 17th November to view the aircraft her father helped design and will be hosted by the Centre’s Manager.

Other VIP guests include Wellington Pilot, Ronald Cooper aged 90, who will be visiting on Wednesday 16th November. Mr Cooper flew in Wellingtons during the early 1940’s was posted to the Middle East, Italy, Germany and then to Palestine in July 1944 where he worked as an instructor teaching pupils how to fly Wellingtons. On Tuesday 15th November Mary Bonigal, who fitted the Irish Linen fabric to Wellington’s during the 1940’s, will meet with the Museum’s team of skilled Technicians and Apprentices helping to restore the Wellington to her former glory to discuss the process.

The Museum’s Wellington MF628 first flew on May 9, 1944. In 1948 it was converted from bomber to navigation trainer and designated a Wellington T.X – removal of the nose gun turret being the most obvious of many modifications. During 1954 the aircraft took part in the filming of “the Dambusters” both as a camera-ship and with a brief appearance in front of the camera. It was sold to Vickers in 1955, and then presented to the Royal Aeronautical Society in mid-1956. Delivered to the RAF Museum in 1971, the nose-turret was re-installed, and the Wellington then displayed in the Bomber Command Hall at RAF Museum London until July 2010. It was then dismantled and transported to the Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at Cosford for long-term refurbishment.

As part of this major refurbishment the Wellington will be re-covered and repainted. The fabric that was previously covering the Wellington has been carefully removed and a limited amount has been made available exclusively to RAF Museum Shop customers. Each piece of fabric comes with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity. For those wishing to own a piece of this iconic aircraft’s history, sections of this fabric will be on sale during the Open Week. It is also available in the Museum Shop and online through the Museum’s website.

Other aircraft and artefacts on display during Open Week include the Handley Page Hampden TB1 and Range Safety Launch. This may also be the last opportunity to view the conservation efforts on the Mk1 Sopwith Dolphin which is nearing completion.

Admission to the Conservation Centre Open Week is FREE and from 10.15am to 1.00pm each day. Cosford’s main Museum will open daily from 10am. The next Open Week is planned for November 2012. For further information, please contact the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit

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Museum to commemorate The Fallen on Remembrance Sunday

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Sunday 13th November 2011

Service to commence at 10.45am

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be holding a Remembrance Service paying respect to those Service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

For those wishing to pay their respects, the Museum will be holding a Service of Remembrance in Hangar 1 on Sunday 13th November. The service will be lead by Rev (Flt Lt) John Baptiste, C of E Chaplain RAF Cosford, in front of the Comet, with Air Training Cadets and RAF personnel present. During the service there will be readings by Wing Commander J Tomlinson, OC Aeronautical Training Wing DCAE Cosford and Dave Leek, Chairman of the Aerospace Museum Society.

All visitors to the Museum are welcome to join the service for this Act of Remembrance and are politely requested, if they wish to attend, to assemble in Hangar 1 no later than 10:30am ready for the Service to commence at 10.45am. A bugle will mark the beginning of 2 minutes silence with the sounding of The Last Post.

Organiser Nina Mitchell, says:

“It is a privilege and an honour for the RAF Museum Cosford to host such a poignant service, where visitors can pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women. Following the service, visitors will be able to view our Remembrance Book which lists the names of RAF Aircrew who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain in 1940.”

The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE. For further information, please call the Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford on 01902 376 200 or visit the museum website,

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