Posts Tagged ‘2014’

Festive opening dates at Cosford

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

RAF Cosford Britannia in snow

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle this Christmas, why not visit the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during the festive period? The Museum will be open daily throughout December from 10am apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Not only will you be able to reminisce in the Warplanes Hangar where you can view a wide range of historic aircraft including the world’s oldest Spitfire, visitors can get up close to a unique collection of experimental jets including the TSR2 and the Bristol 188.

Step in from the cold into the award winning National Cold War Exhibition, where you will find much more than aircraft on display. The exhibition includes a genuine section of the Berlin Wall, audio visual displays telling the story of the Cold War in a fun and innovative way, plus a collection of military tanks and civilian vehicles – all housed under the wings of Britain’s three V Bombers; Vulcan, Victor and Valiant and other aircraft suspended in flying attitudes.

The RAF Museum Cosford is also home to a number of smaller unique exhibitions including Lucky Mascots and RAF Boy Entrants. Plus, in Hangar 1 you will find the 1:1 scale Airfix Spitfire model built by TV Presenter James May and the popular ‘Pilots of the Caribbean – Volunteers of African Heritage in the RAF’ exhibition. Best of all, if your credit cards are maxed out after Christmas, a visit to the Museum won’t cost you a penny as admission is FREE!

So if you’re looking to entertain the children in the run up to Christmas, or your nearest and dearest in the lull before New Year, the RAF Museum has something to occupy visitors of all ages. The fun filled area of Fun ‘n’ Flight will keep the youngsters fascinated, packed with hands on excitement; it’s the easy way to answer all those questions about how aircraft stay up in the air. Or, if you’re in need of a break from all the cooking, why not treat yourself to a warming meal and freshly brewed cup of Coffee in our Refuel Restaurant overlooking the Museum grounds.

The Museum will close again on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Friday 2 January 2015 from 10am until 5pm (last admission 4pm). The Museum’s annual closure week for maintenance, training and cleaning will run from 5-9 January 2015. For further information, please call the Royal Air Force Museum on 01902 376200 or visit the Museum website The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is FREE of charge.

Re-Live All Of The Air Tattoo Thrills

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

RIAT dvd

Forget Santa’s Sleigh, when it comes to providing an aerial spectacle to savour this Christmas, look no further than the official 2014 Royal International Air Tattoo Souvenir DVD.

Featuring all the thrills and excitement from the world’s greatest airshow, it’s the perfect gift for anyone with a passion for aviation.

Filmed in High Definition and featuring multiple camera angles, including on-board footage, the official DVD captures the very best of the flying display including the rarely-seen Polish Air Force Su-22M4 pair, the Turkish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon, the RAF Chinook and the RAF Typhoon plus the ever-popular Alenia C-27J Spartan from the Italian Air Force.

A sell-out crowd of 140,000 visited RAF Fairford over three days in Julyto join celebrations marking the Red Arrows’ 50th display season. The souvenir DVD, which is also available on Blu-ray or as a digital download, captures behind-the-scenes preparations, interviews with team members and display footage as well as coverage of the Reds’ unique flypast with the leaders of four other international aerobatic display teams.

More than 220 aircraft, representing 32 air arms from 26 countries took part in this year’s airshow, which is staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. In a special ‘extras’ section on the DVD, there is the opportunity to see many of those aircraft that appeared on static display either arriving or departing RAF Fairford. They include the debut airshow appearance of the Textron AirLand Scorpion, the final Air Tattoo appearance by two Hellenic Air Force LTV A-7E/TA-7C Corsair IIs and a rarely seen Japanese Boeing KC-767J.

And with narration by one of the UK’s most respected airshow commentators, Ben Dunnell, the official RIAT 2014 DVD shines an entertaining and informativespotlight on modern military aviation.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “Air Tattoo DVDs are renowned for featuring great in-cockpit footage and this year is no different. We went all out to get access to as many aircraft as we could and the result is fantastic. Viewers will be able to enjoy many of the displays from the pilots’ perspective – which can sometimes make you feel quite dizzy!”

The official Air Tattoo 2014Souvenir DVD is available on DVD (priced £19.95); Blu-ray (£24.95) and, for the first time via digital download (£14.95). To order your copy, visit or call 0800 107 1940.

Newark Air Museum Events for 2015

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Newark Air Museum Victory Day

Here at Newark Air Museum, a registered charity, we’re already starting to make plans for our 2015 special events and we hope that you may be able to join us…

7 March 2015 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Table Top Sale 48 sellers tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. {Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}

16 & 17 May 2015 – Tribute to our Training Aircraft an open cockpit style event based around the museum’s extensive display of training aircraft, cockpits and CIMs; with viewing opportunities and in some cases aircraft access. {Normal admission rates apply; and small additional fees when going inside aircraft.}

13 & 14 June 2015 – Cockpit-Fest 2015 & Aeroboot / Aerojumble; this regular two day event provides the perfect opportunity for the public to view a diverse range of visiting aircraft cockpits. {Normal admission rates apply}

25 & 26 July 2015 – Victory Days 2015; this weekend will include 40’s attractions such as the Anderson Shelter and Dig for Victory Garden experience, music, re-enactors, period traders, Tea Tent, period food, vintage civilian / military vehicles, and displays of period clothing and other items; all set amidst the museum’s aircraft collection. A flypast from the BBMF has been applied for. Anyone visiting is encouraged to wear period clothing but no Axis uniforms will be allowed as this is a Home Front event. {Normal admission rates apply}

Monospar Autumn Update 2014

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Newark Air Museum Monospar

Following the successful application of polyester fabric to the inner wing sections of the General Aircraft Monospar airframe during the summer, work is about to proceed with the more complex wing sections.

The starboard wing has just been moved into the museum’s on-site workshop and an epoxy primer coating is being applied to the complex lattice work structure of the wing. After this has cured the complex task of applying the fabric will commence, this work will be undertaken by the members who developed their fabric application techniques earlier in the year.

Sufficient fabric and associated materials have now been ordered to allow both the Monospar airframe and the Auster AOP9 fuselage to have fabric applied. Some work is still to be completed on the ‘top hat’ longerons on the Monospar fuselage, but once this has been undertaken the fuselage fabric will also be applied.

All of the rebuild work on the General Aircraft Monospar VH-UTH at Newark Air Museum is being without any working drawings or airframe plans.

Duke Of Edinburgh Opens New First World War Exhibition

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Duke of Edinburgh open exhibition

Today The Duke of Edinburgh conducted the official opening of a new permanent First World War exhibition at the Royal Air Force Museum London.

Whilst at the Museum, His Royal Highness met and spoke with members of Museum staff as well as designers and technicians who worked on the exhibition.

Karen Whitting, Director of Public Programmes at the Royal Air Force Museum, said: “It was a pleasure and an honour to have the Museum’s Royal Patron The Duke of Edinburgh, open this landmark exhibition The Museum looks forward to sharing this incredible story with both local visitors and audiences from across the globe. It is particularly fitting that we mark this anniversary in the approach to 2018, the centenary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.”

Blondel Cluff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund London Committee, said: “Thanks to lottery players, this new permanent exhibition means that the RAF Museum will be able to play a full part in marking the centenary of the First World War, bringing to the fore an important but currently less well known aspect of the War.”

Chris Boardman, Managing Director of BAE Systems Military Air and Information, said:
“The evolution of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force from 1912 to the present day is closely intertwined with the growth of BAE Systems and its predecessor companies. We are delighted to be supporting the opening of this new gallery and the ambitious plans to redevelop the site over the next four years to inspire future generations of engineers and entrepreneurs.”

The ‘First World War in the Air’ is a new permanent exhibition supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), that will enable visitors to discover and explore the unique and often overlooked role of air power during the First World War through the incredible stories of the men and women who served and protected our nation

Set in a Grade II listed building, which was part of one of the factories where aircraft were constructed for the First World War; the exhibition uses these authentic surroundings and the RAF Museum’s world-class collection of aircraft, documents, film and photographs to reveal how aviation changed the character of war forever.

Described as the ‘Birthplace of Aerial Power’, the story of air power at Hendon began in 1862 when Henry Coxwell took a short flight in a balloon to a field near Mill Hill. In 1910, the site on which the RAF Museum is located was purchased by The London Aerodrome Company, then sold to aviation pioneer Claude Grahame-White in 1911. Grahame-White was a noted name in the early development of British aviation and his Grahame-White Aviation Company began building aircraft in 1910. During the First World War Hendon played an important role in the development of air power and pilots for both the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps trained at the site. In just ten years, driven by the requirements of the conflict, aviation technology developed from being barely able to cross the English Channel in 1909 to crossing the Atlantic in 1919.

Designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the exhibition explores what it was like to be involved in the earliest days of military aviation through the story of Britain’s air services, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. These two organisations merged on 1 April 1918 to become the world’s first independent air force, the Royal Air Force. Displays incorporate the experiences of pilots, ground crew and factory workers to help tell this fascinating story.

Exhibits include iconic aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel, the Fokker D VII and an example of an aircraft that was built in the factory at Colindale – the Avro 504. The exhibition’s narrative-led design is rich with interactivity, dramatic media and diverse collections. The thrilling story of the evolution of flight, from the early days of experimentation to full-force fighting machines, is underpinned by stories of people ‘on the ground’. The exhibition also explores the extraordinary expansion of Britain’s air services, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, from 1,800 men in 1914 to a Royal Air Force of 290,000 men and women at the end of the war in 1918.

As part of ‘First World War in the Air’ the creation of temporary exhibitions and supporting activities will include programmes for lifelong learning, volunteering, apprenticeships and public events. This four-year project marks the Centenary of the First World War, exploring the development of air power as an integral part of modern warfare including the birth of the RAF itself in 2018.

A linked online resource includes the digitisation of and wider public access to historical documents such as First World War Casualty Cards, Casualty Forms and Muster Rolls, that tell the story of the men and women of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force. This will be of particular interest to genealogists and family historians. These can be accessed at

The First World War in the Air exhibition was made possible with a grant of £898,558 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Museum would also like to thank BAE Systems for its support for the exhibition.

RAF Museum Visitor Numbers

Monday, November 17th, 2014

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce that both its London and Cosford sites have enjoyed year on year double-digit growth in visitor numbers for the period from 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2014. 

This growth in numbers has been driven by three strategic decisions made by the Trustees of the Museum in late 2013: to invest more in the marketing of the museum’s London and Cosford sites to key audiences; to create engaging temporary exhibitions & events promoting them through social media; and to invest in a new, technology-based counting system for visitor numbers as recognised throughout the Museum and Visitor Attraction sectors.

Visitor numbers for the Museum’s London site now stand at 203,105 – up 69% on the same period last year; whilst visitor numbers for Cosford stand at 184,506 , excluding the Cosford Air Show, – up 20% on the same period last year.

To put these figures into further context, total visitor numbers for the year 2013/2014 were 236,458 for the museum’s London site and 265,808 for Cosford, excluding the Cosford Air Show.

Commenting on this performance, Paul Hudson, Head of Marketing for the Museum stated:

‘This growth in numbers is indicative of the work that the Museum has undertaken at both its sites in creating new exciting temporary exhibitions and a dynamic calendar of events that have struck a chord with the public.

You only have to look at the interest on various social media platforms generated by exhibitions such as ‘Pilots of the Caribbean’ at Cosford and ‘Biggles and Chums’ in London, and events such as our Open Cockpit Evenings, Cosford Food Festival or Public Service Broadcasting’s London Residency for Museums at Night to see that we are producing experiences that are not only being talked about by our visitors but also being recommended to others.

We anticipate that this trend will continue as we unveil new exciting exhibitions and events that will get the public talking even more about the Museum. We also anticipate that our visitor numbers for the latter half of the year will be given yet a further boost thanks to the opening of our Heritage Lottery Fund supported ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibitions at both London and Cosford later this year.’

Admission to the Royal Air Force Museum at London and Cosford is free of charge. The Museum is open daily from 10:00 am. For further information about the events and exhibitions at either site please go to for London and for Cosford.

Dominie moves undercover

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Dominie at Newark Air Museum

After a relatively straightforward reassembly process, which took just over six weeks Hawker Siddeley Dominie T1 XS726 has now been moved to its new display location inside Display Hangar 2 at Newark Air Museum. Work will now be completed on ‘panelling-up’ up the airframe and returning it to full-display condition.

This carefully co-ordinated move took place on Wednesday 12th November 2014 and it involved a lot of hard work and careful manoeuvring by the Restoration Manager and a team of volunteers. It has involved the Fairey Gannet moving outside on a permeant basis and the brief move outside of the museum’s Folland Gnat trainer, this has now been moved back into Display Hangar 2.

The Dominie was moved to Newark Air Museum in September 2014 having been acquired thanks to the generosity of two long-standing museum members, Mike and Kathy Smith, and placed on long-term loan with the museum.

By moving Dominie T1 XS726 undercover it becomes the first example of this RAF training type to be displayed undercover in the UK. In Display Hangar 2 it is now displayed alongside several other training airframes, like the Varsity, Jetstream, Bulldog, Gnat, Chipmunk and Jet Provost. XS726 is expected to retain its current training scheme markings and retains its original in-service configuration.

RAF Winthorpe book published

Friday, October 31st, 2014

RAF Winthorpe book

During World War Two Royal Air Force Winthorpe was a major RAF station providing vital training for aircrews destined for No.5 Group bomber squadrons operating in Lincolnshire. A new book is now available about the station in Nottinghamshire, which was located close to the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire county border.After several years of detailed research, Colin Savill BA (Hons) has written a new history of RAF Winthorpe. The book has just been published by the Newark (Notts & Lincs) Air Museum, which is located on part of the former RAF Winthorpe airfield site.

The book is entitled RAF Winthorpe – The Story of an Airfield 1939 – 1959 and it is the story of RAF Winthorpe from its beginnings to its demise as an RAF station.

The book (ISBN 978-0-9500341-6-4) is in a softback format; 216 pages (paper weight: 130gsm); with circa 120 black & white photographs and illustrations; and it includes a Foreword by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC RAF.

Copies of the book are now available to purchase from the Museum Shop and they cost £15.00 each. Anyone wishing to purchase a copy can visit the museum between 10am and 4pm daily and you do not need to pay a museum admission fee if you just wish to shop. Copies are also available by mail order – please check for rates; telephone 01636 707170.

A book signing event will take place in the Museum Shop on Saturday 15th November 2014, between 10am and 3pm when Colin will be on hand to sign copies of the book and to discuss aspects of his research.

New Chief Executive Officer Appointed

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer: Maggie Appleton MBE.

Maggie Appleton has over twenty years’ experience in the heritage sector. She is passionate about the difference that museums and culture can make to people’s lives and, after beginning her heritage career at the Royal Armouries (when it was based in the Tower of London) she focused her work in community museums, at Stevenage (1991 – 2003) and in Luton (2003 – 2008).

Maggie has led significant heritage initiatives and developments, notably the £6.2million development of Stockwood Discovery Centre which opened in July 2008, and securing the medieval Wenlok Jug for Luton and the nation after it was export stopped in 2006.

Since August 2008, Maggie has been the Chief Executive of Luton Culture, a values-led charity that comprises museums, arts, libraries and community centres. Maggie is currently a Heritage Lottery Fund Committee Member for the East of England and a Board Member for the Museums Association.

In 2012, Maggie Appleton received an MBE for Services to Museums and Heritage.

As CEO she will be responsible for leading the Museum through a major period of transformation in terms of infrastructure, exhibitions and activities which will also cover the period of 2018 which marks the Centenary of the RAF.

Commenting on her appointment as Chief Executive of the RAF Museum, Maggie said:

“I am thrilled to join the RAF Museum’s team in the run up to the RAF’s centenary in 2018. The opportunity to lead a National Museum with collections of international importance telling stories of global significance is a huge privilege.”

Reporting to the Board of Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum, Maggie will also be an ambassador for the Museum within the local community as well as nationally and internationally and will enhance the visibility, growth of visitor numbers and reputation of the Museum.

Museum Chairman Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Lester Torpy GCB, CBE, DSO said:

“I am delighted that Maggie Appleton is joining the Museum as our new CEO. She brings a wealth of experience from her previous appointment and the Trustees are very much looking forward to her arrival.”

Rare behind the scenes look into aircraft conservation

Monday, October 27th, 2014

RAF Museum apprentice

9-15 November 2014

10:15am – 1:00pm

£5 per person (under 16’s free of charge)

This November, the Sir Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will once again be opening its doors, allowing Museum visitors behind the scenes access to aircraft conservation projects and the chance to speak with the team who make them happen. This rare and exclusive opportunity is for one week only and based on the overwhelming success of previous events, organisers are expecting thousands of visitors to attend.

It’s been almost twelve months since visitors last passed through the doors of the Conservation Centre and what a busy years it’s been…

During the last year, significant progress has been made to one of the centre’s longest running conservation projects, the Handley Page Hampden and regular visitors are sure to be astounded by the developments being made. The Hampden’s tailplane, fin and rudder have been restored, incorporating as much of the original parts and materials as possible. Some sections have been reproduced by Aircraft Technicians and apprentices who worked to the original technical drawings and soon work will commence on the elevator, which will be entirely manufactured on site. The Hampden’s rear fuselage is nearing completion and structural work is taking place inside the tailboom to repair the damaged framework and skins.

The Hampden suffered significant damage when en-route to Murmansk in Russia for convoy defence duties as part of 144 Squadron. It was shot down on 4th September 1942 during its transit flight and three crew members died, although two survived to become prisoners of war (P.O.W’s). The wreckage lay on the Kola Peninsula, Northern Russia until 1989 when it was rediscovered. The RAF Museum acquired the airframe in 1991 and although progress is being made, the aircraft still requires substantial work before going on public display.

Aviation fans and public who have followed the story of the world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 will know the forward fuselage, engines and propellers have now all moved from the hydration tunnels into the Conservation Centre for treatment. Whilst the wings will remain in the hydration tunnels until later this year, the majority of the aircraft will be on display inside and visitors will be able to get up close to the aircraft for the very first time. Volunteers will also be working on some of the smaller Dornier components during Open Week giving visitors first hand access to the intricate work taking place to conserve this unique aircraft.

Repeat visitors will be able to view the on-going refurbishments of the Vickers Wellington. The structural work to the aircraft wings and flying controls along with the surface finish is now complete and the next stage will see Technicians re fabric the wings. Work will then commence on stripping the internal fuselage to allow for structural work to take place. The Wellington is expected to remain at Cosford for a few more years before eventually going back on display at the RAF Museum London.

Darren Priday, RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager says:

“It has been a very busy year for the conservation team in particular with the work carried out on the Dornier Do 17 and the Hampden. The last 12 months has also seen a lot of aircraft movements both here at Cosford and at our sister Museum in London in preparation for the ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition due to open later this year at both sites. We hope visitors will take this opportunity to speak with our team of Aircraft Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers about the conservation work they carry out on the hundreds of aircraft within the Museum’s collection.”

Admission to the Conservation Centre Open Week is £5.00 per person with proceeds going towards supporting the Museum’s collection (Children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult). The Conservation Centre will open to the public from the 9-15 November 2014 between 10.15am to 1.00pm during Open Week. The Museum’s other hangars will be open from 10am until 5pm, entry is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website or call 01902 376200.